Director of Alumni Relations - FIT Foundation
The Director of Alumni Relations develops and implements a comprehensive Alumni Engagement program of meaningful events, communications and fundraising initiatives designed to increase alumni engagement and support among more than 70,000 undergraduate and graduate alumni of FIT. Through a wide variety of programming, volunteer opportunities, and communications, s/he will build strong ties between alumni and the college that complements and supports the mission of FIT. S/he works closely with the Foundation and Alumni teams, the President, the VP for Advancement, as well as with members of the college community including its faculty and administrators, in an effort to create and support a culture of engagement and giving at FIT while strengthening ties with its alumni.
Job Specific Competencies
- Create short and long-term strategies for the Office of Alumni Relations. In conjunction with the Vice President, develop and implement a strategic plan aimed at increasing lifelong engagement between alumni and the Fashion Institute of Technology.
- Identify opportunities to infuse pride in the "FIT brand" and FIT degree. Create a visible and strong alumni network for professional and personal support, and create programming and messaging that add to the creation of a culture of philanthropy, gratitude, and the importance of giving back.
- Manage and lead the annual fund development and programming, including quarterly appeals, an annual FIT Giving Day and other fundraising initiatives and programs focused on alumni and friends of the college. Meet or exceed a designated six-figure fundraising goal annually.
- Enhance opportunities that foster involvement and long-term engagement in both the alumni program and the life of FIT through partnerships across campus including career services and undergraduate admission.
- Serve as liaison with and provide organizational support to the FIT Alumni Advisory Council, various departmental alumni councils, and college committees charged with representing various alumni constituencies.
- Build and grow an Alumni Membership model that is collaborative with the existing Alumni Association, and build a chapter model for FIT alumni in key cities and locations on a national and global level.
- Create volunteer structure and volunteer opportunities that support and promote Alumni Engagement strategic plan.
- Identify, recruit and engage alumni for volunteer leadership roles, especially successful and highly dynamic alumni, creating an increasingly effective and engaged volunteer network in which alumni advance to increasing levels of involvement and leadership.
- Develop a comprehensive Alumni Engagement program and educate graduating students about alumni benefits and engage them in various programs and fundraising initiatives.
- Maintain an active schedule of personal visits with key alumni, especially potential alumni leaders and donors, recruiting alumni for volunteer roles on alumni committees and partnerships.
- Work collaboratively with the Office of Communications and External Relations to share donor and alumni stories, generate interest in college programs, educate alumni on engagement opportunities, and deepen alumni interactions with FIT through print and electronic communications, as well as unique content creation.
- Establish and maintain an Alumni database, ensuring accurate and complete records; and that contacts, biographical and career information of alumni are updated.
- Partner with Admissions to spearhead the introduction of alumni involvement in the admissions process; partner with Career Services to plan the growth and accessibility of career networking and mentoring services for students and alumni.
- Manage the Alumni Relations budget; within the annual Advancement program budget, manage existing and/or additional alumni programs, services and communications.
- Raise funds for select special projects and events in collaboration with Advancement Office.
- Provide leadership, management, and direction to the alumni engagement staff.
- Develop and monitor performance goals for alumni relations staff and provide guidance for staff professional development.
- Administer the ongoing business, activities, and operation of the alumni relations office, ensuring responsiveness to alumni needs and inquiries, as well as college and divisional priorities.
Bachelor's degree or Master's degree
Experience and Qualifications
- 10-15 years of experience leading alumni relations/engagement, membership program creation and management, development or marketing.
- Experience in engagement campaign development, volunteer management.
- Proven project management experience and the ability to handle and move forward multiple projects simultaneously.
Special Knowledge, Skills & Abilities
- Excellent communication skills including writing, editing, and presenting.
- Excellent interpersonal skills with an engaging and innovative personal style and a high level of sophistication and maturity in social and professional settings, including the ability to work diplomatically with partners and represent the Foundation and FIT.
- Demonstrated ability to work with high-level prospects, donors, and campus/trustee leaders.
- Demonstrated ability to manage, mentor, and guide a growing team of professionals.
- Ability to operate independently, exercise sound judgment, and maintain confidentiality.
- Ability to prioritize, meet deadlines and goals, and present solutions (vs. identify challenges).
- Ability to collaborate closely with colleagues in development and across departments.
- Highly developed leadership and organizational skills.
- Demonstrated ability in problem identification and resolution with excellent analytical and critical thinking skills is essential.
- Expert-level knowledge of Microsoft Office programs and web applications.
- Proficiency in Raiser's Edge or similar CRM database system.
- An understanding of and the ability to articulate the accomplishments and goals of a complex organization.
- The intelligence, maturity and sound judgment necessary for interacting with board, trustees, administrative and academic leadership, faculty, and staff.
- An understanding of the important role of diversity, inclusion, and equity to institutional advancement and alumni engagement.
- Ability to establish and maintain good working relationships and effective channels of communication at multiple levels inside and outside the organization with a proven ability to successfully interact with a diverse group of people.
- Ability to exercise a high degree of sound judgment and diplomacy, with a commitment to confidentiality.
- Strategic planning, organizational, administrative and budgetary experience is a must.