Boston University

Executive Director, Donor Relations and Stewardship
Location: Boston, MA

Boston University (BU) seeks a forward-thinking and collaborative Executive Director, Donor Relations & Stewardship to provide strategic leadership in the design and implementation of an integrated, comprehensive donor experience program. Bringing a holistic view of people, systems, and resources to Development and Alumni Relations (DAR) and stakeholders across BU, the Executive Director will build community around the essential role that donor relations and stewardship plays in building trust, advancing relationships, demonstrating the impact of support, and sparking connection with BU donors in ways that inspire confidence and future philanthropy.

BU has charted a stellar ascent in recent years. Now ranked #41 by U.S. News and World Report, the university comprises 17 Schools and Colleges, including highly ranked graduate schools such as the School of Law, School of Business, School of Education, and College of Engineering. Founded in 1839, BU has always been a hub for innovation and inclusive community-building. As one of the largest independent nonprofit universities in the country, it was the first university to open all divisions to female students in 1872. BU created one of the first study abroad programs, and, today, about one third of the university’s 36,809 students come from countries outside the United States. This diversity is one of the greatest institutional strengths of BU, underpinned by the university’s commitment to creating community—one of the pillars in the Strategic Plan for 2030, which will form the foundation for an upcoming comprehensive campaign. The five guiding university priorities are: ensuring a vibrant academic experience; diversity, equity, and inclusion; producing research that matters; creating community, big yet small; and fostering global engagement.

Reporting to the Vice President for Development, the Executive Director (ED) works closely with DAR colleagues and across BU’s schools, colleges, and centers to determine their donor relations and stewardship needs and provide strategy, guiding resources, and tools for the implementation of standardized and tailored donor communications and experiences that support BU’s comprehensive and annual fundraising campaigns. In addition, the ED partners with DAR senior leaders, the president’s office, and communications teams on major campus fundraising initiatives to determine the most compelling messages to present to the public and to donor audiences, and develops key metrics to provide insights that will drive strategy for engagement and fundraising success.

This is an exciting opportunity for a confident and innovative leader to join an institution at the outset of a campaign that will propel ever-more ambitious achievements. The ED leads a team of at least ten professionals and a program that includes gift acknowledgements, endowment and impact reporting, university-wide giving societies, donor and scholarship stewardship, fund development and utilization, and a variety of high-impact donor experiences, including DAR events. With an attentiveness to improved performance and systems efficiencies, the ED will work closely with alumni engagement and advancement services colleagues, as well as with stakeholders across the university, including those in the Offices of General Accounting, General Counsel, and Financial Assistance to create high-functioning workflows and mutually beneficial approaches for key interrelated processes.

The ED will be a passionate advocate for innovative donor relations practices, comfortable leveraging both broad-based digital and highly personalized, individual engagement strategies to enhance BU’s connection to and relationships with donors. The ideal candidate will have at least 10 years of experience conceiving and managing innovative behavior-based donor relations and stewardship programs, ideally in complex institutional environments. They will demonstrate excellent project management skills and the ability to work collaboratively with colleagues and internal and external business partners. They will be creative, strategic, and possess skills and experience in systems/process development to help structure and focus the work of a busy team. The next ED is collaborative, data-driven, and organized, bringing a collegial, team-building style with a demonstrated ability to cultivate productive, collaborative relationships with DAR colleagues, faculty, and staff across the university. The successful candidate will be an inspiring leader and an effective advocate for all constituents. In accordance with its core values and mission, BU is especially interested in recruiting members of diverse communities and individuals with a commitment to multiculturalism.

Application Instructions

Boston University has partnered with Talent Citizen to assist in this recruitment. Please contact President Tracy D. Welsh, Senior Associate Rachel K. Partin, and Senior Associate Eva Kotilinek to share your resume and cover letter via email at:

Boston University is an equal opportunity employer and gives consideration for employment to qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, military service, or because of marital, parental, or veteran status or any other characteristic protected by law.

If you require a reasonable accommodation in order to complete the employment application process, please contact the Equal Opportunity Office at 617-353-6474 or

Please note all newly hired staff and faculty, will need to be in compliance with Boston University’s COVID-19 Vaccination Policy within 30 days of date of hire.  For further information on the university’s response to COVID-19, please visit the Back2BU site.

The Talent Citizen Search Team

Tracy D. Welsh

President | She/Her
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Rachel K. Partin

Managing Associate | She/Her
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Eva Kotilinek

Senior Associate | She/Her
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Alicia Paquette

Search Coordinator | She/Her
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