Director, Donor Relations and Stewardship

Posted on 08/14/2018

Willamette University

Salem, OR

Position Summary:

Under the general direction of the Associate Vice President for University Relations and in partnership with the Advancement Office, oversee all facets of the Donor Relations and Stewardship Program, as an integral part of the overall fundraising and engagement efforts for the University.

The director is responsible for creating a donor-centered environment that inspires donors to support the University to their fullest potential. This includes working closely with internal stakeholders, and alumni, parents, and friends of the University to identify opportunities and approaches that help donors and volunteers see the impact of their support and service and to create communities of donors.

The director has operational oversight of the program and is responsible for the implementation of strategy, which includes setting and meeting all goals, implementation of a strategic vision of donor relations activities as it applies to donor receipts, acknowledgements, stewardship, impact reports, events, and other meaningful engagement and expression of appreciation.

The role also includes management, hiring, and training of an associate director and student assistants as needed; setting and monitoring budgets; implementing systems, procedures, and practices for the most effective collaboration between staff in the Advancement division.

The director adheres to the principles of ethics and standard practices as articulated in the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) Donor Bill of Rights, the Association of Professional Researchers for Advancement’s (APRA) Statement of Ethics, and the Association of Fundraising Professionals’ (AFP) Code of Ethical Principles and Standards as well as the standards of practice of his/her departmental profession, as appropriate.

Essential Duties:

Program Management (60%)

  • Create, implement, and evaluate a comprehensive plan for donor and volunteer stewardship touches to increase donor retention and dollars given in support of the University, and a high level of commitment and engagement among volunteers. The plan should include all recognition vehicles, segmentation, timing, messages, and goals. Develop specific strategies to increase donor retention, upgrades, and acquisition. Monitor progress toward goals, and ensure they are reached.
  • Oversee all facets of the donor relations and stewardship program, including overall planning, strategy, and evaluation of all facets of the program. This involves projects, programs, events, communications, and branding of materials and giving societies.
  • Maintain close effective working relationships with various offices within the University (e.g., Financial Aid, President’s Office, Finance and Student Affairs) and with all offices related to Advancement. Work with these groups to develop and meet measurable goals for stewardship, event activities, membership, and an annual work plan.
  • Serve as the leader of the Donor Relations and Stewardship staff, providing management of the day to day operations. Provide advice, support, and guidance to the associate director, and any student assistants. Hire and train staff as appropriate by being versed in all aspects of the program and the work of gift receipts, gift and pledge agreements, acknowledgements, stewardship reports, donor communications, and events.  Provide the framework for, and oversight to, staff goal setting and benchmarking for their respective program areas.
  • Evaluate budgets, policies, and procedures. Monitor and evaluate the appropriate investments for various programs such as communications and printing expenses, events, and new initiatives.
  • In collaboration with the Advancement Strategy and Operations Department, evaluate and recommend guidelines (policies and procedures) for utilizing Raiser’s Edge for stewardship management.
  • Develop appropriate elements and formats for regular, routine reporting on program performance for a broad array of internal and external constituencies. Provide effective reporting and analysis to the supervisor for use in management decision making.

Project Management (20%)

  • Provide leadership and oversight to the Giving Society Recognition Program in conjunction with the director of the Annual Fund and director of Gift Planning. This includes monitoring and evaluating program performance, partnering on the strategy and communication of any changes to giving societies levels, and ensuring an effective welcome for new members.
  • Oversee the development, implementation, and distribution of the Annual Report to donors to ensure this donor-centered publication is distributed to the broadest possible audience for the greatest impact on philanthropy within a set budget.
  • As requested, oversee stewardship for special campaigns and projects. This would include engaging facilities as appropriate, documenting gift intentions, monitoring naming opportunities, overseeing dedications and special events.
  • In collaboration with Advancement Division partners, create, implement, and evaluate a comprehensive plan for volunteer stewardship that consistently recognizes alumni and parent volunteers across the division and with University partner offices, ensuring a common experience and standard levels of recognition.
  • Oversee new fund approval process. Ensure new gift accounts are in line with university gift acceptance policies regarding the creation of new funds and gifts that create new funds can be stewarded appropriately.
  • Oversee comprehensive gift fund management, working closely with the gift processing coordinator and the Finance Office.

Individual Giving Program Partnership (20%)

  • Work in conjunction with major gift officers to develop appropriate individual strategy for stewarding gifts to maximize current and future philanthropy from individual donors and their families.
  • Prepare the materials and follow up to support the Gift Acceptance Committee as special requests for naming opportunities arise.
  • Oversee the Gift and Pledge Agreement and Major Gift Proposal review and approval process to ensure all gifts are appropriately documented.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree required.
  • Five to seven (5–7) years in development; thorough knowledge of the principles and practices of development and fundraising, and detailed understanding of donor relations and stewardship programs, such as receipts, acknowledgements, stewardship and endowed fund reporting, events and donor giving societies, is preferred.
  • Proven record of leadership, management, and supervisory skills.
  • Excellent oral and written communications skills.
  • Outstanding work organization and time management skills.
  • Willingness to work evenings and weekends and travel.
  • Experience in personally soliciting gifts.
  • Demonstrated ability to effectively motivate, train, and support staff.
  • Ability to work effectively in a team environment—with a mix of deans, faculty, parents, alumni, and staff colleagues. Excellent interpersonal skills.
  • Knowledge of modern data-management practices and techniques including data-based computerized information systems, data modeling, and models of analysis that lead to effective decision making on behalf of the program.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Knowledge of Raiser’s Edge is preferred.

To Apply:

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  • Cover letter addressing the required/desired qualifications and presenting any other applicant characteristics which deserve emphasis
  • Current Resume

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