Director of Donor Relations

Job Description:

Managing a team of two, the Director of Donor Relations is responsible for ensuring donors experience high-quality interactions with the university documenting the impact of their support and the university’s gratitude for their investment. Interactions should
foster long-term engagement, investment and donor retention. Working with the Assistant Director of Donor Relations and the Development Writer, the director is responsible for planning, executing, documenting, and evaluating all stewardship activities for the Office of University Development. The director will assess programs for continuous improvement and incorporate best practices from across the non-profit sector into stewardship efforts.

Washington and Lee University actively promotes a dynamic and inclusive environment that allows students and employees of multiple backgrounds, cultures, and perspectives to learn, work, and thrive together. Successful candidates will contribute to that environment and exhibit potential for excellence in their areas of expertise.

Essential Functions:

  • Oversees the production and distribution of personalized annual endowment reports detailing financial information and uses of the earnings of individual endowments to all living donors or identified heirs and manages an annual correspondence program to have campus beneficiaries of endowment income write notes of gratitude to donors or identified heirs.

  • Works with colleagues in the offices of the President, Provost and Deans, along with the Development staff and others to arrange thoughtful and personal interactions between recipients of funds and donors/heirs and to develop personalized stewardship plans for leadership donors with an eye toward not just thanking donors for past gifts, but also cultivating them for future support.

  • Oversees all stewardship communication on the development website including the University’s list of endowed funds and donor stories, and, along with the Director of Annual Giving, produces the University’s annual online Honor Roll of Donors.

  • Works with colleagues in Annual Giving to produce meaningful stewardship programs for the Annual Fund with emphasis on The President’s Society, the university’s leadership annual giving group.

  • Ensures stewardship information and activities are entered on donor records in Raiser’s Edge, the alumni and development data system, and prepares an annual activity report for the department.

  • Works with colleagues in Special Events, Annual Giving, Alumni Engagement and throughout Advancement to seek appropriate opportunities to steward donors during campus events.

  • Monitors giving by leadership donors approaching the threshold for recognition on the Honored Benefactors Wall and manages the production and updating of biographies of those so honored. Coordinates the Benefactors Wall ceremony with appropriate parties (Vice President of Advancement and Secretary to the Board) and communicates with colleagues and others across campus to ensure optimal attendance and recognition for honorees.

  • Supervises and evaluates the Assistant Director of Donor Relations and the Development Writer, who is responsible for all Presidential correspondence to donors acknowledging new gifts and pledges at defined levels.

  • Coordinates and oversees the production of endowment agreements supporting each new endowment created. Maintains files on each endowment to ensure the most relevant information and communications are readily available, and serves as a resource when questions arise about a fund or its intended use.

  • Engages with Donor Relations professionals at peer institutions and through professional associations such as CASE, the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education and ADRP, the Association of Donor Relations Professionals, to ensure Washington and Lee is a leader in the field of donor relations.

  • Maintains a complete and up-to-date inventory of all physical donor recognition (plaques, signage, etc.) across campus. Helps to establish standards for new recognition opportunities and coordinates the installation of new recognition pieces.

  • Additional other duties as assigned.

Minimum Qualifications: A Bachelor’s Degree and 5-7 years of development or related experience is required. Working knowledge of large databases such as Raiser’s Edge, Advance, Banner, or similar is desired along with a proficiency in Microsoft Office and Outlook. Strong written and verbal communications skills are a must. Applicants must possess the ability to collaborate and work creatively with colleagues in the department and across campus. Finally, the candidate must, at all times, be focused on the obligation we have to our donors to be good stewards of their philanthropy.

Application Instructions:

The university requires employees to become fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and new employees must provide proof of at least their first shot prior to the first day of employment. Individuals may seek a medical or a religious exemption to the vaccination requirement.

Upload a resume and cover letter required. You will be asked to provide contact information for professional references in the application questionnaire. Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until position is filled.

External Applicants: Please upload your resume on the Quick Apply screen. Your application will automatically populate your resume details, and you may verify and update data on the My Information page. Add your cover letter and any other documents required for the position to the Resume/CV document upload section at the bottom of the My Experience application page. You will not be able to modify your application after you submit it. The My Experience page is the only opportunity to add your cover letter and supporting document attachments. The online application form requires you provide names and contact information for three professional references.

Current W&L Employees: Apply from your existing Workday account. Do not apply from the website. Log in to Workday. Click on the Career Application and select the Open W&L Jobs report. Locate the position and click Apply. Update your Education and Job History. Attach your cover letter and resume, and provide three professional references in the appropriate boxes. Refer to this Job Aid for additional guidance.

Physical Requirements:

  • Fingering: Picking, pinching, typing or otherwise working, primarily with fingers rather than with whole hand or arm as in handling.

  • Grasping: Applying pressure to an object with the fingers and palm.

  • Repetitive motions: Making substantial movements (motions) of the wrists, hands, and/or fingers.

Working Conditions: None

Types of Work: Sedentary work: Exerting up to 10 pounds of force occasionally and/or a negligible amount of force frequently or constantly to lift, carry, push, pull or otherwise move objects, including the human body. Sedentary work involves sitting most of the time. Jobs are sedentary if walking and standing are required only occasionally and all other sedentary criteria are met.

Work Schedule: M-F, 8:30 am – 4:30 pm with occasional nights and weekend hours required.

Benefit Eligible



Weekly Hours:


Minimum Pay:


Pay commensurate with experience.

Washington and Lee affirms that diverse perspectives and backgrounds enhance our community. We are committed to the recruitment, enrichment, and retention of students, faculty, and staff who embody many experiences, cultures, points of view, interests, and identities. As engaged citizens in a global and diverse society, we seek to advance a positive learning and working environment for all through open and substantive dialogue.

Washington and Lee is an Equal Opportunity Employer. As such, we are interested in candidates who are committed to high standards of scholarship, performance and professionalism and to the development of a campus climate that supports equality and diversity in our faculty, staff and student body. Job description requirements are representative, but not all-inclusive of the knowledge, skill, and abilities needed to successfully perform this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable qualified individuals with disabilities to perform essential functions.

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