NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership School) is a nonprofit global
wilderness school that supports thousands of students each year all
over the world. Our school began in a small cabin in Sinks Canyon,
Wyoming in 1965 as the National Outdoor Leadership School. At that
time, we were primarily an outdoors skills school, doing our work
in local mountain ranges and exploring what it meant to teach
leadership in the backcountry. Today, we are NOLS, a multifaceted
wilderness school located in Lander, Wyoming, that supports
thousands of students each year all over the world in both field
& classroom courses.
Reporting to the Chief Advancement Officer (CAO), the Alumni &
Donor Relations Director (ADRD) is a full-time leadership position
responsible for shaping innovative and robust alumni and donor
relations programs. This position is responsible for the short- and
long-term planning and implementation of programs and projects that
strategically engage alumni while strengthening the cultivation,
identification, and stewardship of NOLS donors and prospects. This
person must recognize the value of developing and fostering
long-term relationships and championing the NOLS mission to grow
alumni engagement and giving.
At its core, this position makes connections— between NOLS and
our grads and with each other. Recognizing touchstones that
resonate with our alumni, enrolled students and families is an
important element of building relationships over the long term.
Understanding the challenges, shared experience, uncertainties and
successes our constituents share and then communicating those
commonalities is a key requirement for this position.
The ADRD is also responsible for creation and facilitating the
alumni relations and communications program, including the
supervision and promotion of comprehensive alumni and donor
activities including events, reunions, public relations, and
This position requires a very high degree of judgment, balanced
assertiveness and graciousness, responsibility, organization,
collaboration, and management. Implementing effective written and
oral communication skills is essential. The ability to manage
multiple projects simultaneously, work across multiple departments
and meet continuous deadlines is a must.
The ADRD should effectively represent NOLS’ mission and philosophy,
and embrace diversity as a strategic advantage.
The qualifications listed below are representative of the
knowledge, skill, and/or ability required.
- Five to seven years of experience in constituent engagement,
best-in-class advancement processes and procedures, and alumni and
volunteer management, preferably in a nonprofit or higher education
- Outstanding communicator with proven experience building and
developing relationships through compelling communications,
exceptional events, and other engagement opportunities.
- Commitment to teamwork and eagerness to effectively supervise
and work collaboratively with colleagues from across the
organization in a hybrid office environment.
- Supervisory experience that includes interviewing, hiring, and
training employees; planning and directing workload; appraising
performance; rewarding and disciplining employees; and addressing
complaints and resolving problems.
- Passionate and disciplined commitment to developing and
executing broader organizational strategies to advance the goals of
NOLS while using a proactive, innovative, and entrepreneurial
approach to alumni and donor relations.
- Demonstrated ability to think flexibly and creatively and
thrive in a complex environment, juggling numerous and varied
- Skills to manage and implement change, as well as motivate and
mentor staff while increasing performance.
- Affinity with NOLS mission; NOLS graduate and/or familiarity
with NOLS programming is valued.
- Ability to passionately and accurately represent NOLS to a
variety of constituents including board, staff, alumni, donors,
parents, and other friends of the school.
- Experience in planning and executing successful events and
communications within defined budgetary and timeline
- Working knowledge of web-based marketing and alumni or
community engagement platforms.
- Proficiency with computer office software and database
- Proficiency in writing, reviewing, and editing.
- Budget management included planning, proposals, reporting,
analysis, and compliance.
- Ability to work with limited supervision, reflecting initiative
and flexibility in starting and completing projects in a timely
- The ability to maintain confidentiality of sensitive data.
- Strong work ethic and integrity.
Key Responsibilities and Priorities
- Develop and implement an annual operating plan and calendar, in
conjunction with alumni staff and gift officers, that advances
goals for alumni engagement and donor relations. Track monthly
progress toward goal achievement and distribute informative reports
- Oversee the strategic design and implementation of innovative
programs and communications for the alumni and donor relations
program that will foster lifelong mutually beneficial
relationships, delivering outstanding donor and alumni experiences
through tailored stewardship, communications, and events, ensuring
donors and alumni feel valued, therefore increasing volunteer
engagement, goodwill, and philanthropic support.
