Associate Director, Donor Relations

Apr 14, 2017
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution
About The Unit: The Donor Relations team builds and manages cultivation and stewardship programs designed to move all donors to their highest level of philanthropic affiliation with the University through programs that recognize and engage donors over a lifetime. This team plays an integral role in supporting donor relationship through The University of Chicago Campaign: Inquiry and Impact (, the most ambitious and comprehensive campaign in the University's history, which will raise $5 billion to support faculty and researchers, practitioners and patients, and students and programs across the University. Launched in October 2014, the campaign supports priorities in every division, school, department, and institute, and aims to engage 125,000 alumni and friends over its five-year duration. Please note: This role is located in Harper Court at 5235 S Harper Court - the corner of 53rd Street and Lake Park. For more information:

Unit Job Summary: Associate Director, Donor Relations: Manage the University-wide stewardship program, with particular focus on Principal Gift donors and prospects, Presidential donors and prospects, University Trustees and other key individuals as identified to ensure cultivation, solicitation and stewardship strategies are fully integrated. Collaborate with fundraisers, faculty, administrators and colleagues across campus to ensure that donor stewardship activities are strategic, advance overall fundraising goals and are consistent and coordinated across the University. Develop and manage stewardship plans for special projects that require coordination with other development professionals from across the University such as planning and coordination of communications regarding principal ($5M+) gift announcements and other announcements with high or broad donor impact. Develop donor stewardship messages and ensure messages are customized and disseminated to all appropriate individuals and groups. Act as a key collaborator and strategist for high-profile donor recognition events such as building dedications and campaign events. Develop campaign-specific recognition plans. Collaborate in the management of University-wide donor recognition activities, including recognition events, donor visits, reports, tokens of appreciation and other types of stewardship activities. Initiate creative proposals for unique activities and programs to recognize, steward and thank donors. Collaborate with University Relationship Managers and other ARD staff in developing donor recognition strategies. Manage and ensure that approved stewardship plans and activities are implemented. Establish and maintain ARD stewardship policies and processes for quality control of stewardship and recognition activities including benchmarking, planning and drafting proposals of best practices. Educate and train colleagues on approved policies and best practices through a variety of communication tools and vehicles including ForwARD, meeting presentations and just-in-time training. Manage staff including hiring, managing project workload, mentoring, encouraging professional growth and evaluating performance. Perform other duties as assigned. Seek opportunities for professional development that will enhance job performance, including building networks within the University and with colleagues at peer institutions.

Unit Education: Bachelor's degree or higher required.

Unit Experience: A minimum three years of professional work experience in nonprofit management, development, alumni relations, marketing, public relations, sales or similar professional work experience required. A minimum of one year of leading a project team or managing staff required. A minimum of one year of experience developing and monitoring budgets preferred.

Unit Job Function Competencies: Applicants must be currently authorized to work permanently in the United States. A current resident of the Chicago area or willing to relocate to the Chicago area required. Effective writing skills required. Ability to draft creative and inspiring narratives required. Ability to translate financial information into impactful and insightful stories required. Demonstrated project management skills required. Strong verbal and writing skills, high attention to detail and follow-up, and excellent organizational skills required. Ability to manage confidential information with discretion and tact required. Demonstrated skill and knowledge of, or ability to learn quickly, the internal workings of the University as well as the technology tools available to the Office of Alumni Relations and Development, including Griffin (the University's Donor Relationship Management System), a Microsoft Windows computer environment, Microsoft Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Access required. Strong leadership qualities, including the ability both to delegate and to execute, thereby leading by word and by example required. Ability to work collegially and collaboratively in a team setting required. An exceptional work ethic and track record of personal initiative required. Outstanding interpersonal and communications skills characterized by the ability to listen, to speak and to write well required. Must be flexible and adaptable to new programs in an emerging and changing environment required. Willingness and ability to travel to campus and/or non-campus locations for University business required. Willingness and ability to work evenings and weekends required. Dress code of business or business casual attire required. Understanding of the University of Chicago, its history, organization and modus operandi preferred.

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