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Job Title: Director of Annual Giving
Company Name: Lenoir-Rhyne University
Location: Hickory, NC
Position Type: Full Time
Post Date: 05/23/2024
Expire Date: 06/29/2024
Job Categories: Advertising/Marketing/Public Relations, Arts, Entertainment, and Media, Computers, Software, Education, Finance/Economics, Human Resources, Information Technology, Internet/E-Commerce, Sales, Collegiate Faculty, Staff, Administration, Broadcasting/Communications, Research & Development, Web Technology, Nonprofit and Volunteer Services
Job Description
Director of Annual Giving

Location: Hickory, North Carolina

The Office of Institutional Advancement at Lenoir-Rhyne University has significantly grown our fundraising activity over the past six years and is investing in ourselves to build on this significant momentum. Lenoir-Rhyne University’s Advancement Office is dedicated to building strong, lasting relationships with the institution’s various constituencies, as well as broadening the base of support and securing financial resources. 

Reporting to the Assistant Vice President for Institutional Advancement, the Director of Annual Giving will play a critical role in helping the university meet its fundraising goals, while advancing the university’s strategic direction as outlined by the Board of Trustees and President. This key position offers a unique opportunity to be part of an ambitious and transformational comprehensive campaign. 

The director is responsible for the strategic direction, implementation and evaluation of the Lenoir-Rhyne University Annual Giving efforts to increase the number of alumni donors and unrestricted and restricted annual operating support; serve as an important leader in the execution of the university’s plans to more fully integrate our constituent engagement programs and our efforts to increase annual support across all programs, including the New Life Fund at the Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary.

The director will design, implement, analyze and refine the Annual Giving strategy using industry best practices and a data-driven approach. The director will drive strategy and lead a comprehensive program that includes personal, email, text, social media and direct mail solicitation of alumni, parents and friends of Lenoir-Rhyne University. The director will continue to build and manage a highly effective and sustainable volunteer component within the annual giving program that includes social media ambassadors, and reunion gift committees.

The director is expected to drive fundraising strategy, benchmark and evaluate performance, analyze industry trends, and continuously refine program solicitations to increase both total dollars raised and alumni participation rates for the Fund for Lenoir-Rhyne.

Position expected start date: June 1, 2024

Supervisory Responsibilities

  • Responsible for the co-management of Advancement Interns and oversight of their work within Senior Class Giving, Bears Give Back giving day student and campus events, social media and annual fund solicitations.  

Essential Accountabilities

  • Direct and execute a coordinated matrix of communication and solicitation strategies involving email, direct mail, personal visitation, volunteer engagement and social media outreach all focused on increasing philanthropic support for the Fund for Lenoir-Rhyne.
  • Lead a data driven approach to increase alumni participation levels as well as total dollars raised for the Fund for Lenoir-Rhyne University, building and refining strategies for moving donors to higher giving levels based on analysis of current trends.
  • Drive targeted marketing and communication strategies for different audience segmentations, customizing fundraising messages to appeal to varied constituent groups based on age, geography, affinity and project interest to ensure maximum effectiveness of fundraising solicitations and appeals. Utilize multi-channel marketing to reach different audiences and ensure maximized ROI for fundraising efforts.
  • Direct and execute a highly effective and sustainable volunteer component within the annual giving program that includes social media ambassadors and reunion gift committees.
  • Lead annual giving programs for all Lenoir-Rhyne programs, including the New Life Fund at the Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary and devise strategic and tactical plans for achieving these fundraising goals. Responsible for effective and coordinated marketing, messaging, segmentation, solicitation and monthly analysis of all annual giving programs.
  • Coordinate with the athletic department on its annual giving programs, Seminary, donor stewardship, alumni engagement and with the advancement services teams to ensure timely coordination of solicitations across multiple audience channels.
  • Closely coordinate with the Director of Alumni and Donor Engagement to increase Reunion Giving opportunities, with a sustained focus on increasing multi-year pledges and planned giving opportunities for the milestone reunion classes and Golden Bear Reunion classes.
  • Direct, train and co-supervise the Student Assistants to coordinate social media engagement, volunteer outreach, giving campaigns (including Bears Give Back and Senior Class Giving) and campus and community engagement to support the Fund for Lenoir-Rhyne and achieve university fundraising goals.
  • Manage the operating budget for the Fund for Lenoir-Rhyne University in order to maximize return on investment for solicitation appeals while ensuring accountability, transparency and effective stewardship of the University’s operating budget.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Required Skills/Abilities