- Coordinate and provide strategic direction for printed and
online publications and communications, overseeing the content,
budget, timeline, and design, ensuring cohesion with the NOLS brand
- Manage communications staff tasked with production of content
for publications including alumni programming, State of the School,
The Leader (twice-annual alumni magazine) grant and scholarship
stewardship reports, grant applications, planned giving
publications, and other Advancement program written documents.
- Oversee and participate in preparing compelling annual fund
solicitations, case statements, donor proposals, and program
materials for use in cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship
while also articulating the priorities, goals, and mission of the
- Oversee the school’s alumni-related social media platforms and
engagement strategies. Serve as the interface between the school
and external constituencies.
- Manage the planning and execution of a variety of events
designed to raise the NOLS profile for prospects and/or donors,
overseeing contract negotiation, vendor selection, and
- Recognize the importance of alumni engagement and donor
relations in the building of a robust pipeline and fundraising
program at NOLS and participate in all activities designed to build
and support this pipeline.
- Work closely with the scholarship team to ensure proper
allocation of scholarship funds, engagement of scholarship
recipients in stewardship activities, and excellent stewardship of
scholarship donors. Serve on the NOLS scholarship committee.
- Lead and manage the activities and engagement of the NOLS
Advisory Council to include the identification of worthwhile and
productive projects and endeavors and the preparation of all
materials for meetings and events.
- Provide administrative guidance and support to alumni board
members and visiting committee members.
- Travel and attendance for evening and/or weekend activities
will be regularly required.
- Weekend and evening work will be necessary.
Leadership or Supervisory Duties
Lead the communications, stewardship, and alumni relations team. In
partnership with the CAO, play a key role in building out annual
advancement alumni and donor relation plans to support the school’s
overall strategic vision. Work directly with the Board of Trustees,
manage volunteers, and understand school wide issues. Oversee and
manage the budget allocated to Alumni and Donor Relations
activities. This person will supervise a team and will carry out
supervisory responsibilities in accordance with NOLS policies and
Work Location and Compensation
Preference for this position would be to be based in Lander,
Wyoming. Second preference would be to be based near a NOLS Campus
(Tucson, AZ, Seattle, WA, etc.) We will also consider applicants in
the Rocky Mountain west who are legal residents of Colorado, Idaho,
Montana, and Utah. Current employees and residents in the state of
Colorado please contact HR for salary information.
NOLS can currently employ remote employees who are legal
residents of: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Maine,
Minnesota, Montana, New Mexico, New York, Utah, Washington, or
COVID-19 Vaccine Policy
All employees are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19
by their first day of work, unless they meet a medical, disability
or religious exemption and a reasonable accommodation is approved.
Any COVID-19 vaccine approved by the World Health Organization
(WHO) is an acceptable vaccine for the purpose of this policy. Full
vaccination or an approved exemption is a condition of employment
for all new employees.
Equal Employment Opportunity
NOLS does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion,
national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age,
genetics information, disability unrelated to job or admission
requirements, or status as a protected veteran. The school’s
nondiscrimination policy applies to all phases of its employment
process, its admission and financial aid programs, and to all other
aspects of its educational programs and activities. Retaliation
directed to any person who pursues a discrimination complaint or
grievance, participates in a discrimination investigation, or
otherwise opposes unlawful discrimination is prohibited.
NOLS values community and fosters a sense of belonging for our
employees and applicants. We are committed to providing reasonable
accommodations in the workplace because they embody these values,
as well as our operating principle of promoting a positive, safe,
and learning environment. Reasonable accommodations may be
requested for disability; limitations related to pregnancy,
childbirth, or a related medical condition; religion; and domestic
violence, sexual assault, stalking, or harassment. Reasonable
accommodations may be requested at any point of the employment
process, including during recruitment. Please email
firstname.lastname@example.org with your request.
- A criminal background check is required from all NOLS
- NOLS participates in E-verify.