Swarthmore College — Director, Gift & Data Records

Swarthmore College is a highly selective liberal arts college located in the suburbs of Philadelphia, whose mission combines academic rigor with social responsibility. Swarthmore has a strong institutional commitment to inclusive excellence and nondiscrimination in its educational program and employment practices and encourages candidates who will further advance the goal of fostering a diverse and inclusive community. As one of the nation’s finest institutions of higher learning, Swarthmore College is global in outlook and draws students from around the nation and world. The 425‐acre campus is a designated arboretum, complete with gardens, rolling lawns, a creek, wooded hills, and hiking trails in the Crum Woods.

Who We Are:

The Office of College Advancement builds and strengthens relationships with alumni, families, and friends to advance College priorities through joyful engagement and celebration, philanthropic and volunteer support, and stewardship of Swarthmore’s contributions to the common good.  We work intentionally as a collaborative group that drives innovation, creates space for rich dialogue, inspires trust, and develops a community rooted in inclusivity and belonging.

The Opportunity:

As part of Advancement, Gift and Data Records processes and ensures the accurate allocation of thousands of gift and membership transactions every year for the College, Arboretum, and Chester Children’s Chorus, while maintaining history, compliance, and data integrity. The department is also responsible for the accurate creation and maintenance of alumni, friend, and donor information in its database of record, including names, contacts, biographical, relationship, and engagement data, which is used to understand and communicate with the College’s community.

A leader in the operations area of Advancement, the Director is responsible for leading the gift processing, data management, systems and process design, accounting and donor relations functions of Gift and Data Records. This entails overseeing the creation and maintenance of financial controls and audit practices, process efficiencies, and data integrity, as well as ensuring the accuracy and timely execution of key elements of donor relations including accurate handling and gift receipting.

The Director suggests, develops and implements tools, policies and processes for gift and data management functions, taking into account current environment, trends, and regulations governing charitable giving and membership activity. The Director thoughtfully manages, evaluates and develops the knowledge, judgment, and skills of Records staff and other temporary or permanent positions, enabling and overseeing their day-to-day work.

The Director maintains and manages Gift and Data Records’ relationships with key College and related departments, groups and staff, including those involved with finance, events, athletics, student, systems, IT, communications, programs, and all the business areas of Advancement. They interpret gift and biographical information for external audiences. In collaboration with the Executive Director of Operations, the Director contributes to financial forecasting, strategic planning, management, analysis and reporting regarding gifts, pledges, planned giving vehicles and other elements of philanthropic and membership support.

Essential Responsibilities

  • Suggests, designs and implements departmental policies and procedures to maximize efficiency, accuracy, and compliance with financial controls and regulations governing charitable giving and records privacy. Maintains solid awareness of environment and trends re: technical tools, privacy, tax law, and other elements that affect gift and records management.
  • Is the primary subject matter expert for all gift and data management systems, processes, requirements and tools, and develops and encourages all members of their team to develop subject matter expertise related to their individual duties.
  • Demonstrates leadership and makes responsible independent decisions related to pledges, gifts, and membership transactions, or seeks input, information and advice to ensure accuracy in line with donor intent; coaches and inspires all Gift and Records staff to appropriate levels of judgment and empathy for departmental, donor and member needs.
  • Collaborates with Advancement and other senior staff to resolve sensitive donor issues.
  • Ensures that all transactions are processed, receipted, fulfilled and backup filed and maintained consistently, accurately and in a timely manner.
  • Ensures compliance with all IRS and College guidelines pertaining to the acceptance, processing and receipting of donations.
  • Ensures that all biographical information on constituents is maintained in a timely, accurate and consistent manner and in line with regulatory and ethical guidelines.
  • Works with Advancement Information Systems and ITS to select and implement imaging, workflow, receipting, and other technical tools to improve the processing and reconciliation of gifts, and flow of information stored in donor records; is conversant in the opportunities, configuration and manipulation of systems and tools that serve as the sources of gifts or bio information to be able to troubleshoot issues.
  • Participates fully in systems-related projects that impact gifts and records – vendor selection, implementation of new giving tools / sources / payment streams.
  • Effectively manages vendor relationships and implementation or upgrade projects for tools specific to gift and data entry, receipting, or related processes.
  • Independently, or working with Advancement Information Systems and other reporting support, specs, develops and reviews reports on the integrity and status of transactions; ensures corrections and adjustments are made on an ongoing and regular basis.
  • Independently, or working with Advancement Information Systems and other reporting support, specs, develops and reviews reports on a variety of metrics related to accuracy and efficiency performance of Gifts and Records staff; sets goals for improvement of processing times, accuracy levels, and implements initiatives to execute.
  • Designs and implements training and orientation programs on gift and data management processes for Advancement, Finance, Arboretum, Chester Children’s Chorus, and other relevant staff.
  • Collaborates with Advancement staff on enhancing and executing meaningful and timely acknowledgment, stewardship and fulfillment processes.
  • Works collaboratively with other offices within College Advancement to promote a team environment and ensure the success of all division programs.
  • Independently contributes ideas and process improvements, and looks for creative solutions and better ways of doing things, in order to meet the goals of continuous improvement.
  • Identifies, analyzes, and addresses problems in order to resolve issues whenever possible in a way that minimizes the negative impact on the organization.

