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Senior Director of Annual Giving and Donor Relations

Company: Braille Institute of America
Date Posted: August 7, 2017

Kevin Chase Executive Search Group has just launched the search for the new Sr. Director of Annual Giving & Donor Relations,  following the retirement of the long-serving incumbent. This position is one of three department leads and reports directly to Braille's Vice President of Philanthropy, Dave Burkhardt.  

A recruitment profile is attached. It’s also viewable at


The Senior Director of Annual Giving & Donor Relations leads Braille Institute's Annual Giving, Donor Relations, and Philanthropy Services team and programs. The primary responsibility of the position is to grow and retain a pipeline of quality individual donors who will provide a dependable stream of annual revenue, and who can also be cultivated for major and planned gifts.

In addition to departmental leadership responsibilities, this position's Key Accountabilities include:

  • Growing and expanding a successful, well-established, $1+ million annual giving program which is highly direct mail-driven;
  • Partnering and collaborating with the Major & Planned Gifts team in support of Braille Institute's overall fundraising goals;
  • Overseeing donor database systems and strategies to ensure best practices are implemented;
  • Developing and implementing effective donor development, stewardship, and recognition strategies;
  • Leading exploration of additional, new annual giving opportunities, including growing current online/digital efforts;
  • Managing a small-but-mighty team of four fundraising professionals.

Because the average age of Braille's current donors is 70+, success in this position will require both improvement/expansion of existing, core programs and some innovation around new donors and new outreach methods.


Successful candidates for this position must have a high level of mastery of annual giving programs, strategies, and methodologies, including significant experience in direct mail. S/He must also have a solid, high-level understanding of donor database systems and some background in team management. The ideal candidate will possess the following specific skills and experience: 

  • Minimum of 7 to 10 years of professional fundraising experience, including a minimum of 3 years of staff supervision experience;
  • Demonstrable history of meeting/exceeding fundraising goals;
  • Minimum of 5 years of hands-on experience in multi-channel annual gift fundraising, with an emphasis on direct mail;
  • Excellent writing, editing, and marketing skills, combined with knowledge of print and digital production;
  • High level of knowledge and expertise in direct mail fundraising, including donor acquisition, renewal, and upgrade;
  • Exceptional analytic, planning, project management and organizational skills; 
  • Strong knowledge of and experience with fundraising databases, gift processing, gift acknowledgment, and gift reporting best practices. 


If you or someone you know has the skills and experience described above and the energy and vision to lead this vital nonprofit organization through its next phase of growth, we'd love to hear from you. (And please feel free to post/forward/share this announcement with anyone in your network who you think would be served by knowing about this opportunity.)