Human Resources


Apply now Job no: 493116
Appointment Type: Admin Full-time
Department: College Relations
Categories: Administration
Position Grade: E2

Union College seeks a director of Donor Relations to lead the development and oversight of a comprehensive donor relations and stewardship program that includes acknowledgment, recognition, stewardship and reporting activities. This individual will provide strategic direction and hands-on support to Donor Relations staff and build strong relationships within College Relations, across the College and with volunteer leaders and donors. These efforts are intended to foster meaningful and lasting relationships between Union College and its expanding donor base and inspire ongoing philanthropic support.


  • Bachelor’s degree and 5-7 years of progressively responsible experience, preferably in higher education development (e.g., stewardship, donor relations, advancement communications or events) or a related field. 
  • Solid strategic planning background and experience developing and implementing creative, multi-faceted donor relations initiatives.
  • Hands-on experience with planning and staging of high-level donor events (e.g., small and customized activities, large-scale events). 
  • Familiarity with best practices and innovations in the field of donor relations.  
  • Excellent interpersonal and leadership skills and a desire to lead a high-performing, collaborative team.
  • Ability to communicate and interact effectively with high-level donors, prospects, volunteers and campus colleagues and leaders.
  • Superior writing skills, including the ability to write clearly and persuasively in different voices and for different audiences and purposes (e.g. event talking points, acknowledgments, stewardship letters, impact reports). 
  • Demonstrated expertise in the conceptualization, design and formulation of content for printed and digital materials. 
  • A high level of personal initiative, superior customer service, organizational skills and attention to detail.  
  • Sound judgment and an ability to handle multiple priorities and manage multi-phase projects from inception to completion with minimal supervision.  
  • The ability to work in a fast-paced, deadline-driven environment while displaying tact, professionalism, flexibility and humor. 
  • Occasional travel and weekend and evening work required, including participation in large-scale College programs such as ReUnion, Homecoming & Family Weekend, campaign and stewardship events.
  • A strong commitment to the mission and values of Union College, including diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging. 


  • Provide strategic vision leading to a comprehensive, best-in-class donor engagement and stewardship model.
  • Supervise and mentor two Donor Relations staff colleagues.   
  • Set and monitor annual and long-range goals, plans and budgets for Donor Relations.
  • Formalize and document practices, processes and guidelines for stewardship and recognition of donors at all levels. 
  • Oversee the preparation of approx. 850 stewardship reports each year for endowed funds, specific current funds and capital gifts, ensuring consistently superior quality across multiple formats (print, email and/or video).
  • Lead the strategy and creative development of individualized annual stewardship plans for Top 25 donors in collaboration with gift officers.
  • Partner with gift officers to develop stewardship strategies for their donors as part of the solicitation cycle.
  • Serve as lead strategist for The Arch giving society to ensure that all donors with $1M+ lifetime giving receive meaningful annual stewardship.
  • Oversee the development of print and digital communications including stewardship materials, programs, invitations, etc., collaborating with colleagues and vendors as appropriate.
  • Oversee the preparation and review process for all gift agreements.
  • Provide vision for and support the planning and execution of sophisticated stewardship and recognition events for major donors (e.g. customized virtual and in-person activities, annual donor recognition event, Arch induction, dedications and groundbreakings).
  • Coordinate and provide messaging for the College’s gift receipt and acknowledgment process in partnership with Advancement Information Systems.
  • Serve as a liaison to administrative and faculty departments to ensure that they are made aware of new gifts, available funds, their purpose and reporting expectations.
  • Review the effectiveness of current efforts and identify areas of opportunity for development.

We offer exceptional benefits including:

  • Generous Vacation, Sick and Personal Time
  • Winter Recess Break in Addition to Paid Holidays
  • Healthcare, Dental, and Vision Insurance (Flexible Spending and Dependent Care Accounts)
  • Free On-Campus Fitness Facility Access and Discounts for On-Campus Wellness Programs
  • Employee Scholarships toward Certifications, Seminars, Training and Professional Development
  • Pre and Post Tax participation in a 403(b) Retirement Plan
  • Salary Continuation Program in the event of Disability
  • Tuition Assistance Program for Employee, Spouse and/or Dependents

Note: All new hires of Union College are subject to a thorough education, work experience, and criminal history background check.

Union College

Officially chartered in 1795, Union College is the fifth oldest liberal arts college in the country. Located in the Capital District of New York State, Union is a highly selective residential and undergraduate college, home to 2,200 students and 220 faculty, and offering 44 majors. Union was the first liberal arts college to rethink the traditional liberal arts education and adopt an engineering curriculum. That pioneering approach continues today with an education that encourages students to work beyond the limits of disciplinary boundaries, allowing them to think globally and lead innovatively in a world where problem solving requires breadth across humanities, arts, social sciences, science, and engineering.

Diversity at Union College

Union College is an equal opportunity employer and strongly committed to student and workforce diversity. Increasing diversity on campus is a critical priority for Union, one that is integral to our mission of preparing students for a globally interconnected world. Union provides a blend of intellectual, social and cultural opportunities to facilitate the integrated academic, social and personal development of a diverse community. We value and are committed to a host of diverse populations and cultures including, but not limited to, those based on race, religion, disability, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, national origin and veteran status. Union College is committed to providing access and will provide reasonable accommodation in its application process to individuals with disabilities that request such accommodations.

Non-Discrimination Policy

Union College will not discriminate in the recruitment or selection of faculty and employees, or in any other area of employment, on the basis of age, sex, race, national origin, religion, religious belief, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression and veteran status. In this regard, opportunities for advancement will be made available without bias. The College is also subject to state and federal laws, supports efforts to attract and retain fully qualified women and other minority group members for faculty and other positions. Union College will comply with the letter and intent of all State and Federal laws and applicable orders pursuant to Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action.

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