Assistant Director, Direct Marketing

Posted on 08/28/2023

University of San Diego

San Diego, CA

Department Description: 

As part of the University Advancement division, the Office of Annual Giving coordinates the direct marketing, telefunding, student philanthropy, crowdfunding, electronic, and digital fundraising efforts for the university. The department also manages the President’s Club, USD’s leadership giving society. The annual giving team also provides support for annual giving efforts for academic units and Torero athletics.

University Description: 

The University of San Diego, a contemporary and engaged Roman Catholic institution, was founded by the Diocese of San Diego and the Society of the Sacred Heart in 1949. Governed by an independent board of trustees since 1972, USD remains committed to a liberal arts education grounded in the Catholic intellectual tradition and the pursuit of truth, goodness and beauty. Inspired by this centuries old tradition of Catholic higher education, the University welcomes people of all faith traditions and any, or no, religious background. The future success of USD relies on the contributions of those who seek to foster the development of engaged global citizens and an earnest confrontation of humanity’s urgent challenges.

Detailed Description: 

The assistant director is responsible for implementing a comprehensive direct marketing solicitation program for the Office of Annual Giving, providing expertise on annual fund strategies and developing compelling appeals. The assistant director will cultivate and nurture relationships between USD and the university’s constituents (primarily alumni and families) through mail, email, and social media channels that result in a commitment of financial support to the university. This position will work in partnership with the division’s creative design teams and/or outside agencies to develop high-impact marketing concepts and solicitation appeals, including copy and design approaches, which adhere to and build on the USD brand. This assistant director will stay abreast of new and current best practices in the industry, developing the optimal approach to increasing donor participation and fundraising revenue. The assistant director will also assume strategic leadership of the annual employee giving campaign and will assist the director with other projects, as assigned. 

Duties and Responsibilities:

Direct Marketing Outreach     

  • Implement and manage direct marketing solicitation strategies and processes to achieve key revenue and participation metrics through direct mail, email, and social media channels; create direct mail segmentation strategy in coordination with director. 
  • Lead liaison for university wide programs direct marketing efforts and affiliated solicitation activities including, but not limited to, Alumni Relations, Parent and Family Relations, and Development, both centralized and decentralized (academic units and Athletics).
  • Develop relationships with key unit partners to create, execute, and report on annual giving solicitation strategies; ensure measurement techniques are built into fundraising activities; track results and analyze individual projects.
  • Manage production of annual giving direct marketing solicitations in partnership with Creative Services and when utilizing the university’s preferred print and mail vendors; obtain design, printing, and mail house quotes; oversee production costs on a project by project basis. Project manage appeal design and creative assets, development and execution of direct mail and online solicitations, and annual donor stewardship communications; ensure design and printing formats meet project requirements as well as overall USD visual identity standards.
  • In partnership with Advancement Services’ data team, prepare data for direct mail vendors and email outreach applications, as appropriate.
  • Review and report progress to goals by monitoring donor and gift activity; analyze retention, reactivation, and acquisition rates.
  • Participate in other donor stewardship and communication activities as required. 
  • Responsible for keeping up to date with direct marketing trends and participating in professional development opportunities.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Students First! Employee Giving Campaign                                                                           

  • In consultation with divisional leadership, review and update “team” structure to optimize communication with and outreach to university departments for team representation. 
  • Recruit campus volunteers to serve as captains for each team across divisions and academic units; create training materials and conduct appropriate training/orientation meetings.
  • Conduct regular meetings with volunteer captains; routinely engage with volunteer captains throughout the campaign to motivate and keep them informed of progress. 
  • Work with the division’s creative design teams to develop promotional materials for campaign.
  • Ensure Advance CRM employee records sync with Human Resources records. Coordinate with Special Events to plan, promote, and execute donor recognition events (Students First! Employee Giving celebration and Facilities Management breakfast) to close the campaign.

Special Conditions of Employment:

Effective June 1, 2023, based on CDC guidance, the University strongly encourages all campus members to stay up to date with Influenza and COVID-19 vaccination recommendations.  For more regarding information USD’s COVID-19 protocols, please visit

Background check:  Successful completion of a pre-employment background check.

Degree Verification Requirement: Persons offered employment in this position will be required to provide official education transcripts for degree verification purposes. 

Job Requirements:

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree required.
  • Assistant director-level: at least three years’ experience in annual giving, direct marketing, and/or related professions. Excellent written and oral communication skills required as well as exceptional critical listening and thinking skills. Command of the English language, including AP writing style, and standard grammar, spelling, punctuation, syntax, and proofreading skill.
  • Self-starter with good project management skills and the ability to exercise good judgment in advancing projects toward completion.
  • Must exhibit attention to detail with excellent organizational and time management skills; remain professional under pressure.
  • Understand the role of technology in annual fundraising and possess the ability to utilize CRM systems and work in Excel.
  • Ability to learn and design communications using social media applications. Strong interpersonal skills and demonstrated ability to work collaboratively with advancement professionals, academic administrators, senior executives, trustees of the university ,and outside constituencies.
  • Must be friendly and personable; mature, positive attitude; a team player.

Performance Expectations: Knowledge, Skills & Abilities

  • Commitment to working as a member of a team and collaborate with colleagues.
  • Strong sense of integrity and ethical conduct. Cultural competency and sensitivity a must; ability to understand different cultural contexts and viewpoints, demonstrate respect for others, adapt to different cultural settings; and accept cultural differences.
  • Ability to think creatively and analytically.
  • Highly proficient with new technology and CRM platforms.
  • Knowledge of fundraising strategies and proven ability to secure gifts. Knowledge of annual giving trends and patterns; ability to utilize digital communication to increase contacts with alumni, students, and other constituencies.
  • Working knowledge of Facebook, Twitter, and other social media applications.
  • Ability to produce and utilize statistical data for evaluation. Must be able to take initiative and ascertain priorities in a dynamic environment of regular interruptions, multiple projects, and deadlines.
  • Skill in investigating, analyzing, and solving problems. 
  • Ability to handle confidential and sensitive information with tact and discretion.
  • Knowledge of USD’s policies and procedures.

Posting Salary: 

$5,373.34 – $5,833.34/mo.; Excellent Benefits

The University of San Diego offers a very competitive benefits package including; medical, dental, vision, a retirement contribution given to you by the University, and access to on-campus Fitness Centers.  Please visit the benefits section of our website to view all of the perks and benefits that USD has to offer.  USD: Human Resources: Benefits

The salary range provided in this posting reflects what we reasonably expect to pay for this position.  Actual compensation offered or earned is dependent on experience, education and other factors including departmental budget.

Special Application Instructions: 

Resume and Cover Letter Required

Click Apply Now to complete our online application. In addition, please upload a cover letter and resume to your application profile for the hiring managers’ review.  If you have any questions or difficulties please contact the Employment Services Team at 619-260-6806, or email us at [email protected]

Additional Details: 

Hours: 40 hours per week

Closing date: Open until filled

Note: External job postings will be up for at least five days. After that time, applications will be reviewed by the hiring manager/committee throughout the posting period. A candidate may be selected at any time which could then close this posting on a date earlier than listed.

The University of San Diego is an equal opportunity employer committed to diversity and inclusion and is especially interested in candidates who can contribute to the diversity and excellence of the campus community.

To apply for this job please visit