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Job Req ID:  17420

Head of Annual Giving & Digital Strategy

General Description


The Head of Annual Giving and Digital Strategy at Johns Hopkins University reports to the Assistant Vice President, Development & Alumni Relations (DAR) and is responsible for leading the strategy and execution of the university’s annual giving program, including direct mail, telemarketing, online giving, crowdfunding and digital fundraising. The Head of Annual Giving and Digital Strategy leads the central Office of Annual Giving (OAG), manages a team of 17 staff, and is a member of the DAR Management Team, the DAR IT Governance Council, and the Central Fundraising Leadership Team.



OAG serves as a strategic partner, center of marketing excellence, and direct response service provider in a decentralized university and development environment. OAG provides annual giving services to nine divisions of Johns Hopkins University, multiple departments of Johns Hopkins Medicine, and several centers and institutes, totaling 36 development units in all. These annual giving services include developing and implementing strategies to secure current use, expendable funds, for deans and department chairs, as well as building and retaining a long-term pipeline of support for each unit, and ensuring growth in undergraduate alumni participation in giving each year.



Strategic services offered by OAG include developing integrated, comprehensive communications and solicitation strategies that are optimal for each development unit. Execution services include direct response marketing, and in the case of the schools that confer undergraduate degrees, close collaboration with gift officer based fund raising to help drive annual undergraduate alumni giving participation numbers and unrestricted funds for the two undergraduate schools: the Krieger School of Arts & Sciences and the Whiting School of Engineering. Like all offices and units in DAR, the OAG is committed to a donor-directed philanthropy philosophy. Donors and prospects served across the units include alumni, parents, friends, faculty, and staff. The Head of Annual Giving and Digital Strategy will be an effective manager and leader of staff and volunteers, will exhibit excellent analytical capabilities as well as a strong understanding of new and emerging online and digital fundraising techniques and technologies, and will have the ability to lead all aspects of the annual giving program in support of its goals.




Primary Duties and Responsibilities


• Build and maintain strong relationships with DAR colleagues across the Johns Hopkins University divisions and Johns Hopkins Medicine departments in order to contribute successfully to their respective annual giving revenue, participation, and donor pipeline development results.


• In collaboration with development unit colleagues, ensure an excellent donor experience for all annual giving donors to Johns Hopkins, promoting effective acknowledgement and stewardship of annual donors and monitoring levels of donor retention, satisfaction, trust and commitment.


• In collaboration with OAG directors and development unit colleagues, establish annual revenue goals and metrics for the Direct Response team. Utilize dashboards to monitor progress and share ongoing results with development units and all other relevant parties on a timely basis throughout the year.



• Work closely with the Director of Content Marketing and Director of Operations and Data Analysis to develop the overall strategy for budget and resource allocation for the Office of Annual Giving. Negotiate existing and new contracts with vendors taking into account best practices in the field and the constituent experience.


• Oversee the design and implementation of innovative, effective comprehensive and integrated communications and solicitation strategies for each development unit that incorporates direct mail, email, phonathon, use of digital media, and where appropriate, personal asks.



• Partnering with DAR leadership and staff in units who have undergraduate alumni in their prospect and donor bases, direct the development and implementation of an annual plan to achieve the University’s undergraduate alumni giving strategy. Key components of the strategy include increasing the number of undergraduate leadership donors, maximizing revenue for the flagship undergraduate annual fund, The Hopkins Fund, and maintaining the level of undergraduate participation necessary for the University to maintain its top ten USN&WR ranking.


• Partner with DAR leadership and staff within the Office of Medicine Annual Giving team to ensure that the strategies deployed in support of the Johns Hopkins Medicine departments are delivered on a timely basis, and are in line with best practices for grateful patient renewal fundraising. Ensure that strategies targeted at the University divisions are aligned with best practices for annual giving from their respective constituencies.


• Strategize with the wider OAG leadership team, and work closely with other key stakeholders (Office of Advancement Services, Comptroller’s Office, Treasurer’s Office, DAR Development Communications), to oversee and enhance the University's online, crowdfunding and social media giving platforms, and to understand and address any constraints to technology adoption, making decisions that support both current and future needs.


