Reports To: Chief Advancement Engagement Officer (CAEO)
Serving as a key member of the Advancement Services team, the Manager for Donor Relations and Research, under the direction of the CAEO, will support two primary areas: Stewardship/Donor Relations program leadership and Research/Prospect Management. The primary focus is managing a thoughtfully planned and executed donor relations program for annual, planned gift, and major gift donors as well as volunteers. As the Advancement office’s primary researcher, this position leads the ongoing effort to research, identify, grow, evaluate, and prioritize our pool of current and potential donors.
Responsibilities and Duties
As the leader of the Stewardship/Donor Relations program, this position is responsible for planning, implementing and promoting a culture of gratitude through a comprehensive, strategic program to further Mercersburg’s long and short-term engagement and fundraising goals based on the following key tenants of donor relations:
Create and oversee the execution of a segmented gift acknowledgment program to thank donors in a manner appropriate to their gift, ensuring they are timely, meaningful and documented in the donor’s record.
Produce and distribute personalized donor impact reports annually to benefactors who have established named funds as well as key supporters who give through non-endowed funds (EITC, for example). Provide confirmation to donors on the use and impact of their gift and that their investment has been deployed appropriately.
Serve as the named scholarship and EITC liaison to the director of financial aid.
Works closely with the business office to establish the proper use and designation of Endowed Funds.
Manage and maintain an inventory of stewardship gifts.
Lead the production of a web-based Annual Report of Giving.
Coordinate creation and production of all plaques on campus, maintaining a directory to track them. This includes all lifetime giving societies (Via Lucis and McDowell) and campaign donor recognition electronic displays or walls.
Work proactively to recommend and advise on the recognition of donors in both print and web-based publications, as well as impact reporting and extraordinary stewardship opportunities, as needed.
In conjunction with Events, plan and execute annual stewardship events for groups as well as individual donors, as needed.
Review gift agreements prior to execution to ensure that policy guidelines are met and that the donor’s intent can be met without undue burden on the school’s resources.
Maintain a current list of named spaces and facilities on campus and naming opportunities with suggested gift levels. Provide consistency and adherence to all school policy/guidelines.
Develop tools that assist development officers in securing major gifts for these key projects.
Ensure that information on named endowed funds is accurate, complete, and recorded in the database.
Write special-purpose donor correspondence and other highly customized donor communications, as needed.
Administer the program for recognizing constituent marriages, births, adoptions, deaths, and birthdays according to protocol
Implement metrics to measure Donor Relations’ impact on organizational goals, and uses these metrics to create an annual plan that advances fiscal year goals.
Leading Prospect Research and Management, this role will create and implement plans that accurately identify new prospective donors, update information on existing donors, and estimate inclination as well as capacity to give.
Create strategies for identifying new prospects and keeping current prospect ratings accurate by analyzing wealth through a variety of resource tools.
Implement useful new approaches, services, and tools.
Create a service structure that supports information needs and provides reliable and high quality data and analyses including well-written profiles on high level prospects.
Perform prospect research duties including: qualification, rating, and profile research and writing. Focus on principal gift prospects.
Prospect, Portfolio, and Proposal Management and Analysis
Create agendas for and lead Pipeline meetings to report progress, identify trends, and create strategy.
Work closely with the Data Information Manager to create supporting structures and visualization for the ongoing needs of fundraising staff.
Use data to inform portfolio composition and flow as well as to guide regional prospect assignments.
Work closely with development officers on prospect strategy, as well as with Advancement and campus leadership to develop effective solutions to fundraising priorities.
Management and Training:
Provide direct supervision and workload management for the Advancement Operations Administrative Assistant.
Conduit for new staff training and for ongoing staff learning opportunities related to key areas of campus activity.
Build relationships and work collaboratively with colleagues across departments – both faculty and staff – to engage them in the stewardship and donor relations process.
Manage stewardship/donor relations and research/prospect management budget
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:
Superior oral, written, editing and research skills; mastery of language, grammar, spelling, and punctuation.
Superior organizational skills, project management skills, and attention to detail.
Meet deadlines and thrive in a fast-pace, proactive, donor-centered environment.
Demonstrated creativity, self-motivation, and initiative along with the ability to work both independently and as a team player.
Strong commitment to customer service.
Knowledge of trends in educational fundraising, gift standards, and financial guidelines governing charitable giving.
Familiarity with endowment management, monitoring, and financial reporting.
Ability to evaluate challenges, show resourcefulness in identifying solutions, and display the highest level of professional judgment.
Knowledge of principles of prospect management.
Support a culture of data-informed decision making.
Confidentiality and tact.
3-5 years of experience in a position dedicated to alumni engagement, donor recognition, research, and advancement communications.
Flexibility to work evenings, weekends, and some travel is required
Working knowledge of relational databases, Google products, research tools and software, and Microsoft Office applications are required.
About Mercersburg Academy
At Mercersburg Academy, learning is rich, purposeful, and life changing.
An independent college-preparatory school in south-central Pennsylvania, the Academy offers a rigorous academic program to 440 boarding and day students from 29 states and 48 nations. As found in our mission statement, “Mercersburg Academy prepares young men and women from diverse backgrounds for college and for life in a global community. Students at Mercersburg pursue a rigorous and dynamic curriculum while learning to live together harmoniously in a supportive residential environment.”