Director of Alumni and Constituent Engagement
Bennington CollegeBenninngton, VT
Bennington College invites applications for a dynamic and highly engaged Director of Alumni and Constituent Engagement to join a growing and reinvigorated advancement team with a unique opportunity to reshape and revitalize the alumni and constituent engagement programs.
The Director of Alumni and Constituent Engagement is a key member of the advancement team at Bennington College, reporting to the Associate Vice President for Development and overseeing all aspects of the Alumni Relations and Constituent Engagement program. In close partnership with the Associate Vice President for Development and the entire Advancement leadership team, the Director will develop and manage a strategic engagement plan that builds programming to foster compelling lifelong relationships between Bennington and its alumni, as well as partnering with the offices across campus to leverage relationships and programming. The Director serves in a critical leadership role within Institutional Advancement, providing strategic oversight of the alumni and constituent programs, partnering with development, donor relations and advancement operations. Representing Bennington to its 14,000+ alumni and other constituencies, the Director has overall responsibility for program growth that aligns with Bennington’s ambitious strategic plan.
The Director will partner with multiple stakeholders to develop meaningful opportunities for Bennington alumni in alignment with institutional priorities, while building systems internally to effectively partner with departments on campus to leverage engagement opportunities. They will oversee a growing staff that works collaboratively across all departments within advancement as well as the President’s office, communications, and other units on and off campus.
The successful candidate will be a strategic, creative, team-oriented leader with the ability to leverage relationships across generations of alumni, and partner with multiple cohorts. Candidates must have the capacity to support Advancement’s entrepreneurial initiatives to maximize results and have a proven track record in building, managing, and mentoring highly effective, diverse teams, as well as demonstrated success with alumni relations and constituent engagement initiatives. Candidates must possess a deep commitment to instilling best practices and fostering a culture that reflects Advancement’s and Bennington College’s values.
- Foster, cultivate and steward a strong alumni volunteer network and regional programs, leveraging and applying best practices toward the realization of optimization of the program.
- In coordination with IA’s events team, conceptualize, plan, and execute multiple events with a diverse suite of settings, sizes, and purposes and featuring stakeholders from many constituencies, including Reunion and other regional events.
- In coordination with Communications, develop and execute new ways of engaging alumni, parents, and students through social media, electronic communications, events, videos, etc.
- Partnering with the Field Work Term and Career Services Office to engage alumni with the students of Bennington today.
- Communicate effectively the programs and needs of the College to alumni, parents and friends in a manner that increases the public awareness of the College’s priorities.
Bennington serves a diverse student population inclusive of members of ethnically/racially minoritized, international, LGBTQIA+, and disability communities as well as diverse gender identities, socioeconomic backgrounds, religions, and political beliefs. Our staff and faculty also reflect diverse and intersecting backgrounds and identities. All employees are expected to be respectful and responsive to these differences in the service of building community that promotes student and employee success and community cohesiveness. Each individual (faculty, staff and students) will be accountable for upholding these values. The College’s approach to pluralism and inclusivity—both as fields of inquiry and practice—is to prioritize flexible thought, and to invite the examination of access, value, power, and privilege through its institutional policies and areas of study. We encourage applicants from diverse realms of interest, backgrounds, experience, and accomplishment to apply.
- Candidates should possess a bachelor’s degree or equivalent professional experience with a minimum of 4-6 years in an alumni relations role or a combination of transferable proficiencies. Direct experience in higher education alumni relations preferred.
- Demonstrated exceptional organizational skills with ability to manage multiple assignments at once, prioritize opportunities, create and implement a strategic plan, and accomplish major programs and projects.
- Orientation as a team player and leader with strong management skills, including a metrics-driven, entrepreneurial mindset that informs strategy and work.
- The ability to succeed in a distinct and dynamic culture.
- Knowledge of and commitment to the principles of constituent engagement, fundraising and donor cultivation.
- Volunteer management experience, preferably in an educational setting.
- Ability to easily network and establish rapport and connections with individuals and groups, including vendors.
- Excellent communication skills with the ability to engage, motivate, and inspire (in person and in writing).
- Ability to maintain a high level of diplomacy, and to work independently as well as part of a team.
- Demonstrates self-awareness, cultural competency and inclusivity, with the ability to work with colleagues and stakeholders across diverse cultures and backgrounds with a commitment to the mission and values of Bennington College.
- Flexibility and the ability to work well within a team of diverse individuals
- Proficiency with databases, spreadsheets and ability to analyze data, Microsoft Office Suites, and creative design applications, preferably with Google Suite and Blackbaud’s Raiser’s Edge, as well as a familiarity with alumni relations platforms and technologies.
- Travel, evening and weekend responsibilities are required.
- A hybrid remote schedule work schedule is possible with significant on-campus presence during constituent events.
The position requires successful completion and acceptable results of a background check.
Bennington College offers a comprehensive benefits program (to eligible employees) that includes medical, dental, vision, life and long-term disability insurance, retirement, and tuition benefits including Tuition Exchange scholarships. The College also offers an on-site fitness center as well as generous time off benefits (4 weeks of vacation, 10 sick days and 17 paid holidays).
Bennington College is a laboratory for innovation in higher education. At Bennington, learning and making—on campus and in the field—are inseparable, and its graduates are noted for their outsized impact on the world’s stage. This campus celebrates the ongoing making of work—shared on walls, in shows and performances, in lectures and readings, and in conversations—and believes that equity, diversity, and inclusivity are vital to a collaborative community. This position captures, contributes to, and reflects the ethos of this creative community.
Nestled at the foot of the Green Mountains in Vermont, the campus consists of approximately 370 acres. The College was named one of ten with the best architecture by Architectural Digest. From campus, it is a short drive to the cultural offerings of the northern Berkshires in Massachusetts, Albany, New York, and many of Vermont’s top recreational centers. New York City, Boston, and Burlington, Vermont are all within three and a half hours by car.
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