Campaign Director

New Brunswick
New Jersey


The Rutgers University Foundation (RUF) seeks an entrepreneurial, collaboration-focused and detail driven leader to serve as its Campaign Director for the University’s upcoming $2 billion+ comprehensive fundraising campaign. With a successful $1 billion campaign completed in 2014, RUF has continued its philanthropic growth, with a record breaking year in 2017 of $209 million. With another record breaking year in sight for fiscal year 2018, RUF has also increased its investment in staff, systems and data analytics, boasting 250+ employees across three Universities and the Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences (RBHS) division. The Campaign Director will join a Foundation that is innovation focused and professionally organized, with an aim to sustain and build upon its position as the second fastest growing philanthropic program among the BIG10 institutions.


The Campaign Director will report directly to the Vice President for Strategic Advancement Solutions and will work collaboratively with the president of the Rutgers Foundation, chief development officers of all three universities, RBHS and the head of alumni relations. The Director will partner with these colleagues on all partnerships with their respective Chancellors and Deans. S/he will frequently make presentations, lead discussions and update reports to the Executive Leadership Group of the Foundation as well as its Board of Overseers.


The ideal candidate will be rooted in higher education advancement, with a deep understanding of all the moving pieces involved in a high functioning fundraising and alumni relations shop. Attention to detail, the ability to build processes and deliver on time, presentation skills as well as a highly collegial attitude and disposition are expected, as is the ability to shift frequently between immediate needs and long-term planning. First hand fundraising and/or alumni relations experience is welcome, as is a track record of project planning and positive results thereof. The Campaign Director will have excellent writing and presentation skills, with a keen sense of overall business process and flow. Data analytics, budgetary understanding and simple financial modeling experience is a plus but not a requirement. Minimal travel can be expected. A Bachelor’s degree is required and a master’s degree in welcome.


Rutgers University Foundation


Created in 1973, the Rutgers University Foundation advances Rutgers' pursuit of excellence in education, research, and public service. The Foundation provides the bridge between donors and the schools, programs, faculty, and students that make up the University. The Foundation helps to match caring people with satisfying and meaningful opportunities to make gifts that have an impact on Rutgers. Founded in 1766, Rutgers is the eighth oldest institution of higher education in the nation. Today, Rutgers, a member of the Association of American Universities, is New Jersey's premier public research institution and flagship state university. More than 100 majors offer students vast opportunities. On July 1, 2014, Rutgers University joined The Big Ten Conference of world-class universities whose member institutions share a common mission of research, graduate, professional and undergraduate teaching and public service.


Lead by Foundation President Nevin Kessler and his senior cabinet – the Executive Leadership Group (ELG) – the Foundation is in an enviable moment of growth and expansion. Along with development, the Foundation houses Alumni Relations, its own Communications department and all associated support services totaling 247 full time employees (73 frontline fundraisers). RUF employees enjoy a collaborative relationship with the University, sharing many resources and benefits, yet still maintaining its status as an independent 501(c)3 non-profit. The Foundation’s main offices are located in New Brunswick, where the Campaign Director will be located along with his/her staff. The RUF also has advancement shops in Rutgers-Newark and Rutgers-Camden, and a fast-scaling advancement team dedicated to RBHS. Overall, organizational priorities include the emergence of an upcoming campaign, following the completion of a successful $1 billion campaign in 2014.


Nevin Kessler, President of the Rutgers University Foundation and Executive Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations of Rutgers University


In October 2013, Rutgers University President Robert L. Barchi appointed Nevin E. Kessler President of the Rutgers University Foundation. As a member of President Barchi’s senior team, Kessler also holds the title and appointment of Executive Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations at the University. The Our Rutgers, Our Future campaign, publicly launched in 2010, was the most ambitious and comprehensive fundraising effort in the university’s history, with a goal of $1 billion to support faculty, research, academic facilities, scholarships and fellowships, and university and community programs. Kessler brought the campaign to a successful conclusion, raising a total of $1.037 billion.


