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Director of Stewardship and Donor Relations

The Hill School

Pottstown, PA

The Director of Stewardship and Donor Relations (DSDR) is responsible for designing, implementing, managing and coordinating a School-wide, comprehensive donor relations and stewardship program that appropriately and consistently promotes interaction with and recognition of donors at all levels within The Strength of All Campaign and the overall OIG fundraising operation for the School.

In addition, the position must sustain positive and mutually rewarding relations between the School and its donors; collaborate with OIG Directors to determine the best strategies for effective stewardship of donors; maintain ongoing and active networking with internal and external constituencies; and advise on the facilitation of recognition events and coordinate various activities for donor societies. The position is a key leader in the Campaign and has significant impact on its success, management and direction along with the OIG overall.

The DSDR primarily reports to the Director of IG and Hill Fund Operations and has a close working relationship with the Assistant Headmaster for Institutional Giving as well, given the position’s importance to the Campaign. The DSDR also has three direct reports that support the program’s daily operation. Two staff have shared fundraising and stewardship responsibilities and are part-time positions; the third position is a coordinator position of high-competency in data management and internal processes geared to support stewardship and donor relations.

The DSDR must work closely with all OIG staff and will interact with other prominent and important Hill School leaders and our faculty as well as current students.

Specific Responsibilities

The DSDR leads the stewardship and donor relations department’s efforts to enhance and strengthen our donors’ relationships with the School and their understanding of their gifts’ impact on the School, improving retention and increasing the likelihood of continued contributions. There are multiple existing programs building trust, communicating impact, and recognizing and engaging our donors, and the DSDR coordinates their implementation to create a vibrant donor experience.

  • Establishes and oversees the implementation of the donor acknowledgement process, ensuring timely recognition of gifts by the appropriate signatories at the School.
  • Facilitates the communication of donor impact through the creation of a variety of meaningful and customized reports, materials, and experiences for donors at all levels. These include (but are not limited to):
    • An annual impact book for our leadership donors, personalized for our top-end donors
    • Annual impact reporting for our endowed fund donors
    • Annual reporting regarding the financial performance of our endowed funds for donors
    • Consistent communication with our Hill Fund donors through a variety of media – email, print, web, social media – regarding the impact of their annual giving.
    • Consistent communication with Campaign donors to specific projects through a variety of media – email, print, web, social media – regarding the progress of these Campaign efforts.
    • Personalized photobooks or other pieces for specific donors or a group of donors.

These communications pieces are created collaboratively with a variety of constituents including, The Hill Fund team, the Assistant Headmaster for OIG, and the Office of Strategy Management (OSM – the Communications division at The Hill).
Of important note, the School especially now seeks the use of analytics as well in this position to support stewardship materials, experiences and communications that will improve donor retention and giving overall.

  • Responsible for the creation, tracking, and installation of philanthropic and honorific naming opportunities throughout campus. This duty is particularly important as we embark on several significant capital projects as part of our current Campaign.
  • Coordinate and monitor OIG’s giving societies – Moffat (loyalty), Meigs (legacy), and 1851 Societies (leadership) and works closely with OIG leadership to grow their affinity and membership. This may include working with OSM to create tailored engagement and stewardship events for donor segments.
  • Proactively supports the stewardship responsibilities of the OIG staff by assisting them in establishing and coordinating individualized stewardship plans for donors to the School, as appropriate, and for that of the Headmaster and Board Chair, who heavily travel for the Campaign.
  • Works collaboratively with OIG staff to compose letters, compile appropriate invitation lists, gift agreement and gift proposals, prepare program scripts and participant remarks (as needed) and create and/or obtain donor awards and recognitions, plaques and other naming conventions.
  • Serves as one of several OIG primary campus contacts for the most significant donors, helping to resolve problems, questions, and concerns as needed and in cooperation with the Assistant Headmaster for Institutional Giving.
  • Maintains strong relationships with multiple departments throughout campus, including:
    • Business Office to assist with the tracking endowed and other specialized funds
    • Admission Office and the Director of Financial Aid to match students with scholarship awards that meet donor requirements
    • The Headmaster’s Office to coordinate acknowledgments and stewardship for top donors
    • The Academic Office to be able to report the impact of academic programs, prizes, and other student and faculty-related initiatives.
  • Oversees regular audit and reconciliation of our endowed funds to assure proper spend and distribution allocations annually.
  • Develops and assesses policies and procedures across the OIG and the School that are essential for a comprehensive donor relations program.
  • Collaborates with OIG Operations and Database Services to develop metrics to monitor program success, especially around donor retention and giving increase.