Supervisory Responsibilities

  • Proactively and thoughtfully manages a team of approximately 6 members.
  • Recruits, interviews, hires, trains, and directs Gift and Data Records staff.
  • Manages and monitors daily work of staff, including temporary help, including scheduling, assigning work, monitoring productivity, work schedules and project timelines, as well as compliance with policies, procedures and protocols.
  • Evaluates performance, providing feedback on quality and quantity of work, and coaching when necessary. Thoughtfully develops staff skills, knowledge, and potential for advancement.
  • Instills a goal-oriented approach consistent with achieving the department’s objectives.
  • Ensures all staff develop depth of subject matter expertise.
  • Develops aggressive, relevant and strategic annual goals, timelines, budget needs, and other planning mechanisms independently and in conjunction with the entire Operations area.
  • Effectively and consistently trains and provides other professional development for Gifts and Records staff on policies, procedures, conventions, tools, and best practices.
  • Plans and manages the department budget.

Who you are:

  • You are a professional with an appreciation for the liberal arts and the ability to adapt to new work situations, people, ideas, procedures, and organizational structures, in order to support an evolving and complex work environment.
  • You have the demonstrated ability to manage people and build successful relationships with both constituents and coworkers in order to maximize the effectiveness of the department.
  • You have excellent communication skills and are an organized self-starter with the ability to work independently.
  • You exhibit mature judgment and the ability to act independently to plan and accomplish goals.
  • You are able to maintain a high level of confidentiality, manage multiple projects simultaneously, and meet deadlines in a time-sensitive environment.
  • You are extremely comfortable with technology, including learning new tools and guiding others in their use to best support operations and project management.
  • You bring experience and references demonstrating scrupulous accuracy and attention to detail, particularly in data entry and information processing.
  • You have a superior knowledge of gift transactions, financial controls, regulatory requirements, and effective database management and information systems.
  • You have a strong understanding of the principles and practices of effective data governance.
  • You have demonstrated experience leading, co-leading, and contributing collaboratively to complex projects, and in actively exercising project management and change management methodology.
  • You demonstrate flexible and efficient time management and ability to prioritize workload.
  • You are able to meet department productivity standards and set goals, objectives, and metrics for your team.
  • You perform work with consistency, accuracy, responsiveness and take ownership of assigned duties, projects, and goals.
  • Ability to apply principles of logical thinking to a wide range of intellectual and practical problems while maintaining creativity in problem-solving.
  • Demonstrated client service skills with ability to think strategically and understand how each action and decision impacts the organization as a whole.
  • Demonstrates adaptability to change, and initiatives or identifies change when necessary.
  • Ability to work under pressure of time and frequent requests from multiple sources each having their own timelines and constraints, and with all levels of administrative staff.
  • Ability to apply an ethical code and good judgment, and to handle confidential materials and information with scrupulous honesty and discretion.
  • Adheres to Swarthmore’s policies and procedures.
  • Acts as a role model within and outside the department.
  • Performs duties as workload necessitates.
  • Maintains a positive and respectful attitude.
  • Abides by internal and external codes of ethics and confidentiality with regards to information maintained by Advancement.
  • Communicates effectively and regularly with manager and co-workers about department issues.

What you bring:


  • Bachelor’s degree, or superior combination of education and/or experience in gift processing, database management, accounting, finance, and/or donor relations.
  • At least three years’ experience of progressively greater responsibility with gift processing and/or database management, in a non-profit environment.
  • Demonstrated experience as a leader comfortable with making and enforcing unformatted policy decisions.
  • Excellent interpersonal and relationship building and maintenance skills and ability to function well within multiple teams.
  • Demonstrated ability to facilitate problem solving within and between departments.
  • Excellent spoken and written English language skills.
  • Hands on experience with fund-raising databases, workflow, querying, importing, exporting, and integrating data from multiple systems.
  • Proficiency in information management and “poweruser” knowledge of standard Windows applications such as Excel, including functions such as Vlookup and complex formulas.


  • Knowledge of CASE Global Standards.
  • Ability to train others on simple and complex processes.
  • Demonstrated strength and experience in supervising hourly and salaried staff, particularly those engaged in financial data entry functions.
  • Ability to make effective and persuasive presentations to internal and external groups and individuals.
  • Demonstrated experience with sensitive and empathetic direct-donor facing communications.
  • Experience with reporting and visualization tools, such as Tableau or Power BI.
  • Experience working in a college or university setting, especially in a comprehensive fundraising campaign environment.
  • Understanding of how data is used to inform decision making.
  • Proficiency with G Suite (especially Google Docs and Sheets), PowerPoint, and Adobe Acrobat.

What You Will Get:

You’ll work at one of the world’s most renowned liberal arts Colleges, with incredible benefits, a stunning 420-acre campus, and a hybrid work environment. You’ll join a passionate, creative, and supportive team who works hard while having fun. You will be supported, heard, and respected with the opportunity for professional development and engagement in campus life. You will be encouraged to bring new ideas to the table and will be considered a thought-partner in order to advance innovation and spread joy. If you are excited about this role, we want to hear from you!

For more information and to apply, please visit: https://careers.swarthmore.edu/cw/en-us/job/495084/director-gift-data-records

For full consideration, submit applications including resume and cover letter by February 27th.

Swarthmore College actively seeks and welcomes applications from candidates with exceptional qualifications, particularly those with demonstrable commitments to a more inclusive society and world. Swarthmore College is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Women and minorities are encouraged to apply.