Rensselaer – Director, Donor Relations and Communications

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Rensselaer GraduationDirector, Donor Relations and Communications

Rensselaer seeks a highly accomplished leader for the position of Director, Donor Relations and Communications to join a team of more than 75 professionals who specialize in major and principal gifts, alumni relations, communications, donor relations and advancement strategies, services and campaign operations.

The Director, Donor Relations and Communications develops, implements and leads a successful and integrated donor relations program that strategically targets all levels of giving and ensures donors are acknowledged and recognized to strengthen their financial support for the University.

Duties and Responsibilitiesstudents at Rensselaer

  1. Serve as the central coordination point in the Advancement Division for communications to advancement constituents. Organize communications sequencing; recommend content modification and/or outside services; and provide recommendations to IA units related to their communications activities.
  2. Create innovative programs and projects to thank and steward donors; ensure the external reporting to donors on endowments. Provide customized stewardship reports to selected major donors and prospects. Implement annual stewardship for Patroon level donors as appropriate. Oversee the development and implement of annual plan for stewardship program.
  3. Oversee the recruitment and selection of staff to assist in attainment of goals and objectives; carries out human resource functions for direct reports including hiring, evaluating, training, developing, supporting, coaching, and when necessary, counseling and initiating disciplinary actions.
  4. Collaborate with Vice President of IA to develop a performance plan and a performance based budget; insures fiscal responsibility for decisions regarding expenditures.
  5. Prepare copy for advancement marketing materials and communications, including campaign communications in collaboration with SCER.
  6. Work with Advancement Services to monitor gift records of key donors and to create appropriate reports. Work with development officers and Adv. Services to ensure accuracy of gift allocations. Provide analysis and recommend changes as needed.
  7. Oversee maintenance of contact reports on Advance for Stewardship/Endowed Fund activity. Use this tool to determine annual schedule of all required stewardship reports.
  8. Prepare correspondence for advancement and Institute leadership as appropriate and provide proofreading/editing assistance, as required.
  9. Oversee and direct the development and implementation of strategic communications in multiple mediums in a timely fashion. This includes, but not limited to, social media sites, e-blasts, year-end-reminders, web pages, newsletter updates, and fundraising campaign materials in collaboration with SCER.
  10. Perform other duties as assigned.
  11. Maintain strict confidentiality as outlined in the Institute’s Policy on Confidentiality of Constituent Information (signed copy on file).

Job Requirements

The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Position Relationships

Reports to: Vice President of Institute Advancement or designee
Positions Supervised: Professional and support staff as assigned.

Qualifications (Education/Experience)


  • A bachelor’s degree in English, journalism, marketing or related discipline
  • Seven (7) years’ experience in fundraising, constituent relations or communications preferably with an educational institute or non-profit organization.
  • Progressively responsible management experience developing, directing and managing multiple projects and implementing strategic program goals.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Excellent communication, presentation and interpersonal skills and attention to details.
  • Ability to work in fast paced, upbeat, and ever-changing environment.
  • Proven experience in producing marketing pieces.
  • Working knowledge of Microsoft Office, especially Word, Excel, Access, and PowerPoint.
  • Technical/scientific writing experiences a plus.
  • Ability and experience in supervising staff and leading a major program.

How to Apply

Interested candidates should send a cover letter describing their interest in and qualifications for the position and a resume electronically to The subject line in the email should be DDRC. Confidential inquiries may be made by contacting Colleen Brade by email to or by telephone at 585-738-7678 or Cynthia Woolbright by email to or by telephone at 585-787-0325.

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Confidentiality will be maintained, and references will not be contacted without prior knowledge or approval of the candidate.

Rensselaer has a strong institutional commitment to diversity and is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. As such, the Institute welcomes applicants who will bring a diverse intellectual, geographical, gender, and ethnic perspectives to the Rensselaer community.