Director of Development, Principal Gifts

Aga Khan University

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Position type:

Full time

08 Apr 2019
28 Apr 2019

Full details:

Reference number: AKU-6014

Director of Development, Principal Gifts

Department Resource Development

Entity Aga Khan University

Location Karachi, Pakistan



The Resource Development department at the Aga Khan University primarily focuses on cultivating donor relations and all things pertaining to fundraising for the University and the Hospital. The department aims to develop mutually beneficial relationships with its various diverse supporters globally, and aids the University in its mission through generating philanthropic and other financial support. The Resource Development team works with donors to continue building a positive impact within the lives of students, patients, and the greater community, and strives to continually increase the impact that it has in the future



Reporting to the Chief Resource Development Officer, you will be responsible for advancing relationships with current and prospective donors and will secure large philanthropic gifts in support of the University’s strategic priorities. As a senior member of a team of fundraising professionals, you will implement and advance best practices in higher education fundraising.

As a Director of Development, Principal Gifts, you will also be responsible for:

  • proactively managing and advancing relationships with current and prospective Principal Gift donors, and securing philanthropic Principal Gifts (7+ figures) in support of the strategic priorities of the University
  • advising, supporting and partnering with University leadership, academic faculty, senior administrators, colleagues in Resource Development and Alumni Affairs, and others to advance fundraising and to secure philanthropic support
  • strategically managing a portfolio of Principal Gift donors and prospective donors to achieve ambitious annual targets including: numbers of meetings, asks, and proposals submitted, and specific financial goals
  • working closely with volunteers to advance fundraising and donor relationships and also actively participating in the identification and cultivation of new prospective donors
  • ensuring that all University and department policies and procedures related to fundraising and advancement services, including those related to donor records, contact reports, donor reporting, are observed and implemented to the highest standards, aspiring to best practice
  • actively collaborating with colleagues across the Office of Resource Development and the University on fundraising strategies, fundraising proposals, and other fundraising activities, sharing best practices and advancing shared objectives
  • implementing and/or supporting high quality, consistent and sustainable donor communications, donor cultivation activities, donor reporting, and donor stewardship
  • participating in fundraising meetings, events, and special programmes to advance donor cultivation and fundraising
  • ensuring highest level of professional standards related to cultural sensitivity, ethical behavior and personal discretion
  • travelling regularly to meet donors and, as necessary, to visit University campuses and operations and participating in strategic meetings internationally, in-person or virtually.



You must have:

  • a University degree from accredited institution in relevant field
  • a strong understanding of higher education, philanthropy, fundraising, and the mission and subject areas of Aga Khan University
  • a senior level experience of major/principal gift fundraising in a university or non-profit organisation, and a track record of successfully cultivating, soliciting, and closing gifts
  • a senior level experience working in the development, not-for-profit or private sector in a related capacity and in working directly with and advising university leadership, academic faculty and influential volunteers
  • experience working with a wide variety of individuals from diverse cultural backgrounds to deliver measurable results
  • the ability to develop strong, mutually respectful, collaborative working relationships, internally and externally, to meet institutional objectives
  • experience of managing multiple projects, meeting ambitious targets, and delivering work to tight deadlines
  • excellent verbal and written communication skills, and the ability to communicate complex ideas in a clear and concise manner
  • knowledge and experience of Raiser’s Edge or a similar contact management or donor relations database
  • strong ethical behaviour, and an ability to manage sensitive and confidential information appropriately and with discretion
  • knowledge of, or proven sensitivity to diverse cultures, including the Islamic and developing world
  • creative and diplomatic skills, and an ability to understand the perspective of diverse individuals to meet shared objectives
  • a commitment to continuous professional self-development and self-improvement, with an aspiration to be a model of professional best practice, individually and through the wider operation
  • willingness to travel to the University campuses and other locations
  • a highly professional manner.

Only short-listed candidates will be contacted. Applications will be reviewed as they are submitted. 

Applications should be submitted latest by April 28, 2019

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How to apply

​Please send your cover letter and CV to and mark the subject line with the position applied for.