Senior Director of Alumnae and Donor Relations
Smith College, located in Northampton, Massachusetts, is pleased to announce a national search for a Senior Director of Alumnae and Donor Relations.
Smith College is one of the largest women’s colleges in the country with 2,700 students from 48 states and 68 countries, and is dedicated to excellence in teaching and research across the liberal arts. A faculty of outstanding scholars interact with students in small classes, as advisors, and through student-faculty research projects. The College is a member of the Five College Consortium with Amherst, Hampshire and Mt. Holyoke Colleges, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Students cross-enroll and faculty cross-teach across the Five Colleges.
Smith College educates women of promise for lives of distinction and purpose. A college of and for the world, Smith links the power of the liberal arts to excellence in research and scholarship, thereby developing engaged global citizens and leaders to address society’s challenges. Imagine working in a community dedicated to learning, teaching, scholarship, discovery, creativity and critical thought. It’s the diversity and inclusivity of our community, founded on the free and open exchange of ideas, that runs through everything we do. Join Smith and become part of a unique team bringing our mission to life. For more background, please visit: www.smith.edu
The new hire will serve as a key member of a cohesive Senior team overseeing an integrated advancement program coordinating alumnae relations and development programs. Overall responsibility for a comprehensive alumnae, donor relations and communications program that promotes innovative and global alumnae engagement, inspires philanthropic commitment and ensures outstanding donor and alumnae volunteer stewardship. Oversee three teams including a total of twelve (12) professionals responsible for managing communications, events and stewardship professionals. Foster partnerships across Alumnae Relations & Development, College Relations, the Office of the President, the Office of the Board of Trustees, other college departments, programs and faculty members. Integrate best practices and implement streamlined systems and procedures to engage with constituents in ways that advance the strategic goals and mission of college. Proactively communicate with alumnae in ways that engage and involve them with the college across their lifespan. Provide communications and events designed for the broad base of alumnae, as well as specific segments of alumnae, professional and affinity-based groups. Tailor communications and events for the college’s most important donors, showcasing the critical importance of their philanthropy to Smith, and the difference these significant gifts make in the lives of students, faculty, and staff.
Duties and Responsibilities:
Integrated Advancement Communications: Oversee the strategic development, design and implementation of innovative and far-reaching alumnae and donor communications, ranging from broad-based alumnae outreach to priority fundraising appeals to individualized proposals and other donor communication.
- Provide leadership and supervision to the team responsible for the planning and execution of Alumnae Relations and Development communications annual plan as well as longer-term vision.
- Identify and develop annual priorities, clarify timelines, and negotiate work assignments and budget between Alumnae Relations & Development and communication partners in College Relations.
- Oversee project management, editing, and writing for a wide variety of print and electronic projects, including annual reports, advancement web pages, case materials, stewardship pieces, backgrounders/brochures, and other publications.
- Coordinate individualized and group communications for Presidential prospects. Advise departments and staff on communications and public relations issues.
- Integrated Advancement Events: Oversee the strategic development, design and implementation of alumnae and donor events, ranging from all-alumnae events and conferences both on- and off-campus, to select regional alumnae events, as well as those specifically designed to cultivate, engage, and steward donors and prospects.
- Provide leadership and supervision to the team responsible for the planning and execution of advancement events.
- Ensure cooperation, coordination and reciprocal participation across alumnae relations and development teams for staffing of large-scale events, such as reunions and volunteer conferences and, when needed, for smaller, specialized events.
- Coordinate with other relevant offices on campus as appropriate for alumnae and donor recognition celebrations such as Rally Day, inaugurations, campaign events, ground-breakings or dedications.
- Design new “signature” events for donor recognition and cultivation with the President and other college leadership. Donor Relations and Stewardship:
- Oversee the strategic development, design and implementation of proactive and innovative donor relations and stewardship, providing donor acknowledgment and motivating further philanthropy to the college.
- Provide leadership and supervision to the donor relations and stewardship team. Oversee programs for the college’s top donors and key constituents, including donors of $1 million or more, current and former trustees, and Presidential prospects.
- Initiate, coordinate, and support innovative and personalized attention and recognition of donors at the Presidential and Senior VP levels.
- Manage internal process for review and submission of requests for Presidential correspondence.
- Oversee stewardship reporting designed to further educate, engage, and thank donors.
- Work in partnership with colleagues to craft donor fund agreements and to ensure that restricted gifts are used in accordance with donors’ intents.
- Coordinate with Student Financial Services to provide annual scholarship donor reports.
- Coordinate with colleagues in Facilities to ensure and track accurate donor recognition on plaques and other institutional signage.
- Respond to special needs and requests of donors.
