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Associate Vice President of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving

Position Overview:  The Associate Vice President of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving is responsible for the development, management, and integration of programs that engage alumni and donors in creative and relevant ways as resources for the College and for each other. This newly created position will report to the Senior Vice President and be part of the Office of Development and Alumni Relations (ODAR) senior leadership team. This position currently has three direct reports, the goal will be to assess staffing needs and grow the department by two to five additional staff. The AVP will play a pivotal role in growing alumni and annual giving and creating and leading a unified, new strategy and outreach effort to create and sustain commitment and engagement among Merrimack College's alumni and friends from various generations in the College's history. In conjunction with College leadership and other key stakeholders, the Associate Vice President will be tasked with building a program based in best practices in the field and utilizing a market informed approach to alumni relations and annual giving segmentation and messaging. Currently the Merrimack Fund receives nearly $1 million annually through the support of 8.6% of alumni. Primary Responsibilities   Management and Strategy Design, lead, and direct the development of annual goals and objectives, operating plans and budgets, staffing, and volunteer management plans for the Alumni Relations and Annual Giving programs. The Associate Vice President will develop measurable and applied metrics for success, maintaining an on-going evaluation and reporting system for annual giving and alumni activities. In collaboration with Alumni Relations and Annual Giving staff, this position will oversee the execution of a robust direct marketing program for the College that will leverage the integration of alumni relations and annual giving programming. Work with the Director of Marketing and Communications to develop a marketing and strategic communications plan for engaging a broad array of alumni and parents in key activities at the College through the incorporation of social media and social media marketing and leverage such media to advance annual fund goals, where appropriate and impactful. Conduct annual performance reviews for each staff member and work with his/her directors on their performance review processes. In collaboration with Advancement Services and research teams, ensure the accuracy and regular maintenance of current alumni information, data entering of class notes, career information, etc. The ideal candidate will demonstrate initiative and must be strategic, well-organized, and goal-oriented, with an enthusiastic and positive personality, strong interpersonal skills, the ability to manage complex projects, and a collaborative work-style. Annual Fund Leadership Assist in the identification and cultivation of alumni and parent donor prospects and have his/her own portfolio of donors. The AVP will coach and mentor annual fund officers and ensure measurable goals for visits and gifts asks are implemented and consistently communicated. Responsible for the strategic direction and implementation of The Merrimack Fund and The Warrior Fund in an effort to dramatically increase unrestricted and restricted annual support for the College, especially to increase the number of alumni donors. Build giving metrics and infrastructure into Merrimack's traditional programs such as Reunion, Homecoming/Family Weekend and the Christmas Celebration, as well as regional and affinity programs. Work with students and other key campus partners to enhance the culture of philanthropy and expand the senior class giving campaign and staff and faculty giving. With the Director of Marketing and Communications, the Associate Vice President will coordinate collaborations with the Office of Communications, especially in regard to direct mail and marketing, email communications, and newsletters. Alumni Relations Leadership Leverage alumni engagement programming into Merrimack's strategy for annual giving and overall development goals. Work with Director of Special Events and the Director of Stewardship to create a schedule of alumni programs and activities that promote engagement with Merrimack alumni locally and nationally. Work directly with the O'Brien Center for Career Development to plan and execute an alumni engagement strategy to expand professional career opportunities for students. Campus Leadership Work closely and collaboratively with colleagues in the Office of Development and Alumni Relations and O'Brien Center for Career Development, as well as with programs in other offices of the College, notably the Office of the Provost, Admissions, Communications, Athletics, the Dean of Students Office, and the five academic schools to ensure the integration of alumni into campus programs. Leverage new ideas and research outside higher education to enhance and improve Merrimack's alumni relations and annual giving programs. Serve as the contact person for alumni, parents, and others interested in information, services, and programs related to alumni. The Associate Vice President will work closely with the Associate Vice President of Campaigns and Major Gifts in coordinating the activities of a comprehensive campaign. Qualifications Bachelor's degree in public relations, communications or related field. Minimum of 7 years' experience in alumni relations and annual giving within higher education. Exceptional communication, interpersonal skills and the ability to establish and develop long-term relationships with alumni, donors, internal and external constituencies. Superior organizational skills and attention to detail. Experience managing a portfolio of annual donors, closing giving society level gifts as well as a demonstrated ability to collaborate with major and leadership gift teams to move people up the giving ladder. Ability to work well both independently and collaboratively with other team members and colleagues across campuses, prioritizing time, and managing multiple projects, priorities and deadlines. Supervisory experience, particularly with developing a staff of young talent; ability to motivate and support team members. Familiarity with development software and database applications. Must be able to travel and work nights and evenings as needed
Salary Range: NA
Minimum Qualification
8 - 10 years

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