PRIMARY PURPOSE: The Program Manager, Donor Relations ensures prompt and effective stewardship for Ave Maria University donors. The Program Manager develops and executes stewardship plans for donors in the following areas: major gifts, planned giving, scholarships and the University’s annual giving program. The Program Manager will also track planned gifts, maintain appropriate documentation and facilitate communication with key stakeholders, as needed. The Program Manager will work with Enrollment Services, Student Financial Aid, and University Finance to track scholarship data and work with University staff to draft scholarship agreements and provide timely scholarship impact reports to donors.


1. Works with Advancement staff to design and implement a comprehensive donor relations and stewardship program that ensures appropriate and timely acknowledgement, recognition, on-going communication and cultivation of donors.

2. Creates and maintains comprehensive list of secured and available naming opportunities. Orders and maintains on-campus donor recognition pieces.

3. Works with Advancement staff to assist in the creation of individual stewardship plans for key prospect and donors in their respective portfolios.

4. Coordinates and ensures all donor recognition experiences are completed in a timely manner and exceeds donor expectations.

5. Develops creative ways to engage students in stewardship initiatives including annual thank you letters from scholarship recipients to donors.

6. Creates and implements standard operating procedures pertaining to scholarship management and life-cycle updating Scholarship Management portal and systems as necessary.

7. Works with University Finance and faculty to gather information necessary to create and send annual endowment reports.

8. Responds promptly to donor inquiries and makes donor thank you calls as needed.

9. Records all actions, stewardship activities, gift agreements and other relevant information in a timely manner in Raiser’s Edge

10. Works with donors and Advancement staff to draft and execute scholarship agreements that comply with University standards, IRS requirements, and donor intent.

11. Designs and implements comprehensive stewardship plan for named and general scholarship donors to include opportunities for interaction with students.

12. Works with Advancement staff, donors, attorneys and/or financial advisors to record and track planned gift commitments.

EDUCATION: Bachelor’s degree required.

EXPERIENCE: Experience with professional writing and report preparation preferred. Experience with administering collegiate scholarships and financial aid helpful. Experience with NextGen Web Solutions Scholarship Tracker a plus but not required.


Exceptional time management and organization skills

Strong oral and written communication skills

Ability to work independently, collaboratively, and under supervision.

Willingness to serve, and build relationships with the donor community

Must possess strong initiative, leadership skills, organizational and project management skills, with the ability to multitask to manage a variety of projects and priorities, coordinating the actions of others, follow through on projects to timely completion, and demonstrate excellent judgment with attention to detail.

Microsoft Office experience with Word, Outlook, Publisher, Excel, Power Point software experience.

Must support the University’s Catholic mission.

PHYSICAL SKILLS AND ABILITIES: Requires ordinary ambulatory skills sufficient to visit other locations; the ability to stand, walk and manipulate (lift, carry, move) light to medium weights of 10 – 20 pounds. Requires good hand-eye coordination, arm, hand and finger dexterity, including ability to grasp, type and perform data entry, visual acuity to use a keyboard, operate equipment and read technical information, ability to hear in order to answer telephones and to communicate verbally, and the ability to sit for extended periods of time

WORKING CONDITIONS: Work is performed indoors with minimal safety hazards, and requires seated, standing, and movement work. Occasional weekend and evening work is required.

The responsibilities and requirements listed above are not an exhaustive list of all that will be expected of this position; however, it is met to identify the general criteria for this position.