Director, Alumni & Family Communities

Swarthmore College
Swarthmore, Pennsylvania

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Job Details

Swarthmore College is a highly selective liberal arts college located in the suburbs of Philadelphia, whose mission combines academic rigor with social responsibility. Swarthmore has a strong institutional commitment to inclusive excellence and nondiscrimination in its educational program and employment practices and encourages candidates who will further advance the goal of fostering a diverse and inclusive community. As one of the nation’s finest institutions of higher learning, Swarthmore College is global in outlook and draws students from around the nation and world. The 425‐acre campus is a designated arboretum, complete with gardens, rolling lawns, a creek, wooded hills, and hiking trails in the Crum Woods.

Who We Are:

We are a team of talented relationship builders with the shared mission of connecting, engaging, and supporting our Swarthmore College alumni and families.

We are committed to the following:

  • Creating opportunities in everything we do that connect Swarthmore alumni, students, and the wider Swarthmore community;
  • Developing programs valued by our alumni, families, and students who will become our future alumni;
  • Building enduring and mutually beneficial relationships that inspire conversational, experiential, volunteer, and philanthropic engagement;
  • Taking risks and championing new and creative ideas; and
  • Strengthening the College's reputation and advancing its mission.

The Opportunity:

The Director, Alumni and Family Communities provides direction, management, and hands-on work in developing and growing Swarthmore's affinity-, regional-, and reunion-based engagement programs for Swarthmore's alumni and families. A builder, strategist, and effective manager, the Director applies their experience in alumni engagement and volunteer management to engage and develop volunteers to grow alumni and family engagement with the College. In addition, they bring effective tools, practices, and approaches to the thriving academic culture of this liberal arts undergraduate community. The Director is responsible for growing the Alumni and Family Programs department, including increasing constituent engagement through affinity-, regional-, and reunion-based volunteer opportunities, programs, and events, and implementing best practices in the field.

Swarthmore values intentional community building by creating spaces for dialogue that foster intellectual curiosity and meaningful connections. The Alumni and Family Programs team contributes to this ethos and the educational mission of the College by engaging alumni, parents, and friends in the life of the College. To this end, the Director, Alumni and Family Communities will lead efforts to engage and manage volunteers who support campus programs and departments.

In partnership with and reporting to the AVP, Alumni and Family Programs, the Director will anticipate constituent needs, use insights to craft responsive offerings, and shape the organizational capacity and shared expectations necessary to consistently deliver positive and meaningful connections. In collaboration with the Senior Director, Marketing and Donor Relations and the Director, Swarthmore Fund Leadership Programs, the Director will establish common pathways for volunteers to fully access all of the opportunities across the College to contribute, participate, and lead. As the manager of three people, the Director will demonstrate the capacity and self-awareness to translate their genuine care for colleagues' success into professional relationships that activate the team's creativity, growth, and individual performance.

Primary Responsibilities

  • Provide the leadership necessary to prioritize and support the shared goals of families, alumni, and the College within an integrated Advancement framework.
  • Ensure the effective management of all affinity (Family Ambassadors, Young Alumni Council, the LGBTQ+ Alum Network, Swarthmore Black Alumni Network, Alumni of Color) and regional (local, national, and international) communities; reunion programming committees; professional, mentorship, and career-based programs and communities; and virtual, on-, and off-campus engagement programs that activate and expand the profile of Swarthmore alumni and families.
  • In collaboration with the Swarthmore Fund Leadership Programs team and the Advancement Events team, recruit, staff, and engage the 50th Reunion Program Committee.
  • Develop, staff, and engage one affinity group (Family Ambassadors, Young Alumni Council, the LGBTQ+ Alum Network, Swarthmore Black Alumni Network, or Alumni of Color).
  • Lead efforts with campus partners to identify volunteer opportunities and connect with appropriate Advancement staff to increase engagement opportunities (e.g., admissions, Dean's office, Career Center, etc.).
  • Engage virtually and travel for volunteer recruitment, engagement, training, and committee meetings.
  • Identify, develop, and manage new affinity communities (such as a women's network, AAPI alumni, FLI alumni, and McCabe Scholar alumni) based on the needs of the College.
  • Under the direction of the AVP, liaise, advise, and engage the Alumni Council in increasing alumni engagement through affinity-, regional-, reunion-, and career-based opportunities.
  • In collaboration with the AVP and Director, Advancement Events, manage the Swarthmore in Your City program, identifying program topics and faculty, staff, and alumni speakers.
  • Collaborate with the Marketing and Donor Relations team and the College Communications team on the direction and implementation of digital and print communication initiatives for regional and affinity programs.
  • Communicate the vital role of philanthropy and volunteerism at Swarthmore College. Contribute to the development and implementation of institutional messages for broad-based constituencies.
  • Oversee and manage the budget for the department.
  • Hire, coach, manage and motivate a team dedicated to Alumni and Family Communities engagement programs.
  • Serve on the Advancement Leadership Committee.
  • Collaborate with other members of the Advancement Leadership Committee, under the direction of the Assistant Vice President of Alumni and Family Programs, to improve the effectiveness of the Advancement division.

