Senior Director of Donor Relations

University of Southern California (USC)
California, United States
Salary Not specified
Mar 31, 2021
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time

University of Southern California (USC)

Los Angeles, CA - Downtown


Senior Director of Donor Relations


USC Health Sciences Advancement is seeking a Senior Director of Donor Relations to lead a successful donor relations program for Keck Medicine of USC. The position reports to the Assistant Vice President of Strategy and Operations. The Senior Director will develop and execute a creative, consistent, donor-centric stewardship and donor relations strategy that appropriately and consistently promotes interaction with and recognition of donors at all levels. The incumbent will be an integral part of the USC health sciences advancement efforts. 



Essential job duties include, but are not limited to: 


Donor Relations Program Management:

• Partner with senior leaders and key stakeholders to design and execute a donor relations program that addresses the unique needs of Keck Medicine of USC and its impending capital campaign.

• Assess and audit current programs and needs, encourage the adoption of innovative strategies.

• Develop and assess policies and procedures across Keck Advancement that support a comprehensive donor relations program.

• Serve as a subject matter expert on major and principal gift stewardship; stay informed of new practices, trends, and opportunities in donor relations and stewardship.

• Utilize metrics to assess effectiveness of managed programs and continuously evaluate and streamline stewardship processes and reporting.

• Ensure donor-funded endowed and current-use funds are awarded and stewarded according to donor intent.

• Oversee the development and implementation of a scalable endowment and current-use stewardship program to share the impact of the donors’ philanthropy.

• Oversee all implementation of a comprehensive, multi-channel donor engagement plan including, but not limited to, acknowledgment letters, special impact reports, newsletters, campaign messaging, holiday, and birthday greetings.

• Develop donor programming and recognition in support of giving societies and fundraising priorities.

Leverage technology and new media to enhance stewardship deliverables.


Constituent Relations:

• Work with Advancement Communications and other external relations areas in support of the production of customized stewardship publications, messaging, and content, such as annual reports, impact reports, and annual fund outreach.

• Manage the strategy and execution of a comprehensive and individualized stewardship and engagement program for major and principal gift donors.

• Oversee reporting to donors in a timely, consistent, and accurate manner on the use, impact, and financial management of their gifts.

• Serve as the visionary behind campaign and annual stewardship events,

• Handle extremely sensitive information with confidentiality and tact.


Staff and Department Management:

• Lead, coach, and mentor staff; cultivate a team-oriented culture of achievement; guide goal setting; provide meaningful and timely performance evaluations.

• Develop strategic and collaborative partnerships with fundraisers to create and execute customized stewardship products and donor experiences.

• Collaborate with and advise colleagues on gift-related announcements, celebrations, donor profiles, and recognition communications.

• Provide an ongoing assessment of donor relations’ practices, goals, and strategies.

• Oversees the evaluation, negotiation, purchase, and renewal of support resources and outside services.

• Keep abreast of new practices in donor relations and stewardship, donor-engagement metrics, stewardship analytics, and higher education philanthropy.

• Other duties or projects as assigned.


Preferred Education:

Seven to ten years of experience in donor relations and stewardship at a complex educational or medical nonprofit organization. Advanced degree preferred.



• Demonstrated success developing strategic donor engagement plans based on institutional and senior management priorities and experience working with key stakeholders and major donors. Familiarity with the demands of donor relations during a capital campaign.

• The person holding this position needs to be an excellent verbal and written communicator, an entrepreneurial thinker, and a problem solver. He/she must possess strong relationship management skills. Familiarity working with faculty, top executives, and community leaders desired. Applicants should be accustomed to and comfortable with receiving and applying feedback and advice to improve performance. Additionally, applicants should be able to demonstrate a history of success in their prior field/position, with special focus on success in designing, implementing, and administering innovative programs that require creative solutions and energized problem-solving approaches within the fundraising arena.

• Follows established USC and department policies, procedures, objectives, performance improvement, attendance, safety, environmental, and infection control guidelines, including adherence to the workplace Code of Conduct and Compliance Plan. Practices a high level of integrity and honesty in maintaining confidentiality.

• Performs other related duties as assigned or requested. The University reserves the right to add or change duties at any time.

• USC has excellent benefits, including health benefits for staff & their family with access to the renowned university medical network; tuition benefits for staff & their family; free online professional development classes; discounts to football, basketball & other campus events.


Minimum Education:  Master's degree, Combined experience/education as substitute for minimum education


Minimum Experience:  7 years


Minimum Field of Expertise:  Directly related program management experience. Expert knowledge of field, teaching experience and/or active in research. Ability to manage sponsored projects and fundraise.


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The University of Southern California values diversity and is committed to equal opportunity in employment.


USC is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, protected veteran status, disability, or any other characteristic protected by law or USC policy. USC will consider for employment all qualified applicants with criminal histories in a manner consistent with the requirements of the Los Angeles Fair Chance Initiative for Hiring ordinance. We provide reasonable accommodations to applicants and employees with disabilities. Applicants with questions about access or requiring a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application or hiring process should contact USC Human Resources by phone at (213) 821-8100, or by email at  Inquiries will be treated as confidential to the extent permitted by law.