About the VCU Office of Development and Alumni Relations
The mission of Virginia Commonwealth University’s Office of Development and Alumni Relations is to maximize philanthropic support by engaging stakeholders with our institution working in partnership with all VCU schools, programs and campuses as one development and alumni relations community and implementing the best practices and efficient strategies to achieve a comprehensive development program.
Vice President Jay E. Davenport, CFRE, leads the development and alumni relations teams across the institution. Now topping 240 staff, the development enterprise is a hybrid operation, with a strong central team dedicated to marketing and engagement, alumni relations, advancement services and centralized philanthropy services that include regional, planned, corporate and foundation giving. Each dean also has a development team that co-reports to DAR.
Davenport is highly regarded as a national leader of university campaigns and has co-chaired the national CASE conference on campaigns. He and his leadership team are dedicated to creating a sophisticated and diversified advancement operation that recruits, retains and grows its talent through targeted investments.
In 2020, Development and Alumni Relations completed the largest fundraising campaign in VCU’s history, with donors contributing $841.6 million. The Make It Real Campaign for VCU funded the critical initiatives that will become points of distinction for VCU long into the future.
Working in VCU DAR
Development and Alumni Relations has a talent management team that partners with a core values integration team for the successful recruitment, onboarding and development of staff. The 12-member integration team guides staff development (skills, leadership, team effectiveness), new employee orientation, all-staff retreats and diversity initiatives in keeping with VCU’s Diversity and Inclusion Plan.
VCU offers an institutional membership to CASE, and many of our development employees are active with the Virginia Association of Fundraising Executives. VCU also leads the way in the Richmond, Virginia, community in partnership with the Association of Fundraising Professionals to develop and grow young and diverse talent in development careers. VCU developed an undergraduate course, “Foundations in Fundraising,” to prepare and encourage future development professionals. Additionally, DAR staff teach “ASK 101,” a program to develop new frontline fundraisers, and “ASK 102: So You Think You Want to Be a Fundraiser?” to increase opportunities for transition into solicitation roles.
Working at VCU
At VCU, we Make It Real through learning, research, creativity, service and discovery — the hallmarks of the VCU experience. A premier urban public research university nationally recognized as one of the best employers for diversity, VCU is a great place to work. It’s a place of opportunity, where your success is supported and your career can thrive. VCU offers employees a generous leave package, career paths for advancement, competitive pay and an opportunity to do mission-driven work.