Director, Annual Giving

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

Job Description:

Position Summary

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.

Essential Responsibilities:

  • 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 environment;

  • Collaborate with Advancement and campus partners and vendors.

  • 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 goals;

  • 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 outstanding results;

  • 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 email-based solicitations.

  • 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 constituencies;

  • 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 missions.


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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