Director of Annual Giving & Parent Relations

Posted on 02/26/2024

Thayer Academy

Braintree, MA

The Director of Annual Giving & Parent Relations, reporting directly to the Director of Advancement & Engagement, is responsible for the design, strategy, and implementation of Thayer Academy’s Annual Fund and parent relations programs. Thayer’s Annual Fund has grown more than 30% over the past three years. We are seeking a dynamic and strategic leader to build on recent successes and continue to grow Annual Fund support. The Director will work closely with key faculty, staff, and volunteers to implement a strategic Annual Fund program to maximize both the amount raised and the number of donors participating in the Annual Fund in support of the Academy’s mission. The Director will lead short-term strategies as well as the long-term vision for Thayer’s growing Annual Fund program. The Director will additionally build a strategy around Parent Relations to enhance the overall parent experience and deepen their engagement with the school.

The Director will lead the Annual Fund Team, currently consisting of the Director of Parent Giving, and will work with the Alumni Relations team to sustain and grow support from and the connection between our alumni and Thayer Academy. The Director will also work closely with the Director of Advancement & Engagement as well as the Associate Director of Advancement & Engagement to sustain and grow leadership Annual Fund support among all constituency groups and with the Director of Advancement Services to create and analyze reporting metrics to make informed strategic decisions. 

Principal Duties and Responsibilities

  • Develops, manages, and implements strategies for maximizing philanthropic support of Thayer’s Annual Fund, including all goals, objectives, budgets, and tasks in an effort to build unrestricted Annual Fund giving to the $3M+ level, a $1M increase in the next 5 years.
  • Provides management support and mentorship to the Director of Parent Giving with a goal of increasing support of Senior Legacy, Middle School Legacy as well as parent participation and total parent giving.
  • Collaborates with the advancement team and senior leadership to align strategies with the Academy’s goals and vision.
  • Determines annual giving goals and donor targets by constituent groups.
  • Manages the Annual Fund budget, determining budget needs, tracking expenses, and thinking strategically about maximizing ROI.
  • Works with gift officers to build strategies for moving donors to higher Annual Fund giving levels.
  • Develops annual giving communication strategy by method and constituency to achieve maximum ROI.
  • Creates a detailed appeal plan for the Annual Fund, including objectives, approach (direct mail, email, phone, etc.), schedule, segmentation strategy, brief for appeal materials, and roles for volunteers.  
  • Working with gift officers to set Annual Fund targets for their prospects creates an annual donor pyramid, ensuring proper strategy is in place to meet Annual Fund goals.
  • Manages a prospect pool of roughly 100 leadership level Annual Fund prospects with annual goals for personal visits and advancing relationships. 
  • Working with the Alumni Giving & Relations Team oversees the support of Reunion giving activities, including goal setting for Reunion class giving.
  • Manages annual donor recognition efforts and stewardship opportunities.
  • Working with the Director of Advancement Services develops and manages metrics to measure the effectiveness of annual strategies.
  • Leads the strategic planning for and execution of Founders Day, Thayer’s annual day of giving.
  • Develops and executes a highly effective and sustainable volunteer program to encourage Annual Fund giving, including Class Reps, Class Agents, Parent Annual Fund Volunteers, Faculty/Staff Volunteers, etc. 
  • Partners with the Director of Special Events & Parent Programming to strategically utilize events to create stronger parent engagement.
  • In collaboration with the Director of Advancement Services, produce Annual Fund and donor recognition lists to appear in the Annual Report and other publications as appropriate. 

Other Duties 

  • Attends and assists with all Development Special Events (occasionally on weekends or evenings)


  • Bachelor’s Degree required
  • Five years of non-profit fundraising experience required, annual fund experience in an independent school preferred
  • Strong managerial, leadership and supervisory skills necessary
  • Demonstrated organizational and communication skills, as well as the ability to work with and motivate other development professionals and volunteers
  • Practical knowledge of annual giving operations and experience in increasing donor participation and total giving
  • Experience in relationship databases preferred; Blackbaud Raiser’s Edge fundraising database experience is most preferred.
  • Microsoft Office proficiency with an emphasis in Word, Excel, and Google and competency in mail merges
  • Demonstrated ability to use good judgment to handle confidential information sensitively

Skills/Abilities/Competencies Required:

  • Ability to work independently in a self-directed manner and collaboration with others
  • Able to handle multiple projects simultaneously 
  • Possesses strong attention to detail and accuracy
  • Able to work with and process information in an analytical fashion
  • Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively as part of a team
  • Demonstrated ability to use good judgment and to handle confidential information with a high level of sensitivity, ensuring the privacy of donors and prospects
  • Must have good written and verbal communication skills
  • Maintains a high degree of professionalism
  • Exceptional customer service skills
  • Mature professional judgment
  • Superior follow-through and ability to meet deadlines and goals
  • Strong organizational capabilities
  • Unflinching integrity seasoned with humor, perspective, and curiosity

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