Director of Donor Relations

Spelman College in Atlanta

Job Description

The Director of Donor Relations reports to the Vice President for Institutional Advancement for the management and strategic direction of Stewardship, Donor Relations and Donor Communications activities for the College. In this role, the Director of Donor Relations will develop and implement stewardship programs and processes, manage donor relations and provide functional direction to the Associate Director and the Donor Relations Coordinator. This position works with the Vice Presidents for College Relation, the advancement leadership team, development/advancement staff, student financial services staff, college relations staff and other college staff as necessary to ensure an efficient and effective donor relations/stewardship program, including acknowledgment, accountability, involvement, communications and donor recognition initiatives. This position will also provide strategic vision to design recognition programs with targeted impact goals to engage and develop donor relations.

The incumbent in this position may have significant external relationships with major donors who are alumnae, leaders in the business community, and other friends of the College.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities
Essential Duties and Responsibilities:
Managing and Directing Programs
•This position has management responsibility for a robust program of recognition, stewardship and engagement strategies with to support annual giving and leadership giving goals, as well as managing the donor relations/stewardship budget.
•Identifies and prioritizes short and long-terms donor relations/stewardship goals.
•Provides leadership for a strong donor relations program that includes important donor services such as gift acknowledgment, gift recognition and appreciation, accountability, reporting and other communications that support donor cultivation.
•Identifies new prospects for scholarship support and, in concert with other fundraising professionals at Spelman, manages relationships, executes solicitation strategies, and converts prospects to donors.
•Develops and executes individual stewardship plans in concert with other fundraising professionals for donors of $1,000,000 and above. Plans for individuals below $1,000,000 will be developed on a case-by case basis.

Pipeline Development and Reporting
•Facilitates the production of the annual Philanthropy Report.
•Works with the Communications Department to provide input to the annual report to donors.
•Works with Vice President for Institutional Advancement to provide philanthropic reporting to produce seminal donor communications.
•Establishes and implements a process with guidelines in conjunction with the Office of Student Financial Services to monitor the administration of endowed and general scholarships.
•Ensures that scholarship donors receive annual updates, including reports on scholarship endowments, market value of funds and use of endowment income;
•Spearheads endowment fund management reporting for multi-year and current use gifts, and maintains a calendar to notify project managers of submission deadlines for grant reports.
•Sets policies for acknowledgments of congratulations, sympathy, and celebration with the input of other Institutional Advancement Departments

•Ensures that recognition and cultivation events for donors and prospects including the Scholarship Luncheon and other stewardship initiatives and recognition events are planned and executed efficiently.
•Collaborates with Corporate and Foundation Relations to strategize and steward corporate event support and stewardship.

Internal Support and Collaboration
•Collaborates with other departments to create strategies for developing donor relations/stewardship standards across campus to create an energetic and enthusiastic internal stewardship culture.
•Directs campus-wide efforts to include faculty, staff and students in the development of comprehensive donor reports that strengthen Spelman’s relationships with individual donors, corporations, foundations and organizations.
•Meets regularly with appropriate individuals at Spelman College to enhance current donor relations/stewardship programs and proactively design new programs intended to accomplish: 1) a collaborative approach that invites input and participation from a broad range of the college’s faculty and staff; 2) a commitment to stewardship planning which incorporates meaningful donor engagement; and 3) integrated stewardship planning and programming among faculties and other departments.
•Maintains strong relationships with donor relations/stewardship offices at other colleges and universities to learn about research, new developments, and best practices.

Required Qualifications
Bachelor’s degree and eight years of related and progressive work experience are required. Experience in donor relations/stewardship within higher education is highly desirable.

Also, previous supervisory experience required.
Possessing excellent interpersonal skills, with the ability to think strategically, build relationships, and effectively manage within a matrix organizational structure. Proficiency in data analysis and report preparation, along with experience in budgeting and strategic planning; and experience in coordinating special events and ceremonies are required for this position. Must be able to juggle numerous projects concurrently.

This position requires the ability to bring creative ideas and new approaches to the donor relations/stewardship programs as well as experience in coordinating special events and ceremonies. Strong customer service focus, excellent written and verbal communication, and organization and time management skills are essential. Professional demeanor with the ability to interface with internal and external donors and potential donors with diplomacy and tact is essential. Independent judgment is necessary to plan, prioritize and organize a diversified workload with attention to detail. Individual must be able to maintain confidentiality, work well with others, and handle pressure.
Individual must demonstrate the ability to work with all of the college’s diverse constituencies.

This position requires an understanding of and commitment to the mission of Spelman College and involves a high level of administrative, organizational, and management skills. Excellent oral communication skills are required when presenting information and responding to questions from donors, potential donors, and the general public in one-on-one or group situations. Incumbent must be able to write business correspondence plus compose memos, letters, and e-mails and have excellent proofreading skills.

Also, must be able to read, analyze, and interpret documents such as professional journals, financial reports, and grant proposals.
Demonstrated the ability to work with college administrative staff and faculty to achieve program goals and objectives and possess a positive and determined disposition are required for this position.

This position requires moderate travel and some nights and weekend work.

Preferred Qualifications

Certifications, Licenses, Restrictions

Physical Demands


% Travel Required
1% - 25%

Full Time/Part Time
Full Time


Number of Vacancies

Anticipated Candidate Start Date

Position End Date (if temporary)

Posting Detail Information

Posting Number

Posting Open Date

Posting Closing Date

Open Until Filled

Special Instructions to Applicants
Must be able to provide proven stewardship plans.

EEO Statement
Spelman College is an EEO /Minority/Female/Disabled/Veteran/Title IX Employer and we participate in E-Verify. We are a smoke-free campus.


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