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Director of Donor Relations

Job Description

Title: Director of Donor Relations

Department:  Development

Reports to:    Chief Development Officer

Salary Level:  6 (exempt) $60,000-$87,000 DOE

Supervises:   Donor Relations Manager, Events Manager, Development, and Donor Relations Specialist(s).

Job Purpose:

Directs and manages a forward-facing team responsible for major giving, donor stewardship, annual appeals, and fundraising.  Oversee ongoing development of short-term and long-term fundraising plans aligned with HSSA’s mission and strategic plan.  Responsible for building relationships with current and new donors to increase donor support. Responsible for soliciting gifts, donor stewardship, overseeing fundraising events; and coordinating planned giving programs.  Coordinate and manage database analytics, and cultivation materials. Solicit and manage outside vendors as needed.

Development: Oversees development programs including donor cultivation for individual and recurring gifts, corporate donations, donor recognition, corporate employee giving, direct appeals, and all other giving aspects.

Events: Oversees annual fundraising events and including special events such as Puttin’ On The Dog, and third party events that benefit HSSA.  Coordinate the annual donor recognition event.  Provides direction and support to event activities of the other departments of HSSA such as Adoptions, Education and Outreach, Volunteer Services, Clinic, Offsite, and others.  Define the company brand through events.

Grants: Responsible for all Development grant writing and reporting, researching new grant sources, managing outside grantwriters, and managing grant volunteers

Planned Giving: Assists Chief Development Officer with overall Planned Giving strategy of the organization, including bequest cultivation, Guardian Angel Program, Why A Will workshops, and Planned Giving.

Reporting & Recordkeeping: Manages budget materials and coordinates with Finance Department re: reporting requirements and capital campaign pledge collection.  Oversees the organization’s donor database, maintains donor records, and strategically develops queries for analytics and stewardship.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Manage and coordinate donor cultivation for new donors and maintaining existing donors.
  • Directs and manages a team responsible for major giving. Provides strategy and guidance on cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of team members’ portfolios and ensures the movement of prospects throughout the gift cycle.
  • Develops and maintains a comprehensive moves management system and works closely with the Chief Development Officer and Development team in the development and execution of donor analytics and prioritization program to maximize the identification of potential new major prospects.
  • Strategizes in identifying and creating new and innovative ways to increase and upgrade annual donors to major donors.
  • Strategizes in identifying and creating new and innovative ways for donors to give, such as donor-managed funds.
  • Collaboration with the Marketing & Communications Director with the design and implementation of appeals, annual reports, special campaigns, and social media.
  • Coordinate the development of donor programs such as Why A Will workshops and collaborate with the Chief Development Officer on bequest cultivation and increased Planned Giving.
  • Coordinate the Development department’s grant programs working with a Grant Writing vendor. Activities may include guidance with grant research, writing grants, and grant reporting.
  • Work with the Chief Development Officer in creating a comprehensive development plan (Corporate, Foundation, and Donor Relations) including strategies and activities for donor cultivation, solicitation, and relationship building.
  • Work with Senior Leadership and other leadership within the organization to design and implement additional events and donor development campaigns.
  • Oversee the Event Department execution of HSSA fundraising events.
  • Work with the Chief Development Officer to identify and help cultivate donors for Capital Campaigns.
  • Develop and manage additional fundraising initiatives as presented.
  • Responsible for the engagement and training of staff in all departments of the organization to increase donor stewardship and commitments.
  • Supervise donor acknowledgment and recognition opportunities.
  • Supervise the Senior Donor Relations Manager, Development & Donor Relations Specialists, Events Manager as well as Development volunteers.
  • Coordinate with the Marketing Department and direct mail vendor on design for appeals, newsletter, brochures, ads, thank you letters, etc.
  • Prepare and submit proposed department income and expenditure budget to CDO.
  • Manage and adhere to the approved budget.
  • Ensure timelines are met on events and development materials, invitations, grant requests, and reporting.
  • Serve as the Salesforce data management and Classy donation system resource and collaborate with the Salesforce System Administrator.
  • Ensure all autoresponders are current and ways to give methods are current.
  • Assist with materials and database analytics for HSSA capital campaign(s).
  • Coordinate Development reporting with the Finance department routinely, including daily reports, monthly reconciliation, and annual audit.
  • Join/participate in professional development opportunities.
  • Assist department staff with fundraising events, and employee fairs as needed.
  • Interface and cooperate with other departments within the organization.
  • May train and supervise volunteers for Development functions.
  • May drive company vehicle in performance of company business.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Working Conditions: Work is performed at an animal shelter in an office space. Potential exposure to zoonotic diseases, animal bites, and scratches. Potential exposure of infectious diseases to owned animals.  Exposure to high noise levels when in kennels.

Supervisory Responsibilities: Directly supervises the Donor Relations Manager(s), Event Manager, and Development & Donor Relations Specialist(s), as well as outside vendors as needed.   Carries out supervisory responsibilities in accordance with HSSA’s policies and applicable laws. Responsibilities include interviewing, hiring, and training; planning and assigning and directing work; appraising performance; rewarding and disciplining employees; addressing complaints and resolving problems for the Development department in conjunction with the Chief Development Officer.

Performance Factors and Necessary Skills:

  • Communication and Contact: The Director of Development must communicate effectively both verbally and in writing with superiors, colleagues, donor’s and volunteers.  Has tact and above average communication and customer service skills. This person must also have considerable knowledge of English, spelling, punctuation, and grammar.   The Director of Development and Donor Relations must be organized and able to direct the work of others.


  • Attendance and Dependability: The Director of Development can be depended on to report to work at the scheduled time and is seldom absent from work and can be depended upon to complete work in a timely, accurate, and thorough manner and is conscientious about assignments. Able to work weekends and evenings on occasion.


  • Relationships with Others: The Director of Development works effectively and relates well with others including superiors, donors, colleagues, and individuals inside and outside of HSSA.  Exhibits a professional manner in dealing with others and works to maintain constructive working relationships.



  • Extensive knowledge of computers and operating systems, word processing software, and constituent relationship management systems (preferably Salesforce).
  • Considerable knowledge and experience in donor research, development, and stewardship practices.
  • Proven leadership skills, with experience including employee development and engagement, team-building, mentoring, motivating, and fostering an environment of collaboration and transparency in the pursuit of fundraising goals.
  • Ability to serve as a strategic thinker, capable of providing positive and proactive solutions to fundraising-related challenges and opportunities.
  • Excellent customer service skills, including the ability to work with donors in emotionally sensitive gift situations.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Ability to understand the needs and interests of leadership and major gift donors to develop relationships between them and HSSA.
  • Must be familiar with preparing and managing budgets.


Qualifications/Educational Background:


  • Bachelor's degree in business or commensurate experience in a related field.
  • Five years of management experience.
  • Must possess strong demonstrable sales management and donor development skills.
  • Minimum of five years of fundraising experience preferred. Demonstrated success in developing new donors and stewardship of existing donors.
  • Familiarity with Southern Arizona donor base.
  • Proven track record of fundraising sales techniques, policies, procedures, and applicable laws and regulations pertaining to major gifts with a minimum of five years experience in the areas of donor development, capital, and/or planned giving.
  • Possession of a valid Arizona driver’s license and a driving record acceptable to HSSA insurance carrier.


This job description is not intended to be an exhaustive list of all duties, responsibilities, skills, efforts or working conditions or qualifications associated with the job. While this is intended to be an accurate reflection of the current job, management reserves the right to revise or to require that other or different tasks be performed when circumstances change,  for example, emergencies, changes in personnel, workload, rush jobs, or technological breakdowns in departments.