Director of Advancment Services and Annual Fund

Alcorn State University, Lorman
Commensurate with experience
Feb 20, 2017
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution


Minimum Qualifications

A bachelor’s degree in business required; Minimum of three years of direct annual giving experience, preferably in higher education;

Purpose of Job

Alcorn State University seeks a highly-motivated, organized, professional and experienced team member for the position of Director of Advancement Services and Annual Fund (DASAF).

Reporting to the Vice President for Institutional Advancement (VPIA), the Director of Advancement Services and Annual Fund is a vital member of the Division of Institutional Advancement (DIA) team and provides critical support in a fast-paced, lively and collegial atmosphere. The ideal candidate must be an effective and agile multi-tasker with an ability to appropriately handle sensitive and confidential information, prioritize competing assignments and deadlines, while producing highly accurate work. The capacity for clear, thoughtful communication, strong analytical skills and an eagle eye for detail are crucial. The position requires the ability to exercise good judgment in a variety of situations as well as the ability to work with a positive attitude, good humor, grace under pressure and tight deadlines.
The Director of Advancement Services and Annual Fund is responsible for the strategic design, alignment, development and implementation of support functions and infrastructure that provide a foundation for the DIA to achieve its annual goals in fundraising and constituent engagement. The DASAF is responsible for the operational and administrative functions of Advancement Services, which includes technology and information services, database management, technology support, gift processing and records, biographical records, prospect management and research, donor relations, donor communications, special events and projects, planning and management of budgets and facilities.

The DASAF serves in strategic partnership with other senior staff to builds, sustains, encourages, and supports productive relationships with and among colleagues in the DIA and elsewhere at the University. The incumbent is responsible for the development and management of a comprehensive, strategic, integrated effort to build the base of individual donors and increase the level of support through annual giving (Annual Fund) at the University. The Director will coordinate a year-round cultivation and solicitation program that supports all annual fund programs and efforts specifically Society Level leadership giving, direct mail, budget tracking, and staff supervision and university-based telemarketing campaigns.

S/he is charged with ensuring DIA’s strategic planning processes and initiatives, strategies, tactics and resources are in alignment with the priorities of the University. The DASAF is responsible for planning and executing a comprehensive strategy to promote and optimize philanthropic support from prospects locally, regionally and nationally. The incumbent is responsible for raising gifts from alumni, corporations, faculty and staff, students, current and former parents, and friends of Alcorn State University.

Scope of Responsibilities

• Directs and manages the University Advancement Services unit and provides professional support to the DIA and Foundation staff in implementing financial processes, special events, prospect management, donor recognition, donor stewardship and other related activities including development and foundation research, data base management, donor history and financial reports
• Organize and manage all aspects and segments of annual giving activities including phonathons, direct mail appeals, online giving, crowdfunding and personal visits for annual fund gifts
• Create a communications plan that positions and promotes giving to the annual fund
• Personally solicit leadership gifts ($10,000 or more) from key volunteers and selected prospects
• Directs and manages procedures and documentation for gift receipting.
• Communicates donor wishes and requirements for all fund expenditures.
• Provides the Vice President and Dean’s offices with reports regarding donor gifts to specific funds and accounts
• Prepare annual giving progress reports as they relate to program goals and objectives
• Manage annual stewardship correspondence with constituents and oversee acknowledgement of annual fund gifts as part of the advancement gift receipting and acknowledgement policy
• Assist with functions such as: development and alumni events, presidential events, board and committee meetings and volunteer activities
• Work with the Director of Alumni Relations on annual giving campaigns for Class Giving including the organization of meetings and preparation of volunteer materials
• Monitor and track timely corporate matching gifts and federal employee annual giving programs regarding information about prospects including call reports, gift acknowledgements and other data important for maintenance of donor/prospect records
• Provide support to capital campaign initiatives through the qualification of campaign prospects. It is a principal goal of the Annual Giving program to identify major gift prospects and to begin to introduce major and planned giving concepts.
• Supervises fundraising database administration, report programming, gift processing, and biographical records maintenance
• Works with ITS and development officers to develop a menu of routine on demand report formats
• Serves as liaison with Information Technology staff on infrastructure and hardware issues to ensure good technical performance of the database system
• Develops policy and procedure statements to define how the database system will be used to support fundraising operations
• Designs and oversees ongoing staff training program in database and gift administration policies and procedures
• Recruit, oversee and motivate all volunteers and their activities as they relate to annual giving, and maintain timely communication with those volunteers
• Research and incorporate annual fund “best practices” into University annual giving strategies
• Supports advancement staff fundraising activities related to athletics, major gifts, planned gifts and corporate and foundation philanthropy and participates in the cultivation of gift prospects when appropriate
• Perform other duties as requested, delegated or assigned by the Executive Director & Vice President for Institutional Advancement

