Senior Director, Annual Giving and Operations

Posted on 09/11/2017

Illinois Institute of Technology

Chicago, IL

On the heels of the successful $250 million Fueling Innovation campaign, Illinois Institute of Technology seeks a proven annual giving and operations leader to join the management team of the newly established Alumni Engagement, Annual Giving and Communications team within Institutional Advancement (IA). This new team is charged with engaging alumni and donors with the university through marketing and outreach, programs and activities, volunteerism, and annual giving strategies that advance the university’s mission and goals. The successful candidate will be a dynamic leader with a proven record of increasing alumni participation, growing unrestricted revenue, utilizing data to drive strategies, and establishing best practices to run a successful program.

General Description:

Reporting to the Associate Vice President of Alumni Engagement, Annual Giving and Communications (AE, AG, and Comm.), the Senior Director of Annual Giving and Operations is responsible for planning, implementing, managing, and evaluating a comprehensive annual giving program focused on shaping a sustainable tradition of annual support from alumni, friends, faculty/staff, parents and students. S/he is charged with developing the Operations group within the AE, AG, and Comm. team to support program needs while maximizing efficiency and reducing redundancy.

The Senior Director will use data-driven evaluation and analytics to create strategies and produce results. S/he manages a small portfolio of prospects, internal staffing and external vendors, as well as oversees the implementation of fundraising initiatives, across the AE, AG, and Comm. team.

A member of the Senior Management Team of IA, s/he works collaboratively with senior leadership and other departments within and outside of IA to develop and implement strategies for engagement, giving, and communications.


  • Superior written and oral communication skills required, creativity valued. This individual will research, draft, edit, coordinate and/or finalize communication vehicles including, but not limited to, motivational letters, solicitations, reports, brochures, presentations, and published materials.
  • Communication types will include written, verbal, print and electronic vehicles.
  • Communication audiences will include alumni, individuals, organizations, donors, prospects, students, parents, friends and volunteers, and IA / IIT colleagues.

Customer Service:

  • The Senior Director must be a public face the university, within IA, via telephone, and on campus to both internal and external partners. S/he will be poised, gracious, and accommodating to the public. S/he works to strengthen alumni engagement and increase the number of donors with the university with each interaction. S/he deals with sensitive giving data and personal information and must honor confidentiality.

Key Responsibility 1:

Plans, directs and oversees all aspects of the university’s annual giving program (including, but not limited to, direct mail, online giving, student phonathon, mini-campaigns, constituent giving programs, annual Giving Day, personal solicitation, new media, and volunteer management) raising funds for unrestricted and restricted purposes and other university priorities. Provides leadership in developing, administering and implementing the team’s strategic plan and an annual operating/communications plan for the continual growth of alumni engagement, alumni participation, and gift revenue. Designs and conducts annual giving appeals for the university’s various constituent audiences. The Senior Director is responsible for developing and implementing leadership group solicitation (Trustees, Boards of Advisors, Alumni Board, faculty/staff). S/he manages a small portfolio of leadership annual giving prospects. In collaboration with the IA Stewardship team, the Senior Director works to ensure that annual gifts are stewarded according to industry best practices.

Key Responsibility 2:

The Senior Director is charged with developing the Operations group of the AE, AG, and Comm. team in order to support program needs while maximizing efficiency and reducing redundancy. Functions include: developing the team’s annual operations plan and appropriate metrics; implementing best-practices in project management; budget administration; developing reports and dashboards; and leadership of Giving Day.

Key Responsibility 3:

The Senior Director oversees the implementation of fundraising initiatives across the AE, AG, and Comm. team. With the AVP, s/he coaches, mentors, and co-develops metrics for the AE and AG groups as they manage a portfolio of leadership level annual gifts and partners on college-based annual giving efforts. S/he provides leadership and guidance on developing engagement and fundraising skills for both direct and indirect reports. The Senior Director oversees professional development, management, and evaluation of all staff in the Annual Giving and Operations groups, working toward a high performing, integrated team.

Education and Experience:

  • Bachelor’s degree and 10 or more years of experience in higher education development and alumni relations, specifically in annual giving and operations, with demonstrated accomplishment in leading programs, mentoring staff, project management, and fostering productive relationships with university and alumni partners.
  • Extensive experience with Raiser’s Edge or a similar constituent database and web content management systems.
  • Demonstrated expertise in developing compelling multi-channel communication pieces.

Knowledge and Skills:

  • S/he must demonstrate an ability to work successfully with multiple constituencies, both internal and external.
  • S/he must demonstrate an ability to set strategy, to set measurable goals, and to illustrate success against both.
  • S/he must demonstrate excellent written and oral communication skills.


8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., occasional evening and weekend work required


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