Assistant Director of Athletics for Development

McKendree University seeks an experienced and highly motivated professional to become the next Assistant Director of Athletics for Development.  As a new position within the university, this person will play a critical role in promoting and advancing McKendree athletics to the broader community.  Reporting directly to the Director of Athletics and in close partnership with the Vice President for Institutional Advancement, this individual is tasked with increasing Bearcat Club membership and philanthropic gifts from among the University’s 21,000 alumni, its community friends, and corporate sponsors.  This position is also responsible for directing donor relations and stewardship initiatives, while preserving a meaningful, first-class donor experience for all levels of giving. The roles and responsibilities as outlined below are expected to be broken down as Fundraising/Revenue Generation (40%), Engagement Activities (40%), and Department Operations (20%).


Fundraising/Revenue Generation (40%)

  • Identify, cultivate, and steward donors, solicit annual gifts with an emphasis on leadership-level annual giving, with focus on the Bearcat Club for McKendree Athletics and corporate sponsorships. This will include consistent, outbound communications (phone, email, and in-person) to engage likely and new members to the Bearcat Club.
  • Develop annual athletics fundraising goals, objectives, and athletic department private fundraising priorities in cooperation with the Director of Athletics and the Vice President for Institutional Advancement, design and implement strategies to achieve the identified goals and objectives.
  • Gather data, assess prospects, and develop strategies designed to realize the current and lifetime giving potential of individual prospects and corporate sponsors.
  • Aggressively identify and formally qualify new prospects by developing and executing long-range and short-range strategies and plans to identify, cultivate, solicit, and steward prospects, producing a continuous stream of donors for McKendree Athletics.
  • Have a comprehensive understanding of the McKendree Athletics priorities and make a persuasive verbal and written case for supporting key programs and projects, effectively matching the interests of prospects to specific Athletics Department needs.
  • Partner with Athletic Department colleagues to develop, plan and execute successful annual campaigns.
  • Maintain quality donor files, including timely submission of contact reports in the Advancement office’s database.

Engagement Activities (40%)

  • Plan, execute, and staff Athletic Development events as appropriate, this includes but is not limited to the annual Department golf tournament, Hall of Fame Awards ceremony, home, and away football game activities, on and off-campus donor activities, other athletic hospitality, cultivation, and stewardship special events, etc.
  • Develop engagement, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship strategies for former student-athletes and corporate sponsors.
  • Ensure quality stewardship and communication for Bearcat Club members at all levels of giving.
  • Through collegial consultation and cooperation, demonstrate and be a model of collaboration in the McKendree development community while representing the Athletic Department’s values and its unique role at McKendree University.
  • Coordinate and facilitate activity that will directly result in prospect identification, engagement and successful solicitations including advising executive officers, deans and development colleagues on the culture, expectations and needs of the University’s constituents.
  • Develop and maintain an astute awareness of social, business, and philanthropic cultures within the region and serve as an expert liaison for the McKendree Athletics community.

Department Operations (20%)

  • Develop and maintain strong relationships with academic and other colleagues on campus by demonstrating leadership in the community.
  • Represent the University at athletic events that promote engagement and philanthropy.
  • Provide support to department staff in the identification and recruitment of attendees and volunteers.
  • Staff committees as determined by the Director of Athletics.
  • Ability and willingness to work evenings, weekends, or holidays as needed.
  • Serve as a key member of the Department of Athletics Administration and perform other duties as assigned by the Director of Athletics.           


  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university.
  • 2+ years of experience in athletic fundraising or higher education development.
  • Experience working in a results-driven environment and meeting quantitative goals.
  • Experience working with volunteers.
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office suite and donor management systems.
  • Knowledge and understanding of Division II athletics and NCAA rules and regulations.


  • Superb interpersonal skills and ability to build productive, beneficial relationships with a broad range of constituencies, excellent tact and diplomacy.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, including ability to effectively communicate University priorities to donors and prospects, and to positively represent the University.
  • Ability to handle multiple tasks, to assess and order priorities and to track details in a fast-paced environment.
  • High level of motivation and assertiveness as well as an ability to exercise independent judgment.
  • Appetite and enthusiasm for high-volume discovery work.
  • Highly effective at cold calling with the ability to build rapport quickly.
  • Ability to work to the demands of the position which may exceed a 40-hour work week.
  • Must be willing to travel extensively and reliable personal transportation is required for this position.
  • Must possess or be able to obtain a valid driver’s license.


  • 3+ years of experience in athletic fundraising.
  • Special event/hospitality experience in a college or professional athletics environment.
  • Experience in dealing with the public and providing exceptional customer service.
  • Experience in athletic administration.
  • Experience using crowdfunding platforms.
  • Experience partnering with athletic leaders and coaches, academic leaders, executive leadership and division colleagues in the development and execution of long range and short-range strategies.

McKendree University, Illinois’ first and finest, is a private university in Lebanon, IL, just 25 minutes from downtown St. Louis, home of the 11-time World Series champs (St. Louis Cardinals) and the 2019 Stanley Cup winner (St. Louis Blues). St. Louis also boasts a wonderful zoo, a first-rate botanical garden, a vibrant art scene (both performing and visual), and a plethora of top-notch restaurants. 

Interviews will begin immediately. Qualified candidates should complete and submit the McKendree Employment Application and send a letter of interest referencing job #ADD66 with a resume/CV to the Director of Human Resources at           

McKendree is an ADA/EEO/Vet/Disabled employer committed to enhancing the cultural and gender diversity of the campus. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply.