Donor Relations Officer

Location: Topeka, Kansas
Date Posted: 02-23-2018
Washburn University Alumni Association and Foundation is committed to building a community of support to continuously strengthen Washburn University and enhance the educational opportunities and experiences of our students.  We build life-long partnerships with alumni and friends, and secure, invest, and steward private financial support.   
Job Title: Donor Relations Officer
Job Classification: Exempt, Full-time
Work Schedule: Monday-Friday, 8 am – 5 pm; Occasional evening and weekend hours
Reporting Relationship:
Reports To: Director of Donor Relations
Supervises:  Donor Relations Student Worker(s)
Primary Accountability:
The purpose of the Donor Relations Officer is to support Washburn University Alumni Association and Foundation’s (“Foundation”) overall fundraising efforts through the management, planning, and direction of stewardship and donor relations programs. The Donor Relations Officer must establish and nurture effective, collegial working relationships with co-workers, university partners, donors and external contacts representing the Foundation in a positive and professional manner.
The Donor Relations Officer will be responsible for developing and leading comprehensive, integrated stewardship, engagement and donor recognition programs, along with face-to-face stewardship visits with unassigned donors in specific giving societies. The Donor Relations Officer will be responsible for monitoring and evaluating stewardship and engagement activities and programs while striving for continuous improvement.
The Donor Relations Officer will play a significant role in carrying out these stewardship efforts along with promoting the Foundation’s mission through a number of programs and recognition opportunities.  They will work closely with the Director of Donor Relations to support the overall stewardship and recognition plan of the Foundation. 
Major Duties:
  • Develop, implement and manage a student philanthropy program to create a robust student giving environment, working collaboratively with Alumni, Annual Giving and Student Life to create and maintain a successful program of student philanthropy and engagement prior to graduation;
  • Manage and maintain current Whiting Society memberships, recognize new members, develop and manage stewardship activities/events/programs for Whiting Society members collaborating with the Senior Director of Planned Giving, in addition to managing the annual dinner;
  • Manage membership in the Lincoln Society through new member letters and gifts, holiday cards and ornaments, recognition in the Hall of Honor and work with Director to redefine inclusion into the Lincoln Society;
  • Establish and maintain effective communication with donors regarding giving levels and membership in various societies within the Foundation;
  • Manage and maintain Hall of Honor with updates to printed materials, web accessible information, physical materials in Hall of Honor space and electronic platforms;
  • Steward donors in both Whiting and Lincoln Societies who do not have permanent assigned solicitors to maintain relationships and further engage those donors through personal one-on-one visits;
  • Analyze giving levels/events programs to create new benefits, programs and events for donors at all giving levels;
  • Manage  effective spending of endowed and expendable scholarship funds;
  • Work and collaborate with the Director, as needed, on specific donor relations fundraising programs/events such as faculty/staff campaign, athletics golf auction, Day of Giving, brick campaigns etc..
  • Manage and implement new donor card, birthday card and birthday email programs for donors/alumni/friends, evaluating metrics and data to keep the program current and impactful;
  • Supervise Donor Relations student worker(s), ensuring paperwork and payroll are accurately prepared and completed in a timely manner, supervise their activities and job assignments;
  • Manage and maintain database of university named spaces, art, brick plazas and future naming  opportunities, both past and present, in support of overall fundraising efforts including location of spaces and photos of named spaces/objects;
  • Coordinate the creation, uniformity, and maintenance of donor plaques and recognition signage for all fundraising projects, programs and funds;
  • Work on special projects and perform other duties, as assigned; and
  • Work collaboratively with the Director and represent Washburn University Alumni Association and Foundation in a professional and diplomatic manner at all times. 

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college/university in communications, marketing, public relations, non-profit or related discipline;
  • Three (3) to five (5) years of experience required;
  • Outstanding communication, interpersonal skills and customer service skills required;
  • Exceptional organizational ability to manage, maintain and coordinate multiple projects and work assignments simultaneously with attention to detail required;
  • Strong writing and editing skills;
  • Creative and strategic-thinking abilities;
  • Exceptional experience and ability to meet deadlines, juggle multiple responsibilities and initiate and maintain professional relationships required;
  • Exceptional ability to manage, maintain and coordinate multiple projects and work assignments simultaneously;
  • Outstanding time management skills;
  • Significant judgement and strong problem-solving skills required to recognize and deal effectively and appropriately with real and potential problem areas, including the skill to determine issues/problems to be brought to the attention of management;
  • Experience tracking and understanding budgets and budget process is preferred,
  • Ability to gather and analyze information and data;
  • Must be able to take the initiative to coordinate and manage processes;
  • Professional attitude and the ability to maintain confidentiality required;
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently, and as a team member;
  • Intermediate to advanced level skills in Word and Excel programs, experience in Adobe Creative suite preferred;
  • Familiarity with relational databases and scheduling;
  • Ability to work evenings and weekends as needed;
  • Reliable and predictable attendance. 

Physical Demands:
  • Ability to sit for extended periods of time;
  • Ability to read computer screens and mail;
  • Ability to unpack and move supplies up to fifty (50) lbs. 

Work Environment:
  • Professional and deadline-oriented environment in an office setting;
  • Interaction with staff and customers.
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