Director of Annual Giving

The Director of Annual Giving is responsible for all aspects of fundraising for the annual fund, working toward a dollar and participation goal established by the Vice President of the Office of Advancement and approved by the Cabinet members. This person will interact with all office staff, other College staff, donors and alumni, volunteers, and students.

The director’s primary responsibility is the strategic execution and management of a comprehensive annual giving program, including the coordination and oversight of supporting initiatives in the areas of advancement services and donor relations.  The director develops, implements, and evaluates for effectiveness a coordinated matrix of engagement and solicitation strategies through the utilization of direct mail, e-solicitations, online giving, and personal visitation all focused on shaping a sustainable tradition of annual support. In addition, the director will foster the growth of high impact practices in the supporting areas of gift processing, data management, and donor relations as related to annual giving and the College as a whole. The director has a keen appreciation for annual, repeatable giving as the enabling component of a bold and successful advancement office. The director provides strategic direction and long-range/short-range planning for all these areas in the context of growing the annual giving program while supporting the greater advancement and campaign goals. The director is responsible for ensuring that the College is a leader among peers as measured externally in terms of total dollars, percentage participation, consistency of giving, and average gift size and internally in terms of clean data, ease of access to data, cultivation, and timely donor stewardship.

Additional Responsibilities:

  • Establishes self as a vital community member on and off campus.
  • Propose, develop, and implement annual fund plan and calendar of solicitations and communications.
  • Recommend and implement donor segmentation strategies.
  • Maintain an awareness and understanding through continuing education and interaction with colleagues at other institutions, of trends and developments in annual giving.
  • Manage the annual giving budget.
  • Cultivate and steward donors in the database not assigned to a staff manager, as well as having a portfolio of assigned constituents.
  • Organize, plan, and attend annual fundraising events to ensure successful outcomes.
  • Work closely with Advancement team to ensure sponsorships for events.
  • Identify opportunities to promote the understanding of a culture of philanthropy among current students.
  • Create a process that will track and centralize all annual solicitations by department across campus to avoid overlap of approaches to our donors.
  • Provide monthly reports for all areas of the annual fund, with analysis and recommendations for growth.
  • Contribute fundraising expertise through target marketing, identifying staff or faculty assistance or coordinating requests with and through related initiatives.
  • Coordinate with the Alumni Office to create a social media presence by posting relevant content and the occasional solicitation.
  • Continually creates relevant content for the annual fund portion of the aquinas.edu website.
  • Explore new and innovative techniques for solicitation, cultivation, and stewardship of all annual fund donors in order to assure retention and high participation percentages.
  • Use Raiser’s Edge to access and track donor records.

Knowledge and Education Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent knowledge gained form non-profit fundraising.
  • Extensive knowledge of Microsoft Office Suite products.
  • Database knowledge required; Raiser’s Edge experience preferred.
  • Event planning experience.
  • Marketing experience a plus.

Decision Making & Problem Solving Requirements

  • Must be a proactive self-starter.
  • Able to work with and meet deadlines.
  • Able to work independently.
  • Self-directed with the ability to prioritize and complete multiple projects.
  • Must be a problem solver.
  • Analytical capabilities necessary to assess annual fund data.

Communication Requirements

  • Must have excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Customer service oriented.
  • Frequent confidential contact with all levels of donors and employees.
  • Professional self-image, presentation, and manners.
  • Ability to resolve conflict, individually or in a group setting; possesses and expresses a healthy sense of humor.
  • Ability to communicate analysis of data to appropriate audiences.

Supervisory Responsibilities

  • Must be a leader in thought and actions.
  • Will be required to manage volunteers and student staff.

Work Environment & Physical Demands

  • Office environment.
  • Long periods of sitting and working at a computer.
  • Some weekend and evening events.
  • Very light lifting.
Location: Grand Rapids, MI 

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