Annual Philanthropy and Alumni Engagement Specialist

McKendree University is seeking a highly motivated individual to serve as Annual Philanthropy & Alumni Engagement Specialist at its Lebanon, IL campus.

The Annual Philanthropy & Alumni Engagement Specialist is responsible for working closely with numerous constituencies to enhance McKendree University’s relationship with its 21,000+ alumni through an integrated affinity strategy that relies heavily on volunteer recruitment and management as well as cross campus collaborations. Under the direction of the Director, Annual Philanthropy & Alumni Engagement, this position participates in strategic planning sessions, incorporates emerging trends into current efforts, and effectively manages multiple ongoing projects. This position works with campus partners in academics, student life, the Hett Center for the Arts, and athletics.  This position also manages the University’s annual phonathon. 


  • Develop and create content for, implement, and evaluate social media strategies to connect with alumni and potential donors to enhance engagement and philanthropy via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.
  • Create and deliver engaging content for alumni communications including the Bearcat Buzz (monthly alumni e-newsletter), e-solicitation appeals and online giving opportunities; maintain existing web content on alumni and annual giving web pages and online community.
  • Assist with drafting and editing of annual giving communications as needed for all channels.
  • With the Director, plans and staffs events including, but not limited to: WMS Spring event, Homecoming Weekend, Regional Alumni Events, Athletic Reunions and others as assigned. Will take lead on specific events assigned.
  • Serve as liaison for alumni career networks and other affinity groups.
  • Coordinate and manage student philanthropy initiatives, including the “Senior Class Gift” program.
  • Oversee and manage the daily activities of the McKendree University phonathon program; serve as primary contact for the phonathon and perform/assist with the hiring and training of the phonathon student staff; schedule calling segments, pledge reminders, and track pledge fulfillment and student staff performance to maximize efficiency.
  • Assist with developing strategy to increase faculty/staff and parent/family giving to the university.
  • Technology: works with university advancement software platforms including Community Funded, Gratavid, and Blackbaud’s Raiser’s Edge NXT, NetCommunity, Parlance.
  • Provide support for annual giving days and take a lead role on crowdfunding campaigns.
  • Will be required to work evenings and weekends as needed for various events and activities.
  • Research and stay up to date on trends in the field of higher education advancement, annual giving, and philanthropy.
  • Other duties, as assigned.


  • Bachelor's degree.
  • One year of experience in annual giving, development, marketing, communications, or related field. Internships or other professional experience within higher education field will be considered.


  • Enthusiasm for fundraising and the mission of higher education.
  • Ability to work under pressure, meet deadlines and manage multiple priorities.
  • Basic understanding of higher education advancement and development, annual giving, and alumni relations.
  • Organizational skills, attention to details, and ability to assume responsibility for completing projects efficiently.
  • Ability to develop rapport with a wide variety of donors, alumni, potential donors, and student callers.


  • Experience with phonathon.
  • Knowledge of and experience with various social media platforms in a professional setting.
  • Experience copywriting and/or creative design.
  • Experience in alumni engagement and/or annual giving in higher education.
  • Broad knowledge of the principles of fundraising and the ability to participate in all aspects of the gift cycle.
  • Volunteer management experience preferred; proven ability to collaborate with, inspire, and motivate diverse constituencies.


Office environment; 40 hours per week; normally 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.; some evening and weekend work required. Occasional standing and lifting less than 20 pounds.


McKendree University, Illinois’ first and finest, is a private university in Lebanon, IL, just 25 minutes from downtown St. Louis, home of the 11-time World Series champs (St. Louis Cardinals) and the 2019 Stanley Cup winner (St. Louis Blues). St. Louis also boasts a wonderful zoo, a first-rate botanical garden, a vibrant art scene (both performing and visual), and a plethora of top-notch restaurants. 

Interviews will begin immediately. Qualified candidates should complete and submit the McKendree Employment Application and send a letter of interest referencing job #PAE34 with a resume/CV to the Director of Human Resources at           

McKendree is an ADA/EEO/Vet/Disabled employer committed to enhancing the cultural and gender diversity of the campus. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply.