Director, Direct Marketing & Participation

Posted on 03/22/2019

Brandeis University

Waltham, MA

Brandeis University – a distinguished private research university recognized for its academic excellence and leading-edge research – has an exciting opportunity for a talented and motivated Director, Direct Marketing and Participation.

Job Summary

  • The Director, Direct Marketing and Participation is responsible for planning and implementing a comprehensive mass-market fundraising program for all university constituents (alumni, parents, friends, faculty, staff & students) to support the university’s mission and build a pipeline of support to improve participation, dollars raised and donors engaged, among each population and the constituency as a whole.
  • The Director is responsible for preparing and executing a detailed operating plan and calendar each fiscal year utilizing a multi-channel marketing approach (direct mail, email, phone, social, and digital) to increase total donors and dollars annually.
  • Through the Director’s leadership and marketing execution, s/he will help the IA Division’s efforts to build a culture of philanthropy across the university.
  • Reporting to the Assistant Vice President of Advancement Communications, the Director is responsible for leading annual giving efforts in concert with the university’s brand standards, communication strategies, and institutional priorities.
  • Responsibilities include collaboration and partnership with IA colleagues across the university to develop marketing materials including annual appeals, fundraising-event resources, and executing institution-wide giving days.
  • The Director’s work will result in activities to acquire, re-activate, retain, and upgrade annual donors with an emphasis on growing Brandeis’ alumni participation, donor retention rate, and dollars raised.
  • The Director will develop strategies to market unrestricted, current-use giving to Brandeis by developing creative strategies and business plans for the Brandeis Fund and other budget-relieving priorities.
  • The work of the Director is integral to achieving the fundraising goals of IA and generates the largest pool of donors for the university.
  • Success in this position provides a donor-base from which individual Gift Officers will further manage prospects into Leadership and Major Gifts. Moreover, a growing alumni participation rate will improve the university’s ranking in national rankings outlets and serve as a point of pride for senior administrators, members of the Board of Trustees, and major donors.
  • As Brandeis seeks to expand support for the variety of important programs across its campus, the Director will provide the donor base from which major donors will begin their philanthropic journeys.

Primary Responsibilities

  • Develops, maintains, and executes Brandeis’ multi-channel annual giving plan and deploys marketing materials and strategies to execute a best-in-class program to achieve growing results for dollars and donors year after year.
  • Creates a comprehensive solicitation calendar in conjunction with major university marketing themes.
  • Develops segmentation strategy including use of user personas to maximize impact of campaigns.
  • Partners with colleagues in Advancement Communications to link fundraising direct marketing efforts to the communications efforts of IA and Brandeis more broadly by employing creative use of new and emerging channels (digital, text, etc.) and a high volume of traditional channels (mail, email, phone).
  • Works with IA leadership to set aggressive participation, donor, and dollar goals across channels and constituencies to grow Brandeis’ donor base through a multi-channel approach.
  • Liaises with various professional schools, centers and institutes and units as well as cohort based colleagues (e.g. athletics) to develop annual giving, messaging, and marketing strategies for various constituencies and fundraising priorities.
  • Collaborates with partners in Donor Relations to ensure mass stewardship programs for annual donors are effective, integrated and coordinated with direct marketing strategies.
  • Partners with colleagues in Alumni Relations to develop coordination between multi-channel fundraising programs and event strategies to further market mass fundraising efforts.
  • Manages a direct marketing annual giving budget to maximize efficiencies and ensure projects are on-time and on-budget.
  • Supervises an Associate Director, Direct Marketing and Participation who liaises with various direct marketing vendors (i.e. mail houses) and project manages the annual solicitation calendar.
  • Supervises the Phone-a-thon Call Center Manager and collaborates with the University’s phone solicitation vendor to develop strategy, segmentation, and phone results that support overall mass market fundraising strategies.
  • Develops and creatively determines strategies for annual donor segments to retain long-term donors and acquire new donors based on affiliation, class year, donor types, and cultivates buy-in among IA partners on those strategies.
  • Liaises with Advancement Services to ensure proper data and records management of donors and prospects while maintaining coordination between online giving forms and multi-channel fundraising strategies to maximize efficiencies while adhering to proper data management principles. Maintains data integrity and identification of solicitable alumni counts; collaborates to provide alumni participation statistics and reports.
  • Directs key process enhancements, in collaboration with IA staff, to devise ask amounts, manage appeal codes and analysis thereof, and other key functions that support the overall multi-channel fundraising program.
  • Develops new and analyzes traditional fundraising reports to provide updates to IA colleagues and university leadership on progress towards goals, appeals and fundraising projects.
  • Undertakes additional responsibilities with logical connection to job responsibility beyond those specifically outlined in this job description.

