Art Center College of Design | Pasadena, California | Learn to Create. Influence Change.

Title: Director of Development

Department - Development

Type - Full-time staff


As Art Center College of Design prepares for a major campaign to realize its strategic plan, it is forming a team of outstanding development professionals focused on engaging and soliciting prospects in a professional and collaborative environment.† The Director of Development is responsible for securing major gifts from alumni, parents and friends that help the College fulfill its campaign goals and contribute to its lasting strength.

Job Summary

With guidance from the Associate Vice President for Development, the Director is responsible for conceptualizing, planning and implementing major gift fundraising strategies.† S/he works collaboratively with and in support of volunteers and other College representatives to cultivate and solicit donors for College priorities.† The Director travels extensively and often works autonomously.† S/he is results-oriented and possesses professional characteristics that include integrity, leadership, commitment to confidentiality, flexibility, team-orientation, attention to detail, strong work ethic, and sensitivity to the stewardship of long-term relationships. †

The Director serves as a vital member of a team of advancement professionals who span development, alumni relations, board relations, marketing and communications, community relations and advancement services.† Art Centerís President plays an active role in fundraising, and the Director works with him to develop solicitation strategies that include his participation and staffs him on calls.

Essential Functions

  • Develop and implement fundraising strategies to support Art Center students, faculty, programs, facilities, general operations and strategic initiatives
  • Build and maintain relationships with individual prospects and donors; manage a dynamic portfolio of approximately 125 major gift prospects and donors
  • Initiate and solicit gifts for Art Center, with a focus on identifying, cultivating, soliciting and stewarding individual prospects with the potential to support the College with gifts of $50,000 and above
  • Develop and document a robust pipeline of proposals to meet increasingly aggressive quarterly and annual fundraising goals
  • Evaluate alumni giving capabilities and partner with the Director of Prospect Management and Research to identify major gifts prospects within the Collegeís constituent base
  • Manage a fundraising program for an assigned subset of College priorities and represent these needs externally as well as in Development and External Affairs and across the College
  • Enlist the involvement of faculty, department chairs, senior staff and alumni in expanding individual support to the university
  • Facilitate relationships between current and potential donors and College administrators, directors, deans, department chairs and faculty
  • Recruit and manage volunteers; serve as primary staff support for advisory councils and their activities; actively engage council members in selected development activities
  • Develop cultivation and solicitation strategies that make good use of relationships between prospects and College academic, administrative and volunteer leadership; support other Art Center solicitors, including the President, the Senior Vice President for Development & External Affairs, the Associate Vice President for Development, Trustees and key volunteers, in their efforts to secure gifts by preparing written materials, including letters, proposals and briefings, for their use
  • Partner with Annual Giving staff to identify and cultivate major gift prospects and to connect leadership annual giving and major gift strategies††††
  • Partner with corporate and foundation relations colleagues to develop cultivation, solicitation and stewardship strategies for select prospects and donors whose giving encompasses corporate and/or foundation gifts
  • Plan appropriate cultivation/stewardship activities to foster interaction between volunteers/donors and College leadership
  • Prepare written proposals to solicit prospects for gifts in support of the College using persuasive language to promote visionary gift opportunities
  • Travel extensively in and out of state to meet personally with current and potential donors to promote Art Centerís needs
  • Plan, establish, and maintain forecasts of contributed income goals for select projects and programs
  • Collaborate with other Development and External Affairs team members to devise, analyze, modify, implement and evaluate development programs
  • Provide general assistance to the AVP for Development in support of the Collegeís Development program
  • Complete other duties as assigned


  • A minimum of six years of major gifts experience with demonstrated accomplishment in the acquisition of gifts from individuals
  • The demonstrated ability to strategize, formulate and close gifts of six figures and above, along with a talent for motivating donors
  • Excellent written and oral communication and negotiation skills; demonstrably strong planning and organizational skills
  • Proven success in goal achievement for operating, capital, and endowment fund development
  • Experience engaging academic leaders, faculty and volunteer partners in the development of meaningful and productive relationships with prospects and donors†
  • Experience and/or interest in contemporary art, media and design, especially in communication or industrial design
  • Experience soliciting, structuring and closing planned gifts preferred
  • Able to travel up to 60% of the time and to work on evenings and weekends when needed
  • Flexibility and initiative, as well as the ability to work independently, combined with the skills for thriving in a team environment to achieve institutional goals
  • Strong interpersonal skills, together with the ability to listen to colleagues and donors, and tact in dealing with potential areas of overlap
  • Proficiency in Raiserís Edge or a similar constituent database
  • Bachelors degree required; further study appreciated


Send resume with cover letter stating salary history or salary requirements to the Bryant Group, CBryant@bryantgrp.com with a copy to hr@artcenter.edu.

Art Center College of Design is committed to excellence through the establishment of a diverse faculty and staff that best represents our student body and its surrounding communities.

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