Senior Director of Volunteer Engagement

Posted on 12/14/2021

Duke Alumni Engagement & Development

Durham, NC


The Senior Director of Volunteer Engagement will play the pivotal role in helping to achieve President Price and Duke’s vision of engaging our global network of alumni and parents. As the chief volunteer engagement officer in Duke Alumni Engagement and Development (DAED), the Senior Director of Volunteer Engagement will be responsible for developing and executing a best-in-class volunteer and recognition program that support Duke’s goal of engaging alumni and parents where they are now and that inspires them to share their time and talents with the Duke community.

The successful candidate will navigate Duke’s complex and highly-decentralized structure in order to support school and unit volunteer efforts.  S/he will be charged with leading the effort to develop and implement the volunteer-focused priorities in Duke’s College and Professional Schools Group (CPSG) Design Team Campaign Plan: create and invest in a university-wide volunteer structure to optimize the volunteer experience and their impact on the university.  The director will also serve as an active partner to ensure success in the other key target areas of this plan:  establishing data governance, creating a data warehouse, and launching a human capital campaign.

To achieve our lofty goals, it will be important to create consistency in establishing volunteer programs across Duke; recruiting, on-boarding, training, managing and stewarding volunteers; creating a shared vocabulary and metrics for success; and developing a personalized and comprehensive volunteer recognition program where “donating” time is celebrated and valued.

This individual specifically manages a staff of 5 when fully staffed. The Volunteer engagement team collaborates across DAED; working closely with the Duke Annual Fund, Regional Programs, Alumni Admissions, Multicultural Advancement, Duke’s Forever Learning Institute, Careers and Mentoring, and On-Campus Engagement to ensure a consistently exceptional experience for volunteers.

If the desired future state of DAED is to be the most engaged and committed global network of alumni, students, parents and friends – and to have the best-in-class volunteer program – we must attract a senior and seasoned professional in this role. The ideal candidate should possess a strong alumni engagement or fundraising background with proven success, excel in a highly decentralized environment, and provide leadership/management support within a collaborative, fast-paced, team environment.  S/he reports to the Senior Associate VP for DAED.


  • Create, develop and execute a best-in-class volunteer engagement and recognition program within Duke Alumni Engagement and Development, and in partnership with school and unit colleagues across campus.
    • Determine and document best practices for volunteer engagement from recruitment, onboarding, training, supporting the ongoing work of volunteers, sharing impact, and off boarding
    • Develop and articulate clear and consistent expectations for all volunteers and volunteer managers across all DAED and share best practices with school and unit colleagues
    • Establish and communicate well-defined policies and protocols for volunteers
    • Determine process for volunteer evaluation and accountability
    • Create and execute volunteer recognition program that consistently and thoughtfully recognizes volunteer for their work and the impact they have on the Duke community—Duke Alumni Awards, events (on campus and in regions), acknowledgement letters, honor rolls, etc.
      • Serve as a member of the Duke Alumni Board of Directors Awards and Recognition Committee
      • Develop several volunteer “career pathways” illustrating how, for example, a recent graduate can become a school board of visitor or Duke Board of Trustee member.
    • Advocate for, vet, and implement an off-the-shelf volunteer management tool to manage volunteer engagement and measure/track volunteer engagement
    • In partnership with the Young Alumni and Student Giving Team and the On-Campus Engagement staff, leverage existing opportunities or develop new engagement on-ramps for young alumni/recent graduates
    • Convene monthly meetings with campus stakeholders to discuss best practices, partnership opportunities, etc.
    • Collaborate with Talent Development to train DAED and campus colleagues on how to work with and support volunteers
  • Work in conjunction with Senior DAED leadership to develop University-wide definitions of engagement and develop engagement goals in the next campaign
  • Work in conjunction with Senior DAED leadership and CPSG colleagues to develop University-wide definitions of engagement and develop engagement goals in the next campaign
  • Serve as one of the leads for the Human Capital Campaign
  • Lead the bi-annual Global Volunteer Leadership Conference in Durham and assist with regional volunteer conferences as needed; support Women’s Weekend and Multicultural Advancement/Identity Group conferences
  • Oversee Affinity Programs and Board Management – coordinating with the MCA and Campus Engagement Teams
  • In conjunction with senior associate vice president of Alumni Engagement and development, the assistant vice president of the Duke Annual Fund, and the assistant director of volunteer board advise on meeting agendas, themes, speakers and content for Duke Alumni Board of Directors and Annual Fund Advisory Board.
    • Help brainstorm themes for the year, determine agenda and speakers
    • Help develop AFAB working groups
    • Create volunteer training and resources
    • Suggest opportunities for collaboration, partnership, joint sessions/events
  • Oversee Affinity Groups and programming and board management – coordinating with the Multicultural Advancement and Campus Engagement Teams
  • Manage team

Recommend various personnel actions including, but not limited to, hiring, performance appraisals, promotions, transfers and vacation schedules for clerical and staff employees.

Job duties may require travel.

Required Qualifications at this Level


Work requires communications, analytical and organizational skills generally acquired through completion of a bachelor’s degree program.


Work requires five years of experience in alumni affairs, public relations, program administration and analysis, marketing or related field to acquire the advanced skills necessary to direct the planning and coordination of social, educational, and community service activities and events.


The following behavioral competencies are required for this position:

  • Ability to Influence
  • Curiosity and Information Seeking
  • Dealing with Ambiguity
  • Decisiveness and Judgment
  • Organizational Awareness
  • Goal and Task Management
  • Collaborating with Others
  • Expresses Ideas Orally and in Writing
  • Flexibility
  • Models Integrity and Ethics
  • Listening
  • Self-Management
  • Leadership

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