Assistant Director, Parents Program (Annual Giving Officer)

Posted on 07/21/2021

Duke University

Durham, NC

Occupational Summary:

As a member of the Duke Annual Fund staff in the Office of Duke Alumni Engagement and Development, the Assistant Director of the Duke Parents Program is primarily responsible for directing two class campaigns and will develop strategies for achieving class goals, help with the creation of volunteer resource materials, and manage other aspects of the program. Widely regarded as the model Parents Program in higher education, the Assistant Director will assist with raising more than $7 million annually and developing relationships with a volunteer cadre of 715+ non-alumni parents. The assistant director will travel nationally to solicit donors; recruit and train volunteers; develop and manage relationships with university colleagues; and staff multiple events per year. This position will also direct the planning and execution of the Parents Program Webinar Series and a parent annual fund leadership giving initiative. The position reports to the Senior Assistant Director for the Parents Program.

Work Performed:

  • Recruit, train, and manage two classes of Parents Committee members with approximately 200 volunteers per class.
  • Establish ambitious fundraising goals—both dollars and class participation—and develop strategies to achieve these goals, working with class leadership, Director of Development, and other colleagues.
  • Identify, cultivate, solicit, and steward donors to the Annual Fund, focusing on leadership Annual Fund gifts ($1,000+).
  • Maintain frequent contact with volunteers to provide support with recruitment, solicitations, and other tasks.
  • Serve as point of contact for Duke parent donors and volunteers.
  • Make volunteer assignments of leadership prospects and track progress of leadership gifts throughout fiscal year.
  • Work with the Parents Program staff and colleagues across campus to develop comprehensive solicitation strategies for top prospects. Refer prospects to colleagues as relevant.
  • Work with DAED Special Events to plan and implement 3-5 regional parent events annually; recruit hosts, provide Duke speakers, and prepare briefing materials. Attend event as primary staff person and oversee follow-up.

Qualify, cultivate, solicit and steward leadership Annual Fund prospects

  • Travel 6-8 times per year to identify, cultivate, solicit and steward a portfolio of leadership Annual Fund parent prospects. In addition, visit with alumni prospects as appropriate.
  • Work with Parents Program staff and the Annual Fund Leadership Giving team to draft and implement an initiative focused on increasing the number of Annual Fund parent donors who give at the $1K to $5K level each year. Work with Stewardship team on ways to steward this constituency.
  • Meet with and develop relationships with Duke prospects to personally qualify their financial capacity and inclination to make leadership Annual Fund gifts to Duke. Diplomatically ask qualifying questions to distinguish between prospects and suspects.
  • Solicit prospects for gifts to the Annual Fund with focus on securing $1K+ single year gifts from non-alumni parents.
  • Develop initial strategies for on-going involvement including appropriate referrals to fundraising colleagues in DAED and across Duke.
  • Provide timely post-visit follow-up including tracking moves and solicitations in DADD, sending personalized follow up to individual prospects, and making referrals to University Development and campus-wide gift officers as appropriate.

Assist with overall Parents Committee and Program management

  • Assist with the creation and maintenance of all volunteer resource materials, including an annual volunteer manual, monthly committee updates, timely solicitation samples, and additional resources as needed.
  • Help with substantive programming during Orientation, Family Weekend, Winter Co-Chair Retreat, spring Parents Committee weekend, and Graduation.
  • Participate in research of incoming class and report to Director of Development on leadership and committee member prospects.
  • Manage assignment process for Stewardship volunteers including pulling lists of donors, creating assignments and sending them out to the volunteers.

Oversee the Parents Program Virtual Series

  • Plan and execute at least 3 Zoom Calls with Duke Leadership for Parents Committee members. Calls are designed to be of particular interest to parents and provide an insider view into Duke. Recruit speakers, advertise, prepare briefings for speakers, and follow up for each call.
  • Coordinate an annual Webinar hosted by members of the Parents Committee for leadership Annual Fund prospects.

Assist with the general operation of the Parents Program.

  • Assist with reporting to analyze giving trends—provide analysis and make recommendations to ensure program is maximizing results.
  • Assist with drafting operating plans and updates for colleagues and volunteer leadership on progress.
  • Work with Parents Program staff to effectively steward volunteers and leadership donors.
  • Assist in coordination and review maintenance of parent records on database.

Serve as an active member of the Duke Annual Fund staff and the Parents Team.

  • Attend biweekly staff and team meetings.
  • Attend and participate in Annual Fund events and gift club receptions (i.e. Homecoming, Graduation, Annual Fund Advisory Board, and Student/Senior Gift Events).

Perform other related duties incidental to the work described herein.



  • Ability to travel regularly and to work on weekends and evenings is required.
  • Strong initiative, high energy level, creativity, and attention to detail.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills for working with volunteers.
  • Ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously, working both independently and as a team member.
  • Knowledge of Duke University preferred.

Behavioral Competencies:

  • Ability to Influence
  • Curiosity and Information Seeking
  • Dealing with ambiguity
  • Decisiveness and Judgement
  • Organizational Awareness
  • Collaborating with Others
  • Expressing Ideas Orally and in Writing
  • Flexibility
  • Self-Management
  • Listening

Minimum Qualifications


Work requires communications, analytical and organizational skills generally acquired through completion of a bachelor’s degree program.


Work requires one year of experience in alumni affairs, public relations, fund raising, sales and promotions, marketing, student activities or a related field in order to acquire skills necessary to administer and coordinate annual fund solicitations and other special fund raising activities. A bachelor’s degree from Duke University may be substituted for the required year of experience since the familiarity with the University and contacts with current students and recent graduates would be directly relevant to the job, or an equivalent combination of relevant education and/or experience.

Duke is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer committed to providing employment opportunity without regard to an individual’s age, color, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status.

Duke aspires to create a community built on collaboration, innovation, creativity, and belonging. Our collective success depends on the robust exchange of ideas—an exchange that is best when the rich diversity of our perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences flourishes. To achieve this exchange, it is essential that all members of the community feel secure and welcome, that the contributions of all individuals are respected, and that all voices are heard. All members of our community have a responsibility to uphold these values.

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