Director, Leadership Annual Giving

Posted on 11/28/2022

Boston University

Boston, MA

Boston University (BU) seeks a collaborative and entrepreneurial Director of Leadership Annual Giving (Director) to implement and lead strategies designed to deepen and expand the University’s donor pipeline through direct donor solicitation, giving society programming, and stewardship initiatives. Overseeing a team of three and personally managing a portfolio of prospects and donors, the Director will play a key leadership role at an exciting time of growth and momentum toward an ambitious multi-billion-dollar campaign.

BU has charted a stellar ascent in recent years. Now ranked #41 by U.S. News and World Report, the University comprises 17 Schools and Colleges, including highly ranked graduate schools such as the School of Law, School of Business, School of Education, and College of Engineering. Founded in 1839, BU has always been a hub for innovation. As one of the largest independent nonprofit universities in the country, it was the first university to open all divisions to female students in 1872. BU created one of the first study abroad programs, and, today, about one third of the University’s 36,809 students come from countries outside the United States. This diversity is one of the greatest institutional strengths of the University, underpinned by its commitment to empowering students, staff, and faculty to cultivate diverse communities across a large, urban campus and around the world.

Sustaining strong, vibrant alumni networks is among the visionary initiatives President Brown has outlined in the new Strategic Plan for 2030, which will form the foundation for an upcoming comprehensive campaign. The five guiding university priorities are: ensuring a vibrant academic experience; diversity, equity, and inclusion; producing research that matters; creating community, big yet small; and fostering global engagement.

This is an exciting opportunity for an enterprising leader in leadership annual giving to join an institution at the outset of a comprehensive fundraising and engagement campaign that will propel ever-more ambitious achievement. In partnership with the Executive Director of Annual and Leadership Giving and the Senior Director of Annual Giving, BU’s next Director of Leadership Annual Giving will create cutting-edge strategies that engage and cultivate the next generation of leadership and major gift donors at BU.

The ideal candidate will possess a minimum of eight years of experience, a keen understanding of best practices in annual giving, experience managing a team, and a demonstrated record of accomplishment in developing successful fundraising strategies in a complex university. The successful candidate will have handson experience managing within an annual giving program, with expertise in cultivating and soliciting gifts of $1,000 – $49,999 and managing stewardship programming and giving societies. The next Director should have a collegial, team-building style with a demonstrated ability to cultivate productive, collaborative relationships with colleagues across the University, utilizing the creativity, energy, and political savvy needed to introduce and champion new ideas. In accordance with its core values and mission, BU is especially interested in recruiting members of diverse communities and individuals with a commitment to multiculturalism.

Position Summary: 

Reporting to the Executive Director, Annual and Leadership Giving, the Director of Leadership Annual Giving is responsible for overseeing and implementing the leadership annual giving program’s strategic initiatives through a bold and innovative approach that expands the donor pipeline and oversees frontline fundraisers responsible for the identification, qualification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of donors with the capacity to give at the level of $1,000 – $49,999 annually.

The Director will be responsible for implementing a strategic new approach, leveraging traditional solicitation methods with fresh digital initiatives, and bringing together the optimal combination of targeted digital advertising, social media, video, email, phone, virtual visits, and texting, all driven by donor analytics. The Director will be expected to develop and cultivate relationships with a portfolio of approximately 200 leadership annual giving prospects.

Essential Duties: 

Strategy & Leadership

  • Actively build, manage, and coach the Leadership Annual Giving team, planning and executing data-driven strategies for the enhancement and growth of donor participation and revenue.
  • Develop and implement the roll-out of new digital innovation and engagement initiatives to acquire, retain, renew, and upgrade donors.
  • Responsible for analyzing and identifying opportunities to collaborate across functions such as marketing, technology, fundraising, and programs to create engaging experiences for alumni, friends, and donors.
  • Design measures and reports to demonstrate accomplishments, identify areas for improvement, and track the overall performance of traditional and digital fundraising activities. Report regularly on the success of traditional and digital fundraising efforts across University Advancement.
  • Oversee the Annual Giving & Leadership Annual giving stewardship and retention program and team.

1839 Society

  • Successfully manage the 1839 Society, BU’s leadership annual giving recognition society.
  • Establish a volunteer board to expand the peer-to-peer opportunity to grow the 1839 Society to alumni, parents, and friends of the university.
  • Partner with schools and campus units to support the growth of 1839 Society donors to their schools.
  • Create and manage a robust calendar of exclusive event opportunities for members that highlight and showcase deans, professors, alumni, and other unique opportunities nationwide.
  • In partnership with Annual Giving, create an annual solicitation calendar that upgrades annual giving donors to the 1839 Society and retains and upgrades current members.
  • Manage and ensure the annual fulfillment of 1839 Society benefits.

Frontline Fundraising

  • Identification, qualification, cultivation, and solicitation of leadership annual giving prospects to create and grow a pipeline of major gift donors.
  • Conduct at least 100 visits annually with prospects and donors annually and participate in 5 solicitations per month.
  • Strategic development and management of a portfolio with approximately 200 prospects and donors capable of making gifts of $1,000 – $49,999 annually.
  • Partner with the Prospect Management team and the Annual Giving team to identify prospective donors and strategically assess their philanthropic capacity and inclination.
  • Make donor referrals to Advancement and campus-wide gift officers, as appropriate.
  • Collaborate with colleagues to help align donors’ philanthropic interests with various priorities across campus.
  • Attend a variety of events throughout the year. Regular travel and occasional night and weekend work are required.
  • Perform other duties as required or assigned.

Experience and Qualifications: 

The ideal candidate will bring many of the following professional qualities and experiences:

  • A bachelor’s degree is required; a master’s degree is preferred.
  • Eight or more years of work experience, including a minimum of five years of experience in development or alumni relations with demonstrated success in growing revenue and participation through frontline cultivation and solicitation of gifts in the four to five-figure range for annual giving, reunion, regional leadership, or parent giving, preferably in a complex institution of higher education.
  • Hands-on experience managing all facets of a large annual giving program with a complex, multi-channeled approach, ideally in a higher education research institution within a campaign setting.
  • Experience managing a diverse team of professionals performing in a fast-paced, deadline-driven environment with ability to motivate, grow, and retain high performers.
  • Experience in frontline fundraising with the expertise to manage a small portfolio of leadership annual giving prospects and collaborate with regional and school-based gift officers.
  • The ability to manage up to senior leaders and direct supervisor, meeting and exceeding expectations in a strategic, thoughtful, and timely manner with a high degree of quality.
  • Outstanding oral and written communication skills, including presentation skills


Compensation is highly competitive and budgeted in the range of $110,000 – $130,000 annually, depending on experience. Boston University offers a comprehensive benefits package, which adds significantly to the employee’s total compensation package.

Boston University is an equal opportunity employer and gives consideration for employment to qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, military service, or because of marital, parental, or veteran status or any other characteristic protected by law. BU is a VEVRAA Federal Contractor. If you require a reasonable accommodation in order to complete the employment application process, please contact the Equal Opportunity Office at 617-353-6474 or [email protected]

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