Assistant Director/Associate Director, Alumni Relations and Annual Giving

Staff Exempt Boston, Massachusetts


Summary of Position:

The Assistant/Associate Director of Alumni Relations is responsible for developing, marketing, implementing, and evaluating events, outreach, and programs designed to engage Suffolk’s 80,000 alumni across their entire life cycle and build a culture of philanthropy across the university community.  The assistant/associate director will also work closely with the Sr. Director of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving on alumni volunteer management and engagement programs.

Suffolk University’s Alumni Relations and Annual Giving programs are critical to advancing the university’s mission. Our alumni relations programs serve to engage and inform our current and future alumni, involve them as volunteers in meaningful ways and strengthen their pride in and attachment to Suffolk. The Annual Fund serves as a vital source of revenue and as an incubator for major donor prospects that will move through the pipeline and later make major gifts. Support of the Annual Fund at all levels from alumni and others is crucial to increasing the pool of unrestricted dollars available to the university.  The Annual Giving programs develop and implement comprehensive fundraising strategies for the engagement, acquisition, stewardship, retention and upgrading of donations from alumni, family, friends, corporations and foundations. In addition to generating flexible revenue they identify major and planned giving prospects, help maintain address and data integrity and convey important institutional messages.


Primary/Principal Responsibilities:

Assist with the development of a comprehensive program to engage Suffolk’s 80,000+ alumni in meaningful ways and promote philanthropic support of Suffolk at the Annual giving level. Research, develop, plan, implement, and evaluate a broad range of alumni engagement and annual giving programming including events, outreach, volunteer management and regional programs related to segments of the alumni population. May include, but is not limited to, reunion events, alumni weekend, signature development and recognition events, family programming, affinity and regional chapters, college and diversity programming, and athletics.

  • Serve as the staff liaison and ex-officio member of one or more alumni volunteer groups including the Sawyer Business School Alumni Association Board.
  • Partner with volunteer leadership to develop fiscal year goals and advise and assist with meeting structure/agenda and follow through.
  • Guide and assist with the identification and recruitment of board membership in alignment with the University’s strategic plan.
  • Create volunteer engagement opportunities through partnerships with Admissions, Career Development and Academic departments.
  • Assist with the development and staffing of volunteer affinity groups and regional networks.
  • Assist with developing and reviewing volunteer onboarding, off- boarding and recognition programs.Assist the Sr. Director with the development and implementation of revenue driven Affinity programs.
  • Collaborate closely with development colleagues in increasing support from alumni; assist in identifying alumni prospects for gifts; communicate development related activities via written contact reports filed in Colleague Advancement.
  • Collaborate with Annual Giving team to leverage alumni volunteers for phone campaigns, direct mail appeals and e-solicitation materials with tailored message for alumni.
  • Assist in the planning, implementation and promotion of alumni programs and events to support the University’s strategic plan and increase alumni financial support.
  • Ensure all events are consistently executed with the highest level of quality, are cost-effective and overall support the University's mission and strategic goals.
  • Maintain positive working relationships with internal and external constituents to ensure effective execution of events.
  • Establish and build relationships with a wide range of alumni, locally, regionally and nationally; maintain regular communication with alumni via direct contact, email blasts, alumni web pages, and print publications.
  • Serve as a liaison with campus partners such as Student Affairs, Career Development, Admissions and Athletics.
  • Propose and develop new methods of engagement through events and outreach programs.
  • Act as an ambassador at events.
  • Develop alumni affinity programs based on area of study, interest and/or industry.
  • Design and implement efforts, both electronic and print based, to publicize events and promote overall event attendance.
  • Prepare relevant event briefing documents and supporting materials for Suffolk and Advancement leadership.
  • Assist in data integrity efforts to ensure accurate and complete alumni database records.
  • Supervise multiple staff and student assistants. Provide training and manage project assignments. 
  • Perform additional duties as assigned and assist with special projects as assigned.


  • Bachelor's degree required.
  • 3-5 years (Assistant Director) and 5-7 years (Associate Director) of experience in alumni relations, event planning, volunteer management and development, preferably in a higher education setting.
  • Sense of urgency and enthusiastic commitment to Suffolk University’s Advancement priorities.
  • Experience working with and managing volunteers and must possess an understanding of volunteer management best practices.
  • Highly professional and ethical standards for handling confidential information.
  • Demonstrated success with developing and sustaining relationships with donors and volunteers.
  • Excellent communication, interpersonal and writing skills, with the ability to work collaboratively and courteously with colleagues throughout the University, alumni, other constituents and the public.
  • Demonstrably strong writing, planning, marketing, communications and organizational skills.
  • Ability to organize and complete multiple tasks simultaneously with close attention to detail and prioritization to meet deadlines.
  • Experience with Datatel Colleague Advancement or a similar constituent database, Excel and Word.
  • Ability to travel and work evenings and weekends as needed.