Director of Annual Giving

Posted on 05/19/2023

Colby College

Waterville, ME

The College is seeking a highly motivated director of annual giving at this exciting and defining moment in Colby’s history. Colby has set an aggressive goal to become one of the leading annual giving programs among liberal arts colleges, reflecting the ground-breaking size of its campaign. Current use giving through the Colby Fund supports critical areas of the College including the academic program, student services, financial aid, unrestricted giving, athletics and recreation, and more. The Colby Fund raises between $9-$11 million annually. Of Colby’s 20,000 alumni, approximately 40 percent make annual contributions either through major or annual gifts. 

Reporting to the assistant vice president (AVP) of alumni and donor engagement, the director of annual giving will be responsible (in partnership with the AVP and other colleagues) for making the Colby Fund a top performing annual giving program in the country defined by innovation, collaboration, creativity, and attention to detail with the goal of becoming a sustainable $11 million annual operation with an alumni participation rate over 45%.

Essential Functions and Responsibilities: 

  • Conceptualize and drive an innovative, multi-year annual giving strategy and tactical plan with a foundation in broad based appeals that will increase overall giving (goal: $11 million+) and alumni participation (to over 45%). 
  • Design and implement the necessary tactics to improve donor retention and contribute to the building of a robust pipeline of annual giving prospects.
  • Analyze metrics and key performance indicators for respective initiatives and programs.
  • Contribute to the development of messaging and materials that articulate the importance of annual gifts to Colby’s success.
  • Partner with leadership annual giving officers, class and affinity cohort managers, and other individual gift officers to identify and develop annual giving prospects as well as identify opportunities for challenge donors as part of broad-based campaigns.
  • Partner with principal, leadership, annual and gift planning offers to set individual annual giving asks for managed prospects; Ensure individual gift officers have a clear understanding of the annual giving strategy and tactical plans for the year; regularly check in with gift officers to monitor individual annual giving goals.
  • Partner with the Director of Advancement Marketing and Communications and vendors to develop and implement targeted and broad campaigns through direct mail, peer-to-peer, electronic and staff-driven fundraising efforts; use innovative marketing techniques and strategies that recognize how different generations and affinity cohorts respond to outreach and engagement efforts; target audiences include current and prospective alumni and parent/family donors, students, and friends.
  • Manage the Colby Fund Student Ambassador program, ensuring proper staffing and deployment of alumni engagement and solicitation strategies; long term goal of revitalizing the program. 
  • Continually monitor progress against fundraising targets; partner with the Director of Advancement Operations and the Director of Advancement Analytics to analyze robust data sets; and implement strategies to ensure success in meeting goals. 
  • Serve as primary staff liaison for the Colby Fund Committee, a subcommittee of Colby’s Alumni Council; serve as a resource for volunteer leaders (and colleagues who manage them) and ensure that they are equipped with the training necessary to carry out their duties and responsibilities related to annual giving.
  • Collaborate with the Director of Class Philanthropy and Engagement and the Director of Engagement to establish, monitor, and meet class/affinity revenue and participation goals for key alumni cohorts as well as conceptualize and implement class and cohort-based appeals in partnership with those teams.
  • Collaborate with the Director of Donor Relations to ensure the accurate and meaningful stewardship of gifts to the Colby Fund.
  • Collaborate with the Leadership Annual Giving Officer-1813 Society and the Director of Donor Relations to recruit, supervise, and manage the efforts of the 1813 Society Committee and 1813 Society Ambassadors; work with these volunteers to promote peer-to-peer gift cultivation and solicitation. Build strong personal relationships with alumni and key faculty and staff partners to help strategize around annual giving opportunities.
  • Manage budgets for programming activities as assigned.
  • Perform additional duties as assigned; duties, responsibilities, and activities may change at any time with or without notice.


  • Bachelor’s degree or the equivalent in education and experience.
  • At least five years of relevant experience preferably in higher education annual giving programs recognized for their strength and effectiveness, or similar experience in a non-profit complex environment that emphasizes broad-based fundraising, donor acquisition, volunteer management, and stewardship. 
  • Demonstrated experience using data to guide fundraising efforts. Conversant with robust data analytic skills to guide a comprehensive and intricate fundraising program. 
  • Sophisticated understanding of digital communications strategies to include social media, fundraising software, and email-based solicitations and an understanding of how they may be used to increase alumni participation rates and revenue. 
  • Prior experience working with staff and volunteers, the ability to manage complex relationships, and proven collaboration and teamwork skills to leverage activities, initiatives, and programs for multiple purposes.
  • A keen understanding and appreciation for the role annual, unrestricted giving has on the overall fundraising success of an organization and the fiscal health of an institution. 
  • Demonstrated ability to think and plan long-term while successfully attending to more immediate goals and tasks; strong critical thinking and problem-solving skills; demonstrated ability to meet multiple simultaneous deadlines and to work in a fast-paced environment.
  • Excellent oral, written, and interpersonal communication skills, including superb relationship skills and ability to work with people across a wide range of levels of power and influence.
  • Must be flexible, have great attention to detail, show initiative, and have a results-driven philosophy with the ability to problem-solve.
  • Proficiency with fundraising/alumni relations databases and technology.
  • Familiarity with IRS regulations—as they relate to philanthropic giving—and accounting and reporting standards. 
  • Willingness to travel and to work hours outside the normal working day (i.e. nights and weekends).
  • Valid driver’s license required.
  • Appreciation of Colby’s mission and the ability to effectively communicate it.
  • Strong, self-motivated work ethic; flexibility; and proven capability to work both independently and collaboratively and constructively as a member of a diverse community; ability to navigate effectively in a complex environment.
  • An entrepreneurial spirit and a positive attitude

Key Relationships: 

Reporting to the assistant vice president of alumni and donor engagement, the director of annual giving will have direct contact with the advancement leadership team, the chief development officer, the VP and chief institutional advancement officer, senior administration, key faculty, and staff members across campus. The position also has significant interaction with alumni, donors, prospects, visitors, and outside constituencies

Working Conditions/Physical Requirements: 

General open office and campus environment. Position involves sitting, although frequent movement is necessary. Computer usage involving repetitive hand/wrist motion is also necessary. Ability to move around campus and interact with faculty, staff, students, alumni, and external constituencies regularly is crucial. Travel and work outside of normal business hours are required. 

Conditions of Employment:
Successful and satisfactory completion of a background check (including a criminal records check). 

To Apply: 

Interested candidates should apply electronically by clicking the “Apply” button on the Colby Careers website. Please submit a letter of interest including salary requirements, resume, and the contact information of three professional references.

Materials should be addressed to:

Director of Annual Giving – Search Committee
Office of Human Resources
Colby College
5500 Mayflower Hill
Waterville, ME  04901-8855

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