Associate Director, Specialty Campaigns

Posted on 01/17/2023

Vanderbilt University

Nashville, TN

The Associate Director for Specialty Campaigns is a highly specialized professional fundraising position responsible for key initiatives that leverage direct appeals, fundraising volunteers, digital marketing strategies and events. This role is charged with overseeing two new annual giving initiatives that includes launching an annual faculty and staff campaign and developing a fully-fledged crowdfunding program. These initiatives will directly support the university’s strategy to amplify messages, expand reach, and deepen engagement among all members of the community while also driving dollars and donors across all areas of the university.

Key objectives of these programs and for this role include:

  • Revive faculty/staff giving efforts through a new branded annualized campaign
  • Drive donor acquisition, retention, and reactivation efforts through targeted campaigns
  • Enhance and add value to existing campaign efforts and annual giving/engagement programs
  • Empower alumni, students, faculty and staff to help drive specialty campaigns that will impact all areas of the university

This role reports to the Senior Director, Annual Giving and Engagement Operations.

About the Work Unit: 

The Department of Development and Alumni Relations (DAR) assists Vanderbilt University in securing the resources, both human and financial, that are required to achieve its mission and goals.  The Department is responsible for the identification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of individuals and organizations whose charitable objectives are consistent with those of Vanderbilt University’s teaching and research programs.

Key Functions and Expected Performance: 

  • Manage specialty campaigns targeting faculty/staff, crowdfunding, reunion, and mini campaigns for centers, units, and student organizations
  • Work with affinity group partners to execute annual fundraising campaigns; provide support for outreach that solicit gifts to affinity-based initiatives, programs and funds
  • Revive faculty/staff giving efforts through a newly branded annualized Faculty and Staff Campaign designed to increase participation and provide opportunities for donor cultivation that will support the long-term major and planned giving pipeline
  • Recruit and cultivate a network of alumni, student, faculty and staff volunteers across schools/divisions to facilitate and promote specialty campaigns
  • Assist in creating and maintaining a new Crowdfunding platform to both educate and entice donors; work with colleagues in Marketing and Communications to develop a robust online presence and develop engaging content to raise awareness of student and program needs and priority areas
  • Manage onboarding of volunteers associated with specialty campaigns and crowdfunding efforts, including training and support where needed
  • Collaborate with both DAR colleagues and other VU campus partners to implement specialty campaigns that drive dollars and donors to support new or existing initiatives, programs and funds
  • Assist in planning, organizing and executing key outreach strategies to retain and reactive donors, acquire new donors and potentially expand donor audience beyond immediate VU community
  • Utilize new technology and existing outreach platforms to enhance campaign efforts and retention strategies
  • Work with DAR and university partners to develop reporting functions within VQ and other DAR systems to track campaign results and progress; request and manipulate data as needed for both outreach and analysis
  • Utilize and maintain campaign and volunteer codes to ensure reporting accuracy
  • Ensure all specialty campaign outreach plans are mapped in partner master calendar and Lytho project management system
  • Collaborate with Alumni Engagement and Annual Giving colleagues; provide event support where needed
  • Perform other duties as assigned

Supervisory Relationships: 

This position does not have supervisory responsibility. This position reports administratively and functionally to the Senior Director of Annual Giving and Engagement Services.

Education and Certifications: 

  • A Bachelor’s Degree, or the equivalent, is necessary.

Experience and Skills: 

  • One or more years of experience, or the equivalent, is necessary; Prefer experience with higher education development
  • Strong organizational and communication skills
  • Ability to work independently but also collaboratively in a team environment
  • Goal-oriented mindset and innovative thinking
  • Interpersonal skills and judgment suitable for exercising appropriate discretion and demeanor when dealing with alumni, parents, friends, and employees
  • Ability to exercise good judgment in the handling of confidential information
  • Ability to use current computer technology, such as Windows, Excel, Word, and Vanderbilt’s donor management system
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Ability to work independently, take initiative, manage multiple projects simultaneously, meet deadlines, and adapt to ever changing priorities
  • Values the importance of equity as an organizational operating principle and is committed to equity, diversity, and inclusion
  • Some evening and weekend work, as needed

Key Characteristics of a Successful Team Member in this Work Unit: 

  • Holds oneself accountable; takes responsibility for failures as well as successes; and recognizes that trust is required to hold a team together.
  • Shares information; communicates proactively; transmits knowledge; asks for advice and considers it thoughtfully.
  • Genuinely values teamwork and co-workers.
  • Expects and delivers excellence. Is proactive and focused on creative problem solving. Welcomes input to making things better. Places a high value on learning and improving.
  • Is motivated. Manages time, activities and outcomes well so that progress stays on track. Balances multiple, competing priorities simultaneously without becoming overwhelmed.

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