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Executive Director, Principal Giving (Hybrid)

Executive Director, Principal Giving (Hybrid)

locationUniversity Hall, 51 Goodman Dr #100, Cincinnati, OH 45221, USA
PublishedPublished: 12/8/2023
Leadership / Executive Board


The Executive Director of Principal Giving is an exempt (salaried) position employed by the University of Cincinnati Foundation (UCF) and reports to the Vice President for Principal Giving.


The University of Cincinnati Foundation (UCF) is hiring an Executive Director of Principal Giving to work closely with the Vice President for Principal Giving to support the highest priorities of the University of Cincinnati and the University of Cincinnati Health System. The Foundation is looking for someone willing to dive into making this Principal Giving program a model for success and collaboration with academic and health care system partners. As UCF looks to expand its principal gift pipeline this position will be able to focus their efforts solely on the closure of gifts at this level.  

The Executive Director serves both as a fundraising professional with a portfolio, as well as works to implement process and structure around principal giving at the UCF. The Executive Director is responsible for leading and mentoring development staff in the process of identification, qualification, strategic engagement, solicitation and personalized stewardship of prospects and donors of principal gifts at the $1 million+.  This position will work closely with senior administrative, academic and development leadership in achieving support for the highest priorities of the University of Cincinnati and UC Health.

Specific Duties

  • Manage a portfolio of 30+ donors and prospects to cultivate, solicit and secure planned gifts to support the priorities and needs of the University.
  • Lead and facilitate principal gift team operations and projects; work with vice president on principal gifts priorities and strategies.
  • Work with development officers on strategies to include gift planning to enhance gift proposals.
  • Draft gift proposals and agreements, process and track those documents through the UCF system.
  • Assist with devising, implementing, and managing a comprehensive program for principal gift development and activity for the UC Foundation
  • Provide leadership and mentoring to development staff and academic leadership in the process of identification, qualification, strategic engagement, solicitation and personalized stewardship of prospects and donors at principal gift level.
  • Cultivate relationships with the UC and UC Health leadership to understand priorities of both institutions.
  • Cultivate, solicit, and manage a personal portfolio of Principal Gift prospects.
  • Research, identify and contact principal giving prospects.
  • Prepare timely contact reports and ensure the accuracy of monthly reports
  • Other duties, as assigned.


  • Bachelor’s degree with 7-10 years of experience, or advanced degree with 5-7 years of experience.
  • Experience in raising funds upwards of $1 million+ through outright and deferred giving; proven ability to manage prospects, generate high-level strategies for cultivation and solicitation of prospects, supervise volunteers, and establish goals; strong attention to detail, interpersonal, organizational, oral, and written communication skills; 
  • A proven fundraising track record and detailed in-depth knowledge of gift planning and its complexities including estate planning, tax laws, wills, trusts, etc.
  • Research and analyze large groups of data to uncover prospects.
  • Ability to collaborate across Foundation, University and University healthcare system to optimize philanthropic giving for principal gift donors.
  • Knowledge of principal giving best practices.
  • A familiarity with tax, legal, and financial concepts and strategies involved in estate and philanthropic planning.
  • High degree of discretion and confidentiality
  • Previous experience working at an institution of higher education preferred.
  • Ability to travel and attend university/health system functions during and after normal business hours are required.

Physical Demands

This position is considered to have light work. Exerting up to 20lbs. of force occasionally, and/or up to 10 lbs. of force frequently, and/or up a negligible of force constantly to move objects. This position requires the operation of a motor vehicle. This position also requires:

  • Finger use
  • Talking
  • Hearing
  • Repetitive motion of the wrist, hands, and/or fingers

Work Environment

While performing the duties of this job, this position is subject to outside environmental conditions and indoor conditions.

The University of Cincinnati Foundation seeks talented, collaborative and mission-focused individuals to join our advancement team in driving philanthropic support for the University of Cincinnati and UC Health. All offers of full-time employment are contingent upon passing a criminal background check and drug test. Positions requiring a degree are also contingent upon education verification. 

Additionally, the UC Foundation requires employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to ensure the health and safety of our workplace. In accordance with guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and public health authorities, we believe that vaccinations are a critical tool for protecting employees and their families, coworkers, donors, visitors and our community at large from the threat of COVID-19. New hires will be required to provide proof of vaccination or request an accommodation based on a medical condition or strongly-held religious belief prior to their first day of employment.

The University of Cincinnati Foundation is committed to diversity, equity, and building an inclusive environment for people of all backgrounds and ages. We are taking steps to meet that commitment. We especially encourage members of traditionally underrepresented communities to apply, including women, people of color, LGBTQ+ people, and people that are differently abled. We know there are great candidates who won’t match everything we’ve described above or who have important skills we haven’t considered. Apply and tell us about yourself!