Ithaca College
New York, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Closing date
Jun 4, 2022

View more

Position Type
Fundraising, Alumni Affairs, Annual Fund, Special Events
Academic Centers
Employment Type
Full Time

The Executive Director of Alumni and Family Engagement and the IC Annual Fund will engage Ithaca College’s 100,000+ alumni, families and friends in meaningful ways including volunteerism and philanthropic support of Ithaca College’s mission. The Executive Director work with AVP of Engagement to set a vision for and guide the strategy development, implementation and management of comprehensive alumni, family and Friends of Ithaca College, and the IC Annual Fund designed to enhance active participation and involvement of these constituent groups. The Executive Director will implement departmental strategies that not only aligns with Ithaca Forever, the college’s strategic plan, but also meets the following goals:

  1. Reputation: Serve as Ithaca College’s professional alumni engagement expert to build the reputation of Ithaca College’s maturing alumni and annual giving program.
  2. Leadership: Increase pride in the college by promoting alumni successes and increasing alumni volunteer leadership opportunities.
  3. Engagement: Motivate alumni to invest and care about the success of Ithaca College. Keep IC relevant to the various communities.
  4. Connection: Create new and leverage existing alumni connections to build loyalty and enhance the status of the programs and the college.
  5. Diversity: Create and manage programs to align with the college's overall diversity and inclusion programs while focusing on engagement and fundraising.

The Executive Director will provide operational oversight in developing and achieving engagement and annual fund metrics and goals, creating events to attract and recruit alumni, donors, and friends, and supporting colleagues with alumni and donor-based initiatives. Manage a comprehensive volunteer relations program. Travel, create and monitor measurable goals for program activities and impact. Provide leadership to the Alumni Association Board of Directors and Friend of IC. Provide oversight for the IC Family Council. The director will personally carry a portfolio of at least 25 gift prospects and will work closely with the Associate Vice President of Engagement and the Associate Vice President of Philanthropy to advance efforts in identification, cultivation, and solicitation of these donors. Participate in and assist with other events sponsored by the Division of Philanthropy and Engagement. Provide leadership and mentoring to Philanthropy and Engagement staff colleagues and partners in our work.


This position reports to the Associate Vice President of Engagement and has direct supervisory responsibilities of the Associate Director of Family, Student and Young Alumni Engagement, and Associate Director of Reunions and Homecoming. This position also assists the Associate Vice President of Engagement with supervision of the Senior Associate Director for Engagement, Phonathon and Engagement Coordinator.                       


Reputation:  Represent Ithaca College with professional presence and awareness.

  1. Act as a college ambassador and represent Ithaca in a variety of highly visible opportunities.
  2. Build institution’s brand and reputation through collaboration with college stakeholders. 
  3. Participate in strategic planning and goal setting activities with the Associate Vice President of Engagement and Vice President of Philanthropy and Engagement.
  4. Serve as staff liaison to the Alumni Association Board of Directors; attend and actively participating in Alumni Board meetings.
  5. Advise campus leadership and administration on national trends, best practices, and other critical engagement strategies.
  6. Maintain regular communication with schools and campus partner to assist them in reaching their engagement and fundraising goals.
  7. Elevate and increase the department’s visibility and credibility on campus, in the local community and regionally.
  8. Produce analyses for the alumni engagement and IC Annual Fund programs, operations, and initiatives.
  9. Remain competent and current through professional reading, developing professional contacts with colleagues, and attending professional development and training courses.

Leadership: Increase the pride in the college by promoting alumni success and increasing volunteer leadership opportunities for alumni.

  1. Provide strategic direction and leadership to grow a high functional level Alumni Association Board of Directors whose membership reflects the college’s alumni population; engage the alumni board in identifying strategic goals and priorities for engagement.
  2. Use alumni engagement events on campus and regionally as an opportunity to identify and recruit potential volunteers. 
  3. Collaborate with the college’s school, and program administrators to identify and engage alumni and donors to serve on campus advisory and leadership boards.
  4. Create and expand programs that highlight the personal and professional successes of the alumni population through the Alumni Association Awards.
  5. Work with colleagues in College Communications and the Marketing Creative Group to market programs to internal and external constituents; collaborate on stories and features in the ICView magazine to feature prominent alumni, family, and friends with compelling stories.

Engagement: Motivate alumni and donors to invest in the success of Ithaca College.

