Principal Gifts

Catalyzing Transformational Philanthropy

The Principal Gifts team collaborates with fundraisers across Grounds to build relationships that inspire transformational philanthropy to advance and support the University of Virginia’s strategic priorities to strengthen community, accelerate discovery, and foster service.

Principal Gifts prospects are typically able to make cumulative gifts of $5M or more to the University. The Principal Gifts team focuses and coordinates activity on President’s Prospects (the University’s highest-level donors, prospects, and volunteer leaders) and Principal Relationship Development Prospects (active principal gift prospects and high-level lifetime donors), both of which are flagged in Advance and EverTrue.

Coordination of $5M+ Solicitations 

It is imperative to ensure coordination around high-level gift solicitations, with PR and PRD Prospects or any other donors. Large solicitations may entail complexities that need to be addressed before a proposal is shared with a donor and must be properly timed in coordination with other potential solicitations. In particular, solicitations of $5M+, with any donor, require advance approval and sign-off by the President. Please contact Kathryn Jarvis or Jessica Schwab before any potential $5M+ solicitation is proposed to a donor to allow for coordination with the President's office to ensure that the University can fulfill its end of the agreement, to secure approval for the proposal, and to provide coordination with other stakeholders. 

Program Services

The Principal Gifts team provides comprehensive proposal-writing support for $5M+ proposals, and $1M+ on a case-by-case basis, and facilitates the required review of all $5M+ proposals. 

  • For proposal-writing inquiries, support, and review, please contact Erin Johnson.

The Principal Gifts team facilitates and participates in discussions and information sharing with relevant University, school, and unit stakeholders to advance donor-centric strategy for PR/PRD prospects.

  • For questions about PR/PRD prospects or to schedule a strategy session, please contact Jessica Schwab.

The Principal Gifts team coordinates with University’s senior leadership to advance gift conversations and steward relationships. The team coordinates access to executive-level interactions, such as scheduling meetings with the President or Provost and invitations to President’s Box for athletics for President’s/PRD prospects.

  • To discuss a strategy involving a prospect and senior University leadership, please contact Jessica Schwab.
  • For President’s/PRD requests to attend football and/or men’s basketball games in the President’s Box, please contact Jessica Schwab or Mariah Goff

The Principal Gifts team helps monitor and communicate progress toward campaign goals, including the creation and distribution of the Principal Gifts Bulletin (PGB). The PGB reports on new commitments at the $1M+ level and is intended to increase coordination, share successes, and spark collaboration. The PGB is distributed to the Campaign Executive Committee and University and Advancement leadership.