Executive Director, Board Development, and Donor Relations (PDF)

Reporting to the Vice President for University Advancement / Tower Foundation CEO, the Executive Director of Board Development and Donor Relations works with campus fundraising boards, assisting volunteers and university administrative and academic leaders in the following ways:

• Establishing/implementing board objectives and policies;
• Clarifying expectations of the respective boards and individual board members;
• Creating and implementing operating procedures consistent with best practices;
• Developing and coordinating board recruitment and retention practices;
• Identifying and articulating board operational priorities.

This individual will also play a leadership role in establishing best practices for donor relations
and will serve as a primary point of contact for the university’s most significant and longstanding donors and volunteers.

Essential duties and responsibilities:
Additional duties may be assigned as required.

Board Development

• Works directly with campus fundraising boards as assigned (primarily the Tower
Foundation, Alumni Association and Spartan Foundation);
• Serves as a strategist and day-to-day manager of the process for creating, building and staffing a campaign cabinet;
• Works with board and administrative / academic leaders to establish objectives for
boards, in support of university priorities;
• Works with board and administrative / academic leaders to establish board policies,
procedures, and expectations, and to ensure these are clearly communicated;
• Serves as a resource to senior leaders, faculty members, staff members and others
regarding campus boards and board operations, as needed;
• Works with staff members and volunteers to support recruitment, orientation and
retention of board members, including ensuring the existence and regular replenishment
of a healthy pipeline of prospective members;
• Serves as a liaison between board leaders and staff members / administrators,
strengthening communication and alignment;
• Collaborates with Advancement Cabinet colleagues on implementation of strategies
related to campaign planning and execution, donor stewardship and major university

Donor Relations

• Serves as a primary campus contact in stewarding the most significant donors and
• Develops and assesses policies and procedures essential for a comprehensive donor
relations program;
• Designs, documents and implements a systematic and integrated donor relations
program that encompasses recognition events, endowed position installations and
building naming dedications;
• Recommends and facilitates on- and off-campus publicity of major gifts and donors with the Strategic Communications and Public Affairs team. Serves as a donor recognition advisor on print and web-based communications.


A bachelor’s degree is required; an advanced degree is preferred. Seven years of experience in nonprofit administration and board development, or related professional experience together with nonprofit board leadership experience required.

Knowledge, skills and abilities required:

• Demonstrated experience serving on or staffing nonprofit boards, preferably in a
university setting;
• Thorough knowledge of nonprofit governance and the roles of governing and
advisory/non-governing boards;
• Demonstrated experience working with best practices related to nonprofit operations and stewardship of board members;
• Demonstrated experience as an advancement officer, ideally in a university setting;
• Strong written and oral communication skills with the ability to articulate how
Advancement contributes to the University’s educational mission, strategic goals and
• Proven track record of effective relationship building in a nonprofit setting;
• Demonstrated organizational, analytical, project management and interpersonal skills;
• Ability to interact with campus leaders, government officials, donors/prospects, alumni
and development staff with an understanding of protocol, political environment and
implications, and confidentiality;
• Unquestionable integrity and commitment to professional ethics;
• Ability to effectively and sensitively interact with individuals from diverse backgrounds
and experiences and create opportunities for inclusion;
• Critical decision-making skills with the ability to adjust and adapt when unforeseen
situations arise;
• Demonstrated ability to develop and manage comprehensive donor acknowledgement
and cultivation strategies, stewardship plans, donor events, etc.;
• Implement a gift society recognition program, tracking benefits donors receive at various gift levels;
• Proven skills and ability to manage multi-phase projects from inception to completion,
including the ability to build consensus among team members and campus stakeholders
while balancing multiple concurrent priorities;
• Ability and willingness to work nights and weekends, travel domestically and
internationally as needed.

To apply for this position, submit a cover letter, resume and salary history to

Applications without all required information will not be considered.

Tower Foundation is not a visa sponsoring organization.

Tower Foundation employment is separate and distinct from San Jose State University or State of California employment. Tower Foundation is an Equal Opportunity Employer committed to nondiscrimination on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, ancestry, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, pregnancy, sexual orientation, age, medical condition, military service, veteran’s status, marital status, national origin, physical or mental disability, or any other status protected by federal, state or local laws. Reasonable accommodations will be provided for applicants with disabilities who self-disclose.

Final candidates will be required to complete a background check. The standard background check includes: criminal check, employment and education verification.

San Jose State University (SJSU) is a major, comprehensive public university located in the
center of San Jose, California - the heart of Silicon Valley. A member of the 23-campus
California State University System, SJSU is the oldest state university in California, granting
bachelor and master’s degrees in 134 areas of study. Quality teaching and small classes are a
priority, where tenured professors teach introductory as well as advanced courses. Among the top 200 universities in research and development expenditures as surveyed by the National Science Foundation, SJSU offers rigorous course work and research opportunities to more than 30,000 undergraduate and graduate students, with more than 700 tenure/tenure track faculty and 1,300 staff.

The University’s academic colleges include Applied Sciences and Arts; the Lucas College and
Graduate School of Business; the Connie L. Lurie College of Education; the Charles W.
Davidson College of Engineering; Humanities & the Arts; Science; and, Social Sciences. The
University offers 82 bachelor’s degrees with 66 concentrations, and 70 master’s degrees with 25 concentrations. The University is proud of its award-winning library, a unique joint city-university partnership.

SJSU is an exceptional place for hands-on learning, professional development and personal
growth. The University occupies 19 blocks in downtown San José with 23 academic buildings
and seven residence halls. Located 1.5 miles away on 62 acres is the South Campus, which
includes the Spartan Stadium and athletics fields.