Associate Vice President of Advancement

Pacific Lutheran University
Tacoma, WA


Pacific Lutheran University (PLU) seeks a creative and experienced philanthropic professional to provide thoughtful leadership and strategic management of the Advancement department within University Relations.

The Associate Vice President (AVP) of Advancement has responsibility for planning, organizing and executing the university's major gifts, planned giving and foundation relations programs and is the primary tactical, administrative, and management officer for fundraising at PLU. This position serves as the team leader and supervisor for professional staff members in Advancement, partners with colleagues in University Relations to build and enhance the culture of philanthropy at PLU, and provides campaign leadership. The AVP will be experienced as a principal gifts officer and will manage a portfolio of prospects in addition to providing professional staff with the support and tools they need to be successful.

As a member of the University Relations leadership team, this position reports to the Vice President of the division.


-Hire, train, inspire and evaluate Advancement staff, in consultation with the VP of University Relations.

-Create and execute short- and long-term fundraising plans for major gift and foundation donors in partnership with university leaders.

-Help lead the strategic planning and implementation for campaign-based fundraising.

-Provide leadership in identifying, cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding major donors, including individuals, foundations and corporations.

-Work with each direct report to collaboratively set activity and solicitation goals and evaluate prospect development initiatives.

-Develop and manage a portfolio of 50 - 75 leadership gift prospects.

-Represent the university as a professional collaborator at public functions and events, including social and professional gatherings.

-Maintain familiarity with salient issues relating to higher education, fundraising and financial planning, showing an aptitude for thoughtful application and connection.

-Work closely with colleagues in Annual Giving to develop shared, complementary strategies.

-Maintain professionalism when dealing with staff and donors, and in carrying out all responsibilities and objectives.

-Adhere to the policies and procedures established by PLU and the Association of Fundraising Professionals Code of Ethics.

-Perform other duties as assigned.


-Deep understanding of relational fundraising with the ability to compellingly articulate university priorities and goals and align initiatives with donor priorities and goals.

-Strong knowledge of the donor engagement and the cultivation cycle. Ability to think strategically and comprehensively about data-driven fundraising strategy, as well as systematically analyze performance of engagement initiatives and revenue-generating activities.

-Ability to earn and maintain the confidence of internal and external constituents.

-Seasoned judgment, ability to make decisions, justify recommendations, and be responsive, clear and firm with colleagues and collaborators.

-Ability to adapt to a complex working environment in which influence is often exerted indirectly rather than through traditional chain of command hierarchies.

-Commitment to the mission, philosophy, and values of PLU.

-Exceptionally self-driven, with ability to operate in a rapidly moving context and make frequent decisions independently.

-Highly organized with the ability to work well with faculty and staff from all areas and levels of PLU.

-Courtesy and diplomacy in working with a variety of people who adhere to a wide-range of beliefs and values.

-Ability to travel within the U.S. up to 20% of the time.

-Knowledge of CRM systems in the higher-ed sector.


-Bachelor's degree.

-7 years of experience in fundraising and management.

-Proven record of leadership and personal accomplishment in the field of higher-ed philanthropy, with particular focus on leadership and major donor giving.

-Experience partnering with senior and/or university leadership in donor engagement and stewardship strategies and activities.

-Experience designing, implementing and directing strategic fundraising and campaign initiatives.

-Experience with the application of new technologies and theories in fundraising and grant development programs.

-Experience with and commitment to working in and developing a diverse workforce.

-Finalist applicants must satisfactorily complete pre-employment background check.


-Masters degree.

-10 years of experience in higher education resource development and management, preferably within a comparable university or college setting.

-Experience in Plus Delta Partners donor engagement process or similar discipline.


Pacific Lutheran University purposefully integrates the liberal arts, professional studies and civic engagement in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. PLU continues the transformational tradition of Lutheran higher education through its commitment to the advancement of knowledge, freedom of expression, and critical questioning. Offering distinctive opportunities for global engagement, collaborative student-faculty research and purposeful learning, PLU guides 3,100 students from all faiths and backgrounds discern their vocation through coursework, mentorship and internships at world-class Puget Sound-area businesses and institutions.

PLU is located on a 156-acre woodland campus in the Parkland neighborhood of Tacoma, Washington and about 40 minutes south of downtown Seattle. The campus reflects consciously green practices and is in proximity to the natural beauty of Mount Rainier, the Cascade and Olympic mountain ranges, and the Puget Sound.

The university is committed to active recruitment of a diverse faculty, staff and student body from all religions, races, socioeconomic groups, sexual orientations, and gender expressions and from all over the world. For the 2017-18 academic year, 42 percent of incoming first-year students are the first generation in their families to attend college; 37.8 percent self-identify as students of color; and 31.8 percent are Pell Grant-eligible. PLU is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes applications from members of historically underrepresented and minoritized groups, women, veterans, persons with disabilities, and others who would bring broadly diverse perspectives, experiences, and backgrounds in educational, research or other work activities.