Director, Donor Relations
The University of Chicago

Chicago, Illinois

This job has expired.


ARD Donor Relations

About the Department

Alumni Relations & Development (ARD) engages alumni (~190k), current students, parents and friends of the University through intellectual, professional and social activities on campus, around the world and online. ARD raises $550 Million annually to support faculty and researchers, practitioners and patients, and students and programs across the University. Our work supports priorities in every division, school, department, and institute. The Donor Relations team oversees and promotes the University of Chicago's best practices in outstanding donor stewardship. The University's relations program is committed to providing exemplary stewardship experiences, which enhance relationships with and increase the engagement of the University's alumni, donors, and friends.

Job Summary

The job manages a team of professionals responsible for the University-wide donor relations program to enrich the relationship between donors and the University. Develops communication strategies for publications related to donors and volunteers.


  • Lead the University of Chicago's central team of donor relations professionals while developing strategy and setting standards that guide the University's best-in-class comprehensive donor relations program.
  • As part of the University's campaign readiness, serve as the University donor relations thought leader, aligning the program with ARD's core values and the University's mission, vision, and values.
  • Lead, inspire and motivate the central donor relations team, including through active mentoring and by promoting professional growth opportunities that adhere to programmatic needs.
  • Create and implement stewardship policies, procedures, and programs for all levels of donor recognition.
  • Ensure quality, accuracy, and timeliness of measurement deliverables for stewardship reporting.
  • Actively contribute within key University working groups, meetings, and events, providing knowledge and guidance in order to advance donor relations programming and best practices.
  • Plan and manage the central donor relations budget.
  • Seek opportunities for professional development that will enhance job performance, including building networks within the University and with colleagues at peer institutions and with an eye towards broadly diversifying the advancement profession.
  • Creates and implements new programs to recognize, steward, and thank donors. Develops donor recognition strategies and applies resources of the larger team to meet donor needs.
  • Sets priorities for short-term and long term projects, based on departmental goals.
  • Perform other related work as needed.

Minimum Qualifications

Minimum requirements include a college or university degree in related field.
Work Experience:

Minimum requirements include knowledge and skills developed through 7+ years of work experience in a related job discipline.


Preferred Qualifications

  • Coursework in project management, business, finance, economics, communications, analytics, library and information science, or non-profit management.

  • Minimum seven years of professional experience in nonprofit management, donor relations, development, alumni relations, marketing, public relations, sales or similar professional work experience.
  • Leading a project team or managing staff.
  • Developing and monitoring budgets.

Technical Skills or Knowledge:
  • Demonstrated skill and knowledge of, or ability to learn quickly, the internal workings of the University as well as the technology tools available to the Office of Alumni Relations and Development, including the University's donor relationship management system, Microsoft Windows computer environment and Microsoft Office Suite.

Preferred Competencies
  • Build, lead, mentor, and motivate a diverse team, and to encourage growth and change in both people and programs. A strong commitment to personal and professional development, and the ability to foster a collaborative and inclusive team environment.
  • Outstanding interpersonal and communications skills characterized by the ability to listen, speak, and write effectively.
  • Manage confidential information with discretion and tact.
  • Act with integrity, professionalism, kindness, and confidentiality.
  • Work collegially and collaboratively in a team setting.
  • Self-motivated with the ability to take initiative.
  • Prioritize and manage multiple projects independently with a high attention to detail.
  • Think strategically and holistically to solve complex problems and formulate innovative solutions.

Working Conditions
  • Standard office environment.
  • Travel to campus and/or non-campus locations for University business.
  • Work evenings and weekends as needed.

Application Documents
  • Resume/CV (required)
  • Cover Letter, addressed to Hiring Committee (preferred)

When applying, the document(s) MUSTbe uploaded via the My Experience page, in the section titled Application Documents of the application.

Job Family

Alumni Relations & Development

Role Impact

People Manager

FLSA Status


Pay Frequency

Scheduled Weekly Hours


Benefits Eligible


Requires Compliance with University Covid-19 Vaccination Requirement


Drug Test Required


Health Screen Required


Motor Vehicle Record Inquiry Required


Posting Statement

Employees must comply with the University's COVID-19 vaccination requirements. More information about the requirements can be found on the University of Chicago Vaccination GoForward.

The University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity/Disabled/Veterans Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, status as an individual with a disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, or other protected classes under the law. For additional information please see the University's Notice of Nondiscrimination.

Staff Job seekers in need of a reasonable accommodation to complete the application process should call 773-702-5800 or submit a request via Applicant Inquiry Form.

We seek a diverse pool of applicants who wish to join an academic community that places the highest value on rigorous inquiry and encourages a diversity of perspectives, experiences, groups of individuals, and ideas to inform and stimulate intellectual challenge, engagement, and exchange.

All offers of employment are contingent upon a background check that includes a review of conviction history. A conviction does not automatically preclude University employment. Rather, the University considers conviction information on a case-by-case basis and assesses the nature of the offense, the circumstances surrounding it, the proximity in time of the conviction, and its relevance to the position.

The University of Chicago's Annual Security & Fire Safety Report (Report) provides information about University offices and programs that provide safety support, crime and fire statistics, emergency response and communications plans, and other policies and information. The Report can be accessed online at: copies of the Report are available, upon request, from the University of Chicago Police Department, 850 E. 61st Street, Chicago, IL 60637.

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