Rice University — Director of Development

The Kinder Institute for Urban Research at Rice University is seeking an extraordinary senior development professional to run our ambitious development program.

The Kinder Institute is one of the leading urban research institutes in the country, focusing especially on the Houston region. The Institute conducts high-impact research and policy analysis across a wide range of topics including K-12 education, housing, resilience, and governance. As a campus-wide entity, the Institute works with professors, researchers, and departments across the Rice campus and employs its own researchers as well. The Institute has a very high public profile in Houston. 

We seek a senior development professional who can help the Institute expand its current donor base and grow its endowment. The successful candidate will be experienced as well as both visionary and practical, able to craft – and implement – a strategy that will take the Kinder Institute to a new level of development and impact.

The Kinder Institute is committed to developing a diverse workforce. 

Required Experience

  • Bachelor’s Degree
  • Five years of successful major gift fundraising experience at the $50K level with demonstrated success at the $100K+ level

Required Qualifications

  • Ability to develop and initiate new strategies
  • Advanced problem-solving skills
  • Strong verbal and written communications skills
  • Ability to work well under pressure and manage projects simultaneously
  • Strong organizational and time management skills 
  • Advanced knowledge of Microsoft Office suite 
  • Strong data analysis skills 
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team to meet expected deadlines and schedules 
  • Adept at problem solving, creating contingency plans and handling issues when necessary
  • Demonstrated experience with fundraising in a higher education environment
  • Strong client service orientation and attention to detail
  • Strong attention to detail and ability to quickly understand and remember details about alumni/donors and projects to which they are assigned
  • Excellent oral and written communications, excellent interpersonal communication, collaborative and negotiating skills


  • Develops and manages a portfolio of major gift prospects through the identification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of donors with an emphasis on $100,000+ gifts
  • Identifies fundraising priorities and devises plans and strategies to accomplish goals
  • Works collaboratively with faculty and development colleagues in support of fundraising initiatives
  • Collaborates on development-related communications and events
  • Organizes, plans and implements Institute’s events
  • Maintains and analyzes donor reports 

Apply here: