Assistant Director of Benefactor Relations

Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota | Minneapolis, MN
Salary Range: Low $60's

The Assistant/Associate Director of Benefactor Relations will assist in the development, implementation, and management of the Carlson School’s benefactor relations program and be responsible for monitoring benefactor-supported funds. The responsibilities of this role includes developing financial and impact reports, driving donor recognition programs, and facilitating benefactor and student engagement. In addition to collaborating with key Institutional Advancement partners, this position will be responsible for maintaining key relationships with stakeholders in Carlson School academic programs, University of Minnesota Foundation, and other University of Minnesota academic units. Additional responsibilities include assisting with special events and engagement opportunities related to cultivation and stewardship of benefactors. This position reports to the Director of Benefactor Relations and will be a critical component towards achieving the goals of the Institutional Advancement team through ensuring positive donor interactions with their beneficiaries that help lead to greater levels of engagement and giving.

As a member of the Institutional Advancement team, it is expected that those serving in this position will contribute to a constructive work environment through a positive attitude, civility, collaboration with other team members, and a respectful approach towards working relationships across the School and University of Minnesota Foundation.


Benefactor Relations - 60%
  • Partner and collaborate with Major Gift Officers, Corporate and Foundation Relations Officers, and the Director of Annual Giving to assist them in their relationships with donors.
  • Collaborate on both automated and customized stewardship activities, including impact reporting on benefactor-supported funds and ad hoc stewardship requests.
  • Plan, manage and execute meetings and events that advance benefactor engagement, cultivation, and stewardship of gifts, including annual scholarship reception, military veterans fellowship reception, and donor visits with their scholars.
  • Collaborate with the Director of Benefactor Relations, Director of Alumni Relations, and Assistant Director of Annual Giving to further the Carlson School Advancement mission of cultivating a culture of philanthropy and gratitude among current students and recent alumni.
  • Prepare and develop communications to benefactors that demonstrate gratitude and share the effect of their investment in the Carlson School, including annual reports, impact reports, videos, and acknowledgement letters.
  • Partner and collaborate with the Institutional Advancement Data Manager and Assistant Director of Advancement Communications to ensure accurate and timely benefactor communications.
  • Implement processes that effectively use information technology, including databases and spreadsheets, to track and streamline benefactor relations activities and ensure accurate and effective communications with benefactors.
  • Develop and maintain a system for transmitting gifts from individuals, corporations, and foundations to the University of Minnesota Foundation for processing.

Fund Management – 40%
  • Analyze existing fund management processes and develop enhancements.
  • Work with Director of Benefactor Relations, finance officers, and academic programs to project spending plans for benefactor-supported funds.
  • Implement a stewardship program for scholarship and fellowship funds.
  • Ensure student participation in benefactor relations programs, including thank you letters, event attendance, and other stewardship activities.
  • Manage the administrative and daily operations of benefactor-supported funds.
  • Accurately track benefactor preferences and fund criteria to ensure donor intent is being met.
  • Create new funds and draft and track memorandums of agreement.

** The employer reserves the right to change or assign other duties to this position **

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Demonstrated ability in benefactor relations or working in service to donors
  • Excellent verbal, written, and interpersonal communication skills
  • Outstanding organizational skills, motivation, good judgment, and problem solving mindset
  • Proven ability to balance multiple tasks and perform well under pressure while maintaining detail-oriented approach
  • Ability to build and nurture professional relationships with internal and external stakeholders
  • Service mindset towards benefactor stewardship and in contributing to the success of the Institutional Advancement team
  • Proven ability to embrace and lead change and to drive process improvement
  • Exhibit leadership skills and a positive mindset
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office software and experience with data management systems and tools

  • Demonstrated writing skills in areas related to advancement, fundraising, and/or non profit sectors
  • Experience working in higher education
  • Experience working in advancement, alumni relations or development
  • Proven knowledge and skills relating to best practices for benefactor and gift stewardship
  • Experience working with the University of Minnesota and University of Minnesota Foundation

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