214-826-3470 or 817-334-0228 expert@cnmconnect.org
SMU Published: June 13, 2017
Job Type


Job Summary:

The Leadership Program Officer is responsible for acting as the development strategist for volunteer programs and fundraising committees that aim to engage, recruit, and solicit their peers for operational gifts to SMU. Annual initiatives include, but may not be limited to, four undergraduate reunion committees, student giving and young alumni giving initiatives. Responsibilities include, but are not limited to, identifying, recruiting and supporting up to 250 volunteers in their peer solicitation and communication efforts and generating/managing operational giving goals for each program/class. Officer will work with colleagues to design and execute comprehensive annual fundraising campaigns for these projects through direct mail, email, web and social media channels.

Essential Functions:

  • In collaboration with Annual Giving and Integrated Marketing, act as development strategist to design and facilitate comprehensive mass fundraising and communication efforts by mail and on-line (including web, email, social media) to engage & solicit 4 undergraduate reunion-year alumni classes, current SMU undergraduate students and young alumni to achieve operational giving/participation goals.
  • Research, identify, recruit and support reunion co-chairs for the 5,10, 15 and 20 year reunion classes annually. Act as strategist & staff liaison by recruiting/managing approx. up to 40 volunteers per class. Facilitate goal setting, communicate progress & follow up as they participate in peer solicitation strategies to achieve operational giving goals. Make personal solicitations as appropriate.
  • Design and execute the annual student giving program. Identify, recruit, train and manage volunteer leadership from all four undergraduate class years. Coordinate with SMU colleagues to develop strategies, events & solicitations that educate students on the importance of philanthropy and generate participatory gifts. Collaborate w/stewardship colleagues for STOP Day and other awareness campaigns.
  • Identify, recruit/solicit, train and manage/steward the senior giving volunteer leadership committee. Serve as lead for committee meetings and other projects aimed at educating group for effective peer recruitment/solicitation. Provide reports to leadership, as appropriate, as an update on giving progress.
  • Manage and execute up to two young alumni giving challenges annually. Recruit peer solicitors for effort, facilitate information and training for volunteers, provide insight on integrated marketing strategy and assist in execution and communication of key concepts to constituency. Provide reports and updates on the initiative's progress, making changes as appropriate to achieve goals.
  • Assist in the preparation of events that serve officer's assigned constituencies (i.e. Homecoming, Founders Weekend, Graduation, etc.). Participate in events, as appropriate. In conjunction with the Office of Annual Giving coordinators, facilitate the execution of reunion and other events as needed (i.e. committee meetings, donor receptions, class parties, etc.).
  • Work closely with the Program Coordinator, Office of Alumni Relations and Engagement, Records and Gift Administration, and Annual Giving Stewardship Coordinators to appropriately manage volunteers- providing accurate records of visits, efforts, strategies, progress and involvement of all committee members for SMU’s database.
  • Oversee budgeting and expenditures for student giving and reunion giving programs
  • Report on giving progress toward annual fundraising goals as well as provide information on current strategy to University leadership, as appropriate. Adjust strategy as needed, in collaboration with other leadership, to achieve established goal.

Education and Experience:

Bachelor’s degree is required. Communications/Marketing concentrations, or Higher Education/Non-Profit concentrations are preferred.

A minimum of two years of professional work experience is required; preferably in fundraising and/or sales in a goal-driven, team oriented and fast-paced environment.

Experience managing volunteers is also required.

Experience handling event logistics is preferred. College or University advancement experience working with alumni, parents or other large groups of volunteers is strongly desired.

An understanding of marketing and marketing strategies toward a fundraising or sales objective is preferred. Knowledge of SMU culture or University fundraising is a plus.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

Candidate must demonstrate strong verbal and interpersonal communication skills. Must also demonstrate the ability to communicate effectively in writing. A strong customer service orientation is essential.

Candidate must be able to articulate a persuasive case for support while developing appropriate cultivation strategies for prospects that move potential donors in an appropriate and timely fashion toward solicitation and closure. Must possess the ability to think collaboratively, strategically and creatively.

Candidate must demonstrate strong organizational and planning skills with the ability to manage multiple tasks. A strong focus on attention to detail is essential.

Candidate must demonstrate a strong proficiency with MS Word, Excel, spelling and grammar, and attention to detail. A high level to advanced knowledge of MS Office software is required as the candidate will have limited staff support and will work extensively with Excel spreadsheets, mail merges and multiple databases.

Work experience that includes using a constituent database (e.g. Blackbaud Enterprises, Raiser’s Edge) is a plus. Basic knowledge with social media is preferred.

For full consideration candidate must submit a cover letter detailing knowledge or experiences that support the candidates’ ability to be a successful fundraiser.



SMU will not discriminate in any program or activity on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, genetic information, veteran status, sexual orientation, or gender identity and expression. The Executive Director for Access and Equity/Title IX Coordinator is designated to handle inquiries regarding nondiscrimination policies and may be reached at the Perkins Administration Building, Room 204, 6425 Boaz Lane, Dallas, TX 75205, 214-768-3601, accessequity@smu.edu.

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