Senior Associate Director, Leadership Giving

Posted on 07/19/2021

Northwestern University

Evanston, IL

Job Summary:
Functional expert/manager responsible for developing and managing group (market/region) and/or broad-based strategic relationship management plans, programs and events designed to strategically identify and cultivate prospects and alumni in meaningful ways that transition into engaged volunteers and leadership donors. Participates in donor relationship management.  Strategically identifies activities, events and/or programs that will increase prospects’ engagement and participation, and manages activities of larger groups of volunteers. Reviews programs; analyzes responses and outcomes and recommends changes to increase goals and objectives. Serves as liaison to both University and Northwestern Alumni Association (NAA).  May supervise groups of volunteers and/or support staff.

As a member of the Northwestern University Leadership Circle (NULC) team of the central Office of Annual Giving, this position is located on the West Coast in either San Francisco Bay or Los Angeles area. He/She manages a regional leadership annual giving program, including: cultivation, solicitation and stewardship of high-level ($1,000-$99,999) donors; managing the peer-to-peer volunteer fundraising activities of NULC San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles Regional Boards; solicitation of leadership annual gifts through one-on-one solicitation in-person and virtual visits; and the execution of referrals to colleagues for major gift qualification and solicitation. Travel will be required. Availability for evenings and weekend events will be required.

Specific Responsibilities:
Strategic Planning

  • Significant participation in developing strategic plans.
  • Primary responsibility for administering & maintaining existing strategic plans relating to specific market segments, programs, events, support teams or high level donors to meet goals for engagement & participation.
  • Recommends changes & improvements to processes, objectives, and goals based on evaluation of completed programs to dramatically increase engagement & participation & maximize & ensure most effective & efficient use of resources.  


  • Involves high level of collaboration with both internal department and broader University partners to identify common goals & develop & execute strategies to increase integration.
  • Please bullet examples of key partnerships and work involved below:
    • Major Gifts: works closely with both central and regional major gift officers in identifying, qualifying and referring prospects and works as an integral part of the West Coast Regional Office team
    • Schools and Programs: collaborates with school/unit officers to recruit volunteers, connect volunteers and donors with content area specialists related to philanthropic priorities, and identifies, qualifies and refers prospects
    • Special Events: provides insight and feedback on event strategies/content and possible candidates for speaking roles at events

Prospects & Gifts

  • Develops, plans & implements strategies, goals & approach for one large or a number of portions of the less complex relationship programming
  • Personally solicits leadership gifts.
  • Works with department and University colleagues to facilitate programming.
  • Responsible for relationship management of volunteers and donors.
  • Identifies and qualifies prospects for referrals to major gift officers.
  • Develops and implements individual engagement plans.
  • Creates programs &/or events that promote engagement & philanthropic opportunities.
  • Plans and/or executes stewardship.


  • Recruits, engages, trains, and manages volunteers.
  • Coordinates volunteer strategies with other development staff, including volunteer events, programming, marketing materials and social networking efforts.
  • Manages & implements a variety of leadership training opportunities both in-person & virtually designed to meet the needs of entry level to advanced alumni/parent leaders in locations around the world.
  • Travels extensively throughout the region or country.


  • Develops, plans & implements strategies, goals & approach for one large or a number of portions of the less complex programs &/or events that promote engagement & philanthropic opportunities.
  • Identifies target audience(s).
  • Recruits & manages volunteers.
  • Creates and executes follow-up plans.


  • Manages development and execution of programming related to engagement and solicitation.
  • Determines key tactics.
  • Articulates goals and timelines.
  • Provides work direction to colleagues or collaborators.
  • Provides necessary documentation and follow-up to donors, volunteers & internal contacts and inputs all volunteer and alumni activity in database.
  • Monitors and analyzes program metrics, including engagement activity, gifts/pledges, etc.
  • Ensures that proper stewardship and gift follow-up occurs.
  • Responsible for duties assigned to shared supervised staff.
  • Maintains up-to-date knowledge of industry best practices.
  • Completes other duties as assigned.


  • Supervises 1-2 staff &/or provides work direction.
  • Provides training to staff within or outside of immediate dept or division in regard to function.


  • Performs other duties as assigned.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Successful completion of a full 4-year course of study in an accredited college or university leading to a bachelor’s or higher degree; OR appropriate combination of education and experience.
  • 6 years development, marketing, sales or the equivalent experience is required.

Minimum Competencies: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities.)

  • Team leadership;
  • Curiosity and analytical thinking,
  • Global/organizational perspective;
  • Complex problem solving;
  • Ability to work in fast-paced environment. 

Preferred Qualifications:

  • At least 6 years’ experience in fund-raising, preferably in an educational setting; at least two years should include significant personal solicitation and/or volunteer management activities.

Preferred Competencies: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities)

  • Excellent communications skills coupled with strong writing and presentation skills;
  • Strong interpersonal skills are required, both written and oral, as well as a high level of sophistication and maturity in social and professional setting;
  • Strong organizational and creative skills.
  • Ability to work collaboratively with colleagues in a team environment;
  • Discretion and an ability to interact with high-level donors and the ability to maintain a high level of confidentiality;
  • Computer skills, familiarity/comfort working in a Windows software environment; familiarity with fundraising/relational databases is a plus.

The Northwestern campus sits on the traditional homelands of the people of the Council of Three Fires, the Ojibwe, Potawatomi, and Odawa as well as the Menominee, Miami and Ho-Chunk nations. We acknowledge and honor the original people of the land upon which Northwestern University stands, and the Native people who remain on this land today.

Northwestern University is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer of all protected classes, including veterans and individuals with disabilities. Women, racial and ethnic minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply.

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