Director of Stewardship and Communications Programs for Undergraduate Financial Aid & Penn First Plus (Hybrid Eligible)

  • University of Pennsylvania
  • Philadelphia, PA, USA
  • Sep 22, 2022
Full time Business/Financial Affairs/Financial Aid

Job Description


Director of Stewardship and Communications Programs for Undergraduate Financial Aid & Penn First Plus (Hybrid Eligible)

University Overview

The University of Pennsylvania, the largest private employer in Philadelphia, is a world-renowned leader in education, research, and innovation. This historic, Ivy League school consistently ranks among the top 10 universities in the annual U.S. News & World Report survey. Penn has 12 highly-regarded schools that provide opportunities for undergraduate, graduate and continuing education, all influenced by Penn's distinctive interdisciplinary approach to scholarship and learning. As an employer Penn has been ranked nationally on many occasions with the most recent award from Forbes who named Penn one of America's Best Employers By State in 2021.

Penn offers a unique working environment within the city of Philadelphia. The University is situated on a beautiful urban campus, with easy access to a range of educational, cultural, and recreational activities. With its historical significance and landmarks, lively cultural offerings, and wide variety of atmospheres, Philadelphia is the perfect place to call home for work and play.

The University offers a competitive benefits package that includes excellent healthcare and tuition benefits for employees and their families, generous retirement benefits, a wide variety of professional development opportunities, supportive work and family benefits, a wealth of health and wellness programs and resources, and much more.

COVID-19 vaccination is a requirement for all positions at the University of Pennsylvania. New hires are expected to be fully vaccinated before beginning work at the University. For more information about Penn's vaccine requirements and the use of Penn Open Pass, visit the Penn COVID-19 Response website for the latest information.

Posted Job Title
Director of Stewardship and Communications Programs for Undergraduate Financial Aid & Penn First Plus (Hybrid Eligible)

Job Profile Title
Director B

Job Description Summary
Position overview:

The Undergraduate Financial Aid & Penn First Plus Development team (UGFA Dev) serves as the central driving and coordinating resource for activity related to fundraising, communications, and stewardship for Undergraduate Financial Aid and Penn First Plus (P1P). The department's mission is to lead the philanthropic activity necessary to strengthen resources that make a Penn undergraduate education affordable and ensure that every student, regardless of financial circumstances and family background, can experience Penn to the fullest.

Reporting to and working closely with the Executive Director of Development for Undergraduate Financial Aid and Penn First Plus, the Director will lead the communications and stewardship strategies for the Undergraduate Financial Aid Development program, which includes approximately 3,900 major donors who support over 2,500 scholarships and Penn First Plus funds benefiting over 2,500 undergraduates annually. The annual fundraising for this critical University priority depends substantially on the ongoing support of existing donors. Therefore, all donor stewardship serves as cultivation and is an essential component of our $50M+ annual fundraising activity. This role entails strategic planning, creating, and directing complex processes involving multiple stakeholders across campus, high profile writing, complex project management with multiple teams, message shaping and branding, executing personalized stewardship strategies for leadership donors, staff management and crafting fundraising communications and tools for university administrators, leadership volunteers and development staff. The role is primarily internal but involves personal communications and direct interactions with external audiences including Penn students, leadership donors and volunteers requiring appropriate sensitivity to donor and student needs. The Director will serve as a deputy to the Executive Director on the Undergraduate Financial Aid Development Team requiring maturity and competent decision making and effective leadership skills. A passion for educational access and affordability is highly desired.

Job Description

Specific responsibilities by example:
  • Lead strategy and planning and direct the communications and complex donor stewardship program for an ever-expanding number of six to eight figure level donors annually representing over $1 Billion of Penn's endowment for undergraduate financial aid. For UGFA and P1P, the most significant source of financial support is the base of current major donors therefore donor stewardship and communications for our nearly 4,000 donors holds a particularly high level of importance. In FY22, of the $67.7M raised for UGFA/P1P, $47.8M was from new commitments made by existing donors in the stewardship program who expanded upon their prior support. Includes strategic planning, establishment and cultivation of university partnerships with senior level leaders, frequent interaction with the Undergraduate Financial Aid Leadership Council and more.
  • Lead the internal and external development communications for undergraduate financial aid and Penn First Plus collaborating with undergraduate schools and numerous programs across Penn. Shape messaging on behalf of the President and other University leaders with fundraising and donor relations savvy and appropriate sensitivity to the evolving needs of students, compliance considerations and University Administration directives. This content includes remarks for leadership, presentations, websites, print and online communications, fundraising proposals and staff and volunteer talking points.
  • Serve as project thought leader and director to fulfill the University's stewardship obligations involving complex processes and data systems, in coordination with Student Financial Services, the Division of Finance and multiple other offices to ensure that the program's stewardship process is seamless, maintains strict confidentiality and compliance standards and functions to full capacity in the service of 4,000+ donors annually and 2,500 students in the program.
  • Lead and direct staff (direct report: Communications and Development Coordinator; dotted reporting line from Assistant Director of Development) to achieve optimum results by:
    • Communicating financial and key performance indicators and results to staff members
    • Establishing priorities and goals for all staff.
    • Managing staffing needs and identifying areas for organizational development updates or changes
    • Guiding the talent identification and professional development needs, processes and outcomes within the entire unit in line with the University's diversity and inclusion priorities
    • Setting clear performance expectations and holding staff accountable for outcomes through frequent feedback and coaching
    • Ensuring open communications among team members, engaging in team building efforts and holding regular staff meetings that embrace and support the group's diversity
    • Inspiring and motivating staff to achieve optimum results
  • Represent the department and Penn with direct personal interactions with students, Trustees, leadership donors, foundation representatives, UFLC members, and other members of the Penn Community.
  • Partner with Executive Director on management of the Undergraduate Financial Aid Leadership Council.
  • Serve as a thought leader and project director for donor stewardship systems in Penn's Salesforce, Blackbaud and Filemaker platforms in partnership with Student Financial Services, DAR colleagues and other campus partners.

