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Division of Human Resources

Position Description

Job Summary

Reporting to the University President, the Vice President for Development is the chief development officer for the University of South Carolina flagship research campus in Columbia, as well as Palmetto College with the two-year regional institutions in Lancaster, Salkehatchie, Sumter and Union, and Palmetto College Online (the online degree completion program). The Vice President for Development also has a coordinating role with the chancellors, deans and development offices at the University of South Carolina four-year comprehensive institutions in Aiken, Beaufort and Spartanburg.

The Vice President for Development has strategic oversight and management of a comprehensive development effort in support of the university system and the President’s ongoing priorities to include the next capital campaign.

Overseeing approximately 90 positions and a budget of more than $8M, the Vice President for Development provides campaign guidance and leadership of development activities to secure private philanthropic support for all constituent units on the Columbia campus including the School of Medicine and all constituent units of Palmetto College. This person serves as a member of the President’s Executive Council and as an ex officio member of the University of South Carolina Educational Foundation.

Primary Responsibilities

  • Collaborate with the University President, the President’s Cabinet and Executive Council, the Council of Academic Deans and the President/CEO of University Foundations to establish appropriate fundraising goals, priorities and policies, and implement strategic initiatives to support the university’s mission and vision.
  • Partner with the Alumni Association and other university divisions to build and maintain strong relationships with students, parents, faculty, staff, donors, alumni and friends of the university to foster and strengthen a culture of philanthropy and support for the university.
  • Gather fundraising data on performance metrics and other measures of success; prepare statistical analyses and reports related to fundraising efforts and donor engagement.
  • Provide development strategies with special campaigns that fall under the umbrella of any university-wide capital campaign.
  • Identify, cultivate and solicit major gift prospects, engaging the university President and Board members in cultivating and closing gifts, as appropriate.
  • Oversee the management and marketing of the gift planning, principal gifts and annual giving programs, and coordinate fundraising from alumni, other individuals, corporations and foundations.
  • Establish and maintain productive relationships with the private and corporate business community.
  • Ensure ongoing fundraising excellence in line with the university’s values, mission, vision and plans.
  • Lead the preparation and implementation of the next university-wide capital campaign.
  • Provide management oversight and direction to all Senior Associate, Associate and Assistant Vice President positions, Executive Directors and Directors of Development within central development and the colleges and schools across the Columbia and Palmetto College campuses.
  • Develop and manage the budget for development and fundraising efforts in collaboration with other senior officials of the University of South Carolina System, the leadership of the UofSC Foundations and the Foundation Board members.
  • Recruit, motivate, develop and seek to retain a strong staff, which maintains collaborative and cooperative relationships with development and alumni staff on all campuses.
  • Closely partner with university deans to ensure their priorities are supported by effective fundraising strategies and provide guidance as needed. Serve as a resource to all university campuses by leveraging systems, processes and expertise to support fundraising across the university system.
  • Develop and foster a staff culture that emphasizes collaboration and teamwork and recognizes shared success.
  • Serve as a mentor, developing staff for increased responsibility and leadership.
  • Establish a performance-oriented, accountable culture with appropriate performance management systems. Work with senior leaders and the management team to establish and monitor transparent performance and development goals for staff, assign accountabilities, set objectives and establish priorities.
  • Complete performance evaluations, employee relations and disciplinary activities, as needed.
  • Work collaboratively with university Development Division colleagues to ensure a consistent message is delivered to alumni, current and prospective donors, friends and other university partners. Through collaboration develop a communication plan that supports the university’s development activities and coordinates fundraising efforts for the Columbia campus.
  • Actively participate in university Development Division and External Affairs events, boards, clubs and constituent program meetings to develop professional relationships.
  • Collaborate with university advocacy teams as appropriate to mobilize alumni and donors in support of the university’s development related priorities.
  • Work with key volunteers to plan and direct fundraising efforts to benefit the related schools/colleges and the university.

Required Qualifications and Experience

The VP for Development will be a driven, entrepreneurial, and innovative executive with passion for the University of South Carolina and its impact on the communities it serves and the students who come from all over the world to study. Qualified candidates will bring significant experience and an impressive track record in fundraising, particularly in major and principal gifts. They will demonstrate best practices around stewardship and relationship building. Previous experience working at a major research institution and leading a successful capital campaign is highly desired.

  • A minimum of 10 years of fundraising experience with progressive management responsibility, including senior level management, within a complex nonprofit organization/system, preferably within institutions of higher education.
  • Direct experience or an acumen to suggest the ability to work effectively with boards, senior management teams, community leaders and community constituents to achieve results.
  • Demonstrated success, or an acumen to suggest future success in identifying high net-worth donors, conducting face-to-face solicitations, and closing six-figure plus philanthropic commitments.
  • Results-oriented leadership in the achievement of significant fundraising goals, preferably in the higher education space.
  • Proven ability to effectively navigate large, complex, matrixed organizations.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of best practices and experience in recruiting, developing and retaining a highly functioning, cohesive team.
  • An excellent listener and strong communicator to internal and external audiences and stakeholders within a community, who can inspire and motivate in one-on-one situations and as a public speaker.
  • Experience or an aptitude for building relationships and partnerships with a broad range of constituencies.
  • An unwavering commitment to quality and excellence.
  • Demonstrated experience with change management.
  • Experience working with a CRM and related technologies within a fundraising environment.
  • Display sound judgment, emotional intelligence and detail orientation.
  • A sense of accountability for oneself and for others as it relates to meeting commitments; inclusive management style that actively solicits input from team members.
  • Possess integrity, confidence and a positive attitude.
  • Is mission-driven and self-directed.


  • An undergraduate degree from an accredited institution is required, an advanced degree is preferred.
  • CFRE certification preferred.

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