Alumni relations and annual giving manager

Full time, 12-months

The following statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed. They are not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties, and skills required of personnel so classified.

The alumni relations and annual giving manager has responsibility to further the mission and strategic plan of Bluffton University by strengthening relationships with students, alumni and friends of Bluffton through meaningful events. Responsible for growing, renewing membership in the President’s Society, and strengthening relationships with current donors below the major donor level. Accountable for meeting annual donation goals for donors who contribute less than $5,000 annually.

The principle duties and responsibilities of this position are as follows.

  • Alumni Programs 
    • Develop and implement annual alumni relations strategy to strengthen engagement and relationships with students, alumni, parents and friends.
    • Plan and implement established campus events which include Homecoming, President’s Society/Alumni recognition banquet, Athletics Hall of Fame and Senior Week events.
    • Work with the Affinity groups to carry out their mission and programs.
    • Work with PR staff on effective alumni communications.
    • Support admissions office work through alumni engagement opportunities for outreach to increase applicants and enrolled students.
    • Evaluate and refine alumni programming to support institutional priorities.
    • Manage budget for alumni relations program.
    • Serve as university spokesperson when appropriate.
  • Annual Giving
    • Maintain a portfolio of donors to renew and grow President’s Society membership.
    • Develop and implement an annual campaign strategy to invite gifts of $1-$5,000 for unrestricted annual operations. Manage strategy for special annual giving initiatives like Arts at Bluffton, TEAM Bluffton, President’s Society, etc.  
    • Communicate the goals of the annual fund programs to development and public relations staff and the opportunities for collaboration in the implementation of each program.
    • Serve as liaison between academic departments, development and public relations on the production of Arts at Bluffton campaign; serve as host for donor reception(s) as needed.
    • Serve as liaison between athletics department, development and public relations to communicate solicitation plan for TEAM Bluffton fundraisers; support annual Golf Outing event as needed.
    • Analyze strengths, weaknesses and outcomes of annual giving campaigns and programs.
    • Continually research best practices in annual fund programs and evaluate which practices make a good fit with Bluffton. 

Other tasks as assigned (or approved of) by vice president of advancement, such as:

  • Serve as gift entry back-up support.
  • Support Director of PR in event planning and delivery of on campus and off campus events.
  • Assist as needed with admissions office visit planning and special event days.

The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required to satisfactorily perform the essential duties of this job.

  • Excellent communications skills, ability to express the vision and mission of Bluffton University in spoken and written word.

  • Ability to work harmoniously with people at all levels of an organization.

  • Comfortable interacting with public and inviting individuals to contribute monetary gifts to the university.

  • Self-motivated and organized with ability to handle multiple projects, work on deadline, and communicate effectively with others.

  • Proficiency with Word and Excel spreadsheet functions.

  • Ability to enter accurate data into CRM and perform accurate data analysis to assess strategy outcomes.

  • Strong attention to detail, ability to maintain confidentiality and contribute to a positive work environment.  

Education and/or Experience:  

  • Bachelor’s degree is required.  

  • Prior experience in fund-raising and/or event planning and constituent relations a plus.  


  • Typical office conditions with daily computer work.
  • Some travel to conferences and donor events.
  • Occasional evening and weekend attendance at events required.
  • Ability to drive an automobile and possess valid driver’s license

Applications are considered complete when the following materials are received at the office indicated below:

Send application materials to:
Robin Bowlus
Vice president of advancement and enrollment management
Bluffton University
1 University Drive
Bluffton, OH 45817-2104

Employment decisions are based on merit and university needs, and not on race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or any other status protected by law. As a religious institution, Bluffton University expressly reserves its rights to appoint faculty and staff who share a commitment to the Christian faith which is consistent with the Mennonite/Anabaptist beliefs of the university’s founding and supporting church. EOE.