Assistant Director, Donor Relations

May 25, 2017
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution
About The Unit: The Donor Engagement 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 $4.5 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: Assistant Director, Donor Relations: Manages and coordinates key components of the University-wide stewardship program with particular focus on key donor constituencies, including principal and major gift donors and prospects, Presidential donors and prospects, University Trustees, and other key individuals as identified. Collaborates with fundraisers, faculty, administrators and colleagues across campus to ensure that donor stewardship activities are strategic, consistent, coordinated, advance fundraising goals across the University and support the University of Chicago Campaign. Works to enhance the strategic and creative focus of the Harper Society, the University's premier recognition society for donors who have contributed $500,000 or more over their lifetime. Project manages engagement programs, communication and events for this high-level donor group. Collaborates with department and divisional colleagues who oversee annual and planned giving societies, ensuring that activities and messaging are strategically aligned. Assists manager in campaign recognition and engagement initiatives including honor roll, campaign publications, and websites and milestone celebrations. Documents stewardship and recognition activity in Griffin, the University's system of record. Analyzes data to evaluate activity effectiveness. Collaborates in managing University-wide donor recognition activities including key recognition events, donor visits, reports, commemorative gifts and other types of stewardship activities. Collaborates with University Relationship Managers (URMs) and other Alumni Relations and Development (ARD) staff in developing donor recognition strategies. Ensure approved stewardship plans and activities are implemented timely and efficiently. Manages creation, writing, editing, and publishing a portfolio of top level comprehensive stewardship reports using various production tools such as print, websites, and email-communications. Helps to establish, implement, evaluate, and maintain ARD stewardship policies and best practices and processes for quality control of stewardship and recognition activities; including benchmarking, planning and drafting proposals. Contributes to the development of department goals for multiple short-term and long- term projects based on ARD driven goals. Educate and train ARD colleagues on approved policies through a variety of communication tools and vehicles including ARD's intranet, ForwARD, meetings, presentations and just-in-time training. Builds professional relationships with internal and external constituents. 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 two years of professional work experience in nonprofit management, development, alumni relations, marketing, public relations, sales or similar professional work experience required. Direct donor relations, donor engagement, stewardship experience preferred.

Unit Job Function Competencies: Applicants must be currently authorized to work permanently in the United States. 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. Valid United States driver's license required. Understanding of the University of Chicago, its history, organization and modus operandi preferred.

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