Senior Director of Annual Giving

Posted on 10/17/2018

Sarah Lawrence College

Bronxville, NY

Founded in 1926, Sarah Lawrence is a coeducational, residential liberal arts college situated on a wooded campus just north of New York City in Bronxville, NY. The College is internationally renowned for its combination of strength in artistic creation, high expectations for written expression, and a uniquely rigorous academic program. Wide ranging and intentionally interdisciplinary, the academic program is built around a pedagogy of close collaboration between faculty and students in a process of directed exploration made possible by a student-faculty ratio of 9-to-1.
Sarah Lawrence College is seeking a Senior Director of Annual Giving to become a key member of the advancement and external relations team.

Position Summary:

The Senior Director of Annual Giving leads the team that is responsible for raising funds from alumni, parents, friends, and students that support the annual operating needs of Sarah Lawrence College. The Senior Director of Annual Giving will be responsible for creating and executing a comprehensive, year-round fundraising plan for Annual Giving, known as the Fund for Sarah Lawrence. The Senior Director will build a series of dynamic giving and engagement programs with a goal of increasing current use revenue and participation. Through personal visits, this individual will identify, cultivate, and steward meaningful relationships with established and potential donors, seeking and securing gifts for the Annual Fund, as well as identifying potential campaign and planned giving prospects.

The Senior Director of Annual Giving will provide strategic direction to annual fundraising efforts, including increasing leadership annual donor support, growing alumni donor participation, and leading a sophisticated segmenting and marketing effort. The Senior Director works closely with of variety of partners within advancement and external affairs and across the College. In particular, the Senior Director collaborates closely with the marketing & communications team to develop a coordinated plan that maximizes the effectiveness of staff and volunteer outreach in conjunction with appeals through various direct marketing channels, with an emphasis on digital.

Key responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Evaluate existing annual giving programs with regard to outcomes and effectiveness.
  • Develop a top tier volunteer leadership giving program.
  • Ensure sophisticated staff support for recruitment, training, management and stewardship of annual giving volunteers across all programs.
  • Collaborate closely with colleagues in Major Gifts & Planned Giving; Advancement Services; Marketing & Communications; Alumni Relations; and the broader campus community including students.
  • Build a reunion and affinity giving program that can expand and diversify the donor base through annual solicitations from staff and volunteers.
  • Oversee the development of volunteer training programs and tools to support a robust annual giving effort. Effectively communicate College and annual giving goals and initiatives to volunteers, alumni, parents and other constituencies.
  • Work closely with volunteers to support class goals, strategies, leadership cultivation, events, stewardship, problem solving and evaluation of results.
  • Facilitate the design, oversight and evaluation of annual leadership giving strategies that are coordinated and integrated with the Leadership, Reunion and Planned Giving Programs.


Candidate with have a passion for innovation and risk taking, balancing these qualities with an appreciation for annual giving fundamentals. Candidate will effectively manage a staff focused on parents and alumni donors and implement best in class systems with defined metrics for success. This highly collaborative position requires knowledge of fundraising principals, ethics, volunteer management and trends in higher education-including fundraising for annual gifts. Project management skills are necessary including the ability to collaboratively set goals, manage budgets, effectively plan for their achievement and evaluate outcomes. Strong written, quantitative, oral communications, critical thinking, technology and listening skills are essential. The Senior Director must be able to approach problems with creativity, insight, resourcefulness; collaborate effectively and adapt quickly to changing situations while juggling multiple competing priorities, deadlines and tasks.

Education and Experience Required:

Bachelor’s degree required. Candidates should have advanced through a minimum of five years of progressively complex roles directing nonprofit or higher education fundraising programs and show demonstrated success as a manager and fundraiser. Excellent interpersonal skills, an ability to work collaboratively, and an orientation toward customer service.

To apply, visit:

Sarah Lawrence College is an Equal Opportunity Employer and has as one of its goals the recruitment and retention of a racially and culturally diverse administration, staff and faculty. To that end, every job opening is seen as an opportunity to increase diversity and every effort will be made to expand the applicant pool in accordance with these goals. For information on Sarah Lawrence College, our curriculum, teaching methods, and philosophy of education, please see our web site at

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