Associate Director of Special Giving and Pipeline Development

Job Type

Full Time




United States


About the Unit

The University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration (SSA) prepares students to become leaders in the field of social work. SSA offers graduate work leading to both the A.M. and Ph.D. degrees. The University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration is dedicated to working toward a more just and humane society through research, teaching, and service to the community. As one of the oldest and most prestigious graduate schools of social work, SSA prepares working professionals to handle society's most difficult problems by developing new knowledge, promoting a deeper understanding of the causes and human costs of social inequities, and building bridges between rigorous research and the practice of helping individuals, families, and communities to achieve a better quality of life.

Job Information

Job Summary:

The Associate Director of Special Giving is a key member of the External Affairs team and must have a keen understanding of the principles of fundraising and the mission of the school. Responsibilities include developing and executing the strategies and ambitious goals necessary to acquire, retain and build a robust portfolio of 150 special and major gifts donors. The Associate director will work with the Associate Dean to develop agreed upon performance metrics to monitor efficacy and productivity, including goals for annual visits and solicitation. The Associate Director will work collaboratively with the Assistant Director of Annual Giving, the Assistant Director of Alumni Relations, and the Associate Dean to plan and manage initiatives that support the fundraising continuum. Frequent travel within the Chicago Metropolitan Area is required and to other regions is expected. On occasion, the Associate Director will be expected to work evenings and weekends as necessary.


  • Implement and manage a comprehensive special and major giving program, routinely meeting donor fundraising and participation targets.
  • Work alongside the Assistant Director of Annual Giving to identify prospects for increased giving.
  • Identify opportunities to engage volunteers to help in moving prospects through the donor cycle.
  • Identify, cultivate, and solicit prospective donors who have the capacity to make financial commitments of $5,000 to $100,000 or more.
  • Contribute to pipeline development by qualifying suspects in order to identify new major gift prospects and by soliciting prospects for upgraded gifts.
  • Assist with the management of donor and volunteer stewardship, contribute to special events as well as web and print communications for donors and prospects.
  • Build collaborative working relationships with volunteers, donors, and development staff outside SSA.
  • Coordinate closely with alumni relations staff and others at SSA to implement compelling reunion programming, and use these as opportunities to increase giving.
  • Work with Associate Dean to develop and execute strategies for marketing and soliciting planned gifts.


  • Successful demonstration of initiative, organizational skills, leadership skills, team orientation and commitment to customer service.
  • Demonstrated ability to build and work a robust portfolio of prospects and donors to meet a series of goals.
  • Demonstrated ability to solicit and close a variety of gift types, including planned gifts.
  • Ability to perform multiple projects simultaneously with attention to detail and deadlines.
  • Ability to exercise strong interpretive judgment.
  • Superior written and verbal communication skills.
  • Professional demeanor and presentation.
  • Demonstrated understanding of the complex internal workings of a large University.
  • Familiarity with University of Chicago and the field of social work is preferred.

Additional Requirements​​

Education, Experience or Certifications:


  • Bachelor's degree required.
  • Master’s degree preferred.


  • Three or more years of professional fundraising or volunteer management experience with increased responsibility and project management required; proven success in one or more of the following areas: alumni relations, development, public relations, events management, or other similar professional work experiences is required. 
  • Experience in soliciting and closing gifts of $5,000 or more preferred.

Technical Knowledge or Skills:

  • Proficiency with the Microsoft Office Suite including Word, Excel, PowerPoint and other databases required. 

Professional Level

None specified

Minimum Education Required

4-year degree

How To Apply

Required Documents:

  • Resume
  • Cover letter

NOTE: When applying, all required documents MUST be uploaded under the Resume/CV section of the application

The University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity/Disabled/Veterans Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, status as an individual with a disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, or other protected classes under the law. For additional information please see the University's Notice of Nondiscrimination.