Assistant Director, Direct Appeals (Hybrid work schedule)

Posted on 09/19/2022

Northwestern University

Evanston, Illinois

Please note: The target budgeted salary for this position is $58,000 – $62,000 annually. Offers will be based on candidate experience and education, as well as equity within Northwestern University.

Alumni Relations and Development appreciates that the collective sum of our individual differences, experiences, knowledge, and self-expression is crucial for our success. We strongly invite candidates of all backgrounds to apply and to participate fully and authentically in our workplace.

We encourage you to apply even if you do not believe you meet 100% of the preferred qualifications.

Northwestern University is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer of all protected classes, including veterans and individuals with disabilities. Alumni Relations and Development is committed to genuine inclusion. If reasonable accommodation is needed to participate in the job application or interview process, to perform essential job functions, and/or to receive other benefits and privileges of employment, please contact Elizabeth Frisch at [email protected]. Consistent with its obligations under the law, Northwestern will provide reasonable accommodation to any employee with a disability who requires accommodation to perform the essential job responsibilities.

Job Summary: 

Responsible for executing Annual Giving mass solicitations, the assistant director, Direct Appeals, is a project manager who implements, deploys, and reports on mass solicitations through email and mail campaigns.

The assistant director is lead project manager for email solicitations: owns the project timeline; works with colleagues for creation of artwork, copy, and data; builds, receives approvals, and deploys email solicitations. The assistant director also tracks, analyzes, and reports on email and mail solicitation results and helps with strategies to optimize results. Assists with creation of online giving carts, online forms, and provides back up for Phonathon. This position works with vendors to secure premium items. The assistant director acts as functional expert with the current Anthology email marketing system and will be a key player in the transition to the new email marketing system.

The ideal candidate is proficient working in Excel and can understand and interpret large data sets—all while bringing an analytic point of view for continuous improvement, including efficiency and scalability, in our processes and documentation.

The individual must be well organized and able to execute with careful attention to detail and commitment to quality of work within strict timelines in a fast-paced environment. Candidate should be a self-starter, problem solver and approach challenges with solutions-oriented mindset both in individual and team settings while working to achieve team goals. Excellent interpersonal skills, collaborative work style and the ability to engage with a variety of constituencies.

The Assistant Director reports to the Director, Direct Appeals, Annual Giving.

Specific Responsibilities:

  • Leads execution of Annual Giving plan set by Annual Giving leadership; prepares, oversees and updates annual solicitation calendar
  • Manages, implements, deploys, and reports on mass solicitations through email and mail campaigns
  • Collaborates closely with team members to prepare data files for vendors and ensures segmentation aligns with overall strategy
  • Employs project management tools as needed to support on-time and accurate completion of simultaneous communications across multiple channels (mail and email).
  • Proactively manages projects by anticipating project needs and challenges to offer solutions
  • Work with ARD colleagues to conceptualize print and digital artwork
  • Work with Annual Giving writer for copy updates and review
  • Analytical skills, with the ability to collect, absorb, and analyze data and information
  • Implements change to achieve department goals
  • Ability to present data to others
  • Update the Director or team on project details and changes in a timely manner

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.
  • Two years development, marketing, sales or the equivalent experience is required.
  • Proven success in Excel including basic functions: sum, filter/sort, count
  • Proficient with MSOffice, familiarity with databases, e-communications tools, HTML and/or project management tools

Minimum Competencies: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities.)

  • Ability to work well in a team-oriented environment and collaborate closely with others on the team, across groups, and one on one
  • Strong organizational and proficient project management skills with ability to handle multiple projects simultaneously
  • Consistently achieve project deadlines and communicate project status regularly
  • Reviewing letters, emails, or newsletters for accurate spelling, grammar, etc. (This position is not a copy editor but does review documentation before final approval).
  • Project Management (including timeline creation, clear communication to stakeholders, follow up on deadlines)
  • Proficient knowledge of MS Office Suite (MS Word, Excel, Access, and PowerPoint)
  • Excellent communication skills, including strong writing and presentation skills
  • Strong attention to detail

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience working with mass communication: mail, email, newsletters
  • Experience in higher education or nonprofit fundraising, marketing, or alumni relations.

Preferred Competencies: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities)

  • Proficiency with Excel with a commitment to continued learning in Excel

At Northwestern, we are proud to provide meaningful, competitive, high-quality health care plans, retirement benefits, tuition discounts and more! Visit us at to learn more.

Work-Life and Wellness:
Northwestern offers comprehensive programs and services to help you and your family navigate life’s challenges and opportunities, and adopt and maintain healthy lifestyles.
We support flexible work arrangements where possible and programs to help you locate and pay for quality, affordable childcare and senior/adult care. Visit us at to learn more.

Professional Growth & Development:
Northwestern supports employee career development in all circumstances whether your workspace is on campus or at home. If you’re interested in developing your professional potential or continuing your formal education, we offer a variety of tools and resources. Visit us at to learn more.

Northwestern requires all staff and faculty to be vaccinated against COVID-19, subject to limited exceptions. For more information, please visit our COVID-19 and Campus Updates website.

The Northwestern campus sits on the traditional homelands of the people of the Council of Three Fires, the Ojibwe, Potawatomi, and Odawa as well as the Menominee, Miami and Ho-Chunk nations. We acknowledge and honor the original people of the land upon which Northwestern University stands, and the Native people who remain on this land today.

Northwestern University is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer of all protected classes, including veterans and individuals with disabilities. Women, racial and ethnic minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply. Click for information on EEO is the Law.

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