Canisius Employment Opportunities


Apply now Job no: 494451
Work type: Full-time Staff
Location: Buffalo
Categories: Administrative/Professional, Advancement/Alumni Relations


Associate Vice President for Institutional Advancement

Canisius seeks to hire an Associate Vice President for Institutional Advancement who will be responsible for building on the college’s historical success with major gifts and capital and endowment campaigns.  The college wishes to insure that individual giving outreach is effectively partnered with Corporate and Foundation Relations, Stewardship, Canisius Fund and Planned Giving Programs. This position will work closely with President John J. Hurley, Vice President William Collins, members of the Board of Trustees, and staff on development and implementation of high-level prospect strategy.  The role also includes oversight of advancement services to continue to elevate a fundraising environment ultimately designed to enhance the mission of the Institutional Advancement Division. 

As part of setting a new standard in college affordability, Canisius’ recently-announced initiative Excellence within Reach is returning undergraduate tuition to 2008 levels by lowering tuition 23% and reducing housing costs.  The college expects that an experienced fundraising leader will build on the enthusiasm expressed from alumni, parents, and community to, among other things, secure funds for financial aid for today’s students.    

This is a full-time position, reporting to the Vice President for Institutional Advancement, who is committed to the professional development and growth of the candidate chosen for this role.


Program Leadership and Oversight (40%)

  • Create, implement, and evaluate a comprehensive, multi-year plan to increase donors and dollars in support of Canisius.  Engage internal and external stakeholders in planning and implementation of the plan, including the development of a compelling case for support for Canisius.
  • Lead in the development and implementation of a fundraising campaign whose elements will include development of a compelling case for support, a feasibility study, identification of the best prospects and solicitation of major gifts.
  • Work with staff and senior leadership to guide the development, implementation, and evaluation of specific prospect strategies to increase private support. In conjunction with prospect research, maintain a top tier of prospects and an active schedule of solicitations with assigned prospects along with engage staff to develop strategy and conduct cultivation and stewardship visits to prospects with ratings of $25K to $1M.  Work effectively and collaboratively with the major gifts team to maximize the opportunities for annual giving from their target audiences. Involve the team in strategic discussions for leveraging the annual fund to qualify and cultivate major gifts prospects.
  • Manage the partnerships between various offices to strengthen the culture of engagement and philanthropy on and off campus.  Work proactively with the on-campus partners to establish and meet ambitious goals for increasing annual fund support from all constituencies, including students, faculty, staff, and alumni.  Lead the way in maintaining a positive environment conducive to the success of the division’s mission. 
  • Provide oversight to the Advancement Services department, ensuring that all policies and procedures are adhered to and that best practice efforts in data hygiene and reporting are implemented to create the foundation of a strong relationship between stakeholders and the College.  
  • Provide oversight to the donor relations program, guiding the staff to develop stewardship that ensures donors at all levels of giving feel appreciated for their contributions and continue their support, as expressed in high donor retention rates.
  • Develop a robust planning and evaluation process for development programs. Monitor progress toward the annual and multi-year goals. Provide a rigorous, systematic review and analysis of all activities to find ways to do things more effectively and efficiently. Develop appropriate formats for regular, routine reporting on performance to share with a broad array of internal and external constituencies. Provide effective reporting and analysis to volunteers, leadership, and colleagues for use in management decision making.
  • Serve as the leader of the development team, and provide day-to-day oversight for the staff by providing advice and guidance to officers and support staff. Evaluate staff performance annually. Hire and train staff as appropriate by being versed in all aspects of the program and the work of volunteer management, personal solicitation, and broad-based campaigns.  Provide the framework for, and oversight to, goal-setting and bench-marking, recognition of volunteers and donors, events, volunteer recruitment, training and support, along with related activities of identification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship for donors.
  • Develop and manage the development budget based on programmatic goals and objectives as reviewed and approved annually.

Personal Solicitations and Prospect Management (30%)

  • Conduct monthly prospect review sessions with the Director of Major Gifts and the major gifts staff to build a robust program of cultivation and engagement of new prospective donors.
  • Conduct monthly prospect review sessions with the President and VP to ensure they are effectively engaged in the fundraising process.
  • Personally manage and solicit a select portfolio of prospects and be prepared to support gift officers’ initiatives. Set annual activity goals based on review of those who are appropriate for cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship by the AVP. Document information in the database to assure proper recording and tracking of results.

Volunteer Management (30%)

  • In partnership with the Vice President, develop a plan to increase volunteer engagement in fundraising by board members and develop meaningful opportunities for other volunteers who can take on leadership roles and serve as solicitors.  Recruit, train, and support these volunteers. Coordinate information provided to volunteers to ensure cohesion as a team and an understanding of the programs they support.

Advocate for the Annual Fund with the Board of Trustees. Partner with staff as appropriate to ensure all members of both organizations are asked for gifts to the Annual Fund, and set a goal of 100% participation in giving every year.



  • Superb management skills to successfully lead a results-oriented staff to grow volunteer engagement in fundraising, dollars raised, and donor participation.
  • Experience in all phases of campaign management.
  • Demonstrated success in major gift fundraising.  Experience in planned giving and corporate and foundation relations is preferred.
  • Experience working with board members, fund-raising volunteers, and volunteer committees.
  • Proven ability to conceptualize, develop, and implement a long-range strategic fundraising plan within the context of a campaign.  Specific campaign experience is preferred.
  • Significant experience in senior level management of advancement activities in higher education or for other not-for-profit organizations, with demonstrated skill at handling multiple fundraising efforts.
  • Ability to establish respectful, ethical, high level and enduring relationships with high net worth and other individuals identified as philanthropic prospects and investors in the College’s mission.
  • Strong interpersonal, written and verbal communication skills; high level of initiative, motivation, and outstanding judgement.
  • Strong analytical skills and experience for planning and outcomes assessment; experience with advancement databases is preferred.
  • Knowledge of and expertise of philanthropic giving, including ITS and other tax regulations, related to effective management of philanthropic solicitations.
  • Ability to work during non-traditional business time, including weekends and evenings, and to travel for extended periods to visit potential prospects for philanthropic gifts and to maintain relationships with current donors and investors.
  • Ability to drive a personal or College vehicle for College business as required.


  • Baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university with at least 7-10 years of related experience in development.
  • A valid New York State driver’s license that satisfies both the College and insurance company underwriting rules and regulation for driving a motor vehicle.

Canisius College, a Catholic and Jesuit University, has as its foundation the fundamental values of academic excellence, leadership, faith and social justice.  Canisius is committed to educating and preparing men and women to become leaders in their professions and their communities, and in service to humanity. The college is an equal opportunity employer committed to recruiting, supporting, and fostering a diverse community of outstanding faculty, staff and students. 

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