  • Demonstrated knowledge of fundraising principles and practices, marketing and communications, and budget management required.
  • Proven data analysis expertise and responsibility for managing annual giving programming and operations required.
  • Advanced analytical skills required, including the ability to recognize opportunities and develop strategies to attain goals.
  • Experience planning and implementing giving days to build engagement for annual giving. 
  • Experience with relevant fundraising technology solutions like crowdfunding, online giving platforms and CRM databases. 
  • Demonstrated record of collaboration with multiple constituencies, including donors, volunteers and colleagues.
  • Strong leadership skills and personal accountability required. 
  • Demonstrated success in analyzing performance data, responding to industry trends and implementing best practices within higher education fundraising.
  • Ability to operate in an organized manner. 
  • Ability to react and adapt to changing situations appropriately while working in a deadline driven environment.
  • Ability and interest in managing, developing, motivating and mentoring volunteers.
  • Ability to think creatively with an openness to new ideas and their implementation.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication (written, verbal and presentation) skills required.
  • Proficiency in use of computer and work-related software programs; strong functional skill in web-based research applications.
  • Timeliness, transparency and accountability in workflow required. Must demonstrate success in meeting deadlines and achieving fundraising goals in a team-oriented environment.
  • Previous experience in database management, executing queries, managing gift processing and donor relations preferred. Experience with Blackbaud products and GiveCampus preferred. 
  • Bachelor’s degree required.

This is a full-time position with a generous benefits package, retirement plan and competitive starting salary based on qualifications and experience.

Education and Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree or the equivalent in education and experience.
  • A minimum of three (3) or more years of experience directly related to the duties and responsibilities listed with a preference for experience in higher education. 
  • At least five (5) years of experience in a professional capacity required. 
  • Experience with multiple campuses a plus.

Physical Requirements

  • Prolonged periods of sitting at a desk and working on a computer. 
  • Ability to travel to on and off campus events.

Work Schedule

  • Standard office hours Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
  • Occasional evening and weekend work may be required as job duties demand.

Behavioral Expectations

  • Maintain high integrity, confidentiality and ethical standards.
  • Maintain a healthy and safe environment.
  • Maintain and contribute to a professional, respectful, courteous, diverse, equitable and inclusive environment.
  • Treat other individuals with dignity, respect and kindness. 
  • Adhere to all university policies, procedures, standards, values and comply with all federal, state and local laws.

Position requirements in the role description outlined above indicate the minimum level of knowledge, skills, and/or abilities deemed necessary to perform the job competently. Role descriptions are an overview of the duties, responsibilities, and requirements of the position and are not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list for the position. Employees may be required to perform other job-related assignments as requested and acquire new skills and responsibilities. Lenoir-Rhyne University reserves the right to modify, add, remove, or waive the responsibilities, duties, and skills required of the position.

Non-Discrimination and Equal Opportunity Policy

Lenoir-Rhyne University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, citizenship, religion, political affiliation, age, marital status, sex, gender (including gender identity and expression), sexual orientation, disability status, genetics, pregnancy or veteran status.

Lenoir-Rhyne’s Non-Discrimination and Equal Opportunity Policy extends to all aspects of employment, including but not limited to recruitment, hiring, training, promotion, transfer, reassignment, demotion, discipline, discharge, performance evaluations, compensation and benefits as well as the education setting. Lenoir-Rhyne is committed to providing an environment that promotes diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging for faculty, staff, students, contractors, volunteers and visitors.

Department: Office of Institutional Advancement
Campus: Hickory, NC/Hybrid
Position Type: Staff
Reports To: Assistant Vice President of Development


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