Director, Annual Giving
The University Advancement division of Fairfield University is seeking an experienced Director of Annual Giving to provide strategic leadership to its comprehensive annual giving program. Reporting to the Associate Vice President of Development, and playing a collaborative role within the Advancement division, the Director will develop a plan of innovative solutions for reaching ambitious revenue and donor goals. This role will manage a staff of seven, including six fundraising and program positions, and one administrative coordinator.
The Director will lead a multifaceted program that includes mail and email solicitations, annual giving day, volunteer fundraising (reunion and class ambassadors), senior class gift, student callers, leadership gift societies, stewardship, and other (including new and emerging) methods. The annual giving program also includes personal solicitations and major gift pipeline identification conducted by frontline fundraising staff. Leading by example, the director will manage a small portfolio of leadership annual giving prospects.
The Director will work with and be supported by the Marketing division in the implementation of the annual fundraising plan. The Director will also work closely and collaboratively with the Athletic and Parent fundraising programs and the Office of Alumni Relations within the Advancement division to maximize results for the University.
The Director will use sophisticated data analytics and best practices to produce results and meet goals. The Director will be responsible for following the Advancement division’s Management by Objectives principles by establishing SMART goals for the team and monitoring progress monthly.
- Create a strategic and comprehensive annual plan and oversee
its implementation using innovative solutions and sophisticated
data analyses to increase dollars raised, acquire and retain
donors, and increase alumni participation;
- Work strategically and collaboratively with and be supported by
the Marketing division to design and implement annual giving
appeals and communications for the University’s various constituent
audiences, and create and implement Stagiving Day, Fairfield’s
annual day of giving;
- Manage staff by providing structure and training, and utilizing
professional development resources, accountability skill
development and performance assessment tools to ensure staff
members are maximizing results;
- Evaluate program results, and guide subsequent program
strategies, through the use of data-driven analysis. Identify and
implement needed reports and program “dashboards” essential to
monitoring program effectiveness;
- Achieve goals by monitoring progress towards annual SMART goals
for department and staff. Primary department goals include annual
giving revenue, alumni participation, donor acquisition, retention
and upgrade rates, and qualification of major gift prospects.
- Manage department operating budget, efficiently using program
resources and maximizing program results in a complex University
- Collaborate with Advancement and campus partners and
- Perform other related duties as assigned or requested
- Bachelor’s degree, plus a minimum of 6 years of experience in
annual giving and/or development programs, with three years of
experience leading a comprehensive annual giving program and its
staff, with demonstrated success achieving and exceeding
- Experience in higher education preferred;
- Demonstrated ability to build successful annual giving
initiatives and appeals using current best-practices, new
technologies and drive towards numerical goals and produce
- Excellent oral and written communication skills, with
experience writing persuasive appeals;
- Strong understanding of current digital communications
strategies to include social media, fundraising software, and
- Outstanding analytical skills and proven success in leveraging
sophisticated analytics, predictive modeling and other metrics to
develop programs and drive results;
- 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;
- Expertise using Raiser’s Edge required;
- Ability to work collaboratively with diverse
- A commitment to high personal performance and teamwork;
- Extraordinary attention to detail and ability to manage
multiple competing priorities with minimal oversight.
- An appreciation for the Fairfield University and Jesuit
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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