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 90,000 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. University Advancement works 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. 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. 

The Division of University Advancement is comprised of 44 staff members who support the engagement and philanthropy work. The three leadership units are: advancement services including financial and database work; major giving including donor relations and research; and alumni and constituent relations, advancement communications and marketing, and annual giving. Advancement transitioned to the Ellucian CRM in 2020. Main offices are on campus with satellite offices in downtown Bellingham and Seattle.

The WWU Foundation manages assets of over $115 million. Current extended campaigns include a one-year $20 Million capital campaign as part of a state-funded electrical engineering and computer science building and a multi-year Campaign for Student Success, which focuses on recruitment and retention scholarships plus program excellence.

The WWU Alumni Association informs, connects, and engages the 125,000 alumni with each other and with Western. More than half of Western alumni live in Washington with significant pockets along the West Coast and in major cities across the U.S. Signature programs include Distinguished Alumni Awards, Paint B’ham Blue, an annual welcome back to students event, and WeConnect, an online mentoring program connecting alumni with each other and with students.

Leadership volunteers serve on the boards for the Foundation and Alumni Association to set strategic direction and policy, raise friends and funds, and steward the community of donors and potential donors.

About the Position The Donor Relations Director will oversee a comprehensive and growing program designed to recognize, steward and thank donors for their philanthropic support of Western Washington University. They 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, directing 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. The Director will utilize industry best practices but will also be encouraged to think creatively to engage, recognize and express thanks. Western is seeking professionals who will contribute to our mission of enhancing, increasing, and supporting a diverse and inclusive environment.
Required Qualifications

All employees must comply with our Immunization policies, including COVID vaccination by time of hire and Proof of Rubeola Measles Immunity within 60-days of hire. Please reach out to if you need information regarding medical or religious exemption and applicable accommodations.

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Three years progressive experience in donor relations or highly personalized customer service
  • Three years progressive experience in program development, volunteer management and/or event planning
  • Highly effective communication skills, including interpersonal communication skills and writing, strategizing and organizing detailed information
  • Demonstrated commitment to accessibility, diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Proven ability to multi-task
  • 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 $56,156 - $65,515 commensurate with experience, includes an excellent benefits package.
Application Instructions

All applicants must submit an online application which will include:

1. A cover letter and resume which address your experience related to the position responsibilities and the required and preferred qualifications.

2. A separate statement (maximum length of one page) addressing your demonstrated commitment to accessibility, diversity, equity, and inclusion (ADEI). Please include examples of your past work that demonstrate this commitment to ADEI.

3. Names and contact information of three professional references.

Closing Date Notes Application review begins November 19, 2021; 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 Office of Civil Rights and Title IX Compliance, Title IX and ADA Coordinator, 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: 499079
Advertised: Pacific Daylight Time
Applications close:

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