Vice President of Philanthropy

Walsh University is seeking a dynamic, energetic, and passionate individual who is enthusiastic about the environment found on a private, values based, Catholic liberal arts campus for the position of Vice President of Philanthropy. The Vice President of Philanthropy reports to the President and is a member of the President’s Cabinet.  This role will secure external support for Walsh University through campaigns, annual giving, major gifts, planned giving, and other programs.  This role is tasked with inspiring staff and leading in a manner consistent with Walsh University’s mission and core values. The VP of Philanthropy will be responsible for designing and executing a multi-faceted, robust development strategy to meet Walsh University’s current and future resource challenges, integrating organization-wide resource needs and future priorities, and will be a highly visible presence in the community.  This role oversees and guides the work of the Assistant Vice President of Philanthropy and the Director of Philanthropy.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

The essential functions include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Acts as an effective partner for the President, Board of Trustees, Cabinet and key constituents to plan and execute a comprehensive, broad-based development plan building on Walsh University’s programs and driven by the long and short-range resource needs of the University.
  • Works closely with the President, Board of Trustees and Cabinet on institutional strategic planning and other activities that have an impact on the University as a whole.
  • Serves as a visible community spokesperson for Walsh University, develops relationships with member organizations in the community, and cultivates relationships with potential donors and new friends in the community.
  • Sets clear direction and priorities for the Philanthropy department. Recruits, leads, mentors and develops staff, and promotes excellence through well-defined and measurable goals.  Fosters a collaborative and communicative work environment for effective operations and a culture of excellence.
  • Develops the analytical and reporting tools to drive a strategic and metrics focused institutional development function; delivers solid financial leadership to coordinate contributed income results with budgetary goals.
  • Expands Walsh University’s philanthropic base beyond the traditional sources of support and increases financial commitments in major gifts, planned giving and overall institutional support. Broadens capital fundraising opportunities to include endowment and legacy gifts, and a capital campaign for Walsh University.
  • Builds a robust pipeline of major donors, using proven techniques and practices in a way that is also consistent with the University’s mission, core values and culture.
  • Serves as an exemplary University advocate in the community, with local leaders, religious organizations, business and corporate partnerships, and other leaders, and build relationships that closely link the community with the University.
  • Applies a new way to solve complex situations, originating new techniques, criteria or standards to address innovative opportunities, challenges or initiatives.

Required Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities)

  • Must understand and support the Mission, Vision and Code of Ethical Conduct of Walsh University, as a Catholic higher education university as expressed in Ex Corde Ecclesiae.
  • A minimum of ten years of experience as a senior level advancement professional in Christian higher education is preferred, including five-plus (5+) years of leadership experience in development/philanthropy, preferably with a university, not-for-profit, community or similar organization.
  • Bachelor’s degree (master’s or advanced degree a plus), with a deep understanding of the importance that faith-based, educational and cultural institutions play in today’s society.
  • Outstanding development professional with a demonstrated track record as a fundraiser, leader, collaborator and strategist. Engaging and charismatic speaker for Board and outside events.
  • Ability to work in close partnership with the Board of Trustees on major philanthropic initiatives; to motivate, guide and support the Board.
  • Knowledge of the local philanthropic community is a plus.
  • Successful cultivator, solicitor and steward of relationships with major donors, including individuals, foundations, corporations and legacy giving.
  • Demonstrated ability to inspire and mentor staff, responsibly delegate tasks, and ensure a collaborative working environment.
  • The ability to work effectively with many diverse constituencies in the University environment.
  • Proven ability to collaborate effectively with diverse groups outside the University.
  • Ability to build productive relationships with the President’s cabinet and other senior academic leaders, faculty, development colleagues, corporate leaders, philanthropists, alumni, parents, Board of Trustees, and other constituents.
  • Knowledge of and sensitivity to governance structures and practices in higher education.
  • Energetic, hardworking self-starter with an engaging personality; brings optimism and flexibility to the task; self-disciplined; and dedicated to excellence.
  • An excellent communicator, a listener, a strong leader, and a team player, with superior organizational and writing skills. The ability to synthesize, streamline and share information from a variety of sources to illuminate the mission of Walsh University to a broad audience.
  • Proven commitment to faith-based education, with experience in developing new initiatives and including others in a collaborative environment.
  • Success in high level fundraising, donor stewardship, capital and renovation campaigns, endowment planning and growth, and other strategic development efforts.
  • Solid experience successfully developing and executing on multiple capital campaigns.
  • Strong professional integrity and grounding in philanthropy with an understanding of legal and ethical implications of fundraising.
  • Possess an entrepreneurial spirit and experience in creatively and effectively bringing about positive change and maintaining high morale.
  • Possess a vocational call to Christian (Catholic) higher education and evidence of a commitment to lifelong learning and professional growth.
  • Acts as a visible Christian leader both on and off campus.
  • Possesses an understanding of academic culture combined with a passion for Walsh University’s core values of Faith, Excellence, Integrity, Service and Community.
  • Completion of a background check prior to assuming the position.

Walsh University is located in North Canton, Ohio.  Walsh University is an independent, coeducational Catholic, liberal arts and sciences institution. Founded by the Brothers of Christian Instruction, Walsh University is dedicated to educating its students to become leaders in service to others through a values-based education with an international perspective in the Judeo-Christian tradition.

Walsh University believes in the desirability of a small university that promotes academic excellence, a diverse community and close student-teacher interactions. The University provides its students a higher education that fosters critical thinking, effective communication, spiritual growth, and personal, professional and cultural development. Walsh University encourages individuals to act in accordance with reason guided by the example and teachings of Jesus Christ.

Walsh University is being assisted by the partners of Hyatt-Fennell, Executive Search.  Submit nominations and application materials to  Applications will be reviewed as they are received and should be submitted by May 1, 2023, to receive full consideration.   Applications include a cover letter, a current résumé/cv, and contact information for three professional references, in separate documents. All applications and nominations will be considered highly confidential.

Walsh University is committed to principles of equal opportunity and is an equal opportunity employer.

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