• Partner and strategize with key Johns Hopkins stakeholders to ensure an optimal online giving experience for donors and optimal service to the development units. Develop new capabilities and/or programs utilizing emerging technology and innovations, including crowdfunding, web platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, videography, podcasts, etc.


• Manage key pan-institutional or multi-unit programs, including giving days and the support by the Direct Response team for the Homewood Schools reunion giving program.


• Oversee the development and implementation of an innovative strategic stewardship program for annual donors, customized per development unit, to ensure appropriate acknowledgement of donors and to help drive donor retention.


• Oversee ongoing strategic initiatives for annual giving, including utilizing emerging /digital technologies, critically evaluating traditional programming, building the University’s crowdsourcing program, optimizing cultivation strategies for leadership annual donors, evaluating text-to-give platforms and services, determining how to best involve volunteers, and utilizing engagement scores and predictive indices.


• Utilize digital analytics tools, predictive modeling, social media mining, marketing automation, segmentation and other data-driven techniques to ensure donor communications are well segmented, timely and personalized.


• Be aware of best practices of peer institutions. Benchmark results and trends with peer institutions on a regular basis. Contribute to the national and international annual giving community as a presenter and speaker.


• Develop and maintain effective policies and practices for Johns Hopkins direct response activities, while adhering to institutional policies, ethical and legal requirements.





Bachelor’s degree or higher with at least seven years of progressively responsible related experience, preferably in development and fundraising. Three or more years of management experience preferred. Extensive experience leading the development of strategy for complex direct response marketing or annual giving operations, ideally within a higher education environment. Equivalent experience will be considered.



Preferred Qualifications


• Strategic thinker with the ability to harness the creativity of others, and power of technology, to develop and promote effective fundraising campaigns.


• Comfortable working in a complex, de-centralized, multi-divisional, results-oriented environment.


• Excellent interpersonal skills with the ability to motivate and work effectively with others to establish priorities, set objectives, and achieve goals, including peers and colleagues over whom there is no line management authority.


• Highly organized with ability to interpret and communicate complex data sets and utilize analytic techniques and platforms, and data visualization tools (e.g. Tableau).


• Strong written and verbal presentation skills, including experience of presenting complex metrics to effectively advise and influence senior management (including the offices of the president, provost and vice president for DAR).


• Strong understanding of annual giving and direct marketing best practice across non-profit sectors, including knowledge of relevant research and current trends in crowdfunding, digital engagement and use of social media.


• Extensive experience in testing and evaluating direct marketing propositions, copy and design.


• Extensive experience in working strategically with vendors, and negotiating complex contracts, to support annual giving programs.




Role/Level/Range: ATP/04/PG 
Employee group: Full Time 
Schedule: Monday - Friday 8:30am-5:00pm 
Exempt Status: Exempt  
Location: 01-MD:Homewood Campus 
Department name: 10001634-Annual Giving 
Personnel area: University Administration


The successful candidate(s) for this position will be subject to a pre-employment background check.


If you are interested in applying for employment with The Johns Hopkins University and require special assistance or accommodation during any part of the pre-employment process, please contact the HR Business Services Office at For TTY users, call via Maryland Relay or dial 711.


The following additional provisions may apply depending on which campus you will work.  Your recruiter will advise accordingly.


During the Influenza ("the flu") season, as a condition of employment, The Johns Hopkins Institutions require all employees who provide ongoing services to patients or work in patient care or clinical care areas to have an annual influenza vaccination or possess an approved medical or religious exception. Failure to meet this requirement may result in termination of employment.


The pre-employment physical for positions in clinical areas, laboratories, working with research subjects, or involving community contact requires documentation of immune status against Rubella (German measles), Rubeola (Measles), Mumps, Varicella (chickenpox), Hepatitis B and documentation of having received the Tdap (Tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis) vaccination. This may include documentation of having two (2) MMR vaccines; two (2) Varicella vaccines; or antibody status to these diseases from laboratory testing. Blood tests for immunities to these diseases are ordinarily included in the pre-employment physical exam except for those employees who provide results of blood tests or immunization documentation from their own health care providers. Any vaccinations required for these diseases will be given at no cost in our Occupational Health office.


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