Director, Annual Giving

Connecticut, United States
Salary Not Specified
Nov 04, 2020
Employment Type
Full Time

Job Description:

The Director for Annual Giving will use current, best-practices to lead and direct a high-level, metrics-driven annual giving program that reaches and sustains ambitious revenue and alumni and other donor participation goals. The Director will plan, organize and conduct a comprehensive multi-channel fundraising program that includes direct mail, e-solicitations, social media, leadership annual gifts, reunion giving, senior class gifts, class ambassadors/agent system, young alumni philanthropy, student caller fundraising, stewardship and gift/loyalty societies. S/he is responsible for creating and implementing Stagiving Day, the annual giving day fundraising initiative, as well as other special campaigns relating to Annual Giving. The Director will be responsible for growing the President’s Circle membership by acquiring and retaining and upgrading donors of $1,000 or more, through the Annual Giving department efforts. The Director will working closely and collaboratively with the Athletic and Parent fundraising programs to maximize results for the University. The Director will use data-driven evaluation, analytics and predictive modeling to create strategies and produce results, including improvements in annual retention, acquisition, re-activation and alumni participation rates. The Director will be responsible for following Advancement’s Management by Objectives principles, by establishing SMART goals for the team and monitoring progress monthly.

To ensure program success, the Director will develop effective working relationships with University Advancement colleagues, with a focus on Offices of Alumni Relations, Athletic Giving and Parent Philanthropy, as well as University Marketing & Communications, and other campus offices that are essential to program success. Reporting to the Associate Vice President for Development, this position will manage a team of annual giving fundraisers and administrative staff. This role will manage a small portfolio of leadership annual giving prospects.

The Director will be expected to:
  • Plan, direct and oversee all aspects of the University’s annual giving program using innovative and creative strategies, and sophisticated data analyses, to increase dollars raised, with a focus on unrestricted and budget relieving funds, and alumni participation;
  • Define and implement a multi-channel fundraising strategy including mail, email, social media, face-to-face solicitation, phone-a-thon and other (including new and emerging) methods and media;
  • Develop annual strategies with the Offices of Athletic Giving and Parent Philanthropy, and other departments as applicable, to maximize results;
  • Work collaboratively with the Marketing Division to,
    • Design and implement annual giving appeals for the University’s various constituent audiences, including alumni, parents, students, faculty/staff, friends, and other identifiable prospect audiences to raise funds for current use unrestricted and restricted purposes;
    • Create and implement the annual Stagiving Day, Fairfield’s annual day of giving.
    • Develop persuasive messaging to target audiences to use in all solicitation strategies and appeals.
    • Design supporting marketing initiatives that teach and promote a culture of annual gift support among Fairfield constituent audiences, particularly with alumni as Fairfield strives to increase alumni participation rate;
  • Manage and provide structure and guidance to fundraising staff responsible for building and leveraging class ambassador/agent system, reunion giving, senior class gift programs and student phone-a-thon programs;
  • Build up the President’s Circle leadership giving program, focusing on increasing and sustaining revenue, donor participation and a pipeline of major and planned giving prospects, with a focus on prospects for the University’s next campaign.
  • Provide management and training for the fundraisers who manage prospect portfolios to ensure they are using best practices, meeting goals and maximizing fundraising.
  • Achieve program success by meeting specific performance metrics, including revenue goals, alumni participation rates, donor acquisition rates, pledge fulfillment, donor retention rates, donor loyalty and donor development (upgrade) effectiveness;
  • Evaluate program results, and guide subsequent program strategies, through the use of data-driven evaluation and analysis, and work to identify and implement those reports and program “dashboards” essential to monitoring program effectiveness;
  • Leading by example, manage personal portfolio of leadership annual gift prospects, conducting face-to-face visits and solicitations.
  • Manage a program of annual giving donor recognition societies/gift clubs and other broad-based donor stewardship in support of the University’s donor development and retention goals;
  • Establish annual SMART goals for the department as well as for staff, and monitor progress monthly;
  • Lead, manage and develop annual giving team members, utilizing professional development resources, accountability skill development and performance assessment tools.
  • Manage the annual giving program’s operating budget, efficiently using program resources and maximizing program results in a complex University environment;
  • Build and maintain effective partnerships with University Advancement departments and other campus departments for the purpose of maximizing annual gifts for the University;
  • Build and maintain effective partnerships with external vendors and suppliers wherever necessary to leverage resources and program productivity and ensure quality control and effectiveness with all external vendor relationships;
  • Integrate Fairfield’s annual giving into the broader schedule and structure of the University’s campaigns;
  • Perform other related duties as assigned or requested
  • Bachelor’s degree, master’s preferred, plus a minimum of eight years of experience in the annual giving and development fields with demonstrated success in achieving and exceeding goals;
  • Experience in higher education preferred;
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills, with experience writing fundraising appeals;
  • Outstanding analytical skills and proven success in leveraging sophisticated analytics, predictive modeling and other metrics to develop programs and drive results;
  • Demonstrated ability to strategically build an annual giving program using current best-practices and drive towards numerical goals and produce outstanding results;
  • Expertise using Raiser’s Edge required;
  • Ability and propensity to leverage new technologies, tools and best practices to improve program results;
  • Proven success in developing creative, revenue-producing fundraising appeals;
  • Proven success in personally raising annual gifts through face to face solicitations;
  • Demonstrated ability to hire, train, supervise, and motivate high-achieving staff and volunteers;
  • Ability to work collaboratively with diverse constituencies;
  • A commitment to high personal performance and teamwork;
  • Extraordinary attention to detail and ability to manage multiple competing priorities with minimal oversight.


Advancement - Admin

All offers of employment are contingent upon a satisfactory background check.

Fairfield University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer, committed to excellence through diversity, and, in this spirit, particularly welcomes applications from women, persons of color, Veterans, and members of historically underrepresented groups. The University will provide reasonable accommodations to all qualified individuals with a disability.

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