Executive Director of Philanthropic Engagement

Posted on 10/19/2022

Syracuse University

Syracuse, NY

Reporting to the VP of Central Teams, the Executive Director (ED) is responsible for growing and cultivating a broad pipeline of 250,000 alumni, parents, friends and other constituencies to meet and exceed annual/campaigns unique donor goals to sustain donor giving and engagement. The ED will manage a team of eight professionals to create an industry-leading array of engagement content and solicitations using social media, digital advertising and digital tacking tools, email, web, print, video messaging, inbound marketing programs, text, phone and more (i.e. MarketSmart, Evertrue, Thankview, Mongoose, Anthology, Cascade, RNL).


The ED creates and implements strategies to measure and increase engagement, constituent user experience, lead generation, acquisition of donors, renewals and upgrades to fill the leadership giving pipeline through the recognition program, The Hill Society. He/she oversees the Syracuse Connects team of student engagement partners to deploy a digital engagement team at scale. In addition, the ED partners effectively with key colleagues with central Marketing and within AEA including Alumni Engagement, Advancement Services, Technical Systems and Services, Prospect Research, regional Advancement, Donor Relations, and the leads of the Schools, Colleges and Units.


  • Bachelors degree required, Master preferred.
  • Minimum five years of experience leading a fundraising marketing, direct response, digital marketing or fundraising communications program.
  • Experience in Higher Education preferred.
  • Experienced and driven fundraising professional -Understanding of fundraising marketing in higher education
  • Experience creating complex segmented fundraising campaigns that serve multiple constituent partners with an effective mix of messaging, creative, and channels.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.


In coordination with the Central Teams VP, VP Alumni Engagement and Assistant Deans, strategize, develop and execute fundraising plans to solicit and secure annual fundraising gifts from alumni, parents and friend for the Schools/College units and interdisciplinary centers. The key results for this role are overall growth in donors, increased alumni giving, exceeding 125,000 unique campaign donors by the end of the Forever Orange Campaign, increased renewals, and continued growth in upgrades for pipeline development for leadership annual giving, gift planning, family giving, and other programs. Oversee and coordinate four broad annual fundraising cycles (fall campaign, calendar year end, Boost the `Cuse (Day of Giving), and Make Your Mark) with many smaller segmented initiatives in each quarter.

Manage and direct the members of the Annual Fund Team and the analytics team. This includes hiring, training, supervising, and meeting regularly with them to discuss donor strategies and progress toward goals. Support the team’s efforts in analyzing data, prioritizing outreach efforts, enhancing solicitations, and visit follow up. Responsible for driving and tracking individual and team metrics. Support efforts of the team to maintain working knowledge of SU funding priorities and activities and school/college/unit funding priorities and activities. Identify, amplify and balance the right mix of messaging, channels, segmentation, and digital tools to maximize growth of the donor engagement pipeline as well as strategies for renewals and upgrade of donors. Direct teams for critical acquisition, renewals and upgrades to Hill Society and Lubin Society.

Maintain updated plans, solicitations and opportunities for identified/segmented groups, as well as all other activity relative to donors and prospects. Report results of all solicitations/gifts in the CITRUS/CRM database including meaningful interactions and ensuring the accuracy of the data entry. As part of the overarching business intelligence (BI) strategy, partner with the Executive Director, Prospect Management and Analytics to advance Philanthropic Engagements reporting efforts to effectively understand donor acquisition, renewal and reactivation programs. Liaise with the Executive Directors of Leadership Giving and Donor Relations to deliver an effective solicitation and stewardship schedule including, but not limited to the execution of Syracuse University’s leadership annual giving recognition piece, The Hill Society Impact Report.

Develop collaborative and supportive relationships with key offices and partners across campus, with a focus including but not limited to the office of Alumni Engagement, Advancement Services, Technical Systems and Services, Prospect Research, Regional Advancement, Donor Relations, the assistant deans for advancement in the schools and colleges. Partner closely with all departments in the Division of Advancement and External Affairs to achieve unit goals. Direct the unit in planning, organizing, and managing all aspects of operational functions including direct supervision and oversight of unit’s advancement and communications staff.

Lead identification, strategy, specifications, requirements and evaluating external vendors offering platforms, tools and/or applications supporting the philanthropic engagement process. These vendors include but are not limited to print and direct mail firms; digital firms include Evertrue, Marketsmart, Thankview, RNL, Mongoose and more.


Please apply at https://www.sujobopps.com/postings/95913 and attach a cover letter and resume.

Syracuse University is an equal-opportunity, affirmative-action institution. The University prohibits discrimination and harassment based on race, color, creed, religion, sex, gender, national origin, citizenship, ethnicity, marital status, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression, veteran status, or any other status protected by applicable law to the extent prohibited by law. This nondiscrimination policy covers admissions, employment, and access to and treatment in University programs, services, and activities.

To apply for this job please visit www.sujobopps.com.