Director of Annual Giving

Posted on 07/10/2020

Lenoir-Rhyne University

Hickory, NC


Reporting to the Assistant Vice President for Development, the Director of Annual Giving has direct responsibility for planning, implementing, and evaluating an aggressive program to increase operational support for the Fund for Lenoir-Rhyne, as well as managing annual giving programs on all three Lenoir-Rhyne University campuses, including the New Life Fund at the Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary. The director will design, implement, analyze and refine the Annual Giving strategy using industry best practices and a data-driven approach. The director will drive strategy and lead a comprehensive program that includes personal, email, social media, and direct mail solicitation of alumni, parents, and friends of Lenoir-Rhyne University. The director will create and execute a highly effective and sustainable volunteer component within the annual giving program that includes class chairs, social media ambassadors, and reunion gift committees. The director is expected to drive fundraising strategy, benchmark and evaluate performance, analyze industry trends, and continuously refine program solicitations to increase both total dollars raised and alumni participation rates for the Fund for Lenoir-Rhyne.


  • Direct and execute a coordinated matrix of communication and solicitation strategies involving email, direct mail, personal visitation, volunteer engagement, and social media outreach all focused on increasing philanthropic support for the Fund for Lenoir-Rhyne.
  • Lead a data driven approach to increase alumni participation levels as well as total dollars raised for the Fund for Lenoir-Rhyne University, building and refining strategies for moving donors to higher giving levels based on analysis of current trends.
  • Drive targeted marketing and communication strategies for different audience segmentations, customizing fundraising messages to appeal to varied constituent groups based on age, geography, affinity, and project interest to ensure maximum effectiveness of fundraising solicitations and appeals. Utilize multi-channel marketing to reach different audiences and ensure maximize ROI for fundraising efforts.
  • Direct and execute a highly effective and sustainable volunteer component within the annual giving program that includes class gift chairs, social media ambassadors, and reunion gift committees.
  • Lead annual giving programs for all three Lenoir-Rhyne campuses, including the New Life Fund at the Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary, and devise strategic and tactical plans for achieving these fundraising goals. Responsible for effective and coordinated marketing, messaging, segmentation, solicitation, and monthly analysis of all annual giving programs.
  • Coordinate with the Associate Athletic Director, the Director of Fundraising for LTSS, the Director of the Business Council and the Presidents Society, and the Director of Advancement Services to ensure timely coordination of solicitations across multiple audience channels.
  • Closely coordinate with the Associate Director of Alumni Relations to increase Reunion Giving Opportunities, with a sustained focus on increasing multi-year pledges and planned giving opportunities for the 25th, 40th, 50th and Golden Bear Reunion classes.
  • Direct the Annual Giving Graduate Student Assistant to coordinate social media engagement, volunteer outreach, and campus and community engagement to support the Fund for Lenoir-Rhyne and achieve University fundraising goals.
  • Work with the Dean of Students Office and the Student Government Association to recruit and educate effective senior class gift chairs. Direct, train, and supervise Senior Class Gift Chairs and student volunteers to achieve class participation and fundraising goals for the Senior Class Gift.
  • Manage the operating budget for the Fund for Lenoir-Rhyne University in order to achieve maximize return on investment for solicitation appeals while ensuring accountability, transparency and effective stewardship of the University’s operating budget.

This is a full-time position with a generous benefits package, retirement plan and competitive starting salary based on qualifications and experience.



  • Five to seven years of direct fundraising experience required.
  • Proven data analysis expertise and responsibility for managing annual giving programming and operations required.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of fundraising principles and practices, marketing and communications, and budget management required.
  • Advanced analytical skills required, including the ability to recognize opportunities and develop strategies to attain goals.
  • Demonstrated success in solicitation of donors, as well as, identification, cultivation and stewardship.
  • Demonstrated record of collaboration with multiple constituencies, including donors, volunteers and colleagues.
  • Demonstrated success in analyzing performance data, responding to industry trends, and implementing best practices within higher education fundraising.
  • Ability to operate in an organized manner. Ability to react and adapt to changing situations appropriately while working in a deadline driven environment.
  • Strong leadership skills and personal accountability required.
  • Ability and interest in managing, developing, motivating, and mentoring volunteers.
  • Ability to think creatively with an openness to new ideas and their implementation.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication (written, verbal and presentation) skills required.
  • Previous experience in database management, executing queries, managing gift processing, and donor relations.
  • Proficiency in use of computer and work-related software programs; strong functional skill in web-based research applications; knowledge and experience with Blackbaud Raiser’s Edge NXT preferred.
  • Timeliness, transparency and accountability in workflow required. Must demonstrate success in meeting deadlines and achieving fundraising goals in a team oriented environment.
  • Bachelor’s degree required.

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