Director of Alumni Relations

Job description

Job Category:


Position Title:

Director of Alumni Relations

Full Time/Part Time:

Full Time


Office of Advancement


Alumni Relations

Department Statement:

Colgate University, a top-ranked liberal arts college, is seeking a Director of Alumni Relations to oversee and elevate an alumni program focused on engaging more than 34,000 living alumni. Founded in 1819, Colgate is a small, highly selective residential liberal arts college for students of talent who are preparing for lives of leadership and productive citizenship. Colgate University enjoys a strong tradition of philanthropy and engagement, having successfully raised over $480 million from more than 34,500 community members during Passion for The Climb: The Campaign for Colgate, completed in 2012. On an annual basis, more than 56% of Colgate’s alumni engage with the University through philanthropy, volunteering, or engaging at online and in person programs, including signature events like Reunion that draws in more than 2500 alumni. This tradition of philanthropy paired with strong levels of alumni affinity position Colgate well for even greater success, as the Vice President and his team prepare to lead the community into an historic and comprehensive campaign.

At this pivotal moment in the University’s history, Colgate is seeking a highly knowledgeable and experienced alumni relations strategist and manager with a demonstrated passion for liberal arts education and the role alumni engagement plays in supporting its mission. The Director of Alumni Relations will manage and coach a team of alumni relations staff who are pivotal in realizing the potential of alumni engagement. This individual must possess superior communication skills and emotional intelligence and have the ability to inspire and mentor staff and volunteers to support Colgate’s mission. The best-matched candidate will demonstrate integrity and maturity in the industry through strong leadership/management practice, knowledge about Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion best practices, and proven alumni engagement strategy.


Responsible for advancing the university’s mission, objectives, and strategies by creating long-term, positive alumni engagement. Accountable for developing and implementing a strategy to increase the Alumni Engagement Index by strengthening volunteerism, event attendance, and online engagement, while being responsive to trends and changes as priorities evolve.

Accountable for the oversight for the Alumni Relations budget. Responsible for fostering an environment for inter-departmental collaboration including support for alumni engagement goals.

Accountable for providing oversight and strategic support for programs to engage alumni through affinities and identifies, intellectual engagement, regional initiatives, Reunion programming and the Colgate Professional Networks.

Accountable for engagement with the Alumni Council. Provides oversight and direction for the Alumni Relations team.

Responsible for the effective supervision of staff as assigned. Ensures selection and hiring of high quality employees; ensures appropriate distribution of work assignments and high quality of employee work product; ensures fair, accurate and timely performance assessments and feedback to include identifying areas for professional development and documenting and conducting disciplinary measures, as needed. Responsible for ensuring fair and accurate decisions regarding employment status (hire, promotion, salary increases, and termination); ensures the creation of effective opportunities and programs for employee mentoring, development and sustained performance.


Data Synthesis and Use


Demonstrated expertise in relevant datasets sufficient to identify errors and inconsistencies in reports and data tables. Demonstrated expertise in data analysis sufficient to leverage effectiveness in the department’s pursuit of advancement goals. Demonstrated ability to identify key metrics, specify requirements in building these metrics and inform key decisions based upon the results of same.


Opportunity Closing


Demonstrated ability to generate fundraising and/or engagement opportunities.


Proposal Advancement


Demonstrated ability to create and execute proposals, events, and programs that consistently achieve targeted goals and objectives of an assigned area(s). Demonstrated ability to identify and successfully pursue opportunities (and/or engagement) with assigned constituents (e.g. parents, alumni, foundations) and level (e.g. major donor).

Demonstrated ability to consistently craft proposals and influence constituents to contribute and/or engage toward key institutional priorities


Relationship Building/Management


Demonstrated ability to build and execute a relationship building model as the foundation for a specifically defined and assigned function within Institutional Advancement including Alumni Relations, Parents Fund, Special Events, Planned Giving, Corporate, Foundation & Government Relations, Major Gifts, and Annual Giving.




Demonstrated ability to effectively access and navigate relevant technology systems such as databases and CRMs, etc.


Managerial Skills


Demonstrated knowledge of Colgate managerial processes and requirements, to include:

Demonstrated ability to fairly and accurately assess employee performance in accordance with university practices.

Demonstrated understanding of federal and state regulations, as they apply to the university policies and guidelines related to human resource s sufficient to effectively select new employees, recommend pay actions, determine employment status and initiate or approve employee changes in status.