  1. Foster life-long relationships with alumni from all backgrounds by initiating events and contacts, which provide educational opportunities, as well as professional and social interactions.
  2. Launch new and expand current programs to engage and cultivate the large population of previously unengaged or under-engaged alumni and donors.
  3. Build a strong donor base of families and Friends of Ithaca College through targeted outreach and engagement.
  4. Develop and implement high-quality alumni chapter programs with volunteer leaders in cities where there is a concentration of alumni, donors, and admissions applicants.
  5. Maintain consistent and positive communication with alumni, families and friends via direct contact, newsletters, email blasts, web pages, print publications and social media.
  6. Contribute to the accuracy of the alumni and donor database by capturing contact, biographical information of alumni via surveys, projects, events, correspondence, website, postal returns etc.
  7. Grow an alumni discount and benefits program.

Connection: Create new and leverage existing connections to build loyalty to the college.

  1. Qualify alumni, donors, families, and friends on behalf of the college.
  2. Oversee the Friends of Ithaca College program and work with the Friend’s volunteer leadership in the development and implementation of annual fundraising and engagement strategies to increase the college’s engagement of local community members and businesses.
  3. Work with the Office of Career Services to create a robust slate of offerings for alumni seeking career services and to provide opportunities for alumni to assist other alumni and/or students on their career paths.
  4. Work with college admissions to create strong alumni initiatives including alumni ambassadors, legacy programs, send-offs and “Nominate a Bomber” referrals.
  5. Work with the Associate Director of Family, Student and Young Alumni Engagement to develop programming that grows and strengthens connections between students and alumni such as Students Today, Alumni Tomorrow (STAT).  


Overall Department and Staff Management

  1. Work with the Alumni and Family Engagement to create annual operating plans that engage alumni, current and potential donors, families, Friends of Ithaca College, and volunteers that support the college’s Ithaca Forever strategic plan.
  2. Manage staff that oversee class reunions, homecoming and family engagement and are responsible for the development and implementation of programming, services, activities, and events designed to engage alumni, families and friends in a manner supportive of increased engagement and philanthropy.
  3. Recruit, manage, coach, and inspire staff, providing them with supervision, guidance, and mentoring in goal setting, performance management, skill building and professional growth.
  4. Develop the points of evaluation, metrics, and analyses necessary for the assessment and management of programs. Using the data, evaluate, strengthen, and enhance existing programming, and develop and implement new programs designed to enhance the connection of our alumni and families to the college community. Prepare reports and analyses as needed to reflect progress, trends, and appropriate recommendations for future alumni programs.
  5. Partner with the Department of Advancement Services to implement procedures and protocol for coding and tracking alumni engagement activities, volunteers and annual fund giving in Blackbaud Raiser’s Edge.
  6. Other duties as assigned.            


Master’s degree and/or a Bachelor’s degree and a minimum of five years of experience in alumni engagement programs, or experience in education, non-profit management or a field or industry that emphasizes relationship building, stewardship, and overseeing event-driven programming and communications; excellent organizational, interpersonal, written and verbal communication skills; demonstrated success in developing alumni relations and/or annual fund programs, an in-depth understanding of philanthropy and engagement programs, and the ability to integrate alumni engagement programs with the college’s philanthropic priorities and initiatives; proven leadership skills; knowledge and understanding of relevant technologies used in support of communicating and marketing alumni programs, engaging alumni and encouraging participation in networking and alumni programming, and managing and measuring results; knowledge and skill in use of social media platforms. supervisory experience, the ability to lead and motivate a diverse staff, and a strong commitment to personal and professional development; proven ability to work and collaborate with volunteers; willingness and ability to travel on behalf of Ithaca College, to maintain a high level of visibility with our alumni population, and to participate regularly in alumni events and activities are required. Travel, work occasional nights and weekends required.


Most of the work of the incumbent is carried out within a generally accessible, safe, indoor environment. The incumbent will be required to operate a personal computer and associated equipment such as computer printers and other office equipment used in day-to-day operation.  The incumbent will be required to travel and attend various college functions during and after normal business hours. Nights and weekends as required. This position requires that you live within 60 miles of Ithaca College.


As an employee at Ithaca College, you’ll get much more than a competitive salary and the traditional advantages. We pride ourselves on providing our benefit-eligible employees with the most comprehensive benefits possible, including work/life balance, generous paid time off policies, career-enhancing trainings, employee and dependent tuition assistance, and opportunities to give back to the community. Beyond benefits, you’ll enjoy the kind of uniquely rewarding work environment that can only be found in a vibrant college community.


Applications are accepted through the Ithaca College Employment Portal. Please submit cover letter, resume and list of three professional references.

Visa sponsorship is not provided for this position.

Ithaca College is committed to building a diverse academic community and encourages members of underrepresented groups to apply. Experience that contributes to the diversity of the college is appreciated.

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