Director of Donor Relations

Posted on 03/05/2024

St. Lawrence University

Canton, NY

Position Summary

Reporting to the Associate Vice President for University Advancement, the Director of Donor Relations creates, implements, and manages all aspects of the University’s donor recognition programs, personalized stewardship, and impact reporting. The director will work closely with the offices of the Academic Dean, Admissions and Financial Aid, Athletics, Business Office/Finance, Career Excellence, Student Life, and others to create a collaborative culture of shared stewardship responsibility within the University. The director supervises an associate director and a specialist.

This is an “on-site” position but there could be future opportunities for hybrid-remote for a successful candidate.       

Salary $75,000 – $80,000. The actual rate will be determined based on experience and other factors permitted by law.


Management of donor relations program

  • Develop, execute, and monitor annual goals, objectives, and metrics for the donor relations team.
  • Manage the donor relations team including an associate director of donor relations and administrative assistant, providing overall guidance, mentoring and evaluation.
  • Work collaboratively with frontline fundraisers and the Associate Director of Advancement Marketing & Communications to develop personalized proposals for donors at the major gift level and above, as needed.
  • Develop and execute gift agreements for all major and planned gifts (at certain levels).
  • Oversee the University’s gift acknowledgment process including primary gift acknowledgment letters from advancement staff, acknowledgments from the President and Board of Trustees, as well as outreach to first time donors and Sustaining Saints (loyal donors).
  • Assist in the creation, monitoring, and updating of policies and procedures related to donor relations including gift minimums, naming guidelines and gift acceptance policies.
  • Oversee the maintenance of the Mapping the Laurentian Legacy program that includes all named spaces and plaques on campus; and maintain an ongoing list of available naming opportunities.
  • Manage the donor relations budget in Ellucian Colleague.
  • Follow and promote the ethical guidelines set forth in the Association of Donor Relations for Advancement (ADRP), the Association of Advancement Services Professionals (AASP), the CASE Donor Bill of Rights, and the CASE Ethics Guidelines.

Develop and execute highly personalized stewardship and impact reporting

  • Draft individual stewardship plans for St. Lawrence’s top donors at the principal gift level and above; assist with execution of those plans.
  • Work collaboratively with colleagues in University Advancement, University Communications, and other departments as needed, to produce regular print and digital stewardship including individual and group stewardship reports, an annual endowment report, and overall and project-based donor reports, as needed.
  • Work closely with the Academic Dean’s office to develop appropriate stewardship for donors to endow professorships/staff positions.
  • Assist with the planning of on-campus dedications and celebration events, including all accompanying signage and plaque development.
  • Participate with appropriate staff in the design and execution of on- and off-campus cultivation and donor recognition events, as well as individualized campus visits.

Oversight of donor fund creation and management

  • Work with Advancement Operations and the business office on the creation of new current use and endowed funds.
  • Collaborate with the business office and other internal constituencies on the proper allocation and expenditure of endowed and expendable named funds.
  • Work to ensure the timely, accurate reporting on fund use and endowment performance to donors who have established restricted or endowed funds for scholarships, professorships, research funds, athletic and other department programs.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree required.
  • Six or more years of donor relations, fundraising, marketing, communications, or related experience required, preferably in higher education.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills required; experience in writing for fundraising or advancement purposes preferred.
  • Management experience preferred.
  • Proven organizational skills; experience managing special events and other complex and time- sensitive programs.
  • Superior skills in Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Excel; experience working in relational databases.
  • Knowledge of The Raiser’s Edge a plus, but not required.
  • Ability to work independently as well as within a team, build effective relationships, effectively supervise, utilize staff, and manage multiple projects simultaneously.
  • Ability to develop strong relationships with donors with the highest degree of professionalism.
  • Ability to identify and adapt to shifting priorities, be flexible and resourceful, and exercise professionalism with numerous constituencies.

Interested applicants must apply online at uploading all required materials which are defined in the “special instructions to applicant” section.  Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. Questions about the position may be directed to Kimberly Hissong, Interim Vice President for University Advancement, [email protected].

All offers of employment are contingent upon the finalist successfully passing a background (including criminal records) check.

Located at 23 Romoda Drive, Canton, NY, St. Lawrence University is a coeducational, private, independent liberal arts institution of about 2,150 students from more than 40 states and 40 nations. The educational opportunities at St. Lawrence inspire students and prepare them to be critical and creative thinkers, to find a compass for their lives and careers, and to pursue knowledge and understanding for the benefit of themselves, humanity, and the planet. Through its focus on active engagement with ideas in and beyond the classroom, a St. Lawrence education leads students to make connections that transform lives and communities, from the local to the global.

The University is committed to and seeks diversity among its faculty, staff, and students. Such a commitment ensures an atmosphere that is diverse and complex in ways that are intellectually and socially enriching for the entire campus community. Applications by members of all underrepresented groups, as well as from individuals with experience teaching or working in a multicultural environment, are encouraged. St. Lawrence University is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

For additional information about St. Lawrence, please visit

To apply for this job please visit