Demonstrated ability to select, develop and retain high performing work teams, to include:
- Demonstrated ability to develop employee skills, performance, and behaviors.
- Demonstrated ability to effectively coach and communicate with employees on issues of pay, performance and development.


Personal Accountability for Results


Takes responsibility for decisions, performance, and outcomes; behaves in a responsible manner with a positive attitude; shows self-awareness and openness to feedback.


Effective Communication


Demonstrates effective written and oral communication skills; shares information and seeks input from others; adapts communication to diverse audiences; protects private and confidential information.


Problem Solving and Decision Making


Analyzes and prioritizes situations to identify and solve problems; generates solutions to improve efficiency and quality; involves others in solving problems and making decisions; factors organizational goals into decisions; makes clear, transparent, and timely decisions.


Change Management


Responds positively to changing university initiatives and readily adapts behavior to maintain effective performance; understands the long-term direction of the university and can relate this to departmental area; adapts to new methodologies; identifies and acts on areas where change is appropriate.


Leadership and Teamwork


Applies skills and knowledge to provide a climate to achieve departmental and organizational success; balances individual and department goals; helps others perform at their best; builds productive relationships to enhance individual and organizational effectiveness; treats others with respect; resolves conflicts among team members.


Creativity and Innovation


Generates, explores, encourages, and implements innovative ways of creating strategic value for the university, division, department, and individual level; critically assesses the effectiveness of new initiatives.


Diversity and Inclusion


Demonstrates respect for people and their differences; understands the benefits of a diverse workforce; earns the trust and respect of others; includes and welcomes others; works to understand the perspective of others; promotes opportunities to experience diversity within our community.




Understands the impact of decision making and personal behavior in achieving the university’s commitment to a sustainable and carbon-neutral campus; supports and advances the university’s sustainability initiatives; influences others to use sustainable practices.

Professional Experience/ Qualifications:

- 5-7 years experience in higher education, fundraising, non-profit management or a related field with a preference for experience in alumni engagement or educational fundraising, which includes an acknowledged work history showing creative productivity.
- Demonstrated ability to manage, mentor, and guide a growing team of professionals.
- The professionalism, insight and sound judgment necessary for interacting with board, trustees, administrative and academic leadership, faculty, and staff.
- An understanding of the important role of diversity, inclusion, and equity to institutional advancement and alumni engagement.
- Ability to operate independently, exercise sound judgment, and maintain confidentiality.
- Ability to collaborate closely with colleagues in development and across departments.
- Proficiency in CRMs and/or databases is required. Experience with BlackBaud products appreciated.
- Strategic planning, organizational, administrative and budgetary experience is a must.
- Willingness to travel.


Bachelor’s Degree is required.

Other Information:

Colgate has a diverse student, faculty, staff, and alumni population representing a variety of races, gender identities, social economic status, sexual orientations, languages, national origins, etc. Our Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Plan presents a framework for continuing the creation of an inclusive campus and engaging the Colgate community in this effort in the years ahead.

Please describe how you would connect and work with a diverse community.

You can upload the statement under the Diversity Statement document heading.

Requisition Number:




Work Schedule:

Weekdays, with occasional evenings, overnights and weekends.

Job Open Date:


Open Until Filled:


EEO Statement:

It is the policy of Colgate University not to discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment on the basis of their race, color, creed, religion, age, sex, pregnancy, national origin, marital status, disability, protected Veterans status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetic information, being or having been victims of domestic violence or stalking, familial status, or any other categories covered by law. Colgate is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. Candidates from historically underrepresented groups, women, persons with disabilities, and protected veterans are encouraged to apply.

Clery Act:

The Campus Safety Department will provide upon request a copy of Colgate’s Annual Security and Fire Safety Report. This report includes statistics as reported to the United States Department of Education for the previous three years concerning reported: 1. crimes that occurred on-campus; in certain off-campus buildings or property owned or controlled by Colgate University; and on public property within, or immediately adjacent to and accessible from, the campus and 2. fires that occurred in student housing facilities. The report also includes institutional policies concerning campus security and fire safety, such as policies concerning sexual assault, life safety systems, and other related matters. To obtain a copy, contact the Campus Safety Compliance Manager via e-mail at [email protected]. You may also access the report from the Campus Safety web page at:




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Job No:
Posted: 6/4/2021
Application Due: 9/2/2021
Work Type: Full Time