Qualifications

  • Minimum of three to five years’ experience, preferably in independent schools or higher education (or a comparably complex organization), in development, stewardship, advancement services or related fields. Previous experience interacting with donors is mandatory and pivotal. Preference given to current assistant or associate directors of stewardship and donor relations seeking career advancement within a highly dynamic campaign setting.
  • Extremely important are the knowledge and ability to create, execute and/or support, and oversee a comprehensive School-wide donor acknowledgement and recognition plan, including advising on complex and carefully orchestrated cultivation events and programs for the School’s capital giving donors.
  • Excellent organizational, interpersonal, verbal and written communication skills are essential.
  • The incumbent must be able to generate creative solutions for stewarding donors in order to advance the School’s efforts to maintain and strengthen high quality, individual relationships with donors. This requires an ability to think strategically about donor engagement.
  • Excellent social skills, with large groups as well as with individuals, are required.
  • Proven skills and ability to manage multi-phase projects from inception to completion, including the ability to build consensus among team members and balance multiple concurrent priorities.
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team.
  • Being detail oriented, well organized, focused and goal-oriented, with a high level of initiative and energy, is essential, as well as adept at problem solving and using judgment in situations requiring independent initiative and tact.
  • Working knowledge of Raiser’s Edge, InDesign, and Excel – or similar programs – is highly preferred and will be required for the DSDR to be successful. Prior use of data analytics to establish and/or evaluate donor retention and giving trends is also highly preferred, if not essential to be successful.
  • Incumbent must have a high level of independence in accomplishing the responsibilities of the position. Goals, priorities, and major projects are reviewed and discussed on an on-going basis with the Director of IG Operations and the Assistant Headmaster for Institutional Giving.
  • The ability to interact comfortably, tactfully, and effectively with varied internal and external constituencies is essential. Incumbent interacts on behalf of the School with donors from all of its various constituencies.
  • Must display a high level of maturity and personal integrity and ability to understand, develop, and sustain resilient and dynamic relationships with donors, colleagues, and senior management.
  • Incumbent must be able to effectively communicate both verbally and in writing.
  • A bachelor’s degree is required.

The Institution

Founded in 1851 as The Family Boarding School, The Hill School prepares young men and women from across the country and around the world for college, careers, and life. Within a family school environment and a rigorous liberal arts curriculum, young people are challenged to work hard, think and reason, be fulfilled, serve the common good, and be prepared to lead as citizens of the world, uniquely guided by our motto: “Whatsoever things are true.” The student enrollment is 525 students, third form (ninth grade) through post-graduate with 52% boys and 48% girls. There is a 76% to 24% boarding-to-day student ratio; all students must board for one year. Hill students are drawn from 28 states and 28 foreign countries.

The Office of Institutional Giving
The Hill School’s Office of Institutional Giving (OIG) is located in The Class of 1960 Alumni House at 715 East High Street in Pottstown. This office is responsible for fostering relationships with alumni, parents, foundations and friends to encourage their support of The Hill’s mission and secure the School’s future. Specific areas addressed by OIG, led by the Assistant Headmaster for Institutional Giving, include capital giving (major and estate charitable giving) from alumni, parents, foundations and friends and The Hill Fund (annual giving to support the operating budget); and advancement services (gift processing, database management, stewardship, donor research and gift reporting). Objectives include encouraging volunteer service to the School and raising funds to support capital projects, programs, operating support, student aid, and the School’s endowment; encouraging a culture of philanthropy among all constituencies; and creating opportunities for alumni/parents to stay connected with the School and network with peers.

The OIG is also leading the largest, most ambitious and comprehensive fundraising campaign in The Hill’s history- started on July 1, 2014 – The Strength of All Campaign. Seeking to raise at least $100 million, the campaign is expected to last 5-7 years (until July 2022) and bolster our endowment, Hill Fund, campus, and the greater Pottstown community. The OIG, from time to time, manages and implements discrete and major fundraising campaigns of various goals and objectives, as determined by the School’s strategic plan and priorities, as set by the Board of Trustees.

For additional information about The Hill School, please visit www.thehill.org.

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