National Institute on Aging

Swarthmore College — Director, Donor Relations

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:
We are a team of talented relationship builders with the shared mission of connecting, engaging, and supporting our Swarthmore College alumni and families.

We are committed to the following:

  • Creating opportunities in everything we do that connect Swarthmore alumni, students, and the wider Swarthmore community;
  • Developing programs valued by our alumni, families, and students who will become our future alumni;
  • Building enduring and mutually beneficial relationships that inspire conversational, experiential, volunteer, and philanthropic engagement;
  • Taking risks and championing new and creative ideas; and
  • Strengthening the College’s reputation and advancing its mission.

The opportunity:
The Director of Donor Relations leads the planning and implementation of a comprehensive donor relations program that includes stewardship, recognition, and engagement. Within the program’s scope are the specific functions of:

  • Implementation of creative and meaningful strategies for recognition and stewardship for leadership gifts,
  • Oversight of endowment and impact reporting,
  • Development and management of meaningful stewardship programs, including giving societies, and
  • Creation and execution of a variety of high-impact donor experiences, including but not limited to events

The Director is a passionate advocate for innovative donor relations practices, thinks about donor experience holistically, and is comfortable leveraging both broad-based digital and personalized, individual engagement strategies to enhance Swarthmore’s connection to and relationship with donors.

Swarthmore values intentional community building by creating spaces for dialogue that foster intellectual curiosity and meaningful connections. The Alumni and Family Programs team contributes to this ethos and the educational mission of the College by engaging alumni, families, and friends in the life of the College. To this end, the Director, Donor Relations will lead efforts to engage and collaborate with donors who have supported campus programs and departments. They will work across the Advancement division to collaboratively develop and track stewardship and engagement plans for various donor groups and individuals in order to ensure that all donors are appropriately stewarded via creative and responsive methods. The Director is responsible for setting goals and objectives for their team, using metrics to track and report on progress, and implementing data-driven strategies.

In partnership with and reporting to the Senior Director, Marketing and Donor Relations, the Director will anticipate constituent needs, use insights to craft responsive offerings, and shape the organizational capacity and shared expectations necessary to deliver positive and meaningful connections consistently. In collaboration with the Alumni and Family Programs and colleagues across Advancement, the Director will help establish common pathways for donors to fully access all of the opportunities available across the College to contribute, participate, and lead. As the manager of one person, the Director will demonstrate the capacity and self-awareness to translate their genuine care for colleagues’ success into professional relationships that activate the team’s creativity, growth, and individual performance.

Essential Responsibilities

  • Develops the Donor Relations program by engaging staff throughout the organization to achieve increased recognition of all donors.
  • Leads the department in the use of creative and innovative tactics, technology, and strategies to engage, recognize, and steward donors.
  • Leads a creative and entrepreneurial donor experience team that creates high-impact events and experiences for donors.
  • Provides a cohesive vision for Swarthmore’s donor recognition strategies, including giving societies, campaign recognition plans, donor walls, and other recognition tactics that honor donors.
  • Collaborates with Individual Giving officers to develop programs and activities that increase donor recognition and engagement and promote increasing levels of philanthropy.
  • Oversees and participates in the preparation and production of communications and reporting to capital and endowed donors at least twice per annum in a timely fashion and in a manner reflective of the level of their investment.
  • Oversees preparation and production of some individualized acknowledgment letters to donors and ensures timeliness and accuracy.
  • Oversees the maintenance and updating of the endowed funds list in the College’s course catalog.
  • With the Senior Director, Marketing and Donor Relations and the Director of Advancement Communications, coordinates stewardship communications with internal and external stakeholders.
  • Develop a multi-year roadmap aligned with Swarthmore’s strategic goals. Sets strategic goals and budget requirements for the program and each initiative.
  • Oversees the management of naming opportunities throughout campus, by developing opportunities in new or renovated facilities, as well as maintaining opportunities as yet unclaimed in existing facilities.
  • Serves as an additional contact for some of the most significant donors, helping to resolve problems, questions, and concerns.
  • Coordinates establishment of tribute gifts, both honorary and memorial, for the division.
  • Assures a high (concierge) level of service and stewardship for all current and potential life-income-gift donors and those with estate provisions for the College.
  • Effectively uses technology to track, manage, and report stewardship activities.
  • Provides guidance and expertise to development colleagues and other partners across the university regarding the creation and implementation of high-touch, individualized stewardship plans.
  • Collaborates with Events team colleagues to ensure donor’s needs are considered and met.
  • Serves voluntarily on ad-hoc or standing College committees, as appropriate and with approval of the supervisor.
  • Takes advantage of opportunities for professional development at least twice annually.

Supervisory Responsibilities

  • Supervise one (1) exempt staff: Associate Director, Donor Relations

Who you are:

  • An experienced and thoughtful professional with an appreciation for the liberal arts who is able to strategize, implement, and strengthen a multifaceted donor relations program.
  • Demonstrated commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion; culturally competent with respect to issues such as racial, cultural, religious, sexual, and gender identity.
  • Flexibility and initiative, as well as the ability to work independently, combined with the skills for thriving in a team environment.
  • High professional and ethical standards for handling confidential information.
  • Ability to organize and complete multiple tasks simultaneously with close attention to detail and prioritization to meet deadlines.
  • Excellent written, oral, and interpersonal skills.
  • Excellent technical skills, including knowledge of database research and maintenance and staying ahead of changing technology, and recommending solutions to meet the department’s needs.
  • Demonstrated ability to build effective and collaborative relationships with various constituents, including students and volunteers of all ages.
  • Ability to be a self-starter and work independently and in a team environment on several projects simultaneously.

What you bring:
Required Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • A minimum of eight (8) years working in institutional advancement, or an equivalent combination of education and/or professional experience in donor relations.
  • Demonstrated experience as a leader comfortable with making and enforcing policy decisions.
  • Exceptional communication skills with special emphasis on advanced writing ability and editing. Strong skill in articulating the value of higher education.
  • An ability to effectively use technology to track, manage, and report stewardship activities.
  • Strong skills in dealing with people, using tact and diplomacy, and the ability to maintain a high level of confidentiality.
  • Strong customer service skills and the ability to communicate effectively with prospective donors and College administrators.
  • 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.
  • Mature judgment and the ability to act independently to plan and accomplish goals.
  • Excellent spoken and written English language skills.
  • Hands on experience with building exceptional donor stewardship, recognition and engagement programs.
  • Excellent technical skills, including knowledge of database research and maintenance and the ability to stay ahead of changing technology and recommend solutions to meet needs of the department.
  • Demonstrated ability to prioritize work, manage multiple tasks involving many stakeholders, and meet deadlines in a time-constrained environment.
  • Ability to initiate and complete tasks with minimal supervision, exercising discretion and independent judgment.
  • Understanding of how data is used to inform decision making.
  • Ability to work evenings, weekends, or as needed to complete projects or meet heavy demand.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Advanced degree.
  • Experience working in a college or university setting, especially in a comprehensive fundraising campaign environment.
  • A sense of humor and a deep appreciation for private liberal arts education.
  • Successful supervisory experience focused on setting priorities, managing, and motivating a diverse team.
  • Superior written and oral communication skills, including imaginative and persuasive writing and articulating the value of higher education.
  • Ability to authentically engage and inspire others as a representative of the Advancement Office.

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 collaborative work environment. Come join a team of passionate, creative people who work hard and have fun supporting the College students, faculty, and staff.

If you are excited about this role, we want to hear from you! For full consideration, submit applications including resume and cover letter with pay expectations by May 31, 2023.

Apply Now: