Director of Stewardship and Donor Relations
Bennington, Vermont, United States
Bennington College is an innovative and distinguished liberal arts
college in Bennington, Vermont that has, since its founding in
1932, dedicated itself to cultivating change makers and culture
shapers. Bennington was the first to include the visual and
performing arts in a liberal arts education, and it is the only
college to require that its students spend six weeks - every year -
at work in the world. The College invites applications to the
Director of Stewardship and Donor Relations
position during an opportune time to join this growing Advancement
team as it goes through a reimagination and reorganization.
Reporting to the Assistant Vice President for Operations, the
Director of Stewardship and Donor Relations is a newly created
position in the Office of Institutional Advancement (IA). In
cooperation and collaboration with Advancement leadership, the
Director is responsible for designing, implementing, managing, and
evaluating a comprehensive donor relations and stewardship program
that appropriately and consistently promotes interaction with and
recognition of donors at all levels to maintain and deepen our
This position is responsible for creating, overseeing and managing
all aspects of a fully integrated donor relations portfolio,
including the following, among other key priorities:
- Stewardship - donor acknowledgments, impact reports,
and leadership messaging to engage donors;
- Development Communications - focusing on composing
cases for support, booklets, program overviews, web assets, and
other materials to promote fundraising; and
- Donor Relations Programming - focusing on alumni,
family and donor cultivation and engagement, campus project
recognition, and other activities and touchpoints to connect with,
thank, and inspire past, current, and future donors.
Bennington serves a diverse student population inclusive of members
of ethnically/racially minoritized, international, LGBTQIA+, and
disability communities as well as diverse gender identities,
socioeconomic backgrounds, religions, and political beliefs. Our
staff and faculty also reflect diverse and intersecting backgrounds
and identities. All employees are expected to be respectful and
responsive to these differences in the service of building
community that promotes student and employee success. Each
individual (faculty, staff and students) will be accountable for
upholding these values. The College's approach to pluralism and
inclusivity—both as fields of inquiry and practice—is to prioritize
flexible thought, and to invite the examination of access, value,
power, and privilege through its institutional policies and areas
of study. We encourage applicants from diverse realms of interest,
backgrounds, experience, and accomplishment to apply.
As the Director of Stewardship and Donor Relations, you will lead
the efforts in delivering a comprehensive donor relations program
with the Institutional Advancement team, recognizing Bennington
College donors at all levels and encouraging their continued
engagement with and support of the College through a multitude of
platforms. You will work with the Advancement team on all levels of
engagement, from cultivation opportunities to solicitation
materials and stewardship activities to ensure donors stay engaged
and involved in the school after their gift is made (including
impact reports, keepsakes, etc). You will also be in charge of all
donor recognition activities, naming opportunities, gift policies
and lead the scholarship program from an IA perspective.
Key job responsibilities
Develop a Stewardship and Donor Relations Program and
- Using data to assess all aspects of the program, develops,
executes and refines a comprehensive stewardship and recognition
strategy that advances the philanthropic goals of Bennington
College for both the long and the short term, strategically
stewarding the College's most generous prospects and donors across
- Works with the Assistant Vice President for Advancement
Operations to determine the best channels institutionally to honor
and recognize donor giving at all levels and to ensure that the
messaging is consistent with the College's branding and goals.
- Incorporating information from the Business Office,
Communications and advancement officers, develops strategies around
and executes impact reporting, including editing/writing copy, and
stays abreast of industry trends on reporting to a wide range of
donor types. Conceptualizes and executes creative, original and
impactful stewardship pieces, including digital reporting.
- Maintains accurate rosters and lists of donor recognition
societies and loyalty programs. Assists Advancement Services in
keeping Raiser's Edge up-to-date with this information.
- Implements strategic stewardship and recognition events on and
- Participates in the execution of both periodic and customized
events and programs for the College, often in collaboration with
Alumni Relations and Special Events
- Facilitates donor profiles / stories in collaboration with
- Collaborates with the IA team on print / digital fundraising
materials for use by gift officers.
- Coordinates the involvement of additional constituencies in the
stewardship process, such as the President, Provost, Deans,
Faculty, Board of Trustees and other high-level volunteers.
- Partners with advancement leadership and major gift officers on
stewardship strategies for key donors, including participating in
strategy discussions regarding our highest-level donors/prospects
in order to proactively think through required documentation,
recognition and stewardship plans. The position also comes with the
potential to manage a portfolio of donors, stewarding them for
- Manages donor recognition related to philanthropic naming of
physical spaces and non-physical spaces/programs in conjunction
with the College's Naming Policy.
- Ensures philanthropic naming meets all required approvals,
including approvals by College administrators of the terms set
forth in gift agreements.
- Maintains up-to-date knowledge of available naming
opportunities related to physical and non-physical
- Oversee scholarship awarding / scholarship matching
- Use data to analyze the awarding process to ensure maximum
efficiency and suggest improvements as necessary.
- Reviews and updates policies to ensure that they are consistent
with college policies and strategies. Ensures that any changes in
policy and strategy are communicated to gift officers.
- Oversee stewardship activities related to scholarship awarding
- Oversee named funds and an additional subset of restricted
funds in collaboration with the Director of Advancement Services,
Business Office and Budget Administrators across campus to ensure
income is spent according to gift agreements.
Pledge and Gift Agreement Creation and Management
- Collaborates with the IA team in the creation and management of
gift agreements, pledge documents, statements of intent, and
endowment agreements, etc.
- Maintains an advanced understanding of legal and budgetary
impact of these agreements and keeps abreast of any changes in the
law related to pledges, statements of intent and gift
- Participates in policy decisions as they relate to gift
designations and agreements.
- Creates materials for cultivating and soliciting prospects
including but not limited to customized proposals, cases for
support, booklets and other materials as warranted or
- Creates materials for stewarding donors including but not
limited to impact reports, foundation reporting, acknowledgement
letters and materials
- Creates and oversees the donor acknowledgement process, as well
as all donor recognition and naming materials
The position will also handle related duties as assigned.
- A Bachelor's degree is preferred with 8 to 10 years of direct
experience in fundraising, donor relations, stewardship,
development, and communications, or equivalent combination of
education and experience.
- Demonstrated experience with strategic planning and
understanding the role of advancement in a higher education
- Excellent project management skills, with an acute ability to
manage multiple deadlines and track activities in a fast-paced,
high-volume environment, prioritizing work to maximize department
- Strong interpersonal and collaborative skills, and an ability
to communicate with an intricate network of colleagues across the
College as well as donors, faculty, and administrators.
- Outstanding detail orientation, and proven ability in writing,
editing and proofreading, as well as verbal communication
- Comfort analyzing data and utilizing it to inform strategy and
programs, including the ability to build reports, create and run
queries and dashboards; strong knowledge of spreadsheets.
- Demonstrated ability to work independently, as well as being an
effective member of a team, showing eagerness and motivation to
achieve goals and deadlines
- Advanced skills with Google Suite applications. Comfort with
both writing and designing content and operating in Microsoft Word,
Google Docs, and creative software platforms; Raiser's Edge (or
- Experience with planning and executing events is a plus.
This position requires successful completion and acceptable results
of a background check.
To apply, please visit http://bennington.hire.trakstar.com/jobs/fk028eh/