Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering (Olin), a recognized leader in the transformation of engineering education, seeks a creative, digitally forward, and impact-oriented Director of the Olin Fund (Director) to provide strategic and collaborative leadership to the College’s annual giving efforts. The Director will be a key architect and driver of innovative outreach and solicitation strategies aimed at deepening Olin’s connection to alumni and parents, retaining and increasing commitments, and attracting the attention of new prospective donors interested in supporting Olin’s transformational work as it broadens its ambitions to advance engineering as a bridge to equity, opportunity, and progress for humanity on a global scale.
An integral part of Olin’s fundraising success, the Olin Fund includes direct mail, digital communications, a calling program, reunion giving, leadership annual giving, and social crowdfunding. The Director will refine and evaluate omnichannel marketing and engagement programs to acquire, re-activate, retain, and upgrade annual donors with a focus on expanding Olin’s base of support. Reporting to the Vice President of Marketing & Communications and working closely with the Offices of the President and of External Programs and Partnerships, the Director will partner with all stakeholder groups to advance a culture of philanthropy that matches the strengths, innovative spirit, and values-driven generosity of the Olin community itself.
Founded by a visionary $460 million grant from the F.W. Olin Foundation in 1997, with the first class of students matriculating in 2002, Olin College of Engineering was always “intended to be different … to be a constant contributor to the advancement of engineering education in America and throughout the world, and through its graduates, to do good for humankind.” These foundational goals remain paramount as Olin evolves in its third decade of existence. Recently ranked number 2 in the nation for undergraduate engineering education by U.S. News & World Report, the College’s new strategic plan outlines a clear vision: Engineering for Everyone, meaning both that engineering education needs to be for everyone and that engineering as a profession must serve everyone. Having just gone through this comprehensive strategic planning process, the Olin community is excited about the future growth and trajectory of the College. This provides ripe ground for the Director of the Olin Fund to foster engagement that is institutionally aligned and integrated across the work of all resource-generating departments, positioning the annual fund to serve as both a catalyst for future fundraising and a unifying place for Olin stakeholders.
Olin is educating the next generation of engineering innovators and shifting the definition of engineering. Not only do Olin students ask, “Who are we designing this for, and what are their values?” They also ask questions about the impact of their work on society. As Olin evolves under the leadership of President Gilda Barabino, it seeks to become a more diverse and aware community, a place where everyone is a learner and where everyone is an educator. Olin will become a place where experimentation—including making and learning from mistakes—will be embraced across the institution, not just in the classroom. Olin is a very small community, characterized by collaboration, experimentation, and interdisciplinarity across the institution. Collaboration is key to Olin’s curriculum and culture, and everyone works intentionally to reinforce the core values and culture to which the Olin community aspires. Olin is a community that thrives on being together; mutual trust is a shared value and a constant practice. The College supports teams to collaboratively decide how they can best do their work, display a commitment to the community, all while providing individuals with overall work-life flexibility.
Olin was founded with an extraordinary act of philanthropy 20 years ago and has some of the highest alumni and parent participation rates in the country. The Director will work closely with faculty, students, staff, trustees, and volunteers to build upon this foundation, bringing dynamic, fresh leadership and motivational guidance to annual giving and donor engagement goal-setting and implementation. Strategic priorities include devising new approaches to closing equity gaps in society through science and engineering, with emphasis on environmental injustice, educational access, sustainability, climate change, and beyond. The Director will combine unique messaging and outreach approaches with advanced segmentation and data analytics techniques, translating key findings into strategic and actionable recommendations that maximize annual giving. Additionally, the Director will have front-line responsibility for a select portfolio of parent and alumni donors.
The successful candidate will possess at least seven years of professional communication/fundraising experience, and a demonstrated record of accomplishment in developing omnichannel fundraising and engagement strategies in entrepreneurial environments. Candidates bringing expertise in digital marketing and data-informed decision making combined with an appetite for experimentation are encouraged to explore this role.
A collaborative and accessible leadership style, well-suited to working within a distributed model of institutional advancement, is a prerequisite, as is the creativity, energy, and political savvy needed to prioritize and champion new ideas. Strong administrative and team-building motivational skills are required, as well as the compassion, clarity, and communication skills necessary to articulate clear philanthropic goals and empower Olin staff, faculty, and influential supporters. In accordance with its core values and mission, Olin is especially interested in recruiting members of diverse communities and individuals with a commitment to anti-racism.
Olin College of Engineering has partnered with Talent Citizen to assist in this recruitment. Please reach out to President Tracy D. Welsh and Senior Associate Eva Kotilinek to share your resume and cover letter via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Olin College is dedicated to building a diverse, inclusive, and authentic workplace. If you’re excited about the role and have relevant experience, but your work history doesn’t align perfectly with every qualification in the job description, we would nevertheless welcome hearing from you.
We especially welcome applications from candidates belonging to groups that have been historically underrepresented in higher education, including women, racial and ethnic minorities, LGBTQIA people, and people with disabilities. Olin College is an Equal Opportunity Employer.