Assistant Director, Leadership Giving and Special Projects

Posted on 11/22/2019

University of San Diego

San Diego, CA

The assistant/associate director of Leadership Giving and Special Projects is responsible for increasing annual giving participation and activity from alumni, parents, and friends. Reporting to the assistant vice president (AVP) for Advancement Operations, the assistant/associate director initiates strategies for engaging President’s Club prospects and moving $500 annual donors to the President’s Club giving level ($1,500). This position cultivates and solicits prospects through personal outreach and written communication. Working with Alumni Relations volunteer coordinator, the assistant/associate director will also develop alumni volunteers interested in supporting USD’s fundraising efforts, with the goal of increasing the university’s undergraduate alumni participation rate, providing them with messaging, contact lists, and strategies for engagement. The assistant/associate director will oversee special fundraising projects by serving as the lead advancement professional for the university’s annual Students First! Employee Giving campaign, recruiting staff and faculty volunteers, coordinating marketing, and arranging employee donor appreciation events. The assistant/associate director works with the AVP of Advancement Operations and associate director of Annual Giving in developing the overarching annual giving strategy – direct mail, social media, telefunding, etc.

Leadership Gift Qualification and Solicitation

  • Work through President’s Club Prospect lists to qualify potential leadership gift prospects ($1,500 annually), confirming capacity and inclination to support USD as part of the discovery process.
  • Strategically cultivate and close leadership gifts through a high volume of telephone and electronic communication and face-to-face visits.
  • Ensure conversations are adequately captured in database and appropriate connections are made.
  • Annual goals established in concert with the AVP, associate vice president of Development, and the vice president of University Advancement.
  • Generate unrestricted and designated philanthropic support toward annual goals for dollars raised, new donor acquisition, and donor retention.
  • Identify new leadership gift prospects and work with development fundraising staff to coordinate the solicitation of new prospects and upgrade current donors who have the potential to increase their annual giving.
  • Create strategies and broaden project/initiative marketing to interest and engage alumni prospects from each college or school based upon affinity group (PRIDE, Club Sports, FUSO, Alcalá Club, etc.).
  • Work proactively with unit development partners to ensure successful prospect and pipeline management; transition prospects to major gift officers’ portfolios in accordance with their interests, capacity, and propensity.
  • Develop effective communication techniques and systematic practices for development officers using the Fundraiser Performance Management (FPM) platform.
  • Enter annual fundraising goals into FPM platform and track progress through proper recording of proposals.
  • Enter all appropriate information into Advance CRM, including contact reports, future steps, and plans in a timely manner.

Students First! Employee Giving Campaign 

  • Work with Advancement Services to see that Advance CRM employee records sync with Human Resources records.
  • Recruit campus volunteers to serve as captains for each team across divisions and academic units.
  • In consultation with divisional leadership, review and update “team” structure to optimize communication with and outreach to university departments and determine captains for team representation.
  • Create training materials for captains and conduct appropriate training/orientation meetings.
  • Working with University Marketing and Communications, develop promotional materials for campaign.
  • Draft and distribute email communications to volunteer captains throughout the campaign to motivate and keep them informed of progress.
  • Work with Special Events to coordinate donor appreciation events (donor celebration and facilities breakfast) to close campaign.

Prospect and Donor Stewardship 

  • Responsible for coordinating donor stewardship programs for leadership annual giving prospects.
  • Monitor records and reporting of donations to ensure donor receive proper recognition and documentation for their gifts.
  • Draft appropriate correspondence to donors and prospects.
  • Develop appropriate leadership gift recognition and stewardship events in collaboration with Donor Relations, Special Events, Alumni Relations, and Development, capitalizing on programmatic opportunities across campus.

Professional Development/Other

  • Responsibilities Assist Advancement Operations and Annual Giving staff with development of overall annual giving program.
  • Manage other special fundraising projects for campus units as they arise for the annual giving team.
  • Responsible for keeping up to date with annual giving trends through research and professional development opportunities, especially in the area of social media and online giving.
  • Assist AVP in long-range planning.
  • Other duties as assigned by the AVP.

Minimum Qualifications: 

  • Bachelor’s degree required.
  • Assistant director-level: at least three years’ experience in annual giving, volunteer leadership, and/or fundraising.
  •  Associate director-level: at least five years’ experience in in annual giving, volunteer leadership, and/or fundraising.
  • Ability to supervise and galvanize staff and to recruit, train, manage, and motivate volunteers to achieve strategic goals.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills required as well as exceptional critical listening and thinking skills. Command of the English language, including AP writing style, and standard grammar, spelling, punctuation, syntax, and proofreading skill.
  • Self-starter with good project management skills and the ability to exercise good judgment in advancing projects toward completion.
  • Ability to handle confidential information with tact and discretion.
  • Must be able to work independently, taking initiative and be able to ascertain priorities in a dynamic environment of regular interruptions, multiple projects, and deadlines.
  • Must exhibit attention to detail with excellent organizational and time management skills; remain professional under pressure.
  • Must be friendly and personable.

Job Requirements

Performance Expectations – Knowledge Skills and Abilities:

  • Ability to work with donors one-on-one for solicitation and stewardship purposes.
  • Knowledge of fundraising and ability to secure gifts.
  • Knowledge of online communication to increase contacts with alumni and others.
  • Understanding the role of technology in annual fundraising and exhibiting the ability to effectively utilize sophisticated fundraising software.
  • Ability to produce and utilize statistical data for evaluation.
  • Skill in investigating, analyzing, and solving problems.
  • Ability to attend night or weekend meetings and events.
  • Some travel may be required.

Tools & Equipment Used:

  • Personal computer
  • database system (BSR Advance, iModules, Blackbaud Fundraiser Performance Management)
  • Microsoft Office applications
  • Telephone, fax, and other related office equipment.

To apply for this job please visit