Senior Director, Advancement and Donor Services

Posted on 07/30/2020

Roger Williams University

Bristol, RI

Job Description:

Reporting to the Associate Vice President for Advancement Operations, the Senior Director, Advancement and Donor Services is responsible for the management and oversight of two major areas within Advancement, Donor Relations and Advancement Services. The incumbent will serve as the primary liaison for gift and donor records, gift accounting, and implementing institution-wide comprehensive donor relations and stewardship program, conducted with broad latitude and independent action.

The Senior Director will oversee a team of professionals to ensure the overall management of all strategic planning and procedures involving advancement gift processing oversight, quality control, and strategic reporting, biographical and financial records maintenance, reconciliations, donor relations, data oversight, quality control, and strategic reporting.

This position, an integral part of the University advancement efforts, will oversee donor stewardship activities, events, and oversee draft of written materials to aid in the institutions efforts to educate, cultivate, and recognize donors at all levels.

Gift and Donor Records, Gift Accounting and Reporting Management (40%)

  • Oversee the planning and evaluation of the technology infrastructure necessary to promote and sustain advancement and engagement activities.
  • Serve as a liaison with vendors and encourage and enforce greater use of technological platforms, tools, and metrics in order to maximize efficiency and accountability across the advancement team.
  • Ensure corresponding training initiatives for the division.
  • Provide overall management of development services to include receipt and recording of individual gifts to RWU.
  • Partner with Finance department to ensure accurate reconciliation and strong interdepartmental relationship.
  • Manage the compliance and ethical standards of the Advancement Services department.
  • Ensure the timely and accurate data entry of gifts and/or biographic information, including gift coding, fund compliance, as well as compliance with IRS regulations of gift substantiation, GASB regulations, CASE guidelines for development accounts and school policies and procedures.
  • Ensure that records are accurately maintained, regularly monitored and support fundraising efforts through the development and implementation of policies and procedure manuals for all areas of gift and donor records, gift compliance and reporting through strategic planning, participation in regular meetings, and goal setting with senior leadership.

Donor Relations and Stewardship (40%)

  • Follow and promote the ethical guidelines set forth in the Association of Donor Relations for Advancement (ADRP), the Association of Advancement Services Professionals (AASP), the CASE Donor Bill of Rights, and the CASE Ethics Guidelines. Stay abreast of privacy issues as they relate to Donor Relations.
  • Manage information tracking processes regarding acknowledgement, recognition, on-going communications and continued cultivation of past and current major donors to enhance their relationship with the University and increase the likelihood of continued contributions.
  • Develop and assess policies and procedures across the division and university that are essential for a comprehensive donor relations program.
  • Oversee a systematic and integrated donor relations and stewardship program that encompass donor recognition events, endowed position celebrations, and building-naming dedications. Responsible for consistent, accurate, and appropriate information-sharing mechanisms for stewarding prospects and donors.
  • Proactively support the stewardship responsibilities of the development staff by assisting them in establishing and coordinating individualized stewardship plans for donors to their colleges/units.
  • Work collaboratively with University Advancement staff to compose letters, compile appropriate invitation lists, engage featured program participants, create programs and provide program materials, prepare program scripts and participant remarks (as needed) and create and/or obtain donor awards and recognitions.
  • Recommend and facilitate on- and off-campus publicity of major gifts and donors with University Publications, with Media Relations. Advise on and facilitate the recognition of donors in both print and Web-based publications. Contribute donor and gift information for the Annual Report, oversee production of the donor roll, determine the report recipients, and facilitate the mailing.
  • Provide writing and editorial support, advisement and leadership for the University’s stewardship and donor communications efforts, such as gift agreements, gift renewal letters, special communications, and stewardship plans and letters.

Administration and Staff Management (20%)

  • Create and Implement a new CRM system that will provide oversight for the efficient management and coordination of all development activities related to gift and donor records, research, gift accounting, moves management, stewardship, and quality controls. This includes standardize internal and external reporting, benchmarking with peer institutions and monitoring best practices.
  • Prepare current and long-range plans, metrics, and advancement services strategies that can optimize fundraising efforts.
  • Drive best practices in the implementation of a new CRM to ensure cross training and functional use of the database, using data to drive decisions, and implementation of a metric based department of goal setting and moves management.
  • Effectively lead a team of direct reports, creating or ensuring a cohesive and collaborative team capable of achieving identified goals and objectives.
  • Implement management techniques to promote a positive office environment that fosters employee job satisfaction and high morale. Establish performance expectations and monitors individual and team performance.


  • Bachelor’s degree in a related field.
  • 10 or more years of experience with advancement operations/services and understanding of donor relations.
  • Familiarity with the Association of Donor Relations for Advancement (ADRP), the Association of Advancement Services Professionals, the CASE Bill of Rights, and the CASE Ethics Guidelines.
  • Proven record of accomplishment in a similar environment, and demonstrated high energy.
  • Strategic planning, business management, organizational development, and organization building skills must be evident.
  • Management skills to motivate, direct, and evaluate staff and volunteers to accomplish fundraising goals.
  • Demonstrated written communication skills to prepare and edit effective correspondence, business plans, proposals, and creative solicitation materials; demonstrated oral communication skills to make persuasive presentations to individuals and groups.
  • Interpersonal skills to work effectively with organizational leadership, staff, donors, prospects and volunteers. Ability to maintain high level of confidentiality and working relationships with others.
  • Demonstrated ability to set priorities and perform under pressure of fast-paced office environment.
  • Demonstrated experience in CRM system management and the integration and use of related software programs in support of gift processing, constituent record keeping, and prospect management, metric implementation and moves management.

At the University’s discretion, the education and experience prerequisites may be excepted where the candidate can demonstrate, to the satisfaction of the University, an equivalent combination of education and experience specifically preparing the candidate for success in the position.

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