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Executive Director of Advancement & Alumni Relations

7600 Flower Ave, Takoma Park, MD

Job Title:           Executive Director for Advancement & Alumni Relations

Department:      Advancement & Alumni Relations

Reports to:         President

FLSA Status:     Exempt

Washington Adventist University (WAU) is a Christ-centered institution of higher education that supports a culture of excellence where all feel valued.  Nestled in a desirable residential community in Takoma Park, Maryland, WAU offers its faculty and staff an environment where professional expertise is valued and lasting connections between co-workers are formed as we work together to ensure the success of our students.  Regardless of title, every employee supports WAU’s vision of producing graduates who bring moral leadership and competence to their communities.

JOB SUMMARY:  The ideal candidate will be responsible for designing and implementing comprehensive institutional advancement programs and recruiting and developing talented team members focused toward the ultimate goal of significantly increasing constituent involvement and fund-raising outcomes. The advancement function includes responsibility for annual fund, major gifts and gift planning, endowment, capital campaigns, and alumni and constituent engagement efforts, stewardship, and advancement services.

  • Advance the WAU mission, vision, and goals in coordination with the University President and senior administrative colleagues.
  • Support the President in campaign leadership activities and serve on the University Leadership Team.
  • Manage a portfolio of high net worth individuals, securing major, capital, and planned gifts, as well as annual gifts and endowment support.
  • Develop fundraising plans and participate in strategic discussions to strengthen the University's financial resources.
  • Plan and execute the annual Visionaries Gala.
  • Lead and manage the advancement team, including hiring, training, and goal setting.
  • Develop annual plans and budgets for various advancement functions.
  • Enhance the culture of philanthropy within the University and build relationships with key stakeholders.
  • Serve as the staff liaison for Institutional Advancement to the Board of Trustees.
  • Provide leadership for alumni relations, parent relations, and other constituent relations programs.
  • Develop and implement effective internal and external communication strategies for advancement.
  • Advocate for the University within the community and maintain relationships with local leaders and organizations.
  • Stay active and involved in the advancement profession, keeping WAU visible among higher education institutions.
  • Embody University values and foster a spirit of community and harmony among the campus community.
  • Perform any other duties assigned by the President.

Travel is required:
The Executive Director must be willing to travel extensively in his or her work with donors and as a representative of the University.

  • Bachelor’s degree required, master’s degree preferred.
  • Minimum of five years of experience as a senior-level advancement professional in Christian higher education preferred.
  • Ability to effectively work with diverse constituencies in a university environment.
  • Strong work ethic, personal integrity, emotional intelligence, sense of humor, and excellent communication skills required.
  • Strategic thinking, planning skills, and a vocational call to Christian higher education desired.
  • Commitment to lifelong learning and professional growth required.
  • Proven track record of fundraising success, especially in campaign planning/execution and major gift solicitations.
  • Strong organizational, supervisory, and leadership capabilities required.
  • Documented success in soliciting major and principal gifts and building advancement programs.
  • Exemplary interpersonal skills essential, with the ability to engage effectively with volunteers and donors.

Salary will be based on the candidate’s education and experience.

The full fringe benefit plan includes but is not limited to:
  • Health care, including vision, dental, and prescription drugs
  • Flexible Spending Plans
  • Competitive 403B plan
  • Individualized retirement planning sessions
  • Tuition assistance for employees and dependents
  • Life insurance including supplemental and accidental death and dismemberment policies
  • Long Term Disability
  • AFLAC insurance
  • Legal Assistance Program
  • Paid time off
  • Wellness programs
  • Professional Development

Title VII Exception Notice:
Washington Adventist University is committed to equal employment opportunities, and does not discriminate on the basis of gender, disability, age, race, color, or national origin. The University reserves constitutional and statutory rights as a religious institution and employer to give preference in employment to members of the Seventh-day Adventist church, and claims specific exemption from Title IX provisions as set forth in 34 CRF (and subsections), insofar as they conflict with the Seventh-day Adventist teaching and practices.


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