Jobs at Western

Director of Alumni and Constituent Engagement

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

Position Title Director of Alumni and Constituent Engagement
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 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. 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 Reporting to the AVP Alumni, Annual Giving & Marketing and Communications, the Director of Alumni and Constituent Engagement will be part of the unit's leadership team to drive strategy and decisions. The Director leads a team of three staff members and is responsible for developing and managing the overall strategic planning, implementation of annual alumni engagement plans and daily activities for alumni events, services and programs to increase engagement with high potential alumni and key alumni segments. The Director will strengthen relationships that are mutually beneficial and result in philanthropic support for Western. Key engagement and service activities under the direction of the Office of Alumni and Constituent Relations include the Western Engaged program, reunions, regional events, student/alumni programs, alumni affinity based events, signature events, and programs specifically focused on our young alumni and alumni career assistance/networking. The Director is expected to encourage and facilitate innovation in both content and delivery of alumni best-in-class events, services and engagement programs.

As a director within the division of University Advancement, which encompasses all WWU fundraising efforts as well as alumni relations efforts, the Director will be expected to understand the relationship between all areas of alumni and constituent engagement, including fundraising, and the philanthropic development cycle. In addition, the Director will partner and interact with key volunteers, WWU donors, board members, division colleagues, and faculty and staff leaders throughout the university to ensure strong and collaborative relationships to maximize engagement opportunities and outreach. Additionally, the Director is responsible for overseeing and managing third party affinity revenue-generating relationships including the Alumni Travel Series, alumni insurance program and the Brick program. The Director will develop and oversee a budget; and oversee the accurate tracking and reporting of alumni engagement KPIs through regular analysis. The position is located in Bellingham, WA.

Position Duties/Responsibilities:

Creates Strategy and Implementation of University Advancement Alumni & Constituent Engagement Plans

  • Develops, directs and successfully manages a long-range strategic plan for the alumni community in concert with the division alumni engagement goals.
  • Leads alumni and constituent relations staff in the development and implementation of annual robust strategic alumni engagement plans, including KPIs, a master calendar of events and programs, volunteer activities, as well as regional and affinity based activities designed to most effectively increase alumni engagement with WWU, other alumni and students.
  • Effectively manages the alumni engagement staff; clearly articulates core strategies, programming goals and message points essential for the staff’s successful execution of alumni engagement programs.
  • Develops a volunteer management strategy to include volunteer cultivation and stewardship, an effective recruitment structure and tracking system to meet alumni engagement goals.
  • In partnership with the University Advancement Director of Communications and Marketing, develops and manages an alumni communication strategy to include print, social media, web and other channels as appropriate.
  • In partnership with Director of Development, Annual Giving & Alumni Membership, develops and manages an alumni engagement strategy that increases alumni philanthropy and Alumni Association membership using alumni engagement programs, volunteers and services.
  • Advises the AVP Alumni, Annual Giving & Marketing and Communications on strategy effectiveness and makes recommendations on new strategies to engage with alumni through affinity-based efforts that result in increased volunteerism, alumni association membership, event attendance and philanthropy.

Directs Signature Alumni Engagement management and programs to increase Alumni Engagement

  • Provides vision, develops, oversees and manages key engagement and service activities under the direction of the Office of Alumni and Constituent Relations including the Western Engaged program, reunions, regional events, student/alumni programs, alumni affinity-segment based events, signature events, and programs specifically focused on our young alumni and alumni career assistance/networking.
  • Develops, plans and manages key signature programs including the WWU Alumni Awards, Golden Vikings Reunion, Paint B’ham Blue for WWU VIP Reception, Governor’s Mansion reception, and WWU Alumni Weekend program using a strategy that increases engagement.  These events will be executed in partnership with University Advancement Events staff.
  • Develops regional alumni affinity engagement programing strategies in key geographic areas including, Seattle, Olympia, Kitsap County, Tacoma, Portland, California and Arizona to meet alumni engagement goals.  
  • Future program development will include offering post-graduate career assistance and networking to alumni as well as opportunities for students and alumni career-related interactions.

Revenue Generation Program Management

  • Oversees the ongoing development and management of the WWU Alumni Association revenue generation programs to increase revenue and service benefit to alumni including Alumni Travel, Bricks and Alumni Insurance Offerings.
  • Negotiates contracts with affinity and vendor reps and facilitates contract on behalf of WWU Alumni Association and in coordination with Ex. Director, and appropriate university partners.
  • Monitors program performance
  • Reviews, monitors and approves promotional activities.
  • Identifies additional affinity and vendors for partnership in order to expand offerings to alumni and revenue for the WWU Alumni Association.
  • Seeks improved program offerings, develops metrics for success and engages natural university partners, such as faculty, in the travel program.

Reporting and Analytics

  • Oversees and sets measurable goals, evaluates, forecasts, tracks and enhances alumni engagement programs based on analytics and KPIs
  • Provides ongoing analytic reports of alumni engagement program results
  • Monitors alumni behavior and adjusts plans and strategies to maximize efforts and achieve ROI

Alumni Association Board of Directors Support

  • Attends all Board meetings and serve as a resource to the members and Ex. Director
  • Staffs Board Committees as needed and keeps members informed and engaged

Budget Management

  • Develops and oversees the Alumni Engagement budget, allocating resources to address strategic priorities for alumni engagement.

Industry Research

  • Maintains relationships with alumni engagement relations industry professionals and participate in online educational opportunities to stay on top of latest trends and tactics
  • Conducts target- and market-specific alumni engagement research as necessary to support Division objectives.

Other duties as assigned, including:

  • Community outreach, networking and relationship building with our local and regional constituents. 
  • Fielding public questions and connecting community members with university resources.
Required Qualifications
  • Bachelor’s degree;
  • At least five years of relevant alumni relations, fundraising, donor relations, special events or similar experience;
  • At least two years' experience supervising a team;
  • Demonstrated excellent interpersonal, verbal and written communication skills;
  • Demonstrated experience developing and implementing innovative new programs from ideation to implementation in support of organizational goals;
  • Demonstrated project management experience, with strong detail-oriented and organizational skills and the ability to prioritize projects, as well as adhere to deadlines;
  • Demonstrated ability to utilize quantitative and qualitative data to inform strategy and use analytics to report on successes of related programs, initiatives or campaigns;
  • Ability to work in a consensus-driven, diverse, and inclusive team environment;
  • Excellent customer service and leadership skills;
  • Computer proficiency with Microsoft Office (Excel, PowerPoint, Word, and Outlook), spreadsheets and database management;
  • Experience in budget management.
Preferred Qualifications
  • Bachelor's or Master's degree in business administration, marketing, communications, journalism, or other related field;
  • Experience directing and implementing membership, customer service, hospitality management, donor relations, events or fundraising programs;
  • Experience developing a strategic business plan to meet organizational goals;
  • Experience with alumni development and/ or event management in higher education;
  • Understanding of fundraising and donor cultivation processes in higher education including knowledge of alumni or donor engagement best practices;
  • Experience developing, managing/advising volunteer boards, clubs or organizations;
  • Certified meeting planner.
Salary $70,000 - $82,000 commensurate 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 the required and preferred qualifications, including your ability to work in a consensus-driven, diverse, and inclusive team environment.

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

Closing Date Notes Application review begins December 9, 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: 497495
Advertised: Pacific Standard Time
Applications close:

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