Annual Giving Programs Specialist

Posted on 02/02/2024

University of Michigan

Ann Arbor, MI

As a member of the university Annual Giving Team, a department of the Office of University Development, the Annual Giving Programs Specialist assists in the development, coordination, and implementation of the annual giving programs for the university. In this role, the Annual Giving Programs Specialist serves as an expert consultant and liaison for assigned schools, colleges, and units. The university Annual Giving Team ensures that the Office of University Development and partnering schools, colleges, and units utilize the most efficient, creative, and effective annual giving strategies, and is a driving force to explore novel ideas that lead to the creation of new approaches and projects that engage donors and drive revenue.

This position works in an environment dedicated to advancing the mission of OUD and of the university, and in building positive and meaningful relationships with colleagues and constituents.

Through its holistic view of university-wide initiatives and individual unit projects, the Annual Giving team works to advance the University of Michigan’s development goals by:

  • Promoting donor-centric approaches, well-timed solicitation schedules, and data-driven program strategy and analysis to increase revenue generation and donor engagement
  • Utilizing and encouraging annual giving best practices across solicitation platforms and channels through benchmarking and awareness of fundraising trends
  • Empowering s/c/us to communicate and engage with alumni throughout the lifecycle of their relationship with U-M
  • Promoting creativity, problem-solving skills, and innovation within the U-M annual giving community
  • Providing support and expertise to s/c/us throughout planning and implementation of annual giving programs, from prospect engagement to solicitation and stewardship
  • Sharing philanthropic messaging (from initiating touch points to communicating impact and encouraging ongoing support) with U-M alumni and friends every year
  • Developing donor loyalty and building a foundation for future major donors
  • Partnering with other teams in OUD to enhance the donor experience and internal customer service while promoting the importance and value of annual giving efforts

Characteristic Duties and Responsibilities

75% – Unit Consulting and Partnership

  • Works with assigned units’ leadership and designees to plan and implement annual giving programs using all appropriate channels. Provides expert consultation to units in reviewing performance and planning future efforts.
  • Assists in the development of plans for donor engagement, pipeline development and solicitation improvement. Works with assigned units to determine how each unit can best utilize the fiscal year solicitation plan to fit their individual fundraising needs. Identifies potential prospect groups and develops programs accordingly.
  • Provides annual giving expertise, including regular, value-added analysis and program review.
  • Monitors and evaluates unit program results, market research, and other data to identify new strategic opportunities.
  • Provides general consulting and support as needed and appropriate (e.g. unit candidate interviews, expertise on topics related to annual giving, reporting workshops).
  • Facilitates tests and ad-hoc analyses of projects to further team knowledge of best practices.

10% – Reporting, Data Analysis, and Production Process

  • Maintains working knowledge of the database, reports and tools available to units to ensure resources fit the demonstrated need on campus
  • Analyzes high level program results and continually monitors opportunities for improvement and/or testing to achieve best results
  • Partners with Marketing, Production, Creative, and Telefund teams to plan, create, schedule,
  • execute, and evaluate productive, high-quality, cost-effective annual fund solicitation projects for assigned units and university-wide initiatives.
  • Ensures accuracy of data and creative content for project components through a multiphase proofing and review process.

5% – Annual Giving Strategic Planning and Department Mission

  • Works as part of uAG team to design a yearly, overarching annual giving solicitation plan in conjunction with OUD and unit goals.
  • Monitors and evaluates university-wide solicitation results, market research, and other data to identify new strategic opportunities.
  • Actively promotes donor-centric approaches to annual giving that take a holistic view of university communications and solicitations. Seeks opportunities for unit/university collaboration and cooperation, while achieving strong results for client units.
  • Works within department’s strategic plan to improve level of service, efficiency, program results, and unit coordination.
  • Continually monitors department procedures and tools to look for opportunities to increase efficiency.
  • Considering and applying methods for donor acknowledgement and education, participates in the ongoing stewardship of donors utilizing a donor centric approach

5% – Industry Knowledge

  • Proactively maintains knowledge of current trends in the Annual Giving field. This includes:
  • Participating in peer networking opportunities
  • Participating in professional education opportunities
  • Monitoring of Annual Giving trade publications and websites
  • Helping draft and lead professional development activities and workshops for school, college & unit partners

5% – Additional Duties

  • Assists with training and orientation of new staff members
  • Responds to and routes donor inquiries and concerns as appropriate
  • Completes other projects and duties as assigned

Required Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • One or more years of work experience in a professional environment with increasing levels of
  • personal responsibility
  • Working knowledge of personal computers, word processing, spreadsheets, and database software
  • Experience in a team environment and strong interpersonal skills
  • Careful attention to detail
  • Excellent communication and analytical skills
  • A commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Work or volunteer experience in annual giving, fundraising, marketing, advertising, or relevant Field
  • Experience with direct mail, telemarketing, internet marketing, statistical analysis, strategic planning, market research, annual budget planning, project management, print production
  • Experience writing successful annual giving solicitations

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