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Assistant Director/Director, Donor Stewardship

Posted: 11/17/2021

KU Endowment, Lawrence, Kansas, is accepting applications for a Full-time position in the Communications and Donor Relations Department responsible for the strategic oversight, coordination, implementation, and evaluation of a comprehensive donor stewardship program.  The success of this position is intrinsically linked to the development and execution of a multi-pronged, strategic donor relations plan that is appropriately aligned with the institution’s fundraising priorities and initiatives. This includes the articulation of custom donor stewardship plans as well as enterprise-level approaches to donor stewardship that incorporate data, research, and best practices from industry leaders.
In consultation with front-line development staff and senior leadership, the position will foster a collegial, collaborative approach to best-in-class donor stewardship that ensures donors are effectively engaged with KU Endowment and where appropriate, institutional partners, with an eye toward building and sustaining long-term donor relationships.
The individual in this position is expected to embrace KU Endowment’s stated core values—passion for KU, partnership with donors, perpetual support for KU, and a people-centered approach—and demonstrate support for them through professional interactions and activities.
The Assistant Director/Director reports to the AVP, Communications and Donor Relations and will oversee the work of the Stewardship Coordinator.
*Note: This position will be filled at the Assistant Director or Director level, commensurate with the successful candidate’s experience and qualifications.
Examples of Duties and Responsibilities:

  • In consultation with appropriate leadership, sets the strategic direction for an overarching donor stewardship program.
  • Develops and articulates a comprehensive donor stewardship philosophy and plan, guiding and ensuring the effective implementation of that plan both annually and over a long-term timeframe that employs enterprise-wide tools and tactics, as well as individual tactical ideas for development staff to properly steward donors in their portfolios.
  • Specifically identifies leadership-level donor stewardship opportunities designed to create significant, value-added initiatives to effectively steward select donors.  In concert with the President, Executive Vice President, Development, AVP, University Development and Director, Principal Gifts, develops appropriate strategies to implement quality stewardship programs and events and ensures their success.
  • In partnership with colleagues and leadership, develops major gift donor engagement strategies, programs, and opportunities to advance university fundraising.
  • Serves as consultant to development staff who are creating custom donor stewardship plans. Identifies value-added initiatives and tools to engage with and demonstrate gratitude for major gift donors.
  • Collaborates with development staff and university partners to create one-time stewardship pieces illustrating gift impact and recognition.
  • Provides additional support for other projects as identified and directed by senior KU Endowment leadership to achieve donor engagement and stewardship objectives.
  • Monitors, manages, and mentors the Stewardship Coordinator position in support of a comprehensive donor relations program and fund reporting system.
Minimum Qualifications:
Bachelor’s degree required.  Preferred: Three years experience in higher education fundraising, with an emphasis in successful major gift acquisitions.  Successful experience stewarding major gifts especially during a comprehensive campaign environment. Demonstrated success leading and mentoring a team member(s).
Strong communication and organizational skills are imperative.  Knowledge of KU Endowment fundraising processes, practices, and people helpful.  Knowledge of the University of Kansas helpful.  Must possess the ability to articulate, initiate, organize, and follow through with stewardship initiatives.   Must be able to establish and maintain effective working relationships with both internal and external KU Endowment constituents.  Must exercise good judgment with minimum supervision and foster an attitude of professionalism and teamwork.
 Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Statement
At KU Endowment, we recognize that we best achieve our mission of building a greater University of Kansas by embracing diversity, equity and inclusion. We are committed to cultivating a people-centered environment that is welcoming to the spectrum of differences among us in an atmosphere of respect and fairness. Accordingly, our staff, Board of Trustees, volunteers and donors will work together to create a more representative, equitable and inclusive KU Endowment.
Salary and Benefits
KU Endowment offers a competitive salary with an excellent benefit package including: 401(k) and Roth 401(k) matching program; pension plan; health, dental, and vision insurance; Section 125 flexible benefits; paid holidays, personal and sick leave; paid Parental Leave; Life, AD&D, short- and long-term disability insurance; KU tuition reimbursement; and free parking.
Application Instructions:
Please attach your cover letter and resume when applying for the position.

Review of applications begins immediately and continues until the position is filled.  Because of the sensitive nature of KU Endowment business and the importance of our reputation with donors, KU Endowment conducts a comprehensive review of applicants.  By submitting your application, you authorize us to conduct reference checks and a review of available public information.  Employment is contingent upon background and reference checks that KU Endowment finds acceptable.

Job Type: Full Time