Alumni Relations/Development Associate

Job Summary

Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) is looking for an Alumni + Family Relations Development Associate to join its Institutional Engagement Department. Institutional Engagement (IE) is responsible for engaging RISD’s alumni, parents, students, and donors in meaningful ways and encouraging them to financially support the college. IE cultivates and stewards relationships and raises money from a variety of sources—individuals, foundations. and corporations—to support the priorities of the college.

Reporting to the Executive Director of Alumni and Family Relations, the Development Associate is responsible for providing proactive administrative support to the Executive Director, coordinating internal meetings, preparation, travel logistics, and follow-up for external visits and meetings. This position provides excellent customer service to alumni, families, and others in response to phone, email inquiries, and requests for information. It also provides operational and administrative support to the team, and assists in coordinating and implementing a variety of logistics, activities, and projects. Successful candidates will have a demonstrated commitment to promoting diversity, inclusion, and multicultural competence in an educational and work environment.

As an employer, RISD offers a supportive, collegial, and inclusive work environment and a competitive benefits package.

Essential Functions

  • Provides proactive administrative support to the Executive Director of Alumni + Family Relations and the department including:
    • serving as an initial point of contact for telephone calls and visitors.
    • maintaining and updating the Executive Director’s calendar, including but not limited to proofreading, preparation of meeting agendas and communications, detailed travel itineraries and travel arrangements. Ensure that all materials and documents related to trips or visits and any resulting assignments or information, are recorded and distributed as appropriate.
    • serving as departmental project coordinator for intra- and inter-departmental projects and initiatives as needed.
    • tracking, monitoring, and maintaining expense reports and reconciling travel reports, credit card settlements, and reimbursement requests for the team.
    • entering contact report and other data and activities (event registration, and attendance) into database (Raiser’s Edge).
    • working collaboratively and proactively with other administrative support staff to coordinate meetings and other events. Schedule routine meetings including, but not limited to staff meetings, and Executive Directors’ meetings.
  • Collect and post content on alumni website relating to events and activities of interest to alumni and/or supported by the Office of Alumni + Family Relations. Collect web content, calendar postings, campus news, and alumni programs/opportunities of interest to assist in creation of monthly e-newsletter for alumni.
  • Create forms/applications, online event registration, invitations, and notifications using various web applications, and email. Support on-campus events, including RISD and reunion weekend, alumni club events by creating email blasts, and calendar entries. Support, directly and indirectly, alumni social media ambassadors to advocate for and disseminate news and events from the College.
  • Address inquiries to Alumni + Family Relations office via email and phone, answering questions and disseminating to other staff when appropriate and other general inquiries.
  • Support administrative needs for councils such as meeting organizing, agenda sharing, and other logistical support as needed.

Additional Functions:

  • Takes on temporary special assignments and projects at the direction of the Executive Director, which may include work in support of any of the individual units within IE. Examples may include:
    • Coordinating and scheduling candidate interviews and supporting Executive Director with new hire onboarding;
    • performing benchmark research on other institutions;
    • gathering and completing specific research for projects and initiatives.
  • Performs other related duties as assigned.


  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent combination of education and experience
  • One to three years of experience in an office setting required; experience in the higher education or nonprofit sector greatly preferred
  • Ability to work and communicate effectively with a broad spectrum of divisional and institutional colleagues, within an environment that values diversity as defined by, race, color, religion, age, sex, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, national origin, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law
  • Must have knowledge of, or experience with digital, and diverse mediums of communication
  • Strong time management skills. Demonstrated ability to organize, prioritize and complete multiple tasks simultaneously with close attention to detail and under deadlines
  • Must be able to work independently and as part of a team
  • Demonstrated database entry and reporting experience (Raiser’s Edge preferred) and strong computer skills in programs such as Word, Excel, and Powerpoint.
  • Ability to write persuasively and strong interpersonal skills
  • Strong work ethic, attention to detail, and engaging nature
  • Ability to comfortably and effectively speak in public and make presentations in meetings
  • Ability to interact and correspond professionally with senior staff and distinguished alumni
  • Ability to monitor and track budgets and expenses
  • Ability to work and communicate inclusively and effectively within a broadly diverse community



Work Schedule

35 hours/week; 12 months/year

Employment Status

Full-Time Regular; Non-Exempt



Documents Needed to Apply

Resume (required)

Cover Letter (required)

Incomplete applications will not be considered. Please upload all required documents.

The successful candidate will be required to meet our pre-employment background screening requirements.

For certain positions, RISD is currently supporting remote work arrangements due to the pandemic. When work resumes in person, employees are expected to perform work on campus.

RISD recognizes diversity and inclusivity as fundamental to its learning community and integral to an art and design education. We welcome candidates whose experience has prepared them to contribute to our commitment to diversity and excellence. RISD is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Employment decisions are made without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetics, or any other protected characteristic as established by law.

For internal use only - Job Family:

Development - Fundraising

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