Director of Development, College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University

Director of Development, College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University

Job Type
Posting Date
June 19, 2018
Location of Position

Columbus, OH

Company Summary

Position Overview

The College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) is searching for a new Director of Development to join its dynamic team. This position will be responsible for maintaining and expanding relationships with major donors and will play an important role as the College seeks to grow from a $30M annual fundraising operation.


Reporting to the Senior Director of Development, the Director of Development will develop and implement long and short term plans to secure major gifts from alumni, friends, volunteers, corporations, foundations and other entities with an emphasis on gifts of $100,000 and above in support of CFAES.


As a member of the college’s Advancement team, the Director will demonstrate collaboration in building partnerships with internal stakeholders, industry, and individual donors carrying a portfolio that will likely be split with 80% individuals and 20% corporations. A partial portfolio of prospects will be inherited upon entry into the position but there will be opportunity to grow and build a pipeline of donors. In addition, the Director will travel on behalf of CFAES to create, build and maintain relationships with stakeholders in state and out of state.

The CFAES Advancement team operates under these core values:  Collaboration, Excellence, Innovation, Integrity, Relationships First, and Transparency. Individuals who are fulfilled by the process of matching donors with opportunities to fulfill their passion, and those who are passionate about the food, environment and agricultural industry are encouraged to apply.

More About the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences

CFAES has identified three Signature Areas that align Ohio’s highest needs with the college’s greatest strengths. They are:  1) Food Security, Production and Human Health; 2) Environmental Quality and Sustainability; and 3) Advanced Bioenergy and Biobased Products. Setting the standard of excellence in these areas means propelling Ohio State to be the preeminent U.S. university in the agbiosciences.

The CFAES environment is complex.  It demands the ability to think strategically, creatively and collaboratively; to thrive in a world focused on continuous improvement; and to prioritize your work in order to accomplish your metric fundraising goals. In return, you will be inspired daily by innovation and be supported by and contribute to a strong and extensive network of talented Advancement professionals in University Development. To learn more about this amazing college, please visit

Why Join Ohio State Advancement Now?

With the recent completion of a record-setting But for Ohio State campaign raising over $3 billion, with $155 million raised by the College, this experienced development officer will be on the ground floor of planning the next campaign and in celebrating the university’s 150th birthday.  The time is optimal to join this goal-oriented team as an experienced and motivating leader who enjoys mentoring development officers as well as interacting with deans and faculty to align goals and objectives in conjunction with a new strategic plan for the University, College and Advancement.

 “As we approach the university’s 150th birthday, we must re-envision our land-grant role in the modern light of the 21st century.”
– President Michael V. Drake, MD

Duties and Responsibilities

General Expectations for the role:

During first 3 months
  • Get to know the team individually and as a group. Work with the team to identify college advancement priorities and how to achieve them.
  • Build relationships and plans with Advancement and College partners such as gift planning, corporate relations, donor relations, foundation relations, development communications, and annual giving.
  • Build relationships with internal partners such as the Industry Liaison Office, Technology Commercialization Office and Corporate Engagement Office.
  • Establish rapport with College academic leaders, prospects, donors and volunteers.
  • Begin discovery/qualifications work towards meeting performance goals/metrics.
During first 3-6 months
  • Implement lead generation and cultivation strategies.
  • Establish solicitation strategies for individual portfolio.
  • Work with the development team for best practice solicitation strategies and portfolio assignments.
  • Begin implementation and set dates for solicitation strategies.
During first 6-12 months
  • Begin implementation and set dates for solicitation strategies.
  • Continue work towards meeting the team and individual performance goals/metrics.


The Director, Audience Insights & Research develops and synthesize insights into frameworks that inform brand strategy and drive key business decisions across University Marketing and in partnership with colleges and units’ marketing efforts.  S/he defines and drives an integrated audience insights and research strategy and plan to proactively provide a comprehensive view of the market, audiences and the Ohio State brand.  In addition, the Director sources secondary and 3rd party research and manages all aspects of any additional primary research, including partnering with teams to frame problems, designing research methodologies, implementing high-quality data collection and analyzing results.  The Director also will translate research findings into clear, actionable insights and present and evangelize results and recommendations to teams and leadership.


