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Job ID: 218568

Director of Annual Giving, NIU Foundation (29288)
Northern Illinois University

Date Posted Jul. 28, 2023
Title Director of Annual Giving, NIU Foundation (29288)
University Northern Illinois University
DeKalb, IL, United States
Department Development Operations
Application Deadline Open until filled
Position Start Date Available immediately
  • Director/Manager
  • Development/Institutional Advancement


At Northern Illinois University (NIU) Foundation, our vision is to develop, support and encourage a culture of giving throughout the NIU community that will allow it to flourish and accomplish NIU’s goal of becoming the most student-centered public research university in the Midwest.

The Director of Annual Giving will further the Foundation’s mission of creating life-changing opportunities for our hardworking, dedicated students and faculty through leadership and management of our annual giving program. As an industry expert, this position will utilize a multi-channel, strategic approach to maximize charitable contributions.

The ideal candidate is self-motivated, metrics driven, has a demonstrated track record of high performance and is a strong collaborator, with an ability to connect with internal and external stakeholders.

Position Summary

This position reports to the Senior Director of Strategic Marketing and Communications and manages the Northern Fund (annual giving) efforts of the NIU Foundation. Building relationships with various colleagues is critical, as is a dedication to collecting and leveraging analytics to ensure both efficiency and efficacy in fundraising efforts. The Director of Annual Giving must be committed to raising unrestricted revenues to support the ongoing and evolving needs of NIU and the NIU Foundation. Remaining up-to-date on annual giving trends within higher education and beyond is imperative.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

30% – Management and Leadership
    • Strategically manage and coordinate multiple solicitation channels, including phone, direct mail, email, crowdfunding, giving days, texting, and social media, to increase overall participation and income for each unit.
    • Direct and manage at least two full-time annual giving staff toward goal attainment.
    • Foster a positive culture of trust and collaboration with a strong commitment to staff development through active management and mentorship.
    • Coordinate and encourage collaboration across all departments within University Advancement/NIU Foundation, as well as across all collegiate and co-curricular units, with an emphasis on building a culture of philanthropy and generating excitement around securing annual gifts.
    • Manage relationships with vendors for direct mail, digital giving, and student engagement to create maximized outcomes and provide best value to the NIU Foundation.


30% – Fundraising, Development, and Portfolio Management
  • Integrate all aspects of a complex, multi-channel annual giving program so that they together raise over $5 million in revenue on a yearly basis.
  • Strategize and implement tactics that allow the annual giving channels to raise unrestricted support (Northern Fund), with the aim of raising $1 million in unrestricted funds annually.
  • Solicit leadership annual fund gifts at the $1K and greater level from an assigned prospect pool using phone, digital, and personal visits. Develop and implement comprehensive cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship strategies for assigned individual prospects.
  • Lead the NIU Foundation’s Day of Giving and crowdfunding efforts, working with campus and internal partners to ensure success.
30%—Program Strategy and Ongoing Analysis
  • Design and direct a yearly strategic plan for all solicitations to alumni, parents, faculty/staff, students, and other constituents for the various colleges, schools and units managed through the centralized annual giving programs office.
  • Develop, monitor, and evaluate an annual budget aimed at enhancing operational efficiency.
  • Evaluate the annual return on investment on key solicitation programs, making adjustment and reallocations as necessary.
  • Provide quarterly updates and analysis on progress and fulfillment of goals.
  • Define optimal data segmentation and solicitation strategies to most effectively achieve annual giving fundraising targets.
  • Utilize the NIU Foundation’s CRM tools and analytic programs to monitor progress, evaluate strategies, and make adjustments when necessary.
  • Provide reports and consultation to campus partners on annual fundraising progress and trends, including collegiate partners and their corresponding Directors of Development.
10% – Program Growth and Innovation
  • Establish and build a network of nationwide peers for benchmarking, idea generation, and program analysis.
  • Monitor and implement best practices and annual giving trends.

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