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Senior Director | Sanford Institute of Philanthropy

Position Summary:  Reporting to the Executive Director, the Senior Director of the Sanford Institute of Philanthropy (SIP) will provide strategic leadership in a broad range of functions at the national level including business development, national expansion, University growth, and oversight with direct management over SIP.

The Senior Director serves as the senior level manager across external partnerships and internal NUS departments including marketing, IT, HR, Finance, regional sustainability, corporate communications, corporate administration and operations as it relates to SIP.  This senior level position develops SIP annual milestones, performance goals, and provides support across broad functional objectives as it pertains to SIP.   Working with other executive leadership, this role is responsible for managing, organizing and prioritizing critical issues and required information to the Executive Director and Senior Management at NUS.    As a leader, strategist, consultant and implementer, the Senior Director provides oversight and guidance to SIP projects of high importance and acts as an advisor to the Executive Director.

While this role does not directly report to the Chancellor it will serve as a partner to the Executive Director and Senior Management to develop and execute SIP’s long-range strategic plan, development of business plans to meet annual growth milestones, and provides executive level management and support to SIP’s Program Director.   The Senior Director of SIP will be key strategist and partner in managing the Sanford Programs and building the 3 programs across their unique markets.


Essential Functions:

  • Plan, develop, organize, implement, direct and evaluate the functional accountabilities across the SIP program and Program Director and with required reporting to the Executive Director
  • Participate in the development of the SIP strategic business plan and program as a strategic partner by providing knowledge, information and leadership on decision making issues affecting the organization.
  • Accountable for ensuring the development and implementation of SIP’s sustainability strategy and providing direction and guidance to those accountable for implementing priority programs and actions to increase economic opportunities locally, regionally, nationally and internationally.
  • Accountable for the development and implementation of NUS/Sanford initiatives including but not limited to policies, core values and culture. 
  • Accountable to ensure high-quality delivery of communications services and expertise to NUS/Sanford and its partners.
  • Provide leadership and direction to ensure that executive level support is delivered to the Executive Director and executive leadership team and board of directors. 
  • Accountable to ensure effective development and management of strategic plans across key milestones in national growth, university growth, product development, digital/innovation, research & evaluation.
  • Act as an adviser to the Executive Director and senior executive team and assist the ED in facilitating effective decision-making and determining the proper course of action and delegation to the appropriate department or individual to manage.
  • Ensure all staff/personnel issues are addressed properly, efficiently and judiciously, and keep track of progress until resolved.

Supervisory Responsibilities: Hire, train and develop and provide oversight to a management, staff, and field positions throughout the SIP organization.



Education & Experience

  • Advanced Degree in business administration, communications or marketing; Doctorate preferred
  • CFRE designation desirable
  • Bachelor's degree and 7 to 10 years of demonstrated successful experience in major gift fundraising and fundraising management, preferably in higher education or the nonprofit sector.
  • Experience with development of strategic fundraising strategy for large nonprofit or universities
  • Experience with soliciting major and principal gifts from donors, philanthropists, and other interested organizations that support major causes
  • Experience with developing professional fundraising services and support to other divisions, departments, and centers
  • Ten years’ experience managing large teams including management level positions
  • Experience in budget development, management, and oversight, content and market experience
  • Experience with research & evaluation preferred.


Technical / Functional Skills

  • Demonstrated ability to build partnerships with academic colleagues and community individuals and organizations; will need to be able to interact at a high level of leadership within universities and nonprofit organizations.
  • Required knowledge of sound personnel practices and procedures, and the ability to plan, organize and direct others in the operation of the various activities within higher education and the nonprofit sector.
  • Must be an entrepreneurial and innovative leader with expertise in Higher Education and the nonprofit sector.
  • Strong strategic thinking, planning, and execution skills, with the ability to take an idea from conception to implementation, collaborating with peers and partners to achieve desired outcomes.
  • Exceptional communication and relationship building skills, able to inspire, influence, and educate a wide range of stakeholders
  • The desire to work in a fast-growing, extraordinarily mission-driven organization with strong values of consistency, openness and mutual respect
  • An empathic, charismatic leader who has strong faith in humanity and treats others with respect. The Senior Director of SIP will be an individual of unquestioned integrity, ethics and values; someone who can be trusted without reservation within higher education and nonprofit sector.



  • Strategist:  Works in partnership with NUS/Sanford executive leadership and direct reports to develop a clear vision and strategy for key functions for which the role is accountable consistent with Sanford’s overall strategy.  Ability to organize, plan and implement action to deliver on strategies and goals annually.
  • Strategic Planning:  A strategic thinker with strong analytical and process skills able to clearly and simply inform all constituencies toward a common understanding of business, reputation and cultural performance.
  • Integrity:  Unyielding business ethics, personal integrity and values that align with those of the organization and the NUS culture.
  • Communicator & Engager:  Ability to engage and motivate stakeholders through powerful listening,
  • speaking and written communication.  Creates clarity to all constituents to see, create and achieve positive business and reputational success based on program milestones.
  • Judgment:  Displays willingness to make decisions; exhibits sound and accurate judgment; supports and explains reasoning for decisions; Includes appropriate people in decision-making process; Makes timely decisions.
  • Leadership:  Demonstrates skills and behaviors that create and contribute to superior performance.  Effectively manages change, is a problem solver and displays drive and purpose.  Creates a positive environment for his/her teams to take authority and knowing when collaboration with other
  • functions and the broader business is imperative.


Physical Demands / Environment

Sedentary work. Exerting up to 10 pounds of force occasionally and/or negligible amount of force frequently or constantly to lift, carry, push, pull or otherwise move objects. The worker is required to have close visual acuity to perform an activity such as preparing and analyzing data and figures and viewing a computer terminal. The work is performed in an office environment.

Travel:  Up to 50% of time



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