Reporting to the Vice President of Advancement and Communications, the Director of Annual Giving is responsible for leading all areas of a comprehensive annual giving program for Samuel Merritt University. This position is particularly appealing to a motivated self-starter who’s energized by creating and building a totally new annual giving program from the ground up. This person will be responsible for creating, implementing, and growing an annual giving program whose purpose is to build a long-term base of support for the University. The Director will help determine strategies to identify, cultivate, solicit, and acknowledge annual giving donors and prospects to include alumni, students, faculty, and staff. Aspects of the program include direct mail, digital communications, social media, reunion giving, leadership annual giving, and crowdfunding/Giving Day strategies. The incumbent will have a thorough understanding of, and insight into, the new media landscape including social media tools and trends, social media monitoring, and analysis.
• Develop annual operating plan, including implementation of annual giving strategies to upgrade and encourage loyalty among existing donors, acquire new and recapture lapsed donors, and work with the Marketing/Communications Office to promote the program across all constituencies and academic disciplines.
• Create segmented appeal strategy and communication plan to target donors by giving behavior and constituency. Analyze results and use data to inform short-term and long-term tactics and strategies.
• Closely collaborate with college and advancement communications to develop and maintain consistency of annual giving messaging used in solicitations, stewardship, volunteer work, and events.
• Leverage and align annual giving program with the University brand and identity initiative.
• Create a leadership annual giving program that fosters annual gifts of $1,000+.
• Working with Alumni & Engagement staff members, create an annual reunion giving program that fosters current use giving from reunion classes.
• Maintain the integrity of the database system, and provide appropriate reports, records, and other data as requested.
• Oversee all budgets related to Annual Giving.
• Demonstrate a commitment to best practices and current innovations in annual giving. Provide leadership to the advancement team for evolving fundraising innovations.
• Serve as a member of the Advancement senior staff.
• Perform other duties as assigned.
Qualifications and Experience:
• Bachelor's degree and three to five years of experience in an educational advancement setting (or equivalent) are required.
• Annual Giving experience is required.
• Proficiency in the use of database systems and business software is essential.
• Familiarity with Blackbaud Raiser's Edge (or the equivalent) is required.
• Strong project management, leadership, organizational planning skills with the ability to set priorities and balance concurrent tasks; excellent communications skills; analytical and creative planning skills; a proven problem-solver.
• The ability to coordinate, manage, and execute all direct-response fundraising efforts for annual giving, special appeals, and reunion giving.
• The ability to create and manage a multidimensional appeal schedule that utilizes a variety of mediums (e.g. electronic solicitation, direct mail appeals, telemarketing and face-to-face solicitations) to communicate with potential and current donors.
• The ability to perform data analysis related to all aspects of the annual giving program and to use data to evaluate current annual programs and provide insight for ongoing solicitations.
• The ability to enhance the annual giving programs use of analytics to improve segmentation and messaging and to create a personal and positive experience for donors.
• The ability to recruit, motivate, and direct alumni volunteers.
• A proven team player, with a sense of humor.
• The ability to work independently and is self-initiated.
• Flexible and available for evening, weekend or early morning events and meetings.
• A strong belief and respect for the mission of Samuel Merritt University is essential.
The University has an institution-wide commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. We strive to build a welcoming and supportive campus environment, and acknowledge that diversity is an educational imperative to achieve excellence.