Jobs at Western

Donor Relations Director

Apply now Work type: Permanent Full Time
Location: Bellingham, WA
Categories: University Advancement

Position Title Donor Relations Director
About the University Western Washington University, with over 16,000 students in seven colleges and the graduate school, is nationally recognized for its educational programs, students and faculty. The campus is located in Bellingham, Washington, a coastal community of 83,000 overlooking Bellingham Bay, the San Juan Islands and the North Cascades Mountain range. The city lies 90 miles north of Seattle and 60 miles south of Vancouver, British Columbia. Western is the highest-ranking public, master's-granting university in the Pacific Northwest, according to the 2019 U.S. News & World Report rankings.
About the Department The division of University Advancement supports Western's mission, which states that together with our students, staff, and faculty, we are committed to making a positive impact in the state and the world with a shared focus on academic excellence and inclusive achievement. University Advancement is working internally and with numerous colleagues across campus on diversity initiatives, and is actively engaged in moving forward the University’s mission through supporting core themes, specifically advancing inclusive success. The external boards of the WWU Foundation and Alumni Association are dedicated to supporting Western’s strategic plan, specifically through the student success campaign. We encourage applications from women, people of color, people with disabilities, veterans, and other candidates from underrepresented backgrounds and with diverse experiences interested in this opportunity.
About the Position

The Donor Relations Director will oversee a comprehensive program designed to recognize, steward and thank donors for their philanthropic support of Western Washington University. The Director will have overall responsibility for all activities, outreach, correspondence and interactions with WWU donors to share impact of their gifts, thank them for their support and ensure funds are being expended according to their wishes. The Director will collaborate with partners across campus to ensure clear, accurate and timely communications and work with donors to enhance their giving experience and relationship with Western. The Director will have responsibility for the Student Ambassador program, supervising a group of students in their interactions with Western donors, executives, faculty, staff and Trustees. The Director will develop creative ways to recognize donors while also maintaining developed policies and procedures to ensure accurate reporting, documenting and recognition. The Director will be the main conduit for donor questions and inquiries and will have responsibility for follow-up, conflict resolution and relationship building.

Position Duties/Responsibilities:

Be the conduit for all stewardship, cultivation and engagement activities for WWU donors

  • Working with the President and Vice President, coordinate VIP interactions both off and on campus;
  • Prepare donor impact reports on both endowed and annual funds;
  • Create and coordinate all donor thank you letters, including specialized Presidential, college, departmental and student;
  • Oversee awarding of private donor scholarship process, including annual auditing of awards made, student thank you letters and outreach;
  • Working with the Vice President, Associate Vice President, Senior Director and development officers, develop individualized donor relations plan for 3-5 top donors per college and university-wide;
  • Work with college and program development officers and annual fund staff on donor related activities, correspondence and outreach;
  • Oversee endowment and annual gift documentation process including maintaining and updating of templates and coordination of complex campus-wide routing process;
  • Assist with coordination of special campus naming event
  • Problem-solve any issues in how private dollars are being utilized by Western college, departments or programs;
  • On an on-going basis, conduct thorough analysis of Western’s donor segments to ensure donors at all levels are receiving effective, meaningful and engaging stewardship;
  • Direct the donor relations and stewardship related work of one full-time classified staff employee and up to four student employees in the WWU Foundation Office;
  • Create, manage and drive all donor relations projects by developing timelines, deadlines, assigning roles and responsibilities and directing implementation.  Analyze project effectiveness through metrics;
  • Assist in preparation of UA printed collateral.

Oversee Student Ambassador Program

  • Ultimate responsibility for the job performance of 20-30 Student Ambassadors who represent the University at high level WWU Advancement functions, including events in the President’s home, donor recognition events both on and off campus and selected college events;
  • Hire, train and review performance of Student Ambassador team, including carrying out any needed disciplinary action;
  • Prepare team for event shifts;
  • Direct work and creatively collaborate with team to thank and recognize donors.

Develop program content for UA Special Events

  • Working with Senior Director, play an active role in determining program content, themes, messaging and participants for WWU donor events, dedications and ceremonies hosted by the President or Vice President.

Maintain data and systems 

  • Keep and update detailed, confidential records;
  • Prepare contact reports for mainframe database;
  • Develop and maintain systems and continually monitor to improve and streamline processes
Required Qualifications
  • Bachelor’s degree;
  • Three years progressive experience in donor relations or highly personalized customer service;
  • Demonstrated progressive experience in program development, volunteer management and/or event planning;
  • Strong skills in written, verbal and interpersonal communications
  • Demonstrated highly effective skills in strategizing and organizing detailed information;
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate and collaborate effectively with people of diverse social identities and backgrounds
  • Demonstrated highly effective supervisory skills
  • Proven ability to manage multiple high priorities
  • Demonstrated experience handling confidential information
  • Demonstrated experience with MS Office, including Word, Excel and Outlook
Preferred Qualifications
  • Experience in higher education or non-profit;
  • Successful experience supervising personnel;
  • Experience using complex database systems such as Banner or a CRM
Salary Commensurate with experience, including an excellent benefits package.
Application Instructions

A cover letter and resume are required and should address your experience related to the position responsibilities and provide evidence as to how the applicant meets the required and preferred qualifications. Also required is a separate statement (one page or less), describing your ability to communicate and collaborate effectively with people of diverse social identities and backgrounds.

Please include the names and contact information of three professional references.

Closing Date Notes Application review begins October 17, 2019; position is open until filled.

Western Washington University (WWU) is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer committed to assembling a diverse, broadly trained faculty and staff. Women, minorities, people with disabilities and veterans are strongly encouraged to apply. In compliance with applicable laws and in furtherance of its commitment to fostering an environment that welcomes and embraces diversity, WWU does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex (including pregnancy and parenting status), disability, age, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status or genetic information in its programs or activities, including employment, admissions, and educational programs. See WWU’s Policy on Ensuring Equal Opportunity and Prohibiting Discrimination and Retaliation. Inquiries may be directed to the Vice Provost for Equal Opportunity and Employment Diversity, Title IX and ADA Coordinator, Equal Opportunity Office, Western Washington University, Old Main 345 (MS 9021), 516 High Street, Bellingham, WA 98225; 360.650.3307 (voice) or 711 (Washington Relay);

WWU is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities upon request. To request this document in an alternate format or to request an accommodation, please contact Human Resources Disability Services, 360.650.3774 or 711 (Washington Relay).

Annual Security and Fire Safety Report: This report is provided pursuant to the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act ("The Clery Act"). It includes statistics for the previous three calendar years concerning reported crimes that occurred on Western's campus; in certain off-campus buildings or property owned or controlled by Western; and on public property within, or immediately adjacent to and accessible from, the campus. The report also includes institutional policies concerning campus security, such as policies concerning alcohol and drug use, crime prevention, the reporting of crimes, sexual assault, and other matters. You can obtain a copy of this report in printed or alternate formats by contacting the Office of the Vice President for Enrollment and Student Services at The report can be found at: Annual Security and Fire Safety Report.

All new employees must comply with the immunization policy and show employment eligibility verification as required by the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Service before beginning work at WWU. A thorough background check will be conducted on all new hires.

Job no: 497356
Advertised: Pacific Daylight Time
Applications close:

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