Assistant Vice President, Annual Giving & Digital Engagement

Posted on 02/08/2019

University of Miami

Coral Gables, FL

General Overview:

The Assistant Vice President (AVP), Annual Giving + Digital Engagement, will lead a cutting edge team that will serve as the technical digital machine and engine of annual giving engagement for the Office of Engagement. This individual will be a pioneer in the field of digital engagement facilitating a myriad of platforms and communications with a variety of constituents including alumni, parents, students, faculty, staff, donors, and friends of the University; while leading a channel-based annual giving program including direct mail, telemarketing, online giving, crowdfunding, and digital fundraising. This individual will provide leadership in designing, implementing, and evaluating an annual giving program with an ultimate goal of greatly increasing the number of annual donors and amount of current use dollars raised through innovative giving strategies.

With a growing number of UM’s constituents living away from South Florida, and increasing demands on personal time, digital engagement has grown as a top form of connection and means to build affinity. The Assistant Vice President is a dynamic thinker and content architect who will create relevant and meaningful messages, when and how constituents want, based on analysis of their digital behaviors. This individual will lead a team charged with building a rapport with University of Miami constituents over time to establish a relationship that can be primed for solicitation. The team will create an engagement strategy for segments of constituents to grow their affinity, metric their online engagement, measure return on investment, and prepare them for a solicitation.

The AVP will build a long-term base of support for the University of Miami with a focus on individual gifts less than $50,000. He/she is responsible for developing and executing programs and strategies to foster digital engagement and thereby increase annual support to help build a pipeline for major gifts.

Essential Responsibilities:

Digital Engagement Responsibilities:

  • Develop and execute a digital marketing engagement strategy to target annual giving audiences with the right messages, via the right vehicles, at the right time, to increase the effectiveness of solicitations.
  • Utilize digital analytics tools, predictive modeling, social media mining, marketing automation, segmentation and other data-driven techniques to ensure communications are personalized and timely, and annual giving goals are achieved.
  • Determine appropriate marketing segmentation, track progress, report and evaluate results, and redirect tactics to improve outcomes. Development of automated metric reports to track team success toward strategic goals/track KPIs. Provide analytic support to inform engagement officers for future strategies. Development of algorithms for future strategic engagements.
  • Create compelling and personalized solicitations that move prospective and current donors through a journey that results in increased giving. Tailor messaging, design elements, and videography/animation to audience segments to increase effectiveness while leveraging the latest technology including webinars, podcasts, digital articles, videos, and simulcasts to provide virtual engagements for constituents.
  • Management of the University of Miami alumni mobile application.
  • Development of a social media ambassador program that includes built-in gamification.
  • Creation and monitoring of digital platforms for select leadership groups including a ’Canes Communities online platform and a volunteer leadership portal.
  • Sophisticated use of social media to engage constituents across the globe.
  • Build a digital international network that can be mobilized towards University initiatives.
  • Develop a digital volunteer program.
  • Development of micro-engagements, including regular constituent surveys, to gauge constituent satisfaction and assist with program assessment.
  • Management of a volunteer prospect platform that will monitor the engagement of constituents based on a scoring model of engagement.
  • Develop a yearly electronic annual report.

Annual Giving Responsibilities: 

  • Implement a data-driven annual giving solicitation system. Monitor and make appropriate changes to increase performance metrics such as average gift size, donor retention, acquisition, and upgrades, and return on investment.
  • Lead a comprehensive team consisting of direct mail, telemarking, online giving, matching gift, UM Giving Day, and young alumni/student giving.
  • Design an omni-channel direct marketing program to acquire, re-activate, retain, and upgrade annual donors with an emphasis on growing alumni participation.
  • Design and develop a multi-year strategic plan and an annual operating plan for the long-term expansion of gift income and alumni and parent donor pools.
  • Develop key strategies for different annual donor segments to retain long-term donors and acquire new donors based on affiliation and interest and cultivate buy-in for these strategies.
  • Serve on the University’s Capital Campaign Steering Committee and develop plans to integrate annual giving into the structure of the campaign.
  • Serve as the primary facilitator for coordination of all school/college/unit-based annual giving efforts to develop a cohesive strategy for solicitation.
  • Review and approve annual giving communications, including direct mail appeals, brochures, postcards, form letter acknowledgments, etc.
  • Utilize data analytics to create proactive strategies to increase giving from alumni and parents. Utilize software analytics for digital marketing and implement use of new technologies to deploy a more convenient way of giving including: text to give, chat bots, social media, and crowdfunding.
  • Responsible for the recruitment, retaining, training and development of a strong annual giving team that provides the stability and continuity necessary to ensure current operations support at the highest possible levels.
  • Develop and maintain a strong partnership with the leadership of the Development and Alumni Relations division including staff in major giving fundraising, special events, gift recording, information technology, and donor relations.

Additional Duties:

  • Staff various committees and subcommittees for the Alumni Association Board of Directors.
  • Assists the Associate Vice President of Engagement with any other matters of responsibilities deemed appropriate.
  • Collaborates internally with university-wide development officers in the identification and cultivation of alumni donor prospects.


Candidates must have a Bachelor’s degree with major emphasis in Data Analytics/ Business/ Marketing and/or Communications.  Seven years of experience in annual alumni fundraising or related programs. Equivalent combinations of education/experience may be considered. Proven track record of fundraising, personal solicitations and the development of successful support materials. Previous experience in managing and utilizing complex centralized database to meet annual fund goals.  Previous experience in supervising staff and working with volunteer based support groups and special events coordination.  Excellent organizational and interpersonal skills are necessary, with a philosophy of teamwork and hands on implementation.  Excellent verbal and written communication skills are required and the ability to interact with all types of individuals.Travel is expected. Knowledge of Access, Excel, Microsoft Word, and demonstrated working knowledge of the philanthropic aspects of tax law is required.

Current Employees:

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Where Excellence Meets Purpose

The University of Miami is among the top research universities and academic medical centers in the nation, and one of the largest private employers in South Florida.

With more than 16,000 faculty and staff, the University strives for excellence, and is driven by a powerful purpose to transform and impact the lives of its students, patients, members of the community, and people across the globe.

The University is committed to fostering a culture of belonging, where everyone feels valued and has the opportunity to add value.  Through values of Diversity, Integrity, Responsibility, Excellence, Compassion, Creativity, and Teamwork (DIRECCT) the U community works together to create an environment driven by purpose, excellence, community, and service.

The University has been named on Forbes’s Best Employers list for two consecutive years, and is the only university in Florida to receive this honor.

The University of Miami is considered among the top tier institutions of higher education in the U.S. for its academic excellence, superior medical care, and cutting-edge research. At the U, we are committed to attracting a talented work force to support our common purposed of transforming lives through teaching, research, and service. Through our values of Diversity, Integrity, Responsibility, Excellence, Compassion, Creativity, and Teamwork (DIRRECT) we strive to create an environment where everyone contributes in making UM a great place to work. We are one of the largest private employers in Miami-Dade County; home to more than 13,400 faculty and staff from all over the word.

The Division of Development and Alumni Relations supports and promotes the mission, purpose, and priorities of the University of Miami through fundraising and engagement by building and nurturing strategic philanthropic relationships to improve and transform the lives of individuals and communities. We are committed to values central to the Division- Service, Gratitude, Trust, and Partnership- which guide our strategic thinking, decision-making, and day-to-day interaction with each other and our stakeholders.

The University of Miami is an Equal Opportunity Employer – Females/Minorities/Protected Veterans/Individuals with Disabilities are encouraged to apply. Applicants and employees are protected from discrimination based on certain categories protected by Federal law. Click here for additional information.

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