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Executive Director of Strategic Engagement & Alumni Programs

Purchase College
New York, United States
Competitive Salary
Closing date
Feb 25, 2023

Executive Director of Strategic Engagement & Alumni Programs (Director, SL-6)

Purchase College, SUNY



The Executive Director of Strategic Engagement and Alumni Programs is responsible for setting and implementing a strategic vision for strengthening Purchase College’s relationships with external and internal audiences through comprehensive donor and alumni engagement, alumni programs, special events, advancement communications, stewardship, annual giving and other activities. Reporting to the Vice President of Institutional Advancement (VPIA), the incumbent will direct and implement strategic donor and alumni engagement throughout the cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship stages of relationships in partnership with other staff. The Executive Director will determine the best strategies to provide an exceptional donor and constituent relations experience. The Executive Director serves as an active partner with colleagues and units within and beyond Institutional Advancement. The Executive Director serves as the primary staff liaison to the Purchase College Alumni Association (PCAA), enabling their strategic efforts in ways that build lifelong connections between alumni and the College, as well as contributes to the work of the Purchase College Foundation (PCF). The role requires excellent leadership, management, technical, organizational, and communication skills.



Leadership, Planning, and Oversight

  • Hire, supervise, and train professional staff, students, and volunteers
  • Direct and oversee the work of independent contractors
  • Set and implement comprehensive goals, strategies, and operational plans for areas of responsibility within Institutional Advancement
  • Plan and implement budgets for programs and projects within scope of overall operations budget and in accordance with existing processes; deploy resources judiciously for best results


Strategic Communications

  • Devise and implement a comprehensive alumni and donor communications program
  • Establish key messages, content and strategy for major alumni and donor publications; liaise with Communications & Creative Services to ensure alignment with College strategy, brand, style, and messaging, as well as coordinate with the Neuberger Museum of Art and The Performing Arts Center (PAC)
  • Oversee and/or develop all stewardship communications to advance prospect relationships at all levels (principal, major, planned, leadership, and annual giving) in partnership with frontline fundraisers
  • Ensure the delivery of regular donor and alumni communications via direct contact, events, emails, alumni web pages, social media and print publications. Manage or oversee communications with donors and friends across a wide variety of media including web, email, direct mail, proposals, phone calls, presentations, etc.
  • Oversee the planning and execution of communications, reporting, and recognition


Purchase College Alumni Association (PCAA) and work with boards

  • Serve as primary staff liaison and support to the Purchase College Alumni Association (PCAA), including all administrative matters and associated programs
  • Steward relationships with volunteer leaders and enable PCAA leadership activities in support of College goals.
  • Shape content for PCAA board meetings including written materials, remarks, and presentations
  • Guide and plan the work of board committees; Collaborate with volunteer leaders to develop annual committee plans and execute committee functions according to charters.
  • Guide the PCAA board to ensure adherence to compliance requirements, legal obligations and industry best practices relating to alumni associations; Stay current on issues to ensure the PCAA’s practices respond to internal and external contexts
  • Recruit new committee volunteers and board members in collaboration with board members and Institutional Advancement colleagues
  • Participate in and contribute to Purchase College Foundation (PCF) board and committee meetings, particularly the Alumni Engagement and Development Committee, as needed
  • Develop and implement strategies to engage board members as leadership volunteers and ambassadors in events, communications, donor stewardship and key activities to support donor engagement


Special Events

  • Lead strategic planning, development, and delivery of special events to maximize the impact of donor and alumni events in support of strategic goals
  • Oversee and/or develop event policies and procedures to ensure alignment with Institutional Advancement priorities, compliance with ethical and legal guidelines, and centering of diversity, equity, and inclusion


Alumni & Donor Engagement

  • Plan, develop, and implement a comprehensive donor and alumni engagement framework with metrics to inform operations and continual improvement
  • Grow alumni giving through sustainable, systematic programs
  • Set the direction for alumni programs at Purchase College in support of fundraising, student recruitment and retention, and the Purchase College strategic plan
  • Ensure systems and accountability are in place for ensuring prompt and complete response to alumni inquiries
  • Engage prominent alumni capable of elevating College reputation and/or making major gifts


Annual Giving

  • Develop and implement the strategy for a comprehensive, systematic, data-informed annual giving program
  • Oversee and participate in annual giving program activities including phone, email, direct mail, direct solicitation, and social media campaigns to promote giving from broad audiences
  • In partnership with the VPIA and Directors of Development, ensure annual fund gifts are promoted to major gift prospects


Other Duties

  • Serve on major campus-wide committees
  • Serve as an ambassador for the College, Institutional Advancement, PCAA, and PCF with external and internal audiences
  • Address critical needs that arise on short notice and require immediate action
  • Other duties as assigned



  • Four to six years of progressively responsible advancement experience including experience in fundraising, communications, marketing, and events
  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Supervisory and management experience



  • Graduate degree



  • Outstanding ability to work with external constituents and represent the College
  • Excellent ability to lead and inspire others both in formal and informal settings
  • Ability to train, inspire, and motivate staff, creating a culture of continuous learning and responsibility
  • Experience leading strategies to advance equity and inclusion across all areas of responsibility
  • Advanced understanding of fundraising principles, methodologies and best practices
  • Strong ability to exercise independent judgement in complex and ambiguous situations
  • Excellent ability to address and resolve matters diplomatically; excellent negotiation skills
  • Self-motivated and proactive in taking initiative; reliable and resourceful
  • Ability to guide the work of board members and leadership volunteers
  • Advanced ability to design, monitor and adapt organizational systems including training and overseeing colleagues’ use of the systems
  • Ability to lead within a complex portfolio of responsibilities and independently decide how to deploy resources for maximum impact
  • Experience developing and managing budgets for programs and projects
  • Advanced oral and written communications skills
  • Ability to lead a culture in which staff maintain confidentiality of college and constituent information
  • Knowledge of database software and ability to learn new software quickly
  • Ability to utilizing standard office equipment and computer software, such as Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Outlook, etc.), Raiser’s Edge, project management and scheduling software, and use social media and internet as appropriate for outreach and research



Nondiscrimination Policy – Purchase College is committed to fostering a diverse community of outstanding faculty, staff and students, as well as ensuring equal educational opportunity, employment, and access to service, programs, and activities, without regard to an individual’s race, color, national origin, religion, creed, age, disability, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, familial status, pregnancy, predisposing genetic characteristics, military status, domestic violence victim status, or criminal conviction. Employees, students, applicants, or other members of the Purchase community (including vendors, visitors, and guests) may not be subjected to harassment that is prohibited by law or treated adversely or retaliated against based upon a protected characteristic. To view the entire policy, please visit the following website: Purchase College Human Resources Policies and Procedures website.


Women and minorities are encouraged to apply. Purchase College is an AA/EEO employer. The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, or Clery Act, mandates that all Title IV institutions, without exception, prepare, publish and distribute an Annual Security Report. This report consists of two basic parts: disclosure of the University’s crime statistics for the past three years; and the availability regarding the University’s current campus security policies. Purchase College’s Annual Security Report is available at Purchase College NYS University Police Website.


Pursuant to Executive Order 161, no State entity, as defined by the Executive Order, is permitted to ask, or mandate, in any form, that an applicant for employment provide his or her current compensation, or any prior compensation history, until such time as the applicant is extended a conditional offer of employment with compensation. If such information has been requested from you before such time, please contact the Governor’s Office of Employee Relations at (518) 474-6988 or via email at

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