Director, Alumni Engagement and Philanthropy

Posted on 12/21/2021

Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Worcester, MA

Job Description: 

Reporting to the Assistant Vice President of Lifetime Engagement, this team member will be responsible for the cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of Leadership Annual Giving prospects and donors, to secure annual gifts and develop a pipeline of leadership donors and volunteers. The Director will manage projects and programs that focus on engaging supporters and ambassadors of the University, and provide leadership and develop strategies for engagement and philanthropy with a particular focus on diverse alumni populations, young alumni, and reunion classes.

WPI is passionate about creating an inclusive workplace that promotes and values diversity. We are looking for candidates who can support our commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion.


  • Manages all aspects of a portfolio including strategies for discovery, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of 50-75 prospective leadership gift donors. Responsibilities in this area include personal visits and other forms of engagement to move prospects through the gift cycle, promptly submitting contact reports and other essential follow up activities. Participates in regular individual portfolio review and group sessions related to portfolio management and strategy.
  • Works creatively, thoughtfully, and strategically to secure annual leadership gifts and to develop a pipeline of alumni to be considered as future major gift and planned giving prospects.
  • Solicit alumni as part of targeted Annual Giving initiatives aimed at increasing alumni participation, e.g., LYBUNT renewal, recurring gift renewal and upgrades, year-end giving, and securing challenge donors for fundraising challenges.
  • Develop and execute strategies to deepen engagement with WPI among diverse alumni populations, including BIPOC and LGBTQ+ alumni. Partner with volunteer leaders from WPI’s Alumni of Color Association to expand volunteer advocacy and involvement in supporting key campus priorities, and foster connections between alumni, students, and the university.
  • Lead the development and implementation of a comprehensive young alumni strategy. Collaborate with staff in University Advancement and campus partners to build a culture of philanthropy among the WPI community. Creatively engage, cultivate, solicit and steward young alumni, increasing current alumni participation and building a pipeline of future donors.
  • As assigned, manage fundraising campaigns for class and group-based fundraising initiatives. Develop and implement fundraising strategies based on data analysis and proven tactics designed to maximize revenue and donor participation. Manage volunteer fundraising committees, and work with volunteers to achieve committee goals. Strengthen volunteer teams through training, management, and communication.
  • Collaborate with colleagues in Lifetime Engagement and Events & Communications to engage alumni in reunion years. Manage the reunion committee for a milestone reunion class, working with volunteers to encourage engagement and philanthropy from classmates.
  • Oversees cultivation and stewardship initiatives of the Crimson Crew, WPI’s volunteer recognition program. Develop and mobilize an active, engaged, and diverse base of volunteers in support of Lifetime Engagement programs, through personal contacts and ongoing relationship management; manage development and delivery of ongoing volunteer communications, training opportunities, and stewardship activities.
  • Serve as an advocate for WPI. Maintain a comprehensive understanding of the priorities of the division and the university.
  • Carries out other duties as assigned.


  • Bachelor’s degree required.
  • Minimum of 6 years progressively responsible relationship experience in Annual Giving and Alumni Relations, or a related field.
  • Volunteer management experience preferred; proven ability to collaborate with, inspire, and motivate diverse constituencies.
  • Demonstrated oral and written communications skills. Comfortable and proficient in public speaking.
  • Ability to work well as a member of a team and to collaborate effectively with colleagues in other university departments.
  • Excellent organizational skills with track record of setting priorities, managing multiple responsibilities, and meeting deadlines.
  • Ability to apply good judgement; tact and discretion is required to deal with highly confidential information.
  • Some evening and weekend work is required, as well as travel in the New England region.
  • Applicants must have demonstrated experience working in and fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace and/or commitment to do so as an employee at WPI.

Please include a cover letter with your resume for consideration.

WPI requires employees to be fully-vaccinated for COVID-19.

WPI is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified candidates will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, age, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran status, or disability. We are seeking individuals with diverse backgrounds and experiences who will contribute to a culture of creativity and collaboration, inclusion, problem solving and change making.

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