Please provide a resume and cover letter in order to be considered for this role. Please upload all documents in the “Resume/CV” section of the application prior to submitting. Writing samples required.



BA/BS and 5-7 years of related experience or equivalent combination of education and experience required, preferably in a University setting. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania or otherwise acquired knowledge about the University and its alumni/development programs is desirable.

Training and Experience

This role requires an experienced professional adept at shaping the message on behalf of the University leadership with fundraising and donor relations savvy and appropriate sensitivity to the evolving needs of students, volunteers, compliance requirements, University Administration directives and external media considerations. Outstanding writing and highly competent project management skills, good judgement, maturity, and decision making; strong grasp of best practices with donor relations and data systems. A passion for educational opportunity and affordability is highly desired.

Job Location - City, State
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Hybrid Eligible - This position is eligible for a hybrid work schedule with a work week divided between working onsite and working remotely.

Department / School
Development and Alumni Relations

Pay Range
$61,046.00 - $95,972.00
Salary offers are made based on the candidate's qualifications, experience, skills, and education as they directly relate to the requirements of the position, as well as internal and market factors and grade profile.

Affirmative Action Statement
Penn adheres to a policy that prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, national or ethnic origin, citizenship status, age, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected class.

Special Requirements
Background check required after a conditional job offer is made. Consideration of the background check will be tailored to the requirements of the job.

University Benefits
  • Health, Life, and Flexible Spending Accounts: Penn offers comprehensive medical, prescription, behavioral health, dental, vision, and life insurance benefits to protect you and your family's health and welfare. You can also use flexible spending accounts to pay for eligible health care and dependent care expenses with pre-tax dollars.
  • Tuition: Take advantage of Penn's exceptional tuition benefits. You, your spouse, and your dependent children can get tuition assistance here at Penn. Your dependent children are also eligible for tuition assistance at other institutions.
  • Retirement: Penn offers generous retirement plans to help you save for your future. Penn's Basic, Matching, and Supplemental retirement plans allow you to save for retirement on a pre-tax or Roth basis. Choose from a wide variety of investment options through TIAA and Vanguard.
  • Time Away from Work: Penn provides you with a substantial amount of time away from work during the course of the year. This allows you to relax, take vacations, attend to personal affairs, recover from illness or injury, spend time with family—whatever your personal needs may be.
  • Long-Term Care Insurance: In partnership with Genworth Financial, Penn offers faculty and staff (and your eligible family members) long-term care insurance to help you cover some of the costs of long-term care services received at home, in the community or in a nursing facility. If you apply when you're newly hired, you won't have to provide proof of good health or be subject to underwriting requirements. Eligible family members must always provide proof of good health and are subject to underwriting.
  • Wellness and Work-life Resources: Penn is committed to supporting our faculty and staff as they balance the competing demands of work and personal life. That's why we offer a wide variety of programs and resources to help you care for your health, your family, and your work-life balance.
  • Professional and Personal Development: Penn provides an array of resources to help you advance yourself personally and professionally.
  • University Resources: As a member of the Penn community, you have access to a wide range of University resources as well as cultural and recreational activities. Take advantage of the University's libraries and athletic facilities, or visit our arboretum and art galleries. There's always something going on at Penn, whether it's a new exhibit at the Penn Museum, the latest music or theater presentation at the Annenberg Center, or the Penn Relays at Franklin Field to name just a few examples. As a member of the Penn community, you're right in the middle of the excitement—and you and your family can enjoy many of these activities for free.
  • Discounts and Special Services: From arts and entertainment to transportation and mortgages, you'll find great deals for University faculty and staff. Not only do Penn arts and cultural centers and museums offer free and discounted admission and memberships to faculty and staff. You can also enjoy substantial savings on other goods and services such as new cars from Ford and General Motors, cellular phone service plans, movie tickets, and admission to theme parks.
  • Flexible Work Hours: Flexible work options offer creative approaches for completing work while promoting balance between work and personal commitments. These approaches involve use of non-traditional work hours, locations, and/or job structures.
  • Penn Home Ownership Services: Penn offers a forgivable loan for eligible employees interested in buying a home or currently residing in West Philadelphia, which can be used for closing costs or home improvements.
  • Adoption Assistance: Penn will reimburse eligible employees on qualified expenses in connection with the legal adoption of an eligible child, such as travel or court fees, for up to two adoptions in your household.

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