Skip to content

Annual Giving & Donor Communications Specialist

Posted: 08/31/2023

POSITION SUMMARY: The Annual Giving & Donor Communications Specialist is responsible for planning and implementing the university’s annual giving initiatives, including leading year-round solicitations and campaigns which meaningfully engage a diverse constituent body. In collaboration with the AVP, this position develops strategies to secure sustainable contributions to the University Fund, with particular emphasis on renewing loyal support and converting non-giver alumni. In addition, this position synchronizes donor-directed messaging across all channels, including creative stewardship of annual donors in recognizing their support.

EDUCATION: Bachelor’s degree preferred or at least 2 years annual giving experience 

WORK HOURS: Some weekend and evening event staffing is required. Hybrid work environment available.


  • Secure new, renewed, or increased funding from individuals through online giving, direct mail and digital campaigns, special events, and direct proposals.
  • Manage a portfolio of 100-150 annual giving donors and help qualify prospective major donors for seamless future engagement with appropriate Regional Advancement Director.
  • Build strategies for donor identification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship for annual donors giving unrestricted gifts to the University Fund (including Seminary Annual Fund, Center for Justice & Peacebuilding Annual Fund, and Athletics Annual Fund) that honors their support and encourages them to move to higher levels in time.
  • Liaise with Marketing & Communications and external vendors to design and manage a comprehensive direct mail program and digital giving strategies. Analyze results to refine and increase ROI in subsequent years.
  • Develop a schedule and communications plan for donor acquisitions and renewals. This includes actively supporting creative concepts, writing and editing appeal content, and overseeing mailing procedures.
  • Work with Data Analytics Coordinator to identify and segment data for appeals and special projects, as well as produce database reports and queries to track campaigns and appeal status.
  • Analyze available data and make appropriate adjustments to program activities to ensure strong results, including making judgements to articulate data in proposals and reports that demonstrate the positive impact the university and its donors make to multiple audiences.
  • Perform annual evaluation of annual giving efforts each fiscal year and generate a comprehensive annual plan for the coming fiscal year.
  • Collaborate on strategy and oversee implementation for LovEMU Giving Day.
  • Interface with Events & Volunteer Coordinator to aid in volunteer-to-donor conversion.
  • Manage and serve as the primary contact for annual faculty and staff campaign.
  • Collaborate with Campaign Fundraising Team to establish benchmarks and regular reporting processes to measure results of all annual giving program activities.
  • Work closely with Marketing & Communications to develop and manage consistent messaging to donors and prospects that aligns with solicitation and donor-specific stewardship communications, ensuring synchronization of donor-directed messaging across all channels.
  • Participate in developing supporting communication strategies and products for internal and external audiences. Edit content for Advancement webpages and social media around annual giving and campaign activity.
  • Track trends in annual giving donor activity, focusing on donor retention, non-giver alumni conversion, and building annual giving donor base.
  • Produce presentations that can be used by Campaign Fundraising Team that supplement cases for support and visually communicate EMU’s impact and vision.
  • In collaboration with Regional Advancement Directors, produce regular programmatic updates for local donor communities.
  • Participate in appropriate university and Advancement events.



EXPERIENCE: Experience in educational or non-profit philanthropy preferred. Experience with program administration, data analytics, and developing cases for support that inspire financial partnership required. Demonstrated capacity to build and maintain relationships quickly. Experience in database maintenance (Jenzabar One preferred), Microsoft Office Suite, Google Workspace required.

SPECIAL SKILLS: Must have exceptional verbal and written communication skills. Must be self-motivated, organized, and results oriented, yet remain a flexible and an innovative thinker. Attention to detail. Must relate well to people, have the ability to boldly ask for support, maintain confidentiality, and cultivate a sense of curiosity about what makes philanthropy meaningful for different audiences. Must be a team player who can work with minimal supervision. Must be passionate about the mission of EMU.