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  Sample job descriptions and job description tips. Employment

 Director of Stewardship

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Reports To: Director of Development Services
Department: Stewardship
Division: External Relations

Position Overview:

As an integral part of the College's advancement program, the Director of Stewardship works to foster lasting relationships between the college and its benefactors, promoting positive attitudes toward giving among current and prospective major and planned gift donors.

Essential Job Functions/Responsibilities:

Lead all donor recognition efforts including, but not limited to:

  • Manage the content of the annual report to donors; work in collaboration with the Associate Director of Stewardship and the Publications Department
  • Oversee and develop all stewardship related content of the website
  • Work closely with fundraising colleagues to provide appropriate donor recognition through publications, and general donor publicity
  • Lead efforts to plan and implement all major donor recognition events such as capital project dedications and ceremonies, events for specific groups of donors such as luncheons and the Endowed Chair dinner, building dedications, medal award ceremonies, induction ceremonies, campaign related donor events and other special events
  • Work with families of deceased students and alumni to determine appropriate memorials. This includes creating plaques, coordinating installation of plaques, trees, benches, etc. with facilities in addition to arranging dedication events, photographs, etc.

Lead all major gift donor reporting efforts including, but not limited to:

  • Oversee and manage the stewardship of named funds
  • Assist in the preparation of fund frameworks and gift agreements
  • Oversee and manage donor reports for endowed and specified current funds including professorships, faculty development funds, scholarships, prizes, book funds, student research funds, etc.
  • Provide project-based support and reporting to upper management.
  • Look for opportunities to connect and engage donors and fund recipients as much as possible.  Create and/or identify programs and events to ensure donors that the College is attuned with their interests and concerns.
  • Direct the production of all presidential acknowledgments; work with other staff to assist in the preparation of other donor acknowledgments such as those written by the Vice President
  • Review and modify, as necessary, the acknowledgment process to ensure donors are thanked in a personal, timely, and appropriate manner by the External Relations Division.
  • Oversee preparation of acknowledgments for donations of $500 - $4,999 for donors without a staff manager and all tribute and memorial donations.

Support and collaborate with major and planned gift staff in the development of fundraising strategies. Examples of activities include:

  • Work with Research and Development Officers to develop creative and personalized stewardship and cultivation plans for top 100 donors.  Meet regularly with Development and Research on progress of the stewardship and cultivation plans.
  • Participate in planning solicitation and gift closure strategies to ensure that gifts are designated appropriately for purposes that can be managed in a responsible and effective manner.
  • Provide traveling staff with detailed, personalized information for their meetings with prospects.
  • Brainstorm with development officers on creative ways to engage donors with the College
  • Work with development officers to find appropriate designations for current or future donations. This may require working with the Associate Dean's office or the Budget office.
  • Ensure that all new funds have a signed agreement or a memorandum of understanding in order to comply with auditor guidelines.
  • Review campus events to ensure that all interested alumni are invited and informed

Direct Stewardship staff and provide overall management for all assigned duties:

  • Supervise Associate Director of Stewardship and Stewardship Coordinator.
  • Address donor/constituent concerns regarding stewardship issues
  • Oversee and manage relationships with campus offices (particularly Student Financial Services, the Business Office, Dean of the College, College Relations, Admissions and academic departments) to ensure that criteria established by each donor and agreed upon by the College are met.
  • Participate in monthly Prospect Meetings alert meeting attendees to upcoming stewardship activities that may impact them
  • Maintain professional connections and interactions with donor relations colleagues through CASE and ADRP
  • Create and oversee maintenance of policies and procedures for all stewardship functions.

Additional Job Responsibilities:

Describe Supervision Received and Exercised:


  • The Director of Stewardship receives little supervision, primarily seeking guidance in matters of priority and direction.
  • The Director of Stewardship is involved in long-term and short-term planning for the department and represents the department in handling complaints and resolving grievances.
  • The Director may make financial/budget decisions in the course of performing the duties outlined above.
  • Prepare an annual list of goals and work plan that is reviewed monthly with supervisor.


  • Supervises the Associate Director of Stewardship and the Stewardship Coordinator

Education/Experience/Skills (supported by job duties):


  • BA required, with a major in English, Communications, or a related field preferred.
  • Two or more years of successful experience in stewardship, development, alumni relations, and/or donor relations activities.
  • Demonstrated strong written and oral skills.
  • Proven ability to work effectively with a diverse group of external and internal constituents
  • Demonstrated skills and commitment to quality, timeliness, efficiency, and effectiveness
  • Demonstrated strong organization skills with attention to detail


  • Knowledge of and commitment to the mission of a selective private liberal arts college
  • Creativity, energy, and ambition who can lead a program and manage projects
  • Membership and/or previous involvement with the Association of Donor Relations Professionals (ADRP)
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office products and experience with computer databases and tools, particularly Advance C/S and OnBase
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