Associate Director of Philanthropy & Alumni Engagement

Posted on 05/12/2023

Western Kentucky University

Bowling Green, KY

Western Kentucky University (WKU) is a student-centered, applied-research institution committed to providing its students with a transformative academic and social experience and to elevating its surrounding communities. Founded in 1906, WKU is the second largest undergraduate institution in the Commonwealth of Kentucky with approximately 15,035 students (29% first generation, 18% underrepresented minority) and just over 2,500 faculty and staff employees.

Western Kentucky University is committed to empowering its campus community to embrace diversity by building equitable and inclusive learning, working, and living environments. At the heart of our mission, we seek to provide holistic education and employment experiences that prepare students, faculty, and staff to become effective scholars, contributors, and leaders in our diverse and evolving communities.

Located 65 miles north of Nashville, TN, and just over 100 miles south of Louisville, KY, WKU’s main campus is in Bowling Green, KY – a city with approximately 70,000 residents. Our population is ethnically diverse, with more than 85 languages spoken in and around Bowling Green, and people from 35 nationalities call our community home.

Western Kentucky University seeks to attract talented faculty and staff who are inspired individually to contribute to WKU’s strategic plans and ongoing success. We offer comprehensive wellness and health benefits to employees and their families, including domestic partners and other qualified dependents and take pride in providing a workplace culture that supports balancing the responsibilities of work and family life. Paid-time off for holidays, vacation and sick leave, and a tuition discount program for employees and dependents are also provided.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Manage a portfolio of current, lapsed and prospective leadership annual giving donors. Cultivate relationships with these donors via email, phone, social media, video conferencing, and texting
  • Execute touchpoint cadences across portfolio to ensure consistent and relevant donor communication
  • Identify and troubleshoot challenges to donors’ on-line giving and engagement experience and work with appropriate colleagues to address
  • Solicit donors to make new gifts, renew or upgrade. Promote philanthropic opportunities, such as university and college giving opportunities, crowdfunding projects, Day of Caring and alumni association membership
  • Responsible for raising $500,000 – $1Million+ annually
  • Identify potential major gift prospects and collaborate and advance to colleagues, as appropriate
  • Collaborate effectively with other members of the Philanthropy, Strategic Operations & Appeals, Alumni Engagement and Donor Engagement & Communications teams as part of a comprehensive multi-channel marketing program
  • Maintain division core values (positive, accountable, resilient, feedback, professionalism)
  • Cultivate broad knowledge and network across the university (admissions, athletics, and colleges/programs) for information and relevant content to share with donors to demonstrate the impact of their giving.
  • Share opportunities to attend events, volunteer, and participate in alumni association activities/services to deepen engagement with the university, to lead to financial support.
  • Identify challenges and promote philanthropic opportunities for University priorities and crowdfunding projects.
  • Develop individualized donor strategy for major gifts prospects matching University strengths, interests and strategic priorities with major donor interests. Work with Donor Engagement and Prospect Management teams to develop solicitations/proposals
  • Identify potential major gift prospects and collaborate to advance and close gifts. Solicit for new gifts, renew or upgrade.
  • Perform other job-related duties as assigned

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities Considered Essential for Success

  • Use multiple cloud-based platforms simultaneously to gain information
  • Create strong professional relationships across mediums, especially via video conferencing
  • Provide excellent customer service
  • Comfortably solicit donors
  • Articulate a strong and compelling case for support
  • Apply creative and entrepreneurial thinking, while applying sound judgment and conducting oneself with integrity
  • Handle interpersonal relationships maturely, thoughtfully, and empathetically, including the ability to work with individuals from diverse backgrounds
  • Handle confidential material responsibly and interact professionally with a wide spectrum of individuals
  • Be fluent in the “menu” of engagement and philanthropic opportunities across the university (regional alumni events, on campus events, mentorship and volunteer opportunities, crowdfunding campaigns, fundraising priorities) to inform conversations and solicitations
  • Prioritize effectively


  • Bachelor’s Degree
  • At least one year of fundraising (part-time or full-time) or relatable experience

Additional Information: 

Salary Range: $55,300 – $65,000*

*An increase in base salary will be considered at the end of each fiscal year. 

Kentucky state law requires all public institutions of postsecondary education to conduct pre-employment criminal background checks to determine suitability for employment.

Western Kentucky University (WKU) is committed to a policy and practice of providing equal employment and educational opportunities to all individuals. In accordance with Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Revised 1992, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, no form of discrimination or harassment will be tolerated at WKU on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, national origin, creed, religion, political belief, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, marital status, age, uniformed services, veteran status, genetic information, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, or physical or mental disability in admission to career and technical education programs and/or activities, or employment practices.

Application Instructions: 

The following items must be submitted through this electronic talent management system:  

  • Cover Letter
  • Resume

You will receive email confirmation that your submission has been received. The candidate review process will generally begin as materials are received.

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