Assistant Director, Annual Giving- Phonathon Operations

Posted on 07/02/2021

American University

Washington, D.C.


The Assistant Director initiates and oversees the recruiting, training, scheduling and management of approximately 50 part-time student callers and 5 student supervisors employed by AU’s phonathon program. The Assistant Director is responsible for implementation of the phonathon’s annual solicitation schedule and for achieving the participation and dollar goals for each calling constituency. Aspects of the position include: scripting, careful and regular monitoring of student caller performance, maintenance of proper staffing levels in accordance with the needs of the program, development of successful compensation models designed to motivate student callers to achieve objectives of the program, management of VanillaSoft calling platform, and analysis of phonathon-related annual giving reports. The Assistant Director is also responsible for crafting and implementing a comprehensive plan for student philanthropy. The Assistant Director oversees the Student Philanthropy Council (SPC), including supervising the committee co-chairs who are paid student workers tasked with educating the student body on the importance of philanthropy and conducting the graduating student gift campaign.

Essential Functions

  •  (40% of time): Responsible for recruiting, interviewing, hiring and training of student phonathon callers and supervisors. Ensure that staff is of sufficient size and capability to meet or exceed phonathon pledge and dollar goals on all constituencies during the course of the fiscal year. Develop and modify scripts and training methods, monitor staff performance and coach staff to ensure that the quality of all fundraising calls is consistently met. Develop creative and appropriate retention strategy for staff.
  • (20% of time) Set annual, monthly, weekly, and nightly goals for staff and ensure successful completion of these goals. Maintain direction and progress of the program through daily analysis of VanillaSoft and other Annual Giving reports. Implement appropriate changes to calling practices and/or staffing based on comparison of actual program statistics to stated program goals. Manage payroll for phonathon part-time student callers. Monitor requisitions, inventory and storage of all telemarketing equipment and materials.
  • (10% of time): Responsible for achieving expertise in all aspects of VanillaSoft, the phonathon’s automated telemarketing system. This includes training callers and supervisors on the appropriate calling and reporting procedures, loading prospects into the system, and accurate segmentation of constituencies and assigning of ask amounts. Oversee a staff of calling supervisors and determine how to best utilize their strengths to assist in these three efforts.
  • (30% of time): Supervise and guide the Student Philanthropy cochairs as they design and implement a strategy for outreach that includes philanthropy education for the entire student body and a solicitation plan for graduating students. Performs other duties as assigned by the Director of Development, Annual Giving and the Associate Director of Annual Giving, Marketing to enhance the mission and goals of the Office of Development and Alumni Relations

Work Environment

This position reports to the Associate Director of Annual Giving. Reporting directly to this position are approximately 50 student callers and 5 part-time student supervisors.

Position Type/Expected Hours of Work

  • Full-time
  • 35-Exempt
  • Coordinator/Analyst B

Required Education and Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree or an equivalent combination of education experience.
  • Minimum of two years of directly relevant work experience
  • Knowledge of fundraising and development practices and principles.
  • Ability to analyze results and implement change based on those results.
  • Ability to motivate a large team to be goal-oriented.
  • Excellent writing, communication, and organizational skills.

Preferred Education and Experience

  • Minimum of two years of experience in telephone fundraising preferred.
  • Experience with CRM and calling software preferred.
  • Fundraising and development experience in a higher education setting preferred.

Additional Eligibility Qualifications

  • Ability to interact with people of all constituent groups on a one-on-one basis.
  • The ability to work evening and weekend hours (Sunday – Thursday) is required when phonathon is in session.
  • Hiring offers for this position are contingent on the successful completion of a background check.

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