Associate Director of Appeals for Schools and Units

Posted on 07/11/2018

Vanderbilt University

Nashville, TN

Position Summary

The Associate Director of Appeals for Schools and Units develops and executes direct outreach appeals plans for the university, including Athletics, parents/grandparents, faculty/staff, affinity groups, and specialty areas/departments. Forms of media included in the direct marketing plan include direct mail, email, web presence and video. The Associate Director confers with Development and Alumni Relations partners in various areas to develop an optimal outreach plan that engages each area; works with partners in communications and information management to deliver on the execution of the plans; ensures that plans are executed on-time and on-budget; and evaluates program results to inform future plans.

Key Functions and Expected Performance

  • Develop and execute comprehensive annual giving appeals plans for the university as a whole and for various school-based constituencies. These appeals plans will target primarily alumni and friends.
  • Collaborate with development partners in communications and within the units to ensure an effective outreach plan that retains the voice and character of each individual school or unit represented.
  • Create effective segmentation strategies that employ annual giving best practices and improve donor participation and engagement.
  • Create appeals plan forecasts, review actual outcomes and apply lessons learned to improve future outreach strategies.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Supervisory Relationships

  • This position does not have supervisory responsibility.  This position reports to the Director of Appeals for Schools and Units.

Education and Certifications

  • Bachelor’s degree and one year of experience, or the equivalent, is required.

Experience and Skills

  • Prefer three years of progressively responsible experience developing and executing multi-channel appeals plans in support of fundraising goals for multiple university units.
  • Familiarity with annual giving communications best practices.
  • Strong project management skills and attention to detail.
  • Demonstrated ability to work with internal partners to develop action plans that are consistent with message, tone, and overall advancement programming associated with different schools and units.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.

Five Success Factors

  • Holds oneself accountable; takes responsibility for failures as well as successes, recognizes that trust is required to hold a team together.
  • Shares information.  Communicates proactively.  Transmits knowledge.  Asks for advice, and considers it thoughtfully.
  • Genuinely values teamwork and co-workers.
  • Expects and delivers excellence.  Is a creative problem solver.  Is proactive.  Welcomes input on making things better.  Places a high value on learning and getting better.
  • Self-managing; self-motivated.  Manages time, activities and outcomes well so that progress stays on track.  Can juggle multiple competing priorities simultaneously without becoming overwhelmed.


  • This opportunity requires a Bachelors and one year of experience.

About the Work Unit

The Department of Development and Alumni Relations (DAR) assists Vanderbilt University in securing the resources, both human and financial, that are required to achieve its mission and goals.  The Department is responsible for the identification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of individuals and organizations whose charitable objectives are consistent with those of Vanderbilt University’s teaching and research programs.

About Vanderbilt University

Vanderbilt is a renowned private institution founded in 1873 located a little more than a mile from downtown Nashville, TN. The university’s students, faculty, staff and visitors frequently cite Nashville as one of the perks of Vanderbilt. VU is a place where your expertise will be valued, your knowledge expanded and your abilities challenged. It is a place where your diversity is sought and celebrated. It is a place where employees know they are part of something that is bigger than themselves, take exceptional pride in their work and never settle for what was good enough yesterday. Vanderbilt was recently ranked #1 in the Princeton Review among 382 top colleges and universities for “happiest students” – as well as #2 for “best quality of life” and “great financial aid,” #5 for “best run colleges” and “beautiful campus,” and #6 for both being in a “college city that students love” and having “great campus/city relations.”

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