In addition to the above, the Director, Audience Insights & Research will be a proactive self-starter, comfortable with ambiguity and able to progress multiple priorities/projects while exhibiting the behaviors associated with the Office of Advancement’s core competencies:  Leadership, Continuous Improvement, Teamwork and Collaboration, and Communication/Interpersonal Effectiveness.

45% – Audience Insights

Lead audience insights and research strategic roadmap development and implementation, including development of audience strategies in partnership with the Marketing Strategy team.  Develop ongoing audience learning plans and translate key learnings into audience insights.  Working in close partnership with the Marketing Strategy team and others within University Marketing and across colleges and units, develop and maintain audience experience maps and supporting personas, guiding the development of audience-centric marketing strategies, campaigns and brand experiences.  Partner with Strategic Capabilities team to translate behavioral data and performance analytics into audience insights.  Develop and manage audience and market insights repository.

20% – Market Research

Serve as the Market Research subject matter expert within University Marketing, architecting and analyzing supporting market research studies.  Source secondary and/or 3rd party research and/or develop appropriate primary research approaches to address learning gaps and objectives.  Manage end-to-end research design, execution, analysis and presentation of recommendations for studies that address brand health, ad effectiveness, marketing and key strategic objectives.  Develop research proposals and determine appropriate research methodologies, devising questionnaires and/or moderator guides, programming studies and analysis plans.  Select and manage research vendor partners that perform key strategic research studies.  Present clear, concise research findings to University Marketing teams, leadership and partners across the university.

15% – Business Intelligence

Gather, monitor and synthesize all forms of business intelligence, translating intelligence into actionable audience insights.  These forms include higher education industry and competitive trends, as well as broader cultural, socioeconomic, and political trends and context considerations.  Source and interpret secondary and 3rd party research/data (e.g., Forrester, Kantar, Yankelovich).

15% – Strategic Consultation and Relationship Development/Management

Build strong, productive relationships within University Marketing and across the University at all levels of the organization and provide strategic consultation with a focus on audience-centric, data- and insight-driven experiences.  Disseminate audience understanding and generate support through the organization, cultivating effective audience champions across the enterprise.  Actively partner with colleges/units on their own, cross-unit and/or enterprise-wide insights and research learning plans in support of organization goals.

5% – Budget/Other

Plans and directs budgeting and expenditure processes for owned area of responsibility; serves on committees and conducts special projects and other duties as assigned.

Position Requirements


  • The baseline of experience we are seeking is at least three years of professional fundraising experience or professional transferable experience (i.e. managing relationships with required measurable output, making calls, conducting face-to-face appointments, creating and presenting proposals, and other fundamental elements of client relationship or sales-related activities)
  • At least three years of professional fundraising experience raising the highest level of philanthropic gifts at an organization (five or six figures and above) would be preferred and it would help you hit the ground running if that experience occurred in higher education or a hospital/health care environment
  • Lastly, experience working in other advancement departments such as donor relations and stewardship, donor communications and/or alumni relations is desired
Required Experience

Bachelor’s degree (preferably in psychology or statistics-related field); 8 years of experience at a market research firm/agency, research vendor and/or managing research and insights in-house; Strong qualitative and quantitative research methodology experience; Experience in applying statistical design and significance testing, as well as using various statistical techniques such as clustering and regression analyses to improve audience segmentation practices; Experience using data visualization tools (e.g., Tableau), statistics analysis software (e.g., SPSS), and other research survey tools (e.g., Qualtrics); Strong proficiency in segmentation, brand positioning, messaging, brand tracking, advertising/messaging effectiveness, and syndicated data analysis; Distinctive analytical skills, creativity, strategic mindset and keen business acumen.

Apply Here

Please visit to find out more about University Advancement.

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

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.