Director, Leadership Annual Giving

Posted on 11/09/2023

Northwestern University

Evanston, IL

Primary management officer with comprehensive responsibility for program and team results. Works with senior management to establish goals and report on progress to those goals. Manages multiple teams in developing strategies and translating those strategies to action plans. Monitors results, determines strengths and weaknesses of component programs and works with team leaders and development staff to modify plans and strategies to ensure achievement of program and organization goals. Participates in department management activities. May manage a portfolio of high profile/high-level prospects.  Serves as liaison to both University and Northwestern Alumni Association (NAA).

As a team leader and member of the central annual giving team, the Director of Leadership Annual Giving will devise and execute strategies to continue to grow support for the University at the leadership annual giving levels. Set and achieve yearly program goals to continue industry-leading results. Oversee strategic approach to growing annual membership in the Northwestern University Leadership Circle (NULC), the University’s 12,500+ member leadership giving society, and boost leadership giving at the five- and six-figure levels.

  • Manage, develop, and coach a team of 4 frontline and 3 programmatic support professionals to ensure program growth.
  • Manage a national portfolio of NU’s highest-profile leadership level donors in collaboration with development officers across the University’s schools and units.
  • Oversee 325+ leadership giving volunteers with a focus on growth in most lucrative regional markets and expanding into new markets. Also designs efforts to motivate, inform, and recognize volunteers.
  • Design strategies to boost the number and quality of prospect qualifications to support growth targets of the major gift prospect pool.

Specific Responsibilities:

Strategic Planning

  • Primary responsibility for development & implementation of strategic plans focused on engagement and participation of alumni, friends, faculty and staff.
  • Oversees, relationship management groups creating, implementing, and managing these plans to incorporate cutting edge & best practices to dramatically increase engagement & participation.
  • Initiates, plans and implements innovative & visionary organizational change & takes calculated risks to develop new strategies to continually expand engagement & participation across the globe.
  • Works closely with senior department management and other senior managers to set goals and to develop and implement overarching relationship management strategies, including prospect identification, engagement, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship programming.
  • Oversees programmatic performance evaluation and resourcing, process improvement and research.


  • Reviews & proposes strategic alliances, joint ventures & key collaborations with department and other University partners to identify opportunities to integrate University strategic plan goals.
  • Oversees and coaches team members regarding department collaborations.
  • Please bullet examples of key partnerships and work involved below:
  • Prospects & Gifts
  • Plays a primary role in developing and managing relationship strategies including the creation & implementation of world-wide programs & services for alumni, students, parents, friends and groups of volunteers and prospect/donor pools that ultimately result in increases in philanthropic contributions.
  • Maintains up to date current knowledge on key alumni and high level donors.
  • Tracks and manages the emerging prospect pool to develop reports and monitor program results.


  • Leads efforts to create and facilitate a vibrant culture of philantrhopy, service and volunteerism which includes working with high-level volunteers to determine goals, and then identify, recruit, and coach groups of volunteers, plan and coordinate meetings, determine strategies, and report on progress.
  • Leads efforts to refine & expand the NAA & University’s board’s membership, involvement, and responsibilities and introduces strategies to deepen broader alumni volunteerism, providing more opportunities for alumni to become involved.
  • Oversees development & implementation of a variety of leadership training opportunities both in-person & virtually designed to meet the needs of entry level to advanced alumni leaders in locations around the world.
  • Requires extensive travel throughout the region or country.


  • Oversees development & management of events & programs designed to expand constituent engagement & participation across the globe.
  • Reviews and approves event plans & summaries ensuring that overall goals & objectives are attained.
  • Works directly with high level volunteers & donors to ensure that individual needs are met.


  • Manages multiple teams, provides leadership, determines & evaluates individual goals, develops & implements training and mentoring, assigns and monitors coverage of primary areas of focus ensuring that goals & objectives are attained.
  • Conducts associated ongoing data analysis to determine trends, results & future plans.
  • Encourages & optimizes the use of technology, social networking, and other virtual engagement tools to increase & broaden NU’s & school’s global reach to prospects & donors.
  • Selects and manages high-level vendor/consultant relationships, including determining goals and coordinating activities with department and University staff.


  • Strategically manages a department budget ensuring to minimize expenses while maximizing return.
  • Supervisory
  • Supervises 2 or more staff.
  • Provides training to staff within or outside of immediate dept or division in regard to function.
  • Leads, coaches and evaluates performance of direct reports


Performs other duties as assigned.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Successful completion of a full 4-year course of study in an accredited college or university leading to a bachelor’s or higher degree; OR appropriate combination of education and experience.
  • 8 years development, marketing, sales or the equivalent experience is required.
  • Minimum Competencies: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities.)
  • Team leadership; analytical thinking, complex problem solving and planning; global/organizational perspective; ability to work in fast-paced environment; comfortable with change and associated ambiguity

To apply for this job please visit