Director of Leadership Gifts

August 2019 | Waterville, ME Download PDF

About Colby College

colby-college-aerialFounded in 1813, Colby is one of America’s most selective colleges. Serving only undergraduates, Colby’s rigorous academic program is rooted in deep exploration of ideas and close interaction with world-class faculty scholars. Students pursue intellectual passions, choosing among 58 majors or developing their own. Independent and collaborative research, study abroad, and internships offer robust opportunities to prepare students for postgraduate success. Colby is home to a community of 2,000 dedicated and diverse students from around the globe. Its Maine location provides easy access to world-class research institutions and civic engagement experiences.


As Colby College’s 20th president since 2014, David A. Greene has been executing an ambitious program for ensuring Colby’s place among the world’s finest liberal arts colleges. President Greene has led outreach efforts to communicate the value and impact of a Colby education, which resulted in more than doubling the number of students seeking admission to Colby in the past four years and setting institutional records for funds raised over the past three consecutive years. President Greene’s bio can be found here.

In a period of fast-paced progress, Colby is building on its strong foundation while remaining committed to excellence, to supporting students and faculty at the highest levels, and to the College’s deep liberal arts traditions. This new chapter includes the creation of innovative academic initiatives and partnerships, strengthening the connections between the liberal arts and the professional world, revitalizing downtown Waterville, and pursuing significant capital projects for performing arts and athletics.

About Philanthropy at Colby College

Propelled by visionary leadership, a compelling array of initiatives, and record fundraising in fiscal year 2017, Colby launched the largest fundraising campaign ever at a liberal arts college—$750 million—in October 2017. With the success of the Dare Northward campaign, the College will be known for a distinctive set of multidisciplinary academic offerings; an even more cohesive and accessible institutional culture for students from all backgrounds; the foremost art and athletic facilities in the educational sector; a welcoming, thriving, and dynamic surrounding community; increased global connections and resulting perspectives; the richest set of universal student experiences to enhance the Colby academic program; and the capacity to support the postgraduate success of every one of their students.

Thus far, more than 19,000 alumni and friends have made donations in support of initiatives such as the downtown Waterville revitalization, academic partnerships, financial aid, and global experiences and internships—collectively raising more than $449 million to date toward the Dare Northward campaign. Colby now ranks in the top 10 among the nation’s colleges and universities in alumni giving participation.

To learn more about the Colby Dare Northward campaign, visit


About the Position

This is an exciting and defining moment in Colby’s history, and the position offers a unique opportunity to be part of an ambitious and transformational campaign. Reporting to the Assistant Vice President for College Advancement, Katie Thibodeau, the Director of Leadership Gifts, will actively manage a leadership gifts team and proactively manage a high-capacity portfolio of current and prospective alumni and parent donors.

The position will fall under the overall leadership of Colby’s Vice President for College Advancement, Jane Phillips, a 2001 Colby graduate. The Director of Leadership Gifts will have direct contact with the vice president, president, trustees, senior administration, and key faculty members. This position will be part of a multi-function team that includes annual giving, donor relations, alumni and parent programs, museum development, and presidential engagement.

To learn more about Colby Advancement careers and institutional initiatives, visit  

Key Responsibilities

  • Colby-College-trackSupervise leadership gifts team, including recruiting, training, evaluating, and mentoring; serve as mentor and leader for the overall leadership gifts program
  • Work with the vice president, assistant vice president, chief campaign officer, as well as the strategy and analysis, donor relations, and leadership gifts teams to develop solicitation priorities, measures of success, and strategies for leadership-gift-level prospects including engaging the president and other senior leadership as appropriate
  • Cultivate, solicit, and steward a small high-capacity portfolio of current and prospective alumni and parent donors
  • Create written strategic action plans for top prospects to deepen relationships on behalf of the College, leading to increased comprehensive giving including annual, capital, and deferred gifts
  • Work with the vice president and assistant vice president to ensure that the leadership gifts team knows College fundraising priorities; work with the director of annual giving and advancement communications to ensure that the leadership gifts team has the necessary tools to promote these priorities with prospective donors
  • Partner with colleagues in gift planning, the Colby Fund team and the director of parent giving and programs to ensure strong communication in the cultivation and solicitation of individual donors, and maximize contributions from all donors
  • Identify opportunities to engage the president, trustees, visitors, campaign volunteers, faculty, and staff members in the cultivation and, where appropriate, the solicitation of current and potential individual donors
  • Partner with the assistant vice president to organize campaign efforts and materials to support effective campaign solicitations
  • Cultivate strong working relationships with colleagues in College Advancement, faculty and staff members, volunteer leadership and College leadership

Key Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree or the equivalent in education and experience; advanced coursework a plus
  • 8+ years of progressive major gift fundraising experience in a college or university setting with success in making and closing leadership gifts; capital campaign experience ideal
  • Proven talent to recruit, train, motivate, and lead diverse fundraising staff and volunteers
  • Experience in developing comprehensive prospect strategies; understanding of the Moves Management process and ability to think and work strategically
  • Strong administrative and organization skills
  • Superb written and communication skills
  • Appreciation of Colby’s mission and the ability to effectively communicate it
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, including the ability to work collaboratively and successfully as a member of a diverse community with colleagues, prospects/donors, faculty, administrators, and volunteers to achieve common goals
  • Willingness and ability to work outside normal working hours (i.e. nights and weekends)
  • Must be willing to travel; valid driver’s license required and must meet the College’s Fleet Safety Policy requirements

The option to work remotely will be considered on a case by case basis.

Colby is a private, coeducational liberal arts college that admits students and makes employment decisions on the basis of the individual’s qualifications to contribute to Colby’s educational objectives and institutional needs. Colby College does not discriminate in its educational programs or employment on the basis of race, color, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, religion, national origin, age, marital status, genetic information, or military or veteran’s status. Colby is an equal opportunity employer and operates in accordance with federal and state laws regarding non-discrimination. Colby complies with Title IX, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in an institution’s education programs and activities. Questions regarding Title IX may be referred to Colby’s Title IX coordinator or to the federal Office of Civil Rights. We encourage inquiries from candidates who will contribute to the diversity of our College, including its cultural and ethnic diversity.

Colby-College-students-on-greenPlease email your cover letter and resume in confidence to: 

Suzanne J. Battit
Senior Vice President, Principal
Development Guild DDI


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