Chief Advancement Officer

Updated: 5 months ago
Location: Columbus, OHIO
Job Type: FullTime

Position Information

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Position Information

Top Message Both current Ohio State employees and the general public may apply for this unclassified professional position.
Message to Applicants
Number of Positions Available 1
University Title Chief Advancement Officer
Working Title Chief Advancement Officer
Department Dev Constituency Fundraising
Department Location Columbus
Requisition Number 444990
Summary of Duties
Chief Advancement Officer
College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
Position Overview

The Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) is seeking an extraordinary leader who has a passion for higher education to serve as the chief fundraiser, head of marketing and communications, and alumni relations leader for the college. The Chief Advancement Officer (CAO) is responsible for understanding the mission, needs and value proposition of the college in order to strategically create awareness, engagement and philanthropic support from a variety of constituent groups including prospective student, donors, alumni, and friends.

CFAES is one of the university’s largest colleges, with 3,400 undergrads, and 40,000 alumni with a rich history grounded in the establishment of this land grant institution in 1870. The college is positioned to maintain a record-breaking fundraising pace of five straight years of growth (FY19 goal = $34 million). The CAO will play a pivotal role in maintaining this record-breaking momentum by leading an innovative, sophisticated and high-functioning Advancement team. The CAO reports to both the Assistant Vice President of Development and the Vice President for Agricultural Administration and Dean of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, and leads a full complement of Advancement professionals comprised of approximately 8 development staff, 12 alumni, engagement, stewardship and event staff and approximately 20 marketing/communications staff.

Position highlights include opportunities to accomplish the following:


• Finalize plans and implement the next comprehensive campaign for the college.
• Lead a team of fundraisers to identify, cultivate, solicit and secure major gifts of $100,000 and above with a personal fundraising emphasis on gifts of $1,000,000 and above.
• Enhance the donor relations and stewardship strategy to allow the college to build, grow and sustain an engaged donor network.
• Build a strong annual giving program.


• Prioritize the college’s marketing and communication efforts to ensure effective, efficient outreach to a broad base of constituents.
• Partner with University Marketing to expand the college’s branding initiatives.
• Partner with University Communications to build strong relationships with members of the media.

Alumni Relations

• Strategically engage alumni in efficient and effective ways with particular focus on increasing annual support for the college.
• Collaborate with the Alumni Association to utilize new tools to segment and strategically reach the college’s alumni population.
• Collaborate with Extension and 4-H to engage the non-traditional alumni of the college.

While the development and alumni relations staff have been led by this position in the past, the addition of the marketing/communications staff under the college’s Advancement umbrella is new and now mirrors the university’s advancement model. In addition to leading the growth of this team, the CAO will be a key member of the fundraising leadership team for the university and join a best-in-class Advancement environment that provides the resources, talent, and culture of collaboration to ensure success. Additionally, he/she will be a key member of the Dean’s leadership team.

Additional Information for Applicants:
Performance Objectives

First 1-3 months
1) Initiate the integration of the marketing and communication team and function into the Advancement team
2) Assess the overall structure, teams, resources, etc. of the CFAES Advancement team
3) Build positive relationships with key internal faculty, staff and external stakeholders

First 3-6 months
1) Prepare for FY20 (budget, staffing, fundraising projections, goals, etc.)
2) Help finalize the college’s campaign planning
3) Start to actively fundraise

First 12 months
1) Lead the successful launch of the CFAES campaign as part of the university campaign
2) Positively lead the overall Advancement team while building a trusting and collaborative culture
3) Continue the fundraising growth of the college

Requirements include the experience and ability to deliver the following results:

• Manage the process of bringing the college’s marketing and communications functions under the Advancement umbrella.
• Lead and grow a sophisticated, collaborative team, focusing on its success as a unit and the professional development of its individuals.
• Build strong relationships with college and Advancement leadership, faculty and staff to advance the missions of the college and university.
• Maintain the momentum needed to increase fundraising amounts by 10% annually.
• Work strategically with all internal and external audience, adjusting as needed to different audiences and different situations.
• Increase the percentage of the college’s alumni who donate back to the college from 5% to 10% by 2024 and work with the Alumni Association on increasing the university’s overall alumni donation rate (currently 12%).
• Lead the college in a brand strategy overhaul based on the University’s brand work.

More about the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences

The college’s alumni population often remains in Ohio (40%), with pockets also found in Texas, Florida and California. CFAES has identified four grand challenges facing Ohio and beyond. Advancement is essential in positively addressing these issues.
1. Sustainability – viable agriculture, food security and environmental sustainability through precision agriculture, controlled environments, food systems and distribution, food waste, value-added components and water quality
2. One Health – human health, animal health and environmental health
3. Rural-urban Interface – policy, economic issues, and consumer communications and education
4. Education – preparing the next generation of scientists and leaders

The college has some immediate facility needs focusing on the Waterman Agricultural and Natural Resources Laboratory. The CAO is essential to integrating the skills of the college’s Advancement team in support of this focus.

Why Join Ohio State Advancement Now?

The Ohio State University recently concluded the most successful fundraising effort in its history, with contributions from what is believed to be the most donors ever to a higher education campaign. The But for Ohio State Campaign raised over $3 billion from more than 750,000 donors, shattering the goal of $2.5 billion. Ohio State is now one year away from the public kickoff of the next campaign which coincides with the celebration of the university’s 150th birthday. All members of Advancement are part of creating an inclusive culture that inspires an exceptionally diverse and talented team and are measured on their adherence to the following core competencies: leadership, continuous improvement, teamwork and collaboration, and communication/interpersonal effectiveness.

You Need To Know
The Ohio State University is looking to make an investment in an experienced professional who will evolve the Advancement opportunities for the college and institution and therefore the salary for this position is negotiable. Aside from the unparalleled benefits of working for The Ohio State University and working in the diverse, smart, safe, fun and growing city of Columbus, Ohio, this opportunity will provide exceptional rewards that arise from working for a land grant institution where you will truly feel the impact of your work. Learn more here:

Closing Statement

The Ohio State University is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation or gender identity, national origin, disability status, or protected veteran status.

Questions may be directed to Steph Mizer, Senior Manager of Talent Acquisition and Management,

Pre Employment Screening Requires the successful completion of a background check.
Required Qualifications

• Bachelor’s degree or equivalent combination of education/experience
• At least ten years of professional fundraising experience raising the highest level of philanthropic gifts at an organization (preferably five or six figures and above)
• At least five years of management experience
• Ability to build a college based marketing/communications team and partner with the university marketing and communications teams to unify messages and materials
• General knowledge of alumni relations and its role within a college and advancement organization

Desired Qualifications

• Master’s degree in a related field
• At least ten years of professional fundraising experience in higher education or a hospital/health care environment
• Experience working in other advancement departments such as donor relations and stewardship, donor communications or prospect development

Target Salary Negotiable
Job Category Administrative and Professional
Job Appointment (FTE%)


Full/Part Time Full-time
Temporary or Regular Regular
Posting Start Date 12/15/2018
Posting End Date 02/03/2019
Dept Contact Name Bright,Gregory A
Dept Contact Phone 614/292-1609
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