Director, Leadership Annual Giving

Posted on 10/25/2022

Boston University

Boston, MA

Our Mission

We in Boston University Development & Alumni Relations (DAR) harness the power of philanthropy to make an excellent education accessible and welcoming to all, and to advance BU’s global leadership in research, scholarship, artistic creation, and professional practice.  To support our work, we have built—and are continuing to build—an outstanding team of dynamic, mission-driven advancement professionals who constantly strive to create an environment where everyone belongs.  Where it’s not just about a job, but a career and a community.

Now, our Annual Giving team is looking for a Director who will create cutting-edge strategies that engage and cultivate the next generation of leadership and major gift donors at BU.

Annual Giving at Boston University

Each year, alumni, students, parents, and friends choose to support everything from softballs to software at BU. These gifts are then deployed to fund research, provide emergency student assistance, pay for travel to academic conferences, and lots more throughout the year.

Director, Leadership Annual Giving

In partnership with the Executive Director, Annual and Leadership Giving, the Director, Leadership Giving Programs 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. 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.


Strategy & Leadership:

  • Actively building, managing, and coaching the Leadership Annual Giving team, planning and executing data-driven strategies for the enhancement and growth of donor participation and revenue.
  • Develops and implements 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.
  • Designs measures and reports to demonstrate accomplishments, identify areas for improvement and track the overall performance of traditional and digital fundraising activities. Will 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:

  • Launch and 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 the 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 175 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.

Required Skills:

A cover letter is required for consideration.

  • A Bachelor’s degree (Master’s preferred).
  • 8+ 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 in an annual giving program, 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 leadership 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 as well as presentation skills.

But that’s not all we’re looking for; we want someone who embodies our values:

  • Teamwork, transparency, and mutual respect, because we value every member’s contributions and know that leadership can come from anywhere.
  • Diversity, equity, inclusion, and a commitment to ensuring that each of us knows we belong here.
  • Integrity in how we work and how we treat one another.
  • Strategic thinking and curiosity in the relentless pursuit of fresh approaches and measurable results.
  • Continuous growth and improvement, both as individuals and as a team.
  • Joy and shared appreciation for working hard toward goals that matter.

If this resonates with you and you want to help us in our ambitious next campaign—and maybe do some of your best work as an advancement professional— we encourage you to apply. If you are hesitant to apply because you have not previously performed every responsibility listed in the description, but you do possess transferable skills and the defined qualifications, we still want to hear from you and welcome your application as well.

To learn more about Development & Alumni Relations at Boston University, and other job opportunities, please stop by the DAR Talent website:

Please note all newly hired staff and faculty will need to be in compliance with Boston University’s COVID-19 Vaccination and Booster Requirement within 30 days of date of hire. You must upload your vaccine documentation or request a medical or religious exemption (instructions). For further information on the University’s response to COVID-19, please visit the COVID-19 Resources site.

We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, military service, pregnancy or pregnancy-related condition, or because of marital, parental, or veteran status. We are 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.

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