Executive Director Philanthropic Engagement

Posted on 02/12/2021

Syracuse University

Syracuse, NY

Job Description

The Executive Director of Philanthropic Engagement leads the University’s efforts to increase annual individual giving and oversees the lead annual giving and development associate programs.

Reporting to the Vice President for Development, Central Teams, the Executive Director will create, manage, oversee implementation, and analyze strategically executed direct response campaigns, including the direct mail, international, email, telefund, and digital solicitations to alumni, parents and friends of the University. In addition, the Executive Director will work with the Directors of Lead Annual Giving and Development Associates to create portfolios, align with high level annual fund solicitations, manage and track Hill Society membership, track and evaluate discovery plans for Development Associates.


  • Bachelor’s degree required; Master’s degree preferred.
  • A minimum of five years of experience in educational or large NGO fundraising; with a preference to someone who has a high level of success with direct response fundraising and /or lead annual fundraising.
  • Strong, enthusiastic interpersonal skills; ability to effectively communicate and solicit funds through web, social media, print, and phone.
  • Demonstrated successful staff management/supervisory skills.
  • Ability to lead staff, colleagues and volunteers.
  • A valid Driver’s license is required.

Job Specific Qualifications

  • Knowledge of operating a direct response group at a four-year research institution or large NGO (non-profit).
  • Knowledge of Microsoft Office Suite applications; understanding of Blackbaud/CRM system a plus.
  • Understanding the processes for annual fund growth and possessing the drive and desire to grow a program.
  • Track record of growing an annual fund through direct response mechanisms.
  • A proficiency for developing solicitation strategies, segmentation, testing and analysis in the digital environment.
  • Strong written and verbal communication.
  • Ability to prioritize and manage multiple projects at once.
  • Strong background in analyzing, understanding, and manipulating data.


  • Provide strategic oversight, management and direction to the programs of the annual fund, leadership annual giving and the development associates. The Executive director will provide creative and strategic leadership in shaping and implementing strategies for the implementation of systems, procedures and best practices for an effective and comprehensive direct response annual giving program.
  • Oversee and supervise direct response managers and the programs of; direct mail, email, telefund, social media, and digital solicitations. Create and implement strategies to increase participation and build a pipeline of donors for the future support of the University, resulting in the increase in number of donors to Syracuse University.
  • Oversee and supervise the director of the data analytics and strategy supporting Philanthropic Engagement. Ensure timely reporting, analyze data and implement strategic business decisions, including donor acquisition and retention strategies, as well as tracking US News and World Report ranking statistics – to enhance and maximize solicitation outcomes of the Leadership Annual Giving team, Development Associate team, and direct response programs.
  • Oversee and supervise the Associate Director of Leadership annual giving and Associate Director of Development, annual giving and their related fundraising programs. Assist in identifying strategies and initiatives for qualifying and soliciting donors in these units, implementing fundraising societies, increase participation, managing the donor pool and collaborating with units across the University.
  • Create and sustain strategic campus partnerships and collaborations to achieve unit and divisional objectives with 1) unit-based fundraisers to develop and implement direct response solicitations, 2) marketing and communications 3) Divisional units including, but not limited to, prospect management, advancement services, donor relations and alumni engagement.

To apply for this job please visit www.sujobopps.com.