Director of Donor Relations

OrganizationUniversity of Virginia Advancement
TypeFull Time
Application DeadlineOctober 19, 2019
College Degree Required?Yes
Phone(434) 924-6315


The Darden School Foundation has an exciting opportunity for a highly motivated professional to join its Advancement team. The Director of Donor Relations is responsible for leading the advancement donor relations team in the development and achievement of best-in-class donor relations. The individual in this role will lead the overall strategy to facilitate recognition of donors, communicate gratitude, demonstrate impact of gifts, and ensure donor intent is followed. Responsibilities include executing recognition programs, developing content for publications, and preparing communications on behalf of the institution, including customized stewardship and financial reports for high-level donors. The individual in this role collaborates with gift officers to design and develop strategic stewardship opportunities for annual and major donors. Work also includes responsibility for gift agreements and naming opportunities, as well as other projects in support of strategic advancement and stewardship efforts, as assigned.



  • Lead Darden’s advancement donor relations team to achieve best-in-class donor relations through execution of stewardship projects, activities, and communications. Collaborate with Enterprise-wide teams to provide coordinated, well thought out stewardship of donors.
  • Provide high-touch communications, stewardship, and customer service to donors at all times.
  • Lead the creation of annual donor reports for a sub-set of donors. Collaborate with Advancement operations team to automate stewardship program and develop robust stewardship reporting to better leverage data and ensure consistency.
  • Determine and propose opportunities for improved stewardship efficiencies and more effective, more personal donor communications.
  • Work with donors, faculty members, and scholarship recipients to facilitate personal connections that build meaningful and lasting relationships.
  • Responsible for oversight and execution of all donor gift and pledge agreements and addendums.
  • Lead the execution of benefits for recognition society members and scholarship donors.
  • Participate in donor publications and communication strategy development and execution.
  • Oversee donor naming opportunities, creation of recognition plaques and other stewardship pieces.
  • Lead Darden’s donor stewardship efforts in conjunction with Graduation each May.
  • Fund management: Work closely with School and Advancement leadership, Financial Aid, and Finance teams to proactively address and resolve stewardship issues with the goal of meeting donor intent and freeing up funds that are in suspense, underutilized, or unable to be used.
  • Review acknowledgement letters for the UVA President, Darden Dean, and Vice President for Advancement. Craft custom language for special donor gifts, as needed.
  • Responsible for development and management of the Donor Relations budget.
  • Completion of other duties, as assigned, ensuring their execution with the professionalism and caliber as customary for the Darden School of Business.



  • Bachelor’s degree required.
  • Minimum of 5 years of experience in one or more of the following: fundraising, development, volunteer management, alumni affairs, or engagement.
  • Experience working for a non-profit, foundation, or academic environment preferred.



  • Excellent written and oral communications skills required. Ability to create targeted messaging, appealing to diverse audiences and interest groups.
  • Working knowledge of donor relations. Ability to analyze and present information and maintain accurate and detailed records.
  • Ability to relate to people of diverse backgrounds, training, and experience.
  • Skilled in establishing and maintaining effective working relationships with students, alumni, volunteers, staff, and the public.
  • Skilled in exercising a high degree of initiative, judgment, discretion, and decision-making to achieve organizational objectives.
  • Ability to work independently and collaboratively in a goal-oriented team environment. Provide direct support to leaders, as needed. Complete tasks without immediate supervision.
  • Strong customer-service orientation.
  • Exceptional project planning skills, organizational skills, and attention to detail.
  • Ability to prioritize and manage multiple tasks simultaneously and meet deadlines.
  • Proficiency with Advance, Raiser’s Edge, or other fundraising database preferred.
  • Understand and articulate Darden’s educational mission, strategic aims, and programs.