Director of Donor Relations - #132741

Western Carolina University
February 19, 2023
Offerd Salary:Negotiation
Working address:N/A
Contract Type:Other
Working Time:Full time
Working type:N/A
Ref info:N/A
Posting Details

Posting Information

Posting Number EHRA675P

Quick Link for Internal Postings https: // Classification Title Director Working Title Director of Donor Relations - #132741 Department Advancement Services Anticipated Hiring Range Salary commensurate with experience About WCU

Western Carolina University has been named to the 2022 “America's Best Employers by State” list by Forbes, ranking 14 out of the top 100 employers in North Carolina. Western Carolina University is the UNC system's westernmost campus and has been consistently ranked as one of the top 15 public regional institutions in the South. WCU's main campus is nestled in a beautiful valley of the Blue Ridge Mountains, 50 miles west of Asheville. WCU is located just 25 miles from the entrance to the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, one of the nation's most spectacular and most visited national parks. The entire region is known for its excellent quality of life and access to outdoor activities. Employees of WCU are provided a comprehensive benefits package as well as other resources, policies and programs to ensure a happy and healthy work/life balance. Benefit eligible employees have access to dental, vision and health insurance plans – eligibility begins on the first of the month following date of hire. Retirement plan contributions begin on the eligibility date following election and include employer contributions for either a defined contribution or a defined benefit plan. Optional disability plans are also available. Eligible employees have access to tuition waivers for up to three courses per academic year; employee may enroll at any of the constituent UNC System campuses. Also offered are free group exercise classes multiple times per week, a discounted membership to the campus recreation center, free vaccine and booster shots offered on campus, pretax flexible spending accounts, 12 paid holidays and 24 hours of paid community service leave each year. Paid vacation and sick leave accrual begin after first month of employment. Paid parental leave after 12 months of continuous service. WCU offers an abundance of training and development programs, certifications, workshops and conferences – many of which are offered free of charge.

Position Summary

The primary location of this position is the main Cullowhee, NC campus.

The Director of Donor Relations is responsible for designing, coordinating, implementing, and managing an institution- wide comprehensive donor engagement and stewardship program that appropriately and consistently promotes engagement with and recognition of Western Carolina University's donors. The Director will be part of a dynamic advancement team focused on meeting rigorous annual goals and overall success, including WCU's current comprehensive campaign. The Director will be a proven leader with a track record of creating and implementing recognition and stewardship programs for all types of donors at all levels of commitment. A key goal is to deepen the relationships with current donors and constituents. The Director will report to the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Development who is a member of the Vice Chancellor's leadership team.

The Director is responsible for creating and implementing key strategies and initiatives for donor engagement, recognition and stewardship for individual, foundation and corporate donor groups. The Director leads staff and volunteers in support of donor relations and stewardship activities and programs, including stewardship special events, giving societies, stewardship communications, endowment reporting and other recognition. The Director will engage in initiatives that target programs of highest priority for Western Carolina University. The Director will be a member of the Office of Development withing the Division of Advancement and must work in close collaboration with the Office of Advancement Services the Advancement Events Manager, Office of Engagement, Division of Athletics, the Director of University Scholarships, and the Marketing, Communication and Special Events teams within the Chancellor's Division.

The duties of this position require strong writing and communication skills as well as an understanding of endowments, scholarships and similar support for higher education. Other responsibilities include but are not limited to project management; establishing and maintaining timetables and budgets; coordination of volunteer leadership; customer service for donors and prospective donors; management of donor relations vendor relationships; creation and management of endowment guidelines (with a heavy focus on scholarship guidelines); gift agreement processing; stewardship written correspondence for senior level administrators; and creation of annual operational plans.

