Director, Principal Gifts Stewardship

University of Chicago

University of Chicago

Chicago, IL, USA
Posted on Monday, December 18, 2023


BSD DEV - Principal Gifts

About the Department

Medicine and Biological Sciences Development’s mission is to inspire and facilitate philanthropy at the University of Chicago Medicine by building relationships with those who share its goals of advancing excellence in research, education, community, and patient care. We accomplish this mission through expertise, integrity, creativity, and collaboration.

Job Summary

The job manages programs designed to meet University fundraising goals for contributed income. Serves as strategist of efforts to secure gifts and build relationships with alumni, faculty, administrators and organizations with potential to make gifts. Develops communication strategies for projects.


  • Manage a portfolio of top principal, mega, and legacy gift donors. Provide proactive, creative, and consistent stewardship for these long-term relationships with donors and their heirs to ensure the donor’s stewardship experience is engaging and personalized.

  • Develop a best-in-class stewardship program for principal gifts donors and serve as a liaison to the Donor Relations team and an office-wide resource to other colleagues for creative, meaningful, and personalized engagement practices.

  • Conceive and develop recognition events or other activities such as gift events, luncheons/dinners, faculty and student meet and greets, and other events to communicate gift impact and honor, thank, and inspire donors.

  • Coordinate the interaction of donors with faculty and other individuals who have the ability to deepen the donor’s engagement with the University of Chicago Medicine (UCM) and the Biological Sciences Division (BSD). Implement strategies to keep donors involved and informed of ongoing projects and programs.

  • Create and execute customized stewardship plans for individuals in portfolio informed by requirements detailed in existing gift agreements and donor preferences.

  • Compose high quality correspondence that is decisive and professional, that may include subject matter of considerable sensitivity, discretion, judgement or negotiation. Write, edit, and contribute strategy to a wide variety of Medicine & Biological Sciences Development (MBSD) documents and materials, including internal and external communications, briefings, proposals and presentations.

  • Provide strategic direction for and project manage the development and delivery of high-impact, customized, timely stewardship reports or other relevant stewardship touches. Explore creative ways to share impact beyond written reports.

  • Triage, and where appropriate, resolve any issues related to gift agreement compliance.

  • Ensure the timely, thorough, and transparent tracking and reporting of stewardship activities/data on behalf of both internal and external constituents. Document and manage data and activities in the donor database.

  • Partner closely with the UChicago Medicine Special Programs team.

  • Assess and analyze donor interest and match such interest with UCM and University of Chicago Hospital's (UCH) institutional priorities. When opportunity for additional giving is identified, work in partnership with appropriate gift officers to facilitate gift conversations.

  • Develop and maintain a broad understanding of the University of Chicago Medicine and Biological Sciences, the broader University, and the fundraising priorities so that they can represent the University to a variety of stakeholders. They will have a deep appreciation for its mission, its science, and its contributions to society.

  • Regularly conduct visits with donors and carry an annual visit goal.

  • Identifies, analyzes, and qualifies donor interest to maximize giving. Helps with overall planning efforts for the University's most important prospects. Works independently to develop communication strategies for projects, including publications and public presentations.

  • Works with Senior Leadership, Officers and Deans to design strategic objectives and action steps that will lead to the successful realization of these projects.

  • Performs other related work as needed.

Minimum Qualifications


Minimum requirements include a college or university degree in related field.

Work Experience:

Minimum requirements include knowledge and skills developed through 5-7 years of work experience in a related job discipline.



Preferred Qualifications


  • A minimum of five years of relevant work experience in development or a related field, such as non-profit management, personal wealth management, sales and/or marketing, or corporate business development.

  • Demonstrated track record of organizing successful fundraising or marketing activities.

  • Demonstrated success in prospect identification, relationship building, strategy development, philanthropic solicitation or similar experience in working with high-net-worth individuals in private banking, financial services, financial planning, or related professions.

  • Experience managing volunteers.

  • Experience developing and monitoring budgets.

Preferred Competencies

  • Ability to work collegially and collaboratively in a team environment of highly motivated individuals.

  • Sound judgement and persuasiveness necessary to establish a balance between the fundraising priorities of UCM/BSD and the interest of donors, faculty, and other campus partners.

  • Outstanding interpersonal and communication skills, characterized by the ability to listen with sensitivity to donor concerns.

  • Excellent organizational skills, and a high degree of flexibility and initiative is required. Familiarity with database applications.

  • Ability to travel and attend evening and weekend functions when necessary.

Application Documents

  • Resume (required)

  • Cover Letter (required)

When applying, the document(s) MUST be uploaded via the My Experience page, in the section titled Application Documents of the application.

Job Family

Alumni Relations & Development

Role Impact

Individual Contributor

FLSA Status


Pay Frequency


Scheduled Weekly Hours


Benefits Eligible


Drug Test Required


Health Screen Required


Motor Vehicle Record Inquiry Required


Posting Statement

The University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity/Disabled/Veterans and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, status as an individual with a disability, military or veteran status, genetic information, or other protected classes under the law. For additional information please see the University's Notice of Nondiscrimination.

Staff Job seekers in need of a reasonable accommodation to complete the application process should call 773-702-5800 or submit a request via Applicant Inquiry Form.

We seek a diverse pool of applicants who wish to join an academic community that places the highest value on rigorous inquiry and encourages a diversity of perspectives, experiences, groups of individuals, and ideas to inform and stimulate intellectual challenge, engagement, and exchange.

All offers of employment are contingent upon a background check that includes a review of conviction history. A conviction does not automatically preclude University employment. Rather, the University considers conviction information on a case-by-case basis and assesses the nature of the offense, the circumstances surrounding it, the proximity in time of the conviction, and its relevance to the position.

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