Kessler has 25 years of progressively responsible experience in higher education fund raising. Rutgers recruited Kessler from North Carolina State University where he served as vice chancellor for university advancement and president of the NC State University Foundation from 2007-2013. During his tenure at NC State, Kessler successfully launched the quiet phase of a $1.5 billion fundraising campaign and helped secure a $40 million gift—the largest in the history of the university—to endow and name the College of Management. Over his six years at NC State, the university identified more than 15,000 new potential major donors and implemented its first development and alumni relations initiative in Asia.


Prior to his position at NC State, Kessler served as associate dean for development and alumni relations at the Yale School of Management. Under his leadership, gifts and new commitments rose from $4 million in fiscal year 2003 to more than $32 million in fiscal year 2006. Kessler’s background also includes senior positions in development at the University of Connecticut Foundation, and Virginia Tech. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Dickinson College and a Master of Arts degree from Bowling Green State University.


Julie Shadle, Vice President of Strategic Advancement Solutions


Julie Shadle joined Rutgers University Foundation in July 2010, was named Vice President for Campaign and Development Operations in November 2010, and continues to provide executive leadership for the rebranded division of Strategic Advancement Solutions.


In her capacity at Rutgers, Shadle served as the campaign director for the University’s successful $1 billion campaign, Our Rutgers, Our Future.  She provides strategic and managerial leadership to the functions of Donor Relations, Development Research, Prospect Management, IT and Gift Processing/Records as well as administrative leadership for the activities of the Foundation’s Board of Overseers.


Prior to joining Rutgers, Shadle had a long and distinguished career at Princeton University, where in her final position she served as Director, Development Services.  Julie made an indelible impact on Princeton’s success providing technical, information, and communication support to three highly successful comprehensive campaigns and contributing to university-wide process and change management efforts.  She has served the advancement services community through user group and product advisory leadership positions.  She holds a B.A. in History from Shepherd University.


By The Numbers


Last year, Rutgers University raised a record $209.1 million – 11% higher than the previous record set in 2015. This year, the university strives to surpass that record again, with a fundraising goal of $215 million. 


Campaign Director:


Duties and Responsibilities

  • Provide strategic leadership and executive staffing for planning exercises and initiatives that will inform the financial, programmatic, and cultural goals and objectives of the campaign. S/he will monitor and update the campaign plan on completion status of campaign tasks, as well as arrange, collect and analyze data around campaign activities. The Director will be responsible for supporting the Foundation President and the Vice President for Strategic Advancement Solutions in staffing the Campaign Steering Committee and other key volunteer groups.
  • Plan a comprehensive resource development and constituent engagement campaign through collaboration with all members of the Foundation’s leadership team as well as academic, advancement, and administrative colleagues. S/he will be responsible for articulating and implementing plans, goals, and activities related to fund-development and the university's comprehensive campaign.
  • Work with Foundation and Alumni Communications to produce campaign marketing and case statements that show progress, inspire continued alumni support and increase the visibility of donor impact. This includes presenting information regarding campaign progress and activities to various audiences such as the Campaign Steering Committee, Trustees, President, Advancement staff, Executive Leadership Council, Leadership Council and academic administrators.
  • Be a strong partner to and with the Donor Relations team as it relates to events, both large and small, with an eye for strategic impact and consistent stewardship. The Director will also partner closely with the IT, Data and Prospect Research departments to produce accurate analytics that provide current, snapshot and future projections for campaign progress. The Director must become conversant on all data platforms associated with reporting and build upon existing dashboard reviews and presentations.
  • Hire and manage one staff member dedicated to campaign support work.


Qualities of the Ideal Candidate:


The Campaign Director can be expected to have the following personal characteristics and professional qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree plus at least seven years of relevant development experience in higher education preferably in a complex, multi-campus university system. Exposure to a comprehensive campaign is essential, either as a frontline development officer, or in an operational capacity that allowed for exposure to campaign functions.
  • Must be process and project oriented, with strong analytical skills. Must be able to work independently as well as coordinate multiple projects with different stakeholders across the university with both short and long term timelines.
  • Highly developed interpersonal skills and the ability to build relationships with Foundation leadership, fundraisers, academics, and high level volunteers. 
  • Excellent communication skills, both oral and written, will be essential for this role. Ability to gather information and communicate in digestible fashion to variety of audiences in both presentation and written form.
  • This individual must possess a high degree of professionalism and ethics and be sensitive at all times to the discretion necessary to be successful in this field.


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