Assistant Director of Annual Giving and Alumni Relations

Posted on 07/28/2023

Ferris State University

Big Rapids, MI

Summary of Position: 

Develop, maintain, and strengthen relationships between the University and its former students through programs, events, and communication platforms designed to foster increased goodwill and financial support for the University. Serve as the primary advisor of the Student Alumni Gold Club and Primary Liaison for the Alumni Ambassador program. Perform administrative duties as assigned by the Director of Annual Giving and Alumni Relations.

Required Work Experience: 

2 to 4 years of: professional experience involving fundraising and donor relations or equivalent, or relevant experience in sales, marketing, or digital media as it relates to donor relations. Project management experience. Strong written and oral communication skills.

Additional Education/Experiences to be Considered: 

In lieu of direct work experience, knowledge and understanding of the principles, processes and practices of alumni relations, annual giving, marketing/communications and the fundraising cycle.

  • Experience as a registered student organization advisor. Supervisory experience, preferably in a university environment.
  • Experience as a registered student organization executive board member.
  • Knowledge of proficiency of HTML, Photoshop, and Salesforce. Experience in social media management.
  • Advanced knowledge and demonstrated experience with volunteer development, management, and oversight.
  • Strong interpersonal, team, and leadership skills; tact and flexibility in working with diverse populations.
  • Ability to juggle competing priorities, interruptions, and inquiries with a high level of professionalism and tolerance for ambiguity.

Essential Duties/Responsibilities: 

  • Works with the Director of Annual Giving and Alumni Relations to create a strategic plan for all alumni giving programs which includes identifying, cultivating and solicitation of annual gifts.
  • Serve as an Annual Gift Officer.
  • Oversees and executes signature alumni programs, including but not limited to:
    • Homecoming Welcome Tent and all activities surrounding Homecoming
    • Annual Fall Class Reunion and Distinguished Alumni Awards night
    • Annual Alumni Association Golf Outing
    • Regional Alumni Association events (i.e., Florida, Colorado, Arizona, Wisconsin, Illinois and surrounding communities within Michigan)
    • Annual Fall and Spring Graduation Fairs
    • Collaborative alumni activities and advisory board meetings with colleges and/or departments
    • Procure and negotiate contracts for events including venue, food, décor, entertainment and audio-visual equipment.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of alumni outreach activities on a yearly basis, track data, monitor goals and benchmarks of engagement and develop briefing reports for campus and university leaders
    • Refresh program strategies based on participant feedback and outcomes and best practices.
    • Develop and maintain an annual calendar of events for all University annual giving and alumni activities.
  • Serve as primary advisor for the Student Alumni Gold Club, ensuring the continuity and advance of:
    • Volunteer service on-campus and in the community
    • Philanthropy Day and other student philanthropic initiatives
    • The Bulldog Mascot program
    • Volunteer assistance at Alumni Association events, the President’s Boxes (football and hockey), The Foundation for Excellence Benefit and other major University events (groundbreakings, ribbon cuttings, major anniversaries, etc.)
    • Attend bi-monthly Student Alumni Gold Club meetings and weekly e-board meetings
    • Responsible for designated funds for both SAGC and Mascot Program to ensure proper annual budgeting and work in partnership with Athletics and Student Affairs for continuing and administering scholarship funds.
  • Work in collaboration with the Advancement Communications Specialist to develop and/or coordinate and maintain alumni relations, annual giving and Alumni Association content for:
    • Alumni Association Website
    • Solicitations
    • Day of giving campaign
    • Facility and staff annual giving campaign
    • Bulldog Bytes, monthly electronic newsletter
    • Email blasts for events and other special announcements
    • Social media platforms of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram
  • Develop dynamic and creative marketing strategies and materials in collaboration with the Marketing and Communications team to enhance annual giving and alumni engagement and philanthropic support.
  • Responsible for the effective use, maintenance and PCI compliance.
    • Document and update alumni and donor records in a CRM database.
  • Oversee and increase participation in the Bulldog Ambassador Program. Identify key individuals in Regional Alumni areas that will serve the university as an alumni and donor engagement liaison and assist the Alumni Association with area events, giving, student recruitment, student retention and alumni pride.
  • Assist with identifying and cultivating individuals, corporations, and organizations with potential for providing private sponsorships and major donations to the University.
  • Researches and incorporates ongoing annual fund best practices to help develop new and creative strategies to increase support.
  • Responsible, in collaboration with News Services/Social Media, for developing, executing and maintaining a social media plan.
  • Build and maintain relationships with campus partners, maintaining a high level of communication and service
  • Remain competent and current through self-directed professional reading, developing professional contacts with colleagues and attending professional development conferences/training.
  • Reports directly to the Director of Annual Giving and Alumni Relations.
  • Responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of designated information.
  • Performs all duties in compliance with applicable University policies and procedures and state and federal requirements.
  • Supervise assigned staff and students as necessary.
  • Any other duties assigned within the position classification area.
  • Demonstrates an understanding of diversity, equity, and inclusion, especially in working relationships with students, faculty, staff and community members.

Skills and Abilities: 

  • Develop and maintain impactful relationships with alumni, friends, media representatives, donors and prospective donors of the University.
  • Interact in an effective and appropriate manner with diverse populations, internal staff, university community and the public.
  • Communicate ideas and concepts clearly, efficiently and effectively both orally and in writing.
  • Work independently and as part of cooperative management team.
  • Develop and manage multiple projects and adhere to deadlines.
  • Ability to set-up and tear down staging, decorations, signs/banners, and various promotional items that support all types of events and activities.
  • Oversee projects with detail for budgets, deadlines, special events and services.
  • Examine, evaluate and propose changes and enhancements to policy and procedures.
  • Demonstrated commitment, experience and understanding for diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Required Documents: 

  • Cover Letter
  • Resume
  • Unofficial Transcript 

Advertised Salary: 

$58,000 to $63,000, plus comprehensive benefit package (health care, vacation, etc.)

EEO Statement: 

Ferris State University, an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employer, is committed to enhancing equity, inclusion, and diversity within its community. Ferris offers employment opportunities to qualified candidates seeking careers in a student-focused environment that values opportunity, collaboration, diversity and educational excellence.  Learn more about the Ferris Mission and community at The University actively seeks applications from women, minorities, individuals with disabilities, veterans, and other underrepresented groups. For more information on the University’s Policy on Non-Discrimination, visit: Ferris Non-Discrimination Statement.

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