Assistant Director of Annual Giving

Posted on 07/20/2021

Winona State University

Winona, MN

Position Purpose

Under the direction of the Associate Director of Annual Giving, the Assistant Director of Annual Giving performs fundraising activities that identify, cultivate, engage, and retain annual donors who provide philanthropic support to the University.  The position applies higher education development strategies to mass communications tools to achieve a broad level of support among alumni and friends of the University.

Responsibilities and Results

  • Direct Market Solicitations: Plan and execute Annual Giving fundraising strategies for direct market and email solicitations, including calendar appeals and athletic association membership drives.  Follow processes to ensure accurate database segmentation for all appeals.  Coordinate annual fundraising efforts with other teams in the department, including written solicitations, sponsorships, and other giving opportunities.
  • Program Development: Develop, coordinate, implement, participate in and ensure accurate documentation of fundraising initiatives as assigned which contribute to Annual Giving team strategic objectives.  Initiatives may include crowdfunding campaigns, annual donor stewardship, university giving days, employee and retiree giving drives, alumni engagement functions, WSU Foundation events, prospect development and other related programming.
  • Engagement and Marketing: Develop communications strategies which promote philanthropic engagement to internal and external constituencies in partnership with the department’s Marketing, Communications, and Alumni Engagement teams.  Provide artwork ideas and written copy to share information on annual giving and University Advancement to alumni, donors, students, employees, retirees, and other friends of the university.
  • Perform Other Duties as Assigned: to ensure the smooth functioning of the department and maintain the reputation of Winona State University. Including but not limited to participating in professional development opportunities, remaining current in new trends and technologies, and serving as a liaison with other campus departments.

Minimum Qualifications 

  • Bachelor’s Degree
  • A minimum of one (1) year of professional fundraising experience, including experience developing, writing, and producing fundraising solicitations.
  • Ability to learn software systems such as constituent databases and email content management systems.
  • Ability to manage multiple projects and priorities, follow a timeline, and work independently.
  • Skill in collecting, analyzing, and interpreting complex data.
  • Skill in preparing written communications and other materials for diverse audiences.
  • Commitment to a collaborative team environment and individual accountability.

Preferred Qualifications 

  • Experience developing online crowdfunding campaigns.
  • Experience maintaining the integrity of highly confidential information.
  • Experience establishing and maintaining effective relationships with diverse populations.
  • Knowledge of fundraising best practices for direct market and digital solicitations.
  • Knowledge of graphic design and photo editing software.
  • Ability to navigate databases and generate data spreadsheets.

Working Conditions

  • This position requires occasional evening and weekend hours.
  • This position requires overnight travel.

Communications and Relationships

This position will establish and maintain close working relationships with the University Advancement divisions, particularly with members of Annual Giving, Alumni Engagement, Development, Advancement Services, Marketing, and Communications, to gather and share information regarding assigned Annual Giving work.  This position will also interact with other units and their leadership, especially Deans, Department Heads, Faculty, Athletics Coaches, and the WSU Foundation, to facilitate planning and participation for projects such as Giving Days, All-University appeals, alumni programming, and Foundation initiatives.

This position collaborates with the Director of Annual Giving and Development Team on projects that the Director identifies as priority fundraising goals. This position will work, in coordination with University Advancement divisions, with Deans, Department Heads, and others to identify specialized needs for the departments.  The incumbent will incorporate these needs into fundraising appeals and communications with alumni, donors, the community, and other constituents.

This position will communicate with internal and external audiences including students, employees, retirees, alumni, donors, and friends of the university via fundraising messages, digital content, written communications, and emails.  The incumbent will need to regularly communicate with these audiences, including influencing and advising others with regards to involvement with Annual Giving and University Advancement priority projects.  The incumbent will resolve conflict within assigned projects and collaborate with other staff to carry out complex work functions.

Planning and Assessment 

This position works with the Director of Annual Giving to develop short- and long-range plans for Annual Giving programs.  This person will be responsible for the development of plans and strategies for assigned annual fundraising appeals and initiatives which align with overall University Advancement goals.  The incumbent will establish personal weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual work plans to meet identified objectives and priorities for assigned Annual Giving projects and programs.

There are measurable performance goals for this position including total dollars raised, number of donors, number of solicitations made, etc.  The incumbent will assist with designing and conducting assessment activities for Annual Giving programs, as well as recommend additional assessment projects.  This position will create and compile monthly reports to assist in monitoring progress toward goals.

Decision Making and Accountability 

Key decision-making is broad, varied, and must be prompt regarding the daily procedures of the Annual Giving team, which maintains a steady operational calendar.  This position makes decisions regarding important and timely university messages and information being communicated to constituents through the Annual Giving program and related initiatives.  The position also makes decisions regarding accurate database queries, solicitations design, constituent segmentation, data processing, and appropriate prospect and donor follow-up and stewardship.  The latter could include difficult or unhappy constituents.

This position receives input from the Director of Annual Giving with additional limited direction from the Vice President of University Advancement, the Director of Alumni Engagement, and the Development Team.   This position will receive information from many parts of the university that communicates the various financial, equipment, and other special needs of departments.  This person must be able to keep an inventory of these needs and match them creatively with the desires communicated by donors and other constituents.

All employees of the University are affected by these decisions, since the Annual Giving team is responsible for appeals which provide scholarship assistance as well as help for programs and activities for which state funds are not available or cannot be used.  Alumni, parents, friends, faculty, staff, and students could potentially be affected by loss of support.  When decisions impact other departments or divisions of the University, those groups will be consulted, and decisions will be made through collaboration and with consultation from the Director of Annual Giving.

Decisions referred to higher authority or others include final approval of artwork and designs for annual appeals and University marketing materials; significant changes to Annual Giving goals, objectives, and plans where precedent does not exist; and significant changes to departmental strategies, policies, and procedures where precedent does not exist, including database administration and maintenance.

The incumbent is expected to use sound judgement, problem solving skills, and communication to implement approved work plans.  This position will interpret and apply established precedents, policies, procedures, and laws in the completion of assigned work.  This position deals with highly sensitive and private data and documents on a regular basis that are covered by data privacy laws.

This position will also identify process improvement opportunities and recommend innovative solutions to strengthen Annual Giving programs.  The incumbent will communicate regularly with the supervisor and other key stakeholders, as well as provide regular status updates and appeals performance data.  This position must be able to carry out the specified duties and responsibilities of the position to meet annual individual and team objectives and goals.

All employees must comply with all department and institution procedures and policies. Minnesota State policies and procedures, as well as local, state and federal laws, regulations, guidelines and business industry standards.

Minnesota State is an Equal Opportunity Employer and Educator.

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