Assistant Director of Annual Giving

Posted on 10/26/2021

Carlson School of Management - University of Minnesota

Minneapolis, MN


The Assistant Director of Annual Giving will support the growth and refinement of the Carlson School’s annual giving program focused on two critical areas, reunion giving and investors circle. This role will lead efforts to in establish a robust reunion giving tradition and grow the Carlson School’s leadership annual giving society, the Investors Circle, with the goal of growing the pipeline of donors and support to the school. The effective use of volunteers to amplify and extend the Carlson School’s reach is a critical component of the School’s strategy to expand participation at all levels to support unrestricted and current-use annual giving goals as well as the work to solicit major and planned gifts. This position is a member of the Institutional Advancement team, which includes both development and alumni engagement activities. The Alumni Relations and Annual Giving team is responsible for growing an active, informed, engaged, and philanthropic alumni body. This person is a critical member of the advancement team, ensuring a strong based of charitable giving to enable the Carlson School to further its ambitious goals.

Reunion and Class Giving Management (50%): 

  • Manage all aspects of the Carlson School MBA Reunion giving program with the goal of increasing participation and dollars raised to the school.
  • Create a sustainable model for recruiting, training, and managing reunion and class giving committee members for peer-to-peer fundraising on-campus, regionally, and through online calls.
  • Serve as a front-line contact for the reunion and class gift volunteers, staffing key reunion and student leadership volunteers throughout the year to cultivate relationships and position these volunteers as key leaders.
  • Recruit select, train and motivate reunion volunteers for 1st – 50h reunion classes, helping set goals, facilitate communications, and attend reunion events.
  • Collaborate with the Associate Director of Annual Giving and the Senior Director of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving to develop and implement plans to meet and increase annual giving revenue and engagement goals by coordinating with leadership gift and major gift colleagues on a comprehensive approach to reunion and specialty program giving.
  • Collaborate with gift officers on all managed prospects participating in reunion
  • Meet annual goals established by the Senior Director of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving and Assistant Dean including gifts closed, funds raised, personal face-to-face visits an participation.

Investors Circle Program Support (40%): 

  • Support the growth of the Investors Circle program, the Carlson School’s exclusive leadership annual giving society, targeting leadership gifts of $1,000-$49,999.
    • Serve as an organizational contact for leadership annual donors through the Investors Circle concierge program, levering digital platforms and one-on-one outreach with benefactors.
    • Assist with the development of innovative marketing, retention and participation efforts to grow the Investor’s Circle.
    • Build and manage a portfolio of annual giving prospects; secure philanthropic investments of $1,000+ in support of Carlson School of Management priorities; maintain current contact reports on all prospect interactions.
    • Work with the benefactor relations team to refine and execute a stewardship plan for Investors Circle members.
  • Collaborate with the Institutional Advancement team, administration, faculty, and volunteers to identify, qualify, engage and cultivate relationships with leadership gift benefactors and elevate donors through the pipeline.

Annual Giving Program Support (10%): 

  • Collaborate with Annual Giving team on engagement, communication, and solicitation strategies to grow young alumni giving program GOLD (Graduates of the Last Decade), including providing support to current students and class fund-raising agents in non-reunion classes.
  • Support both annual and long-term plans and goals that grow retention, activation and dollars raised for the Carlson School annual giving program.
    • Write and edit targeted solicitation letters and email copy.
    • Work with the Associate Director of Annual Giving to manage project deadlines, mailing list segments, printing, and mailing of solicitations throughout the year.
    • Support key giving and stewardship efforts including Give to the Max Day, Gopher Gratitude, specialty giving campaigns, and other events as needed.

Required Qualifications: 

  • BA/BS Degree plus at least four years of relevant experience.
  • Experience as an active volunteer or leading volunteers.\
  • Progressive responsibilities in a fast-paced environment.
  • Strong attention to detail and excellent organizational skills.
  • Ability to proactively, effectively, and efficiently manage a program portfolio working tactfully with a diverse group of internal and external constituents.
  • Demonstrated interpersonal, oral, and written communication skills.
  • A highly collaborative mindset with success in working in a team setting.
  • Ability to travel within the Twin Cities, the state of Minnesota, and national, as well as attendance at occasional evening and weekend activities.

Preferred Qualifications: 

  • Experience working with reunion programs and/or class giving.
  • Alumni relations and fundraising in a higher education setting, preference given to those with experience in a business school setting.
  • Evidence of experience or significant professional development experience with a business, institutional advancement, nonprofit, or higher education focus.
  • Ability to strategize and conceptualize with the Associate Director of Annual Giving on new ideas for events and be able to translate these ideas into specific actions.
  • Innovative, strategic thinker, with an ability to adapt to a fast-paced environment.
  • High level confidence in making strategic decisions, good judgement, and innovative and creative problem solving skills.
  • Enjoys working independently and as part of a team on multiple, large and complex projects.
  • Experience in development writing.
  • Ability to develop, communicate, and executive strategies with a clear metrics of success.
  • Interaction with senior-level executives and professionals.


The University recognizes and values the importance of diversity and inclusion in enriching the employment experience of its employees and in supporting the academic mission.  The University is committed to attracting and retaining employees with varying identities and backgrounds.

The University of Minnesota provides equal access to and opportunity in its programs, facilities, and employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, age, marital status, disability, public assistance status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.

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