The successful candidate will utilize industry best practices to execute the following responsibilities: -Lead the donor relations team which includes a full time Stewardship Coordinator and two part time positions (donor relations assistant and stewardship writer). -Create and implement a comprehensive donor engagement strategy to enable meaningful recognition and engagement of high level individual, foundation and corporate donors. -Stewardship of donor gifts through creation and delivery of specialized recognition correspondence, communication, and other collateral; special events; and through giving societies and initiatives. -Lead the successful creation and implementation of donor recognition events, including dedication/naming ceremonies and unique experiences for donors on or off campus. -Collaborate and partner with the Advancement Events Manager and WCU's special events staff on chancellor level events including the annual scholarship donor/recipient event and giving society events -Partner and collaborate with the university's financial aid and scholarship office and Advancement team members to manage the criteria, agreement and reporting of all endowment gifts. Lead regular reviews of endowed gifts to ensure proper stewardship that honors donor intent. Ensure accurate gift summaries for donors. -Establish and manage a ‘top donor' program that recognizes the individual donors and volunteer leaders who are closest to Western Carolina University. -Lead and partner with advancement colleagues on tracking and reporting activities to ensure accurate stewardship and meaningful donor engagement. Manage and/or utilize the database, CRM system and other platforms within the university to support positive donor relations activities, including events, communications, direct mail, and volunteer engagement. -Develop engagement and communication strategies and benefit fulfillment procedures to support adopted donor recognition programs including WCU's four giving societies: Cullowhee Society (and four circle levels within this society), Madison Legacy Society, Shetland Society, and the 1889 Club. -Partner with Marketing and Communications on development of collateral materials. -Partner with the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Advancement to create and implement a campaign branded stewardship plan. -Research and recommend adoption of new strategies, programs and products that support best practices in donor relations and stewardship. - Participate on cross-functional committees and teams. -Serve as a staff liaison to the WCU Foundation Board of Directors, staffing a committee with a chair and up to six members.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university.
  • Minimum 5 years in donor/customer service leadership role
  • Demonstrated experience supervising other employees
  • Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Comfort with and knowledge of digital and web- based platforms.
  • Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience with development of marketing and communication materials.
  • Experience in higher education advancement, donor relations, or fundraising role
  • Experience working in Blackbaud Raiser's Edge.
  • Experience writing for senior level executives, nonprofit leaders, volunteers, etc.
  • Experience with scholarship management software and processes…Master's Degree in a relevant field
  • Understanding of higher education financial investment systems and processes such as endowments, scholarships, fellowships awards and other aid.
  • Position Type Permanent Full-Time Number of Hours Per Week 40 Number of Months Per Year 12

    Posting Text

    Open Date 01/13/2023

    Close Date Open Until Filled Yes Special Instructions to Applicants

    To be considered, you must apply online.

    In order to complete the application process, candidates must attach a cover letter, current resume, and a list of at least three professional references (include complete contact information).

    For questions and additional information, please contact Ben Pendry at [email protected] or 828-227-2558


    Final candidates are subject to criminal & sex offender background checks. Some vacancies also require credit or motor vehicle checks.

    Western Carolina University uses E-Verify to confirm employment eligibility of all newly hired employees. To learn more about E-Verify, including your rights and responsibilities, please visit www. Proper documentation of identity and employability are required at the time of employment.

    Credential Verification

    All new employees are required to have listed credentials/degrees verified within 30 days of employment. All new employees who will be teaching are required to provide official transcripts within 30 days of employment. Transcripts should be provided for the highest earned degree and/or the degree which is being used to satisfy credential/qualification requirements.


    Western Carolina University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race; color; religion; sex; sexual orientation; gender identity or expression; national origin; age; disability; genetic information; political affiliation; National Guard or veteran status, consistent with applicable federal, state and local laws, regulations, and policies, and the policies of The University of North Carolina. Additionally, the University promotes the realization of equal employment opportunity for minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and veterans through its affirmative action program. Persons with disabilities requiring accommodations in the application and interview process please call (828) 227-7218 or email at [email protected]

    University Safety

    The Western Carolina University Annual Safety Report is available online at University Annual Safety Report or in hard-copy by request at the office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, 227 HFR Administration Building, Cullowhee, NC 28723 (828-227-7147) or the Office of University Police, 111 Camp Annex, Cullowhee, NC 28723 (828-227-7301). The report, required of all universities participating in Title IV student financial aid programs, discusses crime statistics, procedures for reporting suspicious or criminal activity, security, police authority, crime prevention strategies, university policies on substance abuse and sexual offenses, workplace violence and fire safety.

    Applicant Documents

    Required Documents

  • Cover Letter/Letter of Application
  • Resume
  • Letters of Recommendation (applicant attached)
  • Optional Documents

    Supplemental Questions

    Required fields are indicated with an asterisk ().

  • How did you hear about this employment opportunity?
  • Inside Higher Ed
  • HERC - Higher Education Recruitment Consortium
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