Director of Annual and Special Giving

Case Western Reserve University


Working under general direction, the director of annual and special giving will primarily focus on constituents of Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at the special gifts level ($10,000 to $99,999) and is responsible for the coordination and successful outcomes of the annual fund program. The director will work in partnership with alumni relations and development colleagues in the school, as well as across the University Relations and Development division, to meet or exceed the annual fund goals for the school. The position will manage a portfolio of 200 alumni and donor prospects and will personally solicit annual and special gifts. The director will strategize with development team members at the school and with pertinent university colleagues to align the donor’s interests with school and university priorities.

The director will engage and cultivate loyalty donors (i.e., donors who consistently give for 10 years or more) to amplify their giving and/or qualify donors for planned gifts or major gifts ($100,000 to $1,000,000). This includes creating and implementing engagement programs associated with loyalty and giving societies, birthday and holiday cards, special student and faculty engagement, and special appeals. The role will provide analysis and evaluations to benchmark progress and success of priority projects. The director will create and contribute to written and e-communications, internal briefings, stewardship reports, and provide assistance with coordinating volunteers, and lead in producing annual fund solicitation materials and daily acknowledgements mostly for gifts under $10K.

Functioning as part of a university development team, the incumbent will be expected to work collegially, and in partnership, with central and other school-based colleagues. Donor cultivation may require local, regional, or national travel. 



Manage a portfolio of 200 annual and special giving donors, alumni, parents, and friends with a giving potential in the range of $10,000-$99,999. Identify, cultivate, solicit, and steward prospects and donors in accordance with Mandel School fundraising priorities established by senior leadership. Arrange appropriate opportunities to meet with potential donors by leveraging communication approaches.  Coordinate and participate in major gift solicitations by working closely with the senior director of development, associate dean, and other university and school development officers. Access highly confidential records of donors, alumni, parents, and friends of the university to analyze and evaluate essential information to ascertain giving history, family, and other relationships with the university to provide essential background data. (60%)

In conjunction with the senior director, design compelling annual fund solicitations, donor proposals, and program materials for use in appeals and solicitations. Track, analyze, and report all annual fund donor activity and benchmark rates of success over time. Maintain gift accuracy; produce lists for the annual report; create donor lists by class year and donor society level for the annual Honor Roll; and provide lists to volunteer groups. Create and collaborate on strategy for loyalty societies – especially donors with 10 years or more of annual support to inspire increased giving. In partnership with the senior director, plan strategies for the identification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of annual and special giving donors (e.g. homecoming, special annual fund solicitations, reunion giving challenges, faculty/staff solicitation). 20%

Prepare daily acknowledgement letters on behalf of the dean, associate dean, and faculty and conduct research for special recognition of donor gifts in communications (typically <$10K). Provide research and background information required for accuracy in acknowledgements, reporting, and operational accounting accuracy in Advance. Provide clear and creative writing, editing, and proofreading that convey effective messages and meet high standards of grammar and punctuation, adhering to the university’s branding guidelines to suit image and goals. Collaborate with team members to execute strategic follow up and data management protocols to ensure timely and thoughtful follow-up by development officers. Coordinate with the department manager to execute communications and database updates in a timely and accurate way. (10%)



Oversee special projects at the intersection of alumni relations and annual giving, primarily focused on event, program, and data integrity protocols to help facilitate top-of-funnel lead development and prospect management. (5%)

Become well versed in the Mandel School’s Research and Training Centers. Collaborate and participate in school and university advancement activities, initiatives, projects, and priorities (e.g., alumni outreach, special events, etc.) to further the school’s overall development goals. (3%)

Actively participate in development and alumni relations activities and events as requested, or required, including but not limited to attendance at university functions during evenings and weekends (e.g., commencement, homecoming and reunion, alumni celebration, and networking events). (1%)

Perform other duties as assigned, including cross-functional duties associated with the alumni relations and development’s daily operation. Assist the senior director with and provide oversight and on-site management to other university programs, meetings, and events as required. (1%)



Department: Frequent contact with the dean, associate dean, senior directors, major gift officers, college fund director, budget/finance, dean’s office staff, college marketing/communications team, corporate and foundation relations, 21 departments and 14 centers as required performing essential functions.

University: Frequent contact with central annual giving, advancement services, deans, vice presidents, faculty, and staff as required performing essential functions.

External: Contact with high-level volunteers, donors, alumni, and vendors as required performing essential functions.

Students: Daily contact with student employees, interns, and volunteers as required performing essential functions. 


No direct supervisory responsibility.



Experience: 7 or more years of experience in development, alumni relations or related field required. Experience in non-profit organizations and/or higher education is preferred. Experience related to fundraising, donor relations, stewardship, event planning, project management, research, communications, and marketing a plus.

Education: Bachelor’s degree required.



Outstanding written and oral communication skills. Ability to demonstrate tact, appreciation, approachability, and responsiveness in relationships with donors, alumni, friends, administrators, faculty, staff, students, and all external contacts. Ability to interact with colleagues, supervisor, and customers face to face.

High level of accuracy and professionalism in reporting, communications, and evaluations.

Highly motivated self-starter who demonstrates insight, maturity, cultural competency, and accountability in attitude and behavior. Strong public presence with the wisdom/sophistication to know when to take the lead and when to follow.

Proven ability to function as a highly ethical member of a professional team. Competently and comfortably works with diversity among faculty, staff, alumni, friends, students, etc.

Strong organizational and planning skills from conceptualization through implementation.

Excellent decision-making and management skills. Exercises good judgment regarding priorities and utilizes efficient methods to meet established deadlines.

Excellent research skills on both electronic and non-electronic formats.

Ability to travel, to work with tight deadlines, and to handle multiple projects.

Extraordinary care in maintaining absolute confidentiality and trust in handling budget and program information, donor and prospect information, confidential memoranda, and trustee/alumni/ dean/vice-president/faculty/staff/student interaction.

Demonstrated ability to use work time productively and exercise good judgment in handling high priority items and sensitive and highly confidential matters; discretion and tact are essential.

Computer proficiency (including Microsoft Office), word processing, and database management and the ability to learn new programs. Familiarity with Advance or other donor database preferred.

Ability to meet consistent attendance.



General office environment. Required to work some evenings and weekends for event management, alumni, and donor engagement. Some travel is required. This position is eligible for the staff hybrid work program.


In employment, as in education, Case Western Reserve University is committed to Equal Opportunity and Diversity.  Women, veterans, members of underrepresented minority groups, and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply.


Case Western Reserve University provides reasonable accommodations to applicants with disabilities.  Applicants requiring a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process should contact the Office of Equity at 216-368-3066 to request a reasonable accommodation.  Determinations as to granting reasonable accommodations for any applicant will be made on a case-by-case basis.


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