Director of Annual Giving & Special Projects




 Director of Annual Giving and Special Projects




VP of University Advancement




Office of University Advancement





The Director of Annual Giving and Special Projects reports to the Vice President for University Advancement and is responsible for leading the University's annual and special giving strategy. This position is responsible for developing processes and managing campaigns that identify, cultivate, solicit and steward prospects and donors for gifts, specifically targeting both lower dollar restricted donors for college and central priorities, as well as unrestricted gifts to the University. The Director is responsible for raising at least $600,000 annually and for creating and implementing a longer-term strategy that will grow the annual fund to $1 Million.


Additionally, the position is responsible for the development and implementation of strong communications content and for consistent messaging to internal and external constituents. The Director is charged with assisting the VP in developing and maintaining active and productive relationships with board members, and helps staff the Development Committee. The Director manages the Assistant Director of Annual Giving as well as other Advancement Services functions.





Focuses on building a prospect pool for annual leadership giving through identification and cultivation activities. Carries a portfolio of leadership giving prospects and donors, specifically 1929 Society and Frances Warde Circle members and potential members. Typically solicits gifts in the $500 - $2,000 range and works with the Major Gift Officers to secure larger gifts when appropriate.

Oversees targeted and strategic annual direct mail solicitations, phonathon operations, peer-to-peer and other specialized campaigns around university and school/college funding priorities.

  • Develops fundraising materials for all direct appeal solicitations (at least 4 per year) and oversees the development of scripts and other materials for phonathon.
  •  Supervises reunion giving, senior class giving, faculty and staff giving and other targeted campaigns as required
  • Manages Trustee giving processes under the direction of the VP for Advancement
  • Creates solicitation strategies for select University priorities (Athletics, etc.) as appropriate, under the direction of the VP for Advancement
  • Works with the Director of Alumni Engagement, the Marketing and Communications Department and outside vendors, to create and implement an integrated communications plan that supports development efforts and engages alumni, donors and prospects.
  • Prepares routine analysis and tracks annual giving revenue against previous years, adjusts and fine-tunes solicitation strategies as needed. Pays specific attention to retaining donors year over year and moving those with capacity up the gift chart.


  • Designs and implements a stewardship strategy for leadership annual fund donors, including but not limited to one signature event per year for 1929 Society members. Works with the appropriate departments and personnel to oversee invitations, finalize on-site arrangements, record responses and provide information to attendees as needed.
  • Finalizes correspondence and other written materials, conducts visits and phone calls as appropriate or necessary with donors. 

 Volunteer/Constituent Management:

  • Oversees the Assistant Director in the identification, recruitment and management of annual giving and special giving volunteers, including but not limited to
  • Senior Class Gift Committee
  • Alumni Board Development Committee
  • Alumni Phonathon volunteers
  • Works with the Director of Alumni Engagement to recruit, engage and manage the Homecoming and Reunion Class Giving committees in order to secure reunion giving revenue

 Program Management:

  • Creates and implements strategic and operational planning processes which involve internal constituencies as well as key external leaders and that result in a comprehensive Annual and Special Giving strategy
  • Develops a fiscal year plan to meet financial goals and objectives, using targeting, segmentation, predictive modeling and other analytic tools
  • Evaluates ROI for each solicitation strategy and makes adjustments or changes as necessary
  • Manages the Annual Fund budget
  • Provides strategic and management direction to Assistant Director of Annual Giving and supervises Advancement Services functions including gift entry, data entry etc. 
  • Works collaboratively with other areas involved with the Annual Fund Goals
  • Other duties as assigned. Weekend and evening work as required.





  • Bachelor's degree





  • Five years of documented successful annual fund management including phonathon.





  • Demonstrable knowledge of the principles and practices associated with fundraising in higher education including direct mail, web-based, telephone solicitations, reunion giving, donor relations and social media.



  • Complete Project Management (from strategy to evaluation) of tools and tactics used within an annual fund framework. The Director will possess excellent management and communication skills, as well as the ability and motivation to direct a targeted, strategic effort within a larger and more complex advancement program



  • Strong computer and analytical skills and excellent writing skills.  The Director must be able to think about data in an analytical and comprehensive way, so as to evaluate and optimize current giving trends, and make recommendations or alter strategy as needed.



  • Ability to work well with people at all levels of an organization, to develop relationships with diverse constituencies, and simultaneously employ keen judgment.



  • Strong strategic and tactical management skills, and an unflagging commitment to achieve goals.






Carlow University employees commit themselves to the highest standards of ethical conduct.  They commit to act with integrity, treat others with respect and dignity, carefully steward the University's resources, avoid conflicts of interest or commitment, maintain confidentiality, and to comply with legal and professional obligations.


Carlow University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. We strive for a campus that reflects our urban setting and is inclusive of underrepresented groups to enhance our University community.


Full/Part/FT&PT: Full-time - exempt
Department: Office of University Advancement
Contact Name/Title: Search Committee
Contact Address: Carlow University 3333 Fifth Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Contact Email Address: