Western Governors University

Western Governors University

Atlanta, GA

Southeast Advancement Regional Director, WGU Advancement

Job Description

Must be located within the Southeast U.S. Region in either Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, or Florida.

WGU Advancement

WGU Advancement is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization founded in 2018 as the official fundraising arm of Western Governors University (WGU) and its affiliates. Since its founding, WGU Advancement has dedicated itself to making high-quality, career-based education affordable and attainable for all by increasing and improving access to higher education and accelerating innovations in learning on behalf of students. WGU Advancement partners with foundations, corporations, associations, employees, students, and alumni to support scholarships, explore new learning models, and implement new technologies that reinvigorate the promise of higher education.

Position Summary

The Southeast Advancement Regional Director is responsible for identifying, cultivating, soliciting and stewarding gifts of $10,000 and above from alumni, corporations, foundations, and other constituents to support WGU students. The qualified candidate will manage a portfolio of approximately 100-125 donor prospects and will conduct a minimum of 12-15 personal visits a month, entailing online meetings, local, and regional travel. This position must work independently and collaboratively with the Advancement team, the Southeast Regional Vice President, and other stakeholders such as senior administration, chancellors and others. The Southeast Advancement Regional Director demonstrates progressive development experience in all aspects of fundraising including major gifts in the Southeast region. The Director develops long-term relationships with various constituencies and helps ensure a pipeline of major gift donors.

The purpose of this position is to secure philanthropic funds by managing a group of identified, qualified donors assuring as many as possible are retained as continuing donors to WGU and are upgraded in their giving and involvement.  The Southeast Advancement Regional Director will assist donors by helping them fulfill their passions and interests through giving to support the students WGU serves.

Essential Functions and Responsibilities:

  • Independently identify and manage?a portfolio of 100-125 prospects/donors (alumni, friends, foundations, and corporations in the Southeast Region). The Southeast Advancement Regional Director is responsible for identification and progression of major gift prospects through the gift cycle: (identification, research, qualification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship) as well as documenting all prospects interactions, outcomes, strategies and rationales in WGU’s donor tracking system within one week of contact.
  • Engages prospective donors and builds strong relationships. Develops?proposals based on WGU’s fundraising priorities and donor investment interests; ensures all proposals are internally approved before presenting to prospects.?
  • Works collaboratively with the WGU Advancement team, the Southeast Regional Vice President, and other internal constituents to develop both broad reach and targeted engagement?opportunities.
  • Qualifies individual, corporate, and foundation prospects and cultivates those that have ability to contribute $10K or greater.?
  • Assists in the development of annual fundraising goals using past giving history and anticipated new funding opportunities.?
  • Creates personal stewardship plans for each donor in the director’s portfolio.?
  • Works?collaboratively across the university so that all proposals/reports are well prepared and properly vetted so that WGU is represented in a professional and thoughtful way.?
  • Regularly updates the Executive Director of Development and the Advancement team on donor activity.?
  • Manages people, processes, deadlines, and budget while adhering to the policies and procedures of WGU Advancement. Maintains a positive and constructive attitude while solving problems.?

Knowledge, Skill and Abilities

  • General knowledge of Advancement programs and processes
  • General knowledge of IRS rules regarding philanthropic gifts
  • Understanding of, and adherence to, the Donor Bill of Rights
  • Ability to demonstrate mastery in written, oral and interpersonal communication skills
  • Ability to deliver persuasive and compelling presentations to secure major gifts and donations
  • Entrepreneurial spirit and independent problem solver


Minimum Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree in related area
  • Five (5) years of experience in cultivation and solicitation of major gifts from individuals, corporations, and foundations.
  • Experience in cultivating, closing, and stewarding six-figure gifts
  • Residence and strong philanthropic connections in the WGU Southeast Region
  • Southeast Region consist of Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida

Preferred Qualifications:

Working Conditions

Up to 50-75% travel and some weekend work expected