Director of Stewardship and Donor Engagement


Location: Hickory, North Carolina 

The Director of Stewardship and Donor Engagement is responsible for designing, implementing, and directing an integrated and comprehensive donor relations and stewardship program that appropriately and consistently promotes interaction and connection with and recognition of donors at all levels. The Director is forward-thinking, innovative, energetic, and professional. This individual will be able to implement a multi-year plan to advance institutional efforts, with upcoming comprehensive campaign priorities in mind.  

Stewardship activities should focus on the renewal of present supporters of the institution and extending the invitation of gift support to past and/or new alumni, family, and friends. The role will report directly to the Assistant Vice President of Development, and work closely with the other Advancement staff, including leadership gift officers, the president’s office, deans and academic/administrative department heads. This staff member will exhibit the highest standards of professionalism in work performance, leadership style in relating to Lenoir-Rhyne University’s staff, faculty, student body, constituents, friends and the public in general. 

Supervisory Responsibilities

  • None

Essential Accountabilities

  • Ensure all gifts to LRU and LTSS are acknowledged in a timely and appropriate manner.  
  • Evaluate the quality and impact of the donor stewardship program, whose components include use of gifts, recognition, events, gift agreements, management of information and privacy compliance.  
  • In coordination with the Vice President of Institutional Advancement and Assistant Vice President of Development, help plan, promote and host events that serve to strengthen relationships between the donor/donor recognition societies and LRU and LTSS. Such annual events include the Scholarship Luncheon, Founders and 1891 Heritage Societies Dinner, Christmas Reception, Business Council and President’s Suite gatherings during home football games.  
  • Collaborate with advancement services to prepare endowed fund reporting annually. 
  • Collaborate with other departments to create strategies for developing donor stewardship standards across campus for the purpose of creating an energetic and enthusiastic culture of philanthropy.  
  • Partner with leadership and annual gift officers to identify and cultivate top 100 stewardship prospects.  
  • Proactively support gift officers in design and execution of annual and multi-year stewardship plans for donors and top prospects.  
  • Serve as a creative resource in identifying and developing new methods of donor communications (ex. Web pages, social media).  
  • Document and track stewardship actions for individual donors in RE/NXT.  
  • Identify opportunities to honor emerging donor groups; alumni of color, young alumni, and parent and family giving.  
  • Address donor questions and concerns related to fund administration and beneficiaries, gift acknowledgements and report requirements.  
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Required Skills/Abilities

  • Strategic and detailed planner who understands the role of advancement in higher education environment 
  • Proactive, able to prioritize work to maximize department resources  
  • Possess a pleasant personality, which easily interacts with the public 
  • Have excellent oral and written communication skills 
  • Have strong organizational skills and be able to work independently  
  • Be proficient in navigating and using Microsoft Office, Outlook, Word, Excel, RE/NXT 

Education and Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree required  
  • Minimum of four (4) years of experience in direct and varied areas of stewardship, development or alumni relations, preferably in a higher education non-profit setting.  
  • Experience working with volunteer donors.  
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office (Word, PowerPoint, Microsoft 365 and Excel).  
  • Occasional night and weekend work is required.  

Physical Requirements

  • Prolonged periods of sitting at a desk and working on a computer.
  • Ability to travel to on and off-campus events.

Work Schedule

  • Standard office hours Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Occasional evening and weekend work is required as job duties demand

Behavioral Expectations

  • Maintain high integrity, confidentiality, and ethical standards.
  • Maintain a healthy and safe environment.
  • Maintain and contribute to a professional, respectful, courteous, diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment
  • Treat other individuals with dignity, respect, and kindness.
  • Adhere to all university policies, procedures, standards, values and comply with all federal, state, and local laws.

Position requirements in the role description outlined above indicate the minimum level of knowledge, skills and/or abilities deemed necessary to perform the job competently. Role descriptions are an overview of the duties, responsibilities and requirements of the position and are not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list for the position. Employees may be required to perform other job-related assignments as requested and acquire new skills and responsibilities. Lenoir-Rhyne University reserves the right to modify, add, remove or waive the responsibilities, duties and skills required of the position.

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