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Duke University Development
Durham, North Carolina

Category: Development officer
Field of Interest:

Job Description:


As a member of the Duke Annual Fund staff, the Assistant Director of Stewardship will develop and implement a program aimed at providing excellent customer service to prospects and donors, while ultimately increasing the number of Annual Fund donors who give consistently and at leadership levels.  The assistant director is also responsible for managing all stewardship efforts for the Duke Annual Fund and its programs—Parents, Leadership Giving, Reunions, Young Alumni and Students, including development of a comprehensive stewardship plan for donors at all levels. S/he will establish and oversee all processes for effective outreach, timely acknowledgement of gifts, appropriate recognition of donors and volunteers, etc. Additionally, the assistant director will draft, edit, and proof all stewardship communications. As liaison to Annual Fund donors and prospects, this individual will serve as a source of contact and be responsible for timely response to the questions and requests from individual regarding gift issues, gift clubs, coding, campus tours, reservations, engagement opportunities, etc.  The position reports to the Director of Operations within the Duke Annual Fund.



Develop and implement a comprehensive stewardship plan for all donors and volunteers, with special focus on leadership donors, consistent donors, new donors, young alumni, and students.  Work closely with Annual Fund program directors to develop a coordinated stewardship approach. Where needed, include more targeted approach for stewarding individual donors.

  • Direct all aspects of the Annual Fund acknowledgement process by designing and implementing annual plan, writing letters, coordinating personal thank-you notes, and working with programmers to ensure donors fall into the correct category for acknowledgement.
  • Oversee Cornerstone Society and Annual Fund gifts clubs, ensure proper coding in DADD, and manage all processes related to membership and stewardship.
  • Manage recognition of donors through acknowledgements, events, social media, publications, donor walls, honor rolls, Chronicle ads, gift incentives, etc,  
  • Direct recognition of volunteers through thank-you notes, Chronicle ads, True Blue honor roll, social media presentations, and banners.
  • Develop and manage the True Blue honor roll and True Blue Add-Your-Name solicitation.  Work with ADS and University Development Communications to ensure accuracy of data and timeliness of projects. Coordinate with Annual Fund staff and school/unit colleagues on testing, proofing, and production.
  • Design, ordering and administration of birthday and thanksgiving card mailings


Donor Liaison

  • Oversee campus tours for Annual Fund donors and prospects.
  • Manage hotel reservations for special events on campus when needed.
  • Coordinate with the Duke Alumni Association and other campus organizations to leverage engagement opportunities on campus and in the regions for leadership donors who want more engagement with Duke and where appropriate, create new opportunities for involvement.
  • Serve as source of contact for alumni, parents and friends associated with the Annual Fund.  Handle responses to correspondence, emails and phone calls.



Manage the Operations Staff Specialist.

  • Work with staff member on annual performance planning and evaluation and encourage professional development within the context of the Annual Fund and University Development.
  • Provide onboarding and training as necessary.


Serve as an active member of the Duke Annual Fund staff and the Operations Team

  • Work with other staff members to write operating plans, quarterly reports, and mid-year analyses.
  • Attend AF staff and team meetings.
  • Attend and participate in Annual Fund events and gift club receptions as needed (i.e. Homecoming, Graduation, Parents’ Leadership reception, Annual Fund Advisory Board meetings, and Reunions Weekend).
  • Performs other duties as assigned.



  • Decisiveness and judgment:
  • Collaborating with Others
  • Expressing ideas orally and in writing
  • Goal and Task Management
  • Leadership
  • Attention to Detail



  • Bachelor's degree and/or and at least five years of fundraising or donor relations/stewardship experience, preferably in higher education, or related experience with a successful track record.
  • Ability to prioritize and execute multiple tasks and projects, working both independently and as a team member.
  • Exceptional ability to think strategically and analytically.
  • Excellent writing and speaking skills and strong organizational skills required.
  • Strong initiative, creativity and attention to detail.