Essential Job Functions

1. Perform advanced diversified duties for the Executive Director and Vice President to include: creating reports, spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentation, drafting correspondences, contracts, and other agreements for signature.
2. Assist in program/project development; answering telephones, making travel arrangements; creating and maintaining a filing system; and proofreading all work to ensure accuracy.
3. Represent the Executive Director and Vice President in communications with administrators, staff, subordinates, students, and the community.
4. Assist in planning, hosting, and supporting official events.
5. Maintain confidentiality in all matters related to the organization including organization activities, plans and personnel matters.
6. Develop and implement a written plan and calendar for all phases of annual giving, including, but not limited to, mail and phone segmentation, online, leadership giving, student giving, Class Giving and faculty and staff solicitations
7. Directs and maintains a comprehensive and accurate fundraising database to include all alumni records and all past and prospective donors
8. Purchase items as needed through the use of the purchasing system.
9. Communicate both orally and in writing in a professional manner representative of the organization.
10. Attend necessary training classes as required and seek out those educational opportunities that add further support to the Office and personal professional development.


Practical knowledge of annual giving operations and an understanding of what it takes to expand donor participation; Successful track record in the cultivation, solicitation and stewardship of unrestricted leadership gifts preferred; Volunteer management experience preferred with broad management experience in gradually advancing and supervisory roles in a brisk, team-oriented setting that has limited budgets and resources preferred.

Candidates must be creative problem-solvers who possess exceptional written and oral communication skills and advanced Microsoft Office Suite (specifically Excel and Access) and Google suite proficiency; A high degree of knowledge and experience with fundraising CRM systems including BANNER Advancement, Blackbaud Raiser’s Edge/Financial Edge or other similar advancement software tools are essential to successfully carry out the duties of this position. Must be able to travel and work outside the normal university hours.

Knowledge Skills and Abilities

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Any equivalent combination of education, training, and experience which provides the required knowledge, abilities and skills may be considered. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

1. Must exhibit a personal understanding of, commitment to and operate in concert with the mission and institutional statement of the University and Foundation.
2. A proven ability to effectively communicate both verbally and in writing is essential, as the role includes high visibility with students, alumni, staff, faculty, and friends.
3. The ability to review and analyze market segmentation data for use in developing marketing strategy is highly desired.
4. Commitment to treating colleagues with respect and dignity.
5. Proven effective relational skills with a demonstrated ability to collaborate with a wide range of people.
6. Stature, credibility, and capacity to build and sustain effective relationships with colleagues at all levels of and with partners elsewhere at the University; to influence senior colleagues, often without authority; and to advocate for and secure resources in support of DIA’s agenda.
7. Proficient computer literacy with Microsoft Office is required as well as sophisticated, detailed knowledge of advancement information systems (preferably BANNER or Raiser’s Edge) is essential.
8. Proven track record of successful private fundraising and project management functions in complex organizational environments.
9. A demonstrated ability to efficiently and effectively resolve challenges at all points on the spectrum, from high-level strategic to day-to-day practical and complete projects independently and timely is essential.
10. Highly developed analytic and planning skills, and demonstrated capacity for implementing well- crafted plans and achieving desired results with the use of data and information effectively in planning and decision-making, and be driven toward setting and achieving goals.
11. Ability to identify and diagnose problems/issues (both reactively and proactively), determine and implement appropriate, effective solutions, and provide constructive follow up.
12. Proven time management skills, the ability to prioritize and record keeping abilities are essential.
13. Ability to maintain a high degree of confidentiality of sensitive materials is essential.
14. Strong knowledge of applicable laws, rules, regulations, policies, et cetera.
15. Sophisticated understanding of the culture of mission-driven institutions, particularly colleges and universities.
16. Knowledge of the institutional advancement enterprise, with particular understanding of advancement operations and services.
17. Tolerance for and ability to work productively in the context of ambiguity, uncertainty, and change.
18. Commitment to excellence in all aspects of individual, collective, and organizational performance.
19. Deep and abiding commitment to customer service.
20. Sensitivity to circumstances, limitations, restrictions, and other pressures on customers seeking answers to their problems, and ability to focus on the issue at hand.
21. Ability to shift quickly between several tasks without loss of continuity.
22. Ability to independently identify and undertake additional tasks to be accomplished.
23. Excellent, mature judgment on full range of institutional issues.
24. Knowledge of business English with the ability to write correspondence and reports in a comprehensive manner using appropriate words, correct grammar, punctuation and spelling to convey ideas, facts, and information effectively and accurately.
25. Skill in proofreading materials to ensure accuracy.
26. Advance knowledge of modern office practices, procedures, and management principles.
27. Effective keyboarding skills and knowledge of related software with ability to record data accurately.
28. Skill in answering multi‑line phone systems with the ability to communicate in an effective and professional manner.
29. Ability to perform assigned responsibilities, duties and tasks according to established practices and procedures with minimal supervision.
30. Ability to perform all the essential functions of this job.