Essential Functions & Time Allocation

75% – Multi-Channel Marketing Strategy & Execution

  • Oversees the strategy and execution of a multi-channel, comprehensive annual giving and mass marketing fundraising strategy for all Brandeis constituents (alumni, parents, friends, students, faculty and staff) with an emphasis on increasing participation, donors, and dollars raised within those populations and the various segments therein.
  • Devises new and creative segmentation strategies to target select donor populations for unrestricted, current-use, and budget-relieving support of the university while micro-targeting segments for specific appeals and priority fundraising projects.
  • The Director will also craft compelling language for appeals in coordination with university partners and priorities.
  • The Director is responsible for increasing alumni participation on an annual basis while growing the donor and dollar pools for various university constituencies either through direct execution of solicitation strategy or coordination with IA colleagues across the campus.

15% – Supervisory & Budgetary Duties

  • Supervises and manages the Call Center Manager in coordination with strategy and training protocols from outside partner.
  • Ensures Brandeis’ call center vendor ensures proper calling strategies, adequate coverage of calling hours by student caller employees, and comprehensive gift accounting and data management through the Call Center program.
  • Supervises the Associate Director, Direct Marketing & Participation on project management and execution of the multi-channel fundraising programs.
  • The Director will also manage an annual budget for multi-channel direct market fundraising to ensure projects are cost-efficient.

10% – Data Management 

  • Coordinates incoming data and gifts from various multi-channel fundraising vehicles through Advancement Services to ensure proper stewardship, gift accounting, records management, and reporting needs for senior leadership.
  • Manages complex segmentation strategies to be coordinated through multi-channel fundraising programs utilizing the many datafields within the development database.


  • Bachelor’s degree required.
  • Experience in a higher education or non-profit setting preferred; direct experience with fundraising, marketing, advertising or managing a complex annual giving campaign within a large institution.
  • Five to eight years of experience with one to three years of supervisory responsibility.
  • Proven ability to simultaneously manage multiple large-scale projects, plan ahead, and unify efforts across multiple teams is desired.
  • Superior interpersonal skills with proven ability to successfully interact and collaborate with colleagues of various responsibility areas in a professional manner, exhibiting excellent written and oral communications skills, especially in drafting appeal and fundraising marketing language.
  • Ability to apply good judgment and discretion when dealing with highly confidential alumni, parent, student, family, donor and prospect information.
  • Possess an ROI-mindset when establishing priorities and use of limited resources.
  • Must be a detail-oriented, self-starter with an ability to work independently and manage multiple priorities to meet challenging timelines and achieve annual goals.
  • Experience interpreting data and communicating results is desired.
  • Candidates who are eager to play a leadership role in expanding Brandeis’ donor base and building a best-in-class multi-channel annual giving and mass marketing operation is ideal.


Located in the suburbs of Boston, a global hub for higher education and innovation, Brandeis is dedicated to first-rate undergraduate education while making groundbreaking discoveries.  Established as a nonsectarian university in 1948 by members of the American Jewish community, our visionary founders shared a commitment to social justice and to making the world a better place.

Our founders’ pioneering spirit and intellectual pursuits continue today at Brandeis – from helping to solve a national public health crisis through work at its newly established Opioid Policy Research Collaborative, to the biological discoveries that last year earned two faculty members a Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. We aspire to further such important endeavors and are looking to grow our team with individuals who share our passion and commitment. In preparation for its next ambitious campaign, Institutional Advancement (IA) seeks to strengthen the bonds with the university’s many constituencies. By working together, we will secure the financial resources necessary to continue the legacy of excellence in teaching, research, and scholarship at Brandeis.

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