Associate Director, RISD Fund: Class Giving + Student Philanthropy

Posted on 10/03/2022

Rhode Island School of Design

Providence, RI

Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) seeks an Associate Director of RISD Funds, Class Giving + Student Philanthropy to join the College’s Institutional Advancement department. The successful candidate will act as a key member of the RISD Fund team, serving as the RISD Fund’s day-to-day contact for all fundraising functions in relation to class giving and student philanthropy. The Associate Director will support growth for RISD Fund leadership programs, such as the 1877 Society, and manage all aspects of alumni reunion gift campaigns and non-reunion class fundraising efforts.

Institutional Advancement (IA) is responsible for engaging donors in meaningful ways and encouraging them to financially support the college, stewarding significant relationships to yield funding from RISD’s alumni, students, parents, and relevant corporations and foundations.

The Associate Director of RISD Funds, Class Giving + Student Philanthropy will support IA through planning, implementing, and managing class-specific and student philanthropy fundraising and engagement programs and/or events. As needed, the individual serves as an annual giving/class giving representative, and will continually evaluate effectiveness of programs, analyze metrics and results, and study trends in the market in order to recommend any improvements. Additionally, the individual is responsible for ensuring RISD Fund data and files are complete, accurate and ready for solicitation use.

We seek a culturally competent candidate who will thrive in a campus environment that is committed to advancing the principles of social equity and inclusion, environmental and climate justice, and equal access to resources and opportunities.

Essential Functions/Duties: 

  • Develop a comprehensive strategic plan for class giving and student philanthropy that includes metric growth tracking, cultivation and stewardship opportunities, and implement as approved.
  • Strategically identify, recruit, train, motivate, and supervise volunteers, which may include members of the Alumni Association Leadership Council, RISD Fund Steering Committee, RISD Student Council, managed prospects, and other high-level donors, to serve as class volunteers.
  • Formulate class, reunion, and student giving and participation goals. Provide staff support, leadership, and overall direction to volunteer committees.
  • Establish and develop relationships with lead alumni volunteers, guiding them through the cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship process used in peer-to-peer outreach.
  • Manage the execution of all solicitation assignments for volunteers.
  • Develop appropriate communications essential to the attainment of class goals, including, but not limited to, training materials, conference calls, fundraising updates, etc.
  • Solicit and assist frontline fundraisers in securing reunion gifts from prospective and current donors with a focus on increasing gifts to the RISD Fund. Leverage the reunion year as a solicitation strategy to increase commitments. Cultivate, solicit, and steward those prospects, which may include personal visits (in-person and virtual – approximately 40 per year) for cultivation and solicitation purposes, as strategically appropriate. Determine and implement the strategies for engaging prospective donors and donors in ways that bring them closer to RISD. In coordination with other fundraisers, craft and execute strategies for giving.
  • Summarize personal visits (in-person and virtual), outreach and communications, and proposal details via contact reports within the expected timeframe.
  • Implement and monitor performance of programs and evaluate effectiveness. Develop and recommend methods or strategies to maximize effectiveness and increase dollars and donors for the RISD Fund. Develop reports to track RISD Fund progress for Institutional Advancement team and senior staff.
  • Organize, manage, and implement the steps necessary to ensure the successful completion of new and existing class-based or team-based programs, projects, or events, including but not limited to training, webinars and engagement events. In addition, serve as an annual giving/class giving representative on select internal planning committees. Collaborate with Major + Planned Gifts team, Alumni + Family Relations team, special events team, and other campus partners to accomplish program, project, or event objectives.
  • Stay abreast of industry trends within annual giving, recommending new strategies to incorporate in the annual plan.
  • May assist with logistical arrangements related to donor engagement and various other IA events as needed.
  • Perform additional related duties as outlined by Executive Director, RISD Fund.

Knowledge/Skills/Experience Required: 

  • Ability to create and manage to project timelines.
  • Ability to work and communicate effectively with a broad spectrum of divisional and institutional colleagues, within an environment that values diversity, equity and inclusion.
  • Prior experience working with staff and volunteers, the ability to manage complex relationships, and proven collaboration and teamwork skills in a diverse community to leverage activities,initiatives, and programs for multiple purposes.
  • Strong organizational, interpersonal, oral and written communication skills are important, along with ability to foster and build donor relations.
  • Demonstrated interest/experience in art and design desirable. Strong computer skills are required.
  • Bachelor’s degree required or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • 5 years of experience in development for educational and/or arts organizations.

Work Schedule: 

35 hours per week; 12 months per year

Documents Needed to Apply: 

Resume (required)

Cover Letter (required)

Incomplete applications will not be considered. Please upload all required documents.

The successful candidate will be required to meet our pre-employment background screening requirements.

RISD recognizes diversity and inclusivity as fundamental to its learning community and integral to an art and design education. We welcome candidates whose experience has prepared them to contribute to our commitment to diversity and excellence. RISD is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Employment decisions are made without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetics, or any other protected characteristic as established by law.

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