Executive Director of Development, Sturm College of Law

Apply now Job no: 494218
Work type: Staff Full-Time
Location: Denver, CO
Categories: Alumni / Development / Fundraising

About the University of Denver

Located where the Great Plains meet the Rocky Mountains, the University of Denver embodies the spirit of exploration and discovery that define our region and our history. DU is a private institution built on exploration through research and collaboration among educators, students, and local and global communities. With nationally recognized academic programs, a history of widespread influence, a forward-looking vision for a 21st-century education, and a deep commitment to promoting inclusion, we open a world of opportunity to students and empower Pioneers to make a difference around the world. Through learning, scholarship, and practice, our students gain the experience, knowledge, and courage they need to tackle big challenges in the real world and to guide diverse communities and organizations.

About DU Advancement

The University of Denver is building an advancement enterprise that mirrors the excellence of our great institution. Advancement efforts at DU have a tremendous impact through our relationships with DU’s remarkable students, outstanding faculty, dedicated donors, inspiring alumni, engaged families, and wonderful friends. DU is committed to building and fostering a culture of deep engagement and philanthropy in support of our institution as we implement the DU IMPACT 2025 strategic vision. The University of Denver and DU Advancement deeply value inclusive excellence, recognizing that its success is dependent on how well it values, engages, and includes a rich diversity of constituents. You can learn more about inclusive excellence at the University of Denver by visiting the Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. As a part of that effort, we are continuing to grow a team of inclusive, collaborative, inquisitive, innovative, ethical, transparent, and mission-driven advancement professionals who possess deep mutual respect for one another and for our shared profession. 

About the Sturm College of Law

Founded in 1892, the Sturm College of Law is a nationally recognized leader in experiential legal education, with top 15 programs in advocacy, clinical training, and legal writing. The law school features internationally acclaimed faculty, talented and dedicated staff, outstanding and public-spirited students, and alumni who have achieved careers of distinction in law, business, government, and the non-profit sector. As Denver’s only law school, the Sturm College of Law benefits from unique access to one of the nation’s most dynamic legal markets. Under Dean Bruce Smith, the law school seeks to build upon its significant and distinctive contributions to American legal education in the realms of experiential learning, interdisciplinary research, educational opportunity, access to justice, and global impact.

Position Summary

This position reports directly to the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Development and works closely and collaboratively with the Dean of the Sturm College of Law. As the University of Denver prepares for its next comprehensive campaign, this position plays a key role in developing and enhancing relationships with major-through-principal gift prospects and donors, discovering their philanthropic passions, and aligning them with the funding priorities emerging from the Sturm College of Law and the DU IMPACT 2025 strategic plan. The Executive Director will develop and mature a portfolio of major-through-principal gift prospects and donors to advance strategic priorities and achieve annual fundraising goals, set in collaboration with the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Development and the Dean of the Sturm College of Law. The Executive Director will also collaborate with Advancement leadership, colleagues, and university administrators to establish short- and long-term strategies and monitor progress toward goals. The Advancement team is highly collaborative in its work and builds extensive value-added relationships with its campus partners.

Essential Functions


  • Lead the Sturm College of Law’s development operation, including supporting the programmatic initiatives and day‐to‐day efforts of a dedicated team of fundraising professionals.
  • In partnership with the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Development and the Dean, establish and articulate fundraising priorities based on the Sturm College of Law’s strategic vision.
  • As a leader in DU Advancement, provide strategy, guidance, and direction in support of the mission, vision, values, and goals of the University of Denver.
  • Engage in the advancement goal-setting process for the Sturm College of Law, including fundraising engagement metrics.
  • Effectively and responsibly steward budgetary and other resources to advance the Sturm College of Law and the University of Denver.
  • In consultation with the Dean and University Advancement leadership, support the creation and management of a unit-level Dean’s Advisory Board and Volunteer Leadership Council.


  • In support of the priorities of the Sturm College of Law, the Executive Director will develop meaningful and productive relationships with a portfolio of major, principal, and planned prospects and donors, including individual alumni and friends, law firms, accounting firms, corporations, and foundations. 
  • Collaborate with other development professionals across campus to effectively design and execute gift strategies.

Partnerships & University Citizenship

  • Form and maintain meaningful and productive partnerships with influential leaders in the City of Denver and the State of Colorado, as well as national stakeholders.
  • Serve as an active and collaborative partner to all academic departments and functions, central and unit-based advancement functions, and other campus colleagues, to foster strategic, effective, and collaborative fundraising practices.
  • Model One DU leadership.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • Demonstrated ability to close major gifts ($50,000+) through principal gifts ($1 million+) in a relationship-based culture.
  • Demonstrated ability to form and fully leverage cross-functional teams of colleagues, volunteers, and academic/administrative leaders toward closure of transformational gifts.
  • Strong written and oral communication skills.
  • Experience strategizing with academic leadership or equivalent leadership to successful conclusions.
  • Demonstrated ability to work with various stakeholders at all levels.
  • Proven ability to work with a high level of confidence and independence, to maintain confidentiality, to prioritize assignments, and to manage time effectively.
  • Demonstrated interpersonal skills that help foster and maintain effective relationships with colleagues, donors, volunteers, and University Officials.
  • Ability to interact effectively with diverse groups having competing interests and priorities within the University and community.
  • Ability to serve as a strong coach and mentor to other advancement professionals and to foster an inclusive, collaborative, inquisitive, innovative, ethical, and transparent office culture founded on deep mutual respect.

Required Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent combination of education or work experience (Veterans with an equivalent combination of military certification/education and experience may substitute these qualifications for the degree qualification.).
  • 7 years of paid fundraising experience, working within the full spectrum of development, including cultivation, gift solicitations, stewardship, and donor recognition.
  • Supervisory experience.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Graduate degree.
  • Experience directly staffing a dean (or equivalent unit-specific leader) in a complex organization.

Work Schedule
Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Some nights and weekends as required.

Application Deadline
For best consideration, please submit your application materials by 4:00 p.m. (MST) on Thursday, September 9, 2021. Applications will continue to be reviewed until the position is filled. 

Special Instructions
Candidates must apply online through jobs.du.edu to be considered. Only applications submitted online will be accepted.

Salary Grade Number
The salary grade for the position is 15.

Salary Range
The salary range for this position is $130,000 - $145,000.

The University of Denver has provided a compensation range that represents its good faith estimate of what the University may pay for the position at the time of posting. The University may ultimately pay more or less than the posted compensation range. The salary offered to the selected candidate will be determined based on factors such as the qualifications of the selected candidate, departmental budget availability, internal salary equity considerations, and available market information, but not based on a candidate’s sex or any other protected status.

The University of Denver offers excellent benefits, including medical, dental, retirement, paid time off, tuition benefit and ECO pass. The University of Denver is a private institution that empowers students who want to make a difference. Learn more about the University of Denver.

Please include the following documents with your application:
1. Resume
2. Cover Letter

The University of Denver is committed to enhancing the diversity of its faculty and staff. We are an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment regardless of age, race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, military/ veteran status or any other status protected by law.

All offers of employment are based upon satisfactory completion of a criminal history background check.

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