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Campus News / News

Advancement Director

01/09/2024 10:25 am

Rockford University invites candidates for the position of Advancement Director.  The Director is responsible for providing results-driven leadership to increase short-term and long-term support of Rockford University through meaningful and effective programs, relationships, and communications.

The Director is a leader who embraces the mission, vision, and values of Rockford University, with a primary responsibility of creating and executing a comprehensive, multi-year annual giving and alumni engagement plan that will result in substantial revenue growth while growing and improving programs, enhancing alumni and donor engagement, and providing a positive experience for all constituents. This position directly manages the team that supports all efforts related to giving, engagement, and stewardship.

The goal of the annual giving program is to raise unrestricted funds through the Annual Fund for operations, scholarships, and other purposes as determined by the University’s president and Board of Trustees, with a focus on increasing leadership annual giving at the Jane Addams Society level and beyond. The Director will lead these efforts with the assistance of the Advancement Officer in charge of Events and Giving while supporting all areas of philanthropy within the department.

The goal of the engagement area is to increase affinity for Rockford University through meaningful and innovative opportunities. This includes overseeing the strategy and planning of class reunions, homecoming, regional and virtual gatherings, and assisting the development effort in alumni and class giving participation.

The Director will determine strategic direction and key performance indicators to ensure a thoughtful, connected, and successful cycle of engagement and philanthropy for Rockford University alumni, donors, students, parents, faculty, staff, and friends.


  •  Provide leadership, management oversight, and strategic guidance for annual giving, engagement, and stewardship to enhance the alumni and donor experience, grow and improve programs, and ultimately increase Rockford University support.  
  • Within the Advancement Office’s overall fundraising plan, plan, lead, and execute a strategic annual giving and alumni engagement plan focused on acquisition, retention, and upgrades to build a culture of engagement and philanthropy for a sustainable donor pipeline.
  • Manage a personal portfolio of 50-60 prospects and identifying and qualifying new prospects to the portfolio as needed.
  • Develop cultivation and solicitation strategies for all prospects.
  • Communicate and articulate the vision, mission, goals, and core values of the University to prospective donors;
  • Move the prospects through the stages of qualification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship.
  • Identify and cultivate alumni and friends in key positions to build support for the University. Assesses capacity and inclination to give and areas of interest for each donor and makes recommendations for movement of assigned donors to major gift prospect tracking.
  • Work within annual performance metrics to maximize ROI
    • Documented completion of 60 face to face visits to prospects
    • Documented completion of 150 contacts to prospects
    • Others, as determined by the V.P. for Advancement
  • Develop and implement a regular plan of reporting engagement and annual fund progress.
  • Serve as the point of contact with the community for philanthropy and alumni engagement opportunities
  • Strategize volunteer opportunities at Rockford University; oversee the Rockford University Alumni Association Board of Directors.
  • Create/collaborate on key messaging and communications media, including, but not limited to, direct mail and social media outreach.
  • Monitor and evaluate program effectiveness by creating quantitative and qualitative measurements to assess the effectiveness and success of events, communications, solicitations, and stewardship efforts. Monitors progress and make recommendations for continued development and improvement.
  • Serves as a member of the Vice President for Advancement’s Leadership team


  • Supervise a team including Advancement Officer for Events and Giving, Engagement Officer and Engagement Specialist. 


  • Demonstrated knowledge of the theories, principles, and practices of fundraising for higher education.
  • Demonstrated ability to design, implement, and evaluate a comprehensive program for annual gifts, establishing goals and objectives that translate into annual operating plans and appropriate staff assignments.
  • Experience with strategic and annual planning, project management, strengthening partnerships, and process improvement efforts is essential.
  • Analytic and data mining skills are preferred, including an understanding of segmentation and new media marketing.
  • Ability to lead and supervise a small team


  • A Bachelor’s degree is required; a Master’s degree is preferred.
  • A minimum of five years of progressively responsible development experience, preferably in higher education fundraising, including a strong documented record of gift solicitation and volunteer management. Alumni work helpful but not necessary.

TO APPLY: Review of resumes will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled.  Please submit a cover  letter indicating salary requirements, resume and list of three professional references to

At Rockford University we are committed to the principle of diversity, equity and inclusion as it relates to building a well-rounded workforce and community.  We are especially interested in candidates who through their professional experience bring contributions to diversity and excellence in the work they do.