Who You Are:

  • Demonstrated ability to strategize, implement, and build Alumni and Family Programs and implement coordinated affinity activities, along with a talent for motivating a team and volunteers.
  • Demonstrated commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion; culturally competent in issues such as racial, cultural, religious, sexual, and gender identity.
  • Flexibility and initiative, as well as the ability to work independently, combined with the skills for thriving in a team environment.
  • High professional and ethical standards for handling confidential information.
  • Ability to organize and complete multiple tasks simultaneously with close attention to detail and prioritization to meet deadlines.
  • Excellent written, oral, and interpersonal skills; personal solicitation experience is valued.
  • Excellent technical skills, including knowledge of database research and maintenance and staying ahead of changing technology, and recommending solutions to meet the department's needs.
  • Demonstrated ability to build effective and collaborative relationships with various constituents, including students and volunteers of all ages.
  • Ability to be a self-starter and work independently and in a team environment on several projects simultaneously.

What You Bring:


  • Bachelor's degree.
  • A minimum of eight (8) years working in institutional advancement or equivalent professional experience.
  • Must be able to travel and work evenings and weekends as needed. 


  • Advanced degree.
  • Experience working in a college or university setting, especially in a comprehensive fund-raising campaign environment.
  • A sense of humor and a deep appreciation for private liberal arts education.
  • Successful supervisory experience focused on setting priorities, managing, and motivating a diverse team.
  • Superior written and oral communication skills, including imaginative and persuasive writing and articulating the value of higher education.
  • Ability to authentically engage and inspire others as a representative of the Advancement Office.

What You Will Get:

You'll work at one of the world's most renowned liberal arts Colleges, with incredible benefits, a stunning 420-acre campus, and a collaborative work environment. And you will join a team of passionate, creative, and supportive people who work hard and have fun supporting the College community.

Review the Swarthmore Benefits Guidebook; we offer benefit plans starting at $0 per month! Upon benefit eligibility, the College contributes 10% of an employee's salary to their retirement account. Employees are 100% vested in their accounts on the date participation begins.

Swarthmore Benefits Flyer

Paid Time Off (Staff)

Holiday Schedule

For full consideration, submit applications including a resume and cover letter by February 27, 2023. We want to hear from you if you are excited about this role!

Swarthmore College actively seeks and welcomes applications from candidates with exceptional qualifications, particularly those with demonstrable commitments to a more inclusive society and world. Swarthmore College is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Women and minorities are encouraged to apply.


Swarthmore College, a highly selective college of liberal arts and engineering, has supported thinkers and doers for more than 150 years. Since 1864, it has lifted students to their full intellectual and personal potential so they can apply their knowledge with meaning and purpose.Swarthmore college main

Located 11 miles southwest of Philadelphia in the borough of Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, Swarthmore has been co-educational since its founding by the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers). Our Quaker founders believed in the practical application of knowledge for the common good. While Swarthmore is no longer a religious institution, these Quaker roots anchor and inform how Swatties learn and work. 

The College offers two degrees: the B.A. in the arts and sciences and the B.S. in engineering. With a student/faculty ratio of 8:1, Swarthmore ensures that its students have close and meaningful contact with their professors.

Swarthmore’s alumni body is small (about 20,000 living alumni) but distinguished. Five Swarthmore graduates have won the Nobel Prize; Swarthmore is also among the top five highest producers of doctorate recipients in the humanities, life sciences, and all sciences combined, with 20 percent of Swarthmore graduates going on to earn a doctorate degree. Some prominent Swarthmore alumni are acclaimed artist Njideka Akunyili Crosby ‘04, novelist Jonathan Franzen ’81, Ashesi University founder Patrick Awuah ’89, Chris Van Hollen ’83, U.S. Senator from Maryland, fashion designer Joseph Altuzarra ’05, and noted sociologist Sarah Lawrence-Lightfoot '66.Swarthmore college main

As of June 30, 2016, the College has an endowment of approximately $1.7 billion. Swarthmore's robust financial aid program ensures the College’s commitment to providing access to an exceptional liberal arts education for all qualified students without regard to their ability to pay and allows the College to meet each admitted student's demonstrated financial need. With one of the most generous financial aid programs in the country, Swarthmore awards aid -- without loans -- to more than half of its students.

True to its Quaker heritage, Swarthmore maintains a commitment to service and the common good. Students find support for service projects through the Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility and in the nearby communities of Chester and Philadelphia and around the world. In addition, Swarthmore is one of 10 charter members of Project Pericles, which supports students who propose and implement projects to identify issues and advance solutions.

Swarthmore's residential campus features more than 425 wooded acres, including rolling lawns, a creek, wooded hills, and hiking trails which are maintained by staff horticulturists as the nationally registered Scott Arboretum.

Swarthmore College, a highly selective liberal arts college located in the suburbs of Philadelphia, has supported thinkers and doers for more than 150 years. Swarthmore has a strong institutional commitment to excellence through diversity in its educational program and employment practices and actively seeks and welcomes applications from candidates with exceptional qualifications, particularly those with demonstrable commitments to a more inclusive society and world.

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