Director of Annual and Leadership Giving

Rank: Administrator V
Search Number: S24-023
Job Posted: July 8, 2024

Southern Connecticut State University is a diverse and student-centered university dedicated to academic excellence, access, and service for the public good. Southern provides a supportive and welcoming environment for all members of its community through a campus wide commitment to social justice.  Founded as a teacher’s college in 1893, Southern has evolved over the past century into a comprehensive public university of more than 9,000 students, offering graduate and undergraduate programs in the liberal arts and professional disciplines. It is one of four universities in the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities System. The University is located in New Haven, a city rich with arts and culture, and less than 90 miles from New York City and 140 miles from Boston.

The Director of Annual and Leadership Giving is responsible for providing strategy, direction and management in all areas of Annual Giving programs; embracing the model of donor-centric fundraising and focusing on strengthening Southern’s Annual Giving program in terms of overall philanthropic participation as well as ongoing year over year revenue generation. Additionally, the Director in consultation with the VPIA and IA senior leadership team will support and help advance overall donor engagement with a primary focus on alumni, staff and faculty, students, parents, as well as affinity constituent groups. The Director reports to the AVP and works closely with all members of the Advancement team.

Position Responsibilities

Provides strategic leadership to the Annual Giving Office by implementing and managing all annual giving strategies to solicit contributions from donors and prospects including but limited to peer-to-peer campaigns such as our Annual Day of Caring.

Manages a defined portfolio of leadership annual giving prospects resulting from participation in the university’s discovery calls program and according to the assignments provided by the prospect management program.

Meets annual goals set through timeline, budget and agreed on solicitation goals.

Develops and maintains a thorough working knowledge of Southern and individual departments’ missions and needs as they pertain to fundraising priorities.

Collaborates with the Office of Alumni & Donor Relations to incorporate annual and leadership giving into Reunion, Homecoming and other activities and programs produced from the Office of Alumni Relations to include donor cultivation and recognition events.

Works in partnership with Institutional Advancement leadership, Office of Donor Relations and other colleagues as needed on the donor stewardship efforts to create donor recognition activities consistent with Institutional Advancement cultivation and solicitation plans for annual and leadership giving.

Represents the Annual Giving department and Division of Institutional Advancement at both internal and external campus events and activities.

Manages and trains the staff within Annual Giving to further the goals and objectives within Institutional Advancement and the university.

Supervises and oversees an Associate Director of Annual Giving, other full-time staff, student workers, volunteers and advocates. Performs other duties and responsibilities related to those above which do not alter the basic level of responsibilities of the position.


Bachelor’s degree and at least five (5) years of development experience required. The ability to think critically, strategically and creatively about the development and growth of the Annual Giving Program and exhibit a strong understanding of new and emerging fundraising techniques and technologies required. Ability to define the leading edge of annual giving; knowledgeable and experienced in both new and traditional channels of annual revenue generation; and demonstrate extensive analytical skills, vision, flexibility, and the drive to exceed yearly goals. Demonstrated skills in oral and written communication. Ability to manage staff and work as a team member. Advanced skills in Microsoft Office required. University development experience preferred. These qualifications may be waived for individuals with appropriate alternate experience.


For full consideration, please submit a cover letter of application, resume, and contact information for three professional references to Brett Santo at by August 7th, 2024. The position will remain open until filled.



Southern Connecticut State University is an Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity Employer. The University seeks to enhance the diversity of its faculty and staff. People of color, women, veterans, and persons with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply.