Chief Development Officer, Discovery Park

POSTED: April 8, 2019

BUSINESS: Purdue Research Foundation

LOCATION: Purdue University Campus

POSITION TYPE: Full-time/Exempt

START DATE: Immediate Availability

Essential Functions:

  • In collaboration with other development officers and the Senior Associate Vice President for Advancement, identify and establish personal contact with current and prospective individual and organizational donors from units across campus whose interest and financial capacity have the greatest likelihood of meeting Discovery Park’s fundraising goals. 
  • Develop and execute a plan to bring donors to Discovery Park through active use of the development process, including solicitation of major gifts, raising a minimum of $2M annually.
  • Advance relationships with individual donors through appropriate stages of qualification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship.
  • Work in partnership with the Office of Corporate and Foundation Relations to identify potential sources of industry and foundation support for the research and educational objectives in Discovery Park.
  • Work with the Chief Scientist and Vice President for Discovery Park to become familiar with and understand key initiatives of Discovery Park and the Office of Research and Partnerships.
  • Set specific objectives to effectively advance toward solicitation of funding including major gifts and research contracts.
  • Work in partnership with Discovery Park Center Directors and academic units across campus to develop funding cultivation and solicitation strategies.
  • Prepare and report regularly on annual action plans and defined activities and timetables.
  • Ensure effective records maintenance, including timely filing of requests of prospect assignments, prospect strategies, and contact reports using the University’s prospect system.

Additional Responsibilities: 

  • Facilitate involvement of major donors, and in conjunction with development peers, corporations and foundations in programs including business presentations, research activities, and meetings with appropriate Discovery Park staff and advisory boards.
  • Assist in the coordination of groundbreakings, dedications, regional events, advisory council meetings, and other special events.
  • Work in partnership with support staff to manage the production of stewardship reports, and oversight of the acknowledgment letter process for the Chief Scientist and Vice President for Discovery Park.
  • Oversee planning of Discovery Park events as they relate to fundraising and as assigned.
  • Assist with the stewardship of gifts including the acknowledgment process, coordinating recognition events, planning dedications, and working with the University Advancement Office on appropriate recognition.
  • Assist in the development of a marketing and communications plan that supports the strategic priorities of Discovery Park.

 Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Must be highly motivated with strong relationship building skills and demonstrated capacity for leadership, organization, and teamwork.
  • Must be highly collaborative with a demonstrated history of donor-centered fundraising.
  • Demonstrated ability to take initiative.
  • Strong conceptual understanding of development, public relations and marketing. 
  • Capable of identifying individual, corporate and foundation prospects, cultivating relationships, securing and stewarding gifts. 
  • Ability to communicate well in writing and make presentations before large groups.
  • Ability to interpret and articulate the University and related business missions.
  • Must be able to interact with stakeholders from a wide range of professional and cultural backgrounds.
  • The ability to represent the University with tact and diplomacy at all times is required.
  • Sound judgment, initiative, and ability to collaborate effectively are required.
  • Excellent relationship-building, organizational, and time-management skills required.
  • Good computer skills necessary.
  • Ability to work evenings and weekends.
  • Travel is required.
  • Regular and reliable attendance are requirements of this position.


  • Bachelor's degree required. 
  • Five years or more in development.
  • Solicitation of gifts in a non-profit organization required.
  • ‎‎Higher education major gift fundraising ‎experience a plus but not required.

Application Instructions:

If you are interested in applying for this position, please send a cover letter and resume to the Director of Human Resources at by Friday, May 3, 2019. 

A criminal conviction check and negative controlled substance test are required for employment in this position. 

Purdue Research Foundation does not accept resumes from third-party recruiters.

Purdue Research Foundation is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer fully committed to achieving a diverse workforce.


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