- Senior Management: Participate on the senior team of the Senior Vice President for Alumnae Relations and Development establishing high-level strategic plans and metrics, and ensuring that staffing and budgetary resources are optimized.
- Oversee multiple budgets for alumnae and donor communications, events and stewardship.
- Keep current on best practices by networking with peers at other institutions and participating in professional development opportunities.
- Develop multi-year and annual plans for each team area.
- Develop and track metrics, including alumnae and donor surveys, to measure the success of engagement and stewardship programs.
- Serve on departmental and college committees as assigned and perform other duties as assigned for the advancement of college priorities.
- Education/Experience: Bachelor’s degree required.
- Minimum of 10 years of communications, alumnae relations and/or development experience or the equivalent program management experience. denoting increasing complexity, and/or an equivalent combination of education and experience.
- Hands-on experience in communications across multiple platforms, events management, and high-level stewardship.
- Understanding of fundraising, fund accounting and related stewardship principles is highly preferred.
- Ability to build, lead, and motivate a team.
- Strategic thinking, building collaboration, and problem-solving skills balanced with a calm and thoughtful demeanor under pressure and when dealing with challenging people and situations.
- n ability to work collaboratively and appropriately with college leadership, faculty, and high-level donors and volunteers is key.
- Superb communications, writing, editing and proofing skills are required.
- Experience taking the lead in developing and successfully implementing new systems and programs.
- Consistent attention to detail in an environment of continual change and competing demands.
- Must demonstrate excellent judgment and be able to represent the college appropriately.
- Must be able to staff occasional night and weekend events and to travel and staff events off campus.
- The ability to manage confidential information with appropriate discretion and tact are essential.
- Strong computer skills and technical literacy are essential, as is familiarity with CRM, events management, and communication systems and software.
- Ability to serve as a proactive, strategic and creative manager/leader with a strong orientation to being a team player
Background on Smith College
Enrollment: More than 2,400 undergraduates in Northampton and 145 studying elsewhere
President: Sarah Willie-LeBreton is Smith’s president.
Faculty: 290 professors in 58 academic departments and programs; student-faculty ratio of 9:1.
Courses of Study: About 1,000 courses in more than 50 areas of study.
International Study: Each year nearly half of Smith juniors study abroad in Smith programs in Florence, Geneva, Hamburg and Paris, or in programs in Europe, Africa, Asia, Latin America and English-speaking countries in both hemispheres.
Library Holdings: More than 1 million items. Special-subject libraries for the fine and performing arts and the sciences; distinguished collection of women’s history manuscripts; nationally prominent rare book collection.
Residential Life: 41 self-governing houses accommodate between 12 and 100 students; most houses include women from all four classes.
Athletics: 11 varsity sports and extensive intramural and club sport programs.
Success After Smith: Two years after graduation, 91 percent of alumnae are employed and 42 percent have enrolled in graduate studies.
Five College Consortium: Student and faculty exchanges, joint faculty appointments, joint course offerings, Ph.D. programs, combined library catalogues and borrowing privileges between Smith and nearby Amherst, Mount Holyoke and Hampshire colleges and the University of Massachusetts.
Support for Smith: In 2016 Smith concluded the Women for the World campaign, raising a total of $486 million for the college’s key priorities. It was the largest and most successful campaign ever undertaken by a women’s college.
Discover the New Neilson Library: https://youtu.be/HLmuKqRBN6M
Smith College seeks to attract individuals who are committed to our mission of providing the highest quality education to women. Smith College enjoys the reputation as one of the finest colleges in the country. This reputation, tempered by time and challenged by change, holds strong because of the dedicated work of our staff, faculty and administration.
We are a diverse group bringing to our community different talents, perspectives and experiences. Our strength arises from this diversity and is sustained by a community value of providing an outstanding educational environment for our nearly 2,700 students.
The Smith College endowment is exceptionally strong and is currently valued at $2.6B. It finances a portion of the operating and capital needs of the institution. In addition, it includes a number of restricted endowments that fund specific areas, including professorships, scholarships, and departmental support.
The Smith alumnae network is a powerful group of more than 53,000 graduates who are leading lives of distinction around the world. Smithies are well-known for their deep commitment to the college and to one another.
Smith College is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, age, color, religion, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression or veteran status in the recruitment and admission of students, the recruitment and employment of faculty and staff, and the operation of any of its programs and activities, as specified by all applicable laws and regulations.
For a review of the of the excellent benefits offered to employees of Smith College, please visit: Smith College Benefits.
To explore this superb career opportunity on a highly confidential basis please send your resume, letter of interest and list of 4 references (who will only be contacted if mutual interest is determined) to: