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Vice President of Advancement Salt Lake City, UT

Westminster College, a comprehensive private liberal arts college in Salt Lake City, Utah, serving students for nearly 150 years, is seeking a vice president of advancement (VP) with a growth mindset, entrepreneurial spirit, and distinctive record of achievement. The VP will join Westminster at a transformative time, working closely with President Bethami (Beth) Dobkin, PhD, at the outset of her presidency to help shape an institution by designing and implementing external development strategies and programs that maximize personal engagement and produce increasing levels of support for Westminster College. This is an opportunity to partner with a new and energized college leadership team and to play a central role in enhancing the visibility and fundraising capabilities of the institution.

As the only private liberal arts institution in the state (located in a thriving multicultural city with an increasingly diverse demographic profile), Westminster occupies a truly unique niche in the crowded higher education marketplace. Founded in 1875, Westminster was originally established as a preparatory school and became a four-year liberal arts institution in 1949. Over the last 30 years, it has added professional programs in business, nursing and health sciences, and education. The college has a strong academic reputation, deep community and alumni support, and a legacy of providing a student-centered, liberal arts and professional education that transforms lives. It offers an intimate college experience to approximately 2,570 students, including 2,030 undergraduates and 540 graduates. Under the leadership of President Dobkin, the college is preparing to enter into comprehensive strategic planning, setting the foundation for a future campaign.

This role is an exceptional opportunity for a high-performing and accomplished individual to lead an advancement program in support of Westminster’s mission through the implementation of best practices, team and capacity building, and the application of data-driven strategies that will create a philanthropic enterprise of unsurpassed effectiveness.

The VP will assess and further define the strategic direction of the advancement function and both design and implement the necessary infrastructure to support a comprehensive advancement program to effectively engage diverse, external constituencies of the college. Success for the next VP will, in part, be defined by an ability to educate and engage all members of the Westminster community in college advancement efforts, and to recruit, lead, and motivate the team to meet aggressive goals that include: enhancing donor discovery and cultivation efforts; engaging and mobilizing a young alumni base of approximately 22,000; growing the annual fund; better leveraging corporate and foundation giving; and expanding and strengthening a sustainable infrastructure to support future fundraising efforts. The VP will build upon Westminster’s strong principal-gifts culture to create a program that contributes to a holistic culture of philanthropy, with a focus on broadening the donor base.

In collaboration with key partners at the college, the VP will enhance institutional image and visibility and will help devise and communicate a strong and consistent message about the college to its internal and external constituencies. As an active participant on the President’s Cabinet, the VP will play a key role in building a culture of trust in an environment of shared governance, developing collaborative and solution-oriented relationships with campus leaders and all campus constituents in support of Westminster’s academic mission and the vision of the president, provost, and deans. An important part of this effort will be establishing transparent communication and data-informed accountability in the advancement division.

The VP will benefit from President Dobkin’s personal commitment to advancement-related activities. The VP will serve as President Dobkin’s principal advisor on all advancement matters and will be an active participant in the community and with all Westminster constituencies. The VP will directly and personally participate in the identification, cultivation, and capture of principal and major gifts, and will partner with gift officers to determine appropriate strategies and define mutually acceptable annual and multi-year performance goals. The VP will launch systematic initiatives to identify, engage, and cultivate the next generation of donors to Westminster while maintaining and strengthening ties to existing donors and seek out new philanthropic opportunities with determination. To that end, the next VP will bring a thoughtful, proactive, and entrepreneurial approach to leveraging Westminster’s existing relationships in Utah and the Intermountain West region and to positioning the president to connect with philanthropists, entrepreneurs, and business leaders who are not currently engaged with the college.

Westminster College is especially interested in recruiting members of diverse communities and individuals with a demonstrated commitment to equity and inclusion. In accordance with the core values and mission, the VP will have a deep understanding of and passion for the mission, goals, and culture of Westminster College. The ideal candidate will have a minimum of seven to 10 years of progressively responsible leadership experience in a comprehensive external development and alumni relations operation, preferably within higher education and a liberal arts setting, and a keen understanding of and ability to implement best practices. The successful candidate will be a seasoned team leader adept at motivating, leveraging, and advocating for staff and facilitating team success. The VP will create a professional work environment that recognizes individual and collective success, builds confidence, and promotes diversity in all its forms. The ideal candidate will possess substantial experience with all phases of a successful comprehensive campaign; a proven track record of personally cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding six-, seven-, and eight-figure gifts; and engaging, educating, and supporting faculty, senior leaders, and volunteers in their respective fundraising efforts. The successful candidate must possess extraordinary communication and listening skills and be an open, achievement-oriented professional. The VP must possess high levels of integrity, credibility, resilience, and drive; be good-natured, flexible, and open-minded; have a capacity for dealing with ambiguity; and be able to adapt in a dynamic environment. A bachelor’s degree is required; an advanced degree is preferred.

Rachel Ellenport is leading this search with Rachel Partin and Kaleigh Hoffman.

Westminster College is committed to a diversified workforce, equal opportunity, and nondiscrimination. To this end, Westminster prohibits any form of discrimination or harassment based on race or ethnicity, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, sexual orientation, gender identification, disabilities, genetic information, status as a veteran, or any other category or classification protected by applicable federal, state, or city laws.


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