The Director of Donor Relations is responsible for developing customized engagement plans for California Lutheran University (“CLU” or “University”) donors and prospects. S/He is responsible for continually improving upon University’s stewardship platform. The position involves designing, developing, and administering a donor relations program that facilitates CLU’s engagement of its most generous donors and that provides a foundational level of stewardship for University’s entire donor base. The Director is accountable for driving standards for stewardship, and for evaluating the performance of CLU’s donor relations efforts that include events, publications, signage, and a wide variety of donor relations and recognition opportunities.
The Director also proactively formulates and leads a comprehensive special events program for California Lutheran University. S/He oversees the planning, coordination and evaluation of events and special projects that are designed to increase private support for the University.
Activities associated with this position involve extensive collaboration and interaction with University’s internal and external audiences – donors, volunteers, alumni, friends, faculty, University colleagues, service providers and vendors. Through the creative special events and targeted donor relations activities, the Director supports the mission and values of CLU while helping cultivate a stronger relationship with current and potential donors and the community.
Oversee the development and implementation of a stewardship program for donors and prospects. Collaborate closely with University faculty and staff to develop highly customized stewardship plans that significantly deepen and improve the relationship that donors and prospects have with CLU with the goal of significantly expanding their philanthropic commitment to the University. E
Establish and nurture effective, collegial working relationships with colleagues, university partners, and donors. Promote and demonstrate respect, collaboration, and friendly customer service in all working relationships. E
Support relationships between key personnel and development officers to formulate and execute best-in-class stewardship activities effectively and consistently across the University; maintain campus-wide consistency and best practices; liaison with staff and faculty across multiple projects; maintain stewardship tracking processes, policies and procedures; and communicate stewardship goals, programs, and activities to Development colleagues and leadership. E
Maintain a comprehensive understanding of the mission of CLU as it relates to the educational, research and service goals of the University with the ability to communicate the institution’s needs and priorities — both internally and externally. E
Continuously innovate and strengthen program direction and focus. Lead collaborative effort across the University to coordinate, integrate, and instill best practices. E
Ensure that the technological, operational and collateral requirements of the programs in Donor Relations are met. E
Preserve institutional memory about donors and their relationship to the University. In collaboration with other colleagues in Advancement Services, create systems to document and maintain central records on all interactions with donors. E
Oversee the gift acknowledgment and pledge tracking, reminder and write-off processes with close attention to improved efficiencies and accuracy. E
Maintain knowledge of the University’s operating principles, business rules and procedures. E
Actively seek stewardship trends and best practices, including market research, business case, and strategies tailored to target audiences. E
Work in partnership with fundraising and communications staff to design donor-centered programs that enhance donor relationships with CLU. E
Oversee annual reporting cycle for endowed and non-endowed funds with special emphasis on endowed faculty positions and scholarships. E
Work with accounting staff to develop and manage system for monitoring adherence to donor intent within the University’s funds. E
Develop and implements metrics for assessing the effectiveness of stewardship activities and events. E
Strategically review University Advancement’s events to explore the best ways to deliver maximum cultivation and stewardship impact. E
Plan and oversee all aspects of event management and protocol from providing guidance and information to developing and implementing a plan, budget, logistics and post event analysis. E
Partner with stakeholders to plan event details, budgets, programs and desired outcomes; provide strategic advice and tactical leadership in event planning and execution. E
Work with senior leadership and development staff to lead the development and execution of an annual schedule of compelling events top engage key donor constituents, such as current and prospective donors, and affiliate community members, that will help the University with its fundraising and stewardship goals. E
Oversee monitoring and reconciliation of budget expenditures related to individual events. E
Design and implement methods of evaluating special events for fundraising outcomes, satisfaction levels and improvement opportunities. Provide an annual report of activities. E
Maintain an accurate and up-to-date electronic master calendar of events and donor relations-related activities. E
Oversee annual stewardship mailings to donors, alumni and friends. E
E= Essential Duties
Principles and practices of philanthropy
Demonstrated proficiency in Microsoft suite of applications with ability to learn new technologies in a prompt and efficient manner
Online tools (including social media) to support communications
The donor cycle
Project management, time management and organizational skills
Editorial style (likely AP) and adherence to those standards
Excellent writing and editing skills spanning multiple styles
Any Combination equivalent to: A Bachelor’s degree preferably in English, communications, marketing, or equivalent and five years’ of experience working directly with donors.
Prior experience using strategic communications planning/key messaging platform techniques and tools
Prior experience in a fundraising office
Experience in higher education, hospitality, or non-profit setting and/or prior professional experience working with constituents in a related field such as sales, event planning, marketing or business development
About California Lutheran University
Founded in 1959, California Lutheran University is home to more than 3,000 undergraduate and 1,300 graduate students who come from more than 49 countries and represent a wide variety of faiths. Our dedicated, accomplished faculty works with small classes of students who are open-minded—about ideas, about people, and about faith—and are seeking to grow as individuals. Both in the classroom and outside of it, everyone at Cal Lutheran is committed to helping each student pursue their passions to discover their purpose, and follow that purpose to transform their community—and the world.
Cal Lutheran is a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) that administers an array of Title III, Title V, and TRIO programs including the McNair Scholars Program. We are looking for candidates with a demonstrated commitment to and success working in diverse, multicultural and multi-racial communities. Cal Lutheran encourages applicants from all faiths, and advocates for justice and fairness for all people.