1785 Senior Director of Donor Relations and Special Events


TITLE Senior Director of Donor Relations and Special Events




IMMEDIATE SUPERVISOR Vice President for University Advancement


The Senior Director of Donor Relations and Special Events holds the primary responsibility for managing scholarship and endowment gifts to ensure they are utilized following established guidelines, university and IRS rules, regulations and best practices. This position oversees the scholarship software for private scholarships on the Springfield and Wes Plains campuses, all aspects of The Founders Club, including organizing and managing the events and privately funded faculty positions. This position prepares written materials, including primary responsibility for the content management of The Foundation’s Advancements publication and donor recognition; as well as plans and executes other Foundation and University special events that enable the University to fully realize its mission by meeting special objectives.


Education: A Bachelor's degree is required. Master’s degree preferred. An equivalent combination of years of experience and education may be considered for substitution of educational requirements.

Experience: At least three years of successful professional experience is required, preferably in higher education development and/or a demonstrated record of success in a related career field.

Skills: Exceptional interpersonal skills with all age groups are required. Strong verbal and written communication skills are required. Must have good organizational skills, particularly planning, managing deadlines, and evaluating progress. The position is paperwork-intensive and requires skills in proofreading and editing, attention to detail, and follow-through; computer literacy, particularly in word processing, using Internet resources, and using databases is required. The ability to develop knowledge of, respect for, and skills to engage with those of other cultures or backgrounds is required.

Effort: The nature of this position frequently requires lifting and moving boxes of materials and equipment weighing twenty-five to thirty pounds.

Other: The scope of the job requires occasional attendance at evening and/or weekend activities, meetings, events, seminars and workshops, etc.


1. Supports the overall long-term financial strength of University programs by visiting with donors and prospective donors about a variety of gift possibilities, particularly scholarships.

2. Prepares the Foundation’s publication, Advancements, by writing, editing, proofreading, and coordinating with Creative Services and other writers. This publication is released twice per year.

3. Facilitates donor gift planning by remaining current in areas of gift possibilities available through the Missouri State University Foundation and the current laws and regulations governing such gifts.

4. Assures good donor relations by assuming primary responsibility for working closely with scholarship and endowment gift donors and gift officers; prepares and reviews all donor agreements and associated paperwork which facilitates scholarship and endowment giving including the collection of agreements and other documentation to manage and administer the terms and provisions of individual donations.

5. Oversees the NextGen Scholarship Manager Software and the online scholarship process for the Foundation Scholarships on both the Springfield and West Plains campuses; implements processes and protocols with staff to ensure privately funded scholarship support can flow to University students in the most effective way possible.

6. Supervises the Director of Donor Relations and Special events, the Assistant Director of Donor Relations and Special events – West Plains, an administrative assistant, a graduate assistant and student workers (on the Springfield and West Plains campuses).

7.  Oversees the Foundation funding for endowed faculty positions and works in tandem with the Provost office on the awarding and funding process. 

8. Oversees Foundation accounts in special funding programs and works with University administrators on special funding initiatives and Foundation funding.

9. Enhances good donor relations by assuming primary responsibility for The Founders Club, including the annual goal of adding new members and managing donor correspondence, reminders, acknowledgments, list maintenance, lists for publications, all club events and arrangements, donor mementos, materials, parking passes, and anything relating to that particular donor segment.

10. Provides support to the Office of University Advancement and constituent fundraisers by handling internal paperwork and follow-up for major and planned/deferred gifts acquired by self and other members of the professional development staff, assuming primary responsibility for donor recognition by preparing and ordering signage, proclamations, etc., and assuming primary responsibility for special projects and all other duties as assigned and completing them in a timely, thorough, and professional manner.

11. Plans and executes a variety of Foundation and University events; works with University and external constituents to ensure attendees have the ultimate experience and are recognized and hosted in appropriate and joyful ways.

12. Enhances the ability of the University to meet fund-raising goals by having a complete understanding of current capital projects as well as endowment gifts, athletics gifts, the Missouri State University Phone Campaign, and giving programs available through the Missouri State University Foundation, and possessing a knowledge of the advantages of membership in various gift recognition clubs.

13. Communicates the status of current fund-raising activities to both the public and senior administrators and stimulates interest in gift giving by preparing written materials including proposals, contact reports, brochures, gift acknowledgments, articles, administrative reports, as well as contributing to the Missouri State alumni magazine.

14. Prepare and send donor correspondence and account reporting information; facilitates donor and student encounters through event experiences, virtual meetings and print/e-mail correspondence.

15. Builds good donor relations by representing the Office of University Advancement at functions and meetings as assigned and working with donors and potential donors, alumni, students, friends, and various constituencies of the University to strengthen their ties to Missouri State University.

16. Prepares for professional and donor encounters by establishing and maintaining professional competency and currency in the field of university development work through professional reading, developing professional contacts with colleagues, attending professional development courses, attending training and/or courses required by the Vice President for University Advancement.

17. Assures donor confidentiality as well as the confidentiality of the projects undertaken by the Office of Development and Alumni Relations by conducting all personal contacts and communications with donors in a professional manner.

18. Facilitates and supports the accomplishment of established goals for the Office of University Advancement Relations by developing and maintaining cordial and professional working relationships with University administrative, support, and professional departmental staff and appropriate off-campus constituencies.

19. Participates as a fully productive member of the professional staff by adhering to all University policies and procedures and the internal policies and procedures of the Office of University Advancement.

20. Contributes to the overall success of the Office of Development and Alumni Relations by performing all other duties as assigned.


The Senior Director of Donor Relations and Special Events is supervised by the Vice President for University Advancement. This position supervises the Director of Donor Relations and Special events, the Assistant Director of Donor Relations and Special events – West Plains, an administrative assistant, a graduate assistant, and multiple student workers (on the Springfield and West Plains campuses).