Executive Brief

Open Opportunities
Brandeis University

About the University

There is no other place like Brandeis. As a Boston-based private research university with global reach, the institution offers a first-rate undergraduate education while serving as a premier research institution.

Brandeis’ 235-acre campus is located nine miles west of downtown Boston, a global hub for higher education and innovation. The faculty are leaders in their fields, as passionate about teaching and mentorship as they are about pushing the boundaries of knowledge. Brandeis students are motivated, compassionate, curious and open to exploring new and challenging experiences.

At Brandeis, you will discover a community rooted in purpose, guided by its founding values, poised to lead in education and research in the 21st century.

The Brandeis Story

Established in 1948, the university was named for Louis Dembitz Brandeis (1856-1941), the first Jewish justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. Justice Brandeis exemplified the values of the new university through his dedication to the pursuit of truth, his insistence on critical thinking, and his commitment to helping the common man.

Brandeis students pursue rigorous academic work, think critically, and actively make the world a better place.

Brandeis is committed to making its community truly inclusive by seeking students, faculty and staff of all backgrounds, cultures, religions and experiences. Indeed, it is one of the few universities in America with inclusivity as a founding principle. This enduring value distinguishes Brandeis from other important research universities.

Defined by Social Justice

Social justice is central to the mission of Brandeis, which endeavors to foster a just and inclusive campus culture that embraces diversity in all forms among faculty, staff and students.

Mission Statement

Brandeis University is a community of scholars and students united by their commitment to the pursuit of knowledge and its transmission from generation to generation.

As a research university, Brandeis is dedicated to the advancement of the humanities, arts and social, natural and physical sciences.

As a liberal arts college, Brandeis affirms the importance of a broad and critical education in enriching the lives of students and preparing them for full participation in a changing society, capable of promoting their own welfare, yet remaining deeply concerned about the welfare of others.

Click here to read Brandeis University's full mission statement.

Diversity Statement

Established in 1948 as a model of ethnic and religious pluralism, Brandeis University:

  • Considers social justice central to its mission as a nonsectarian university founded by members of the American Jewish community.
  • Aims to engage members of our community as active citizens in a multicultural world.
  • Seeks to build an academic community whose members have diverse cultures, backgrounds and life experiences.
  • Believes that diverse backgrounds and ideas are crucial to academic excellence.
  • Recognizes the need to analyze and address the ways in which social, cultural and economic inequalities affect power and privilege in the larger society and at Brandeis itself.
  • Honors freedom of expression and civility of discourse as fundamental educational cornerstones.
  • Seeks to safeguard the safety, dignity and well-being of all its members.
  • Endeavors to foster a just and inclusive campus culture that embraces the diversity of the larger society.

“As an underprivileged child from an immigrant family, I was offered a full scholarship to Brandeis. What I gradually came to see was that one’s gratitude for such a gift was not to be expressed in words, but in finding ways to help realize the promise of others."

Stephen Donadio ’63, Professor Emeritus, Middlebury College

Giving and Impact

Brandeis has a generous community of supporters who ensure that students have access to a top-tier education, with opportunities to learn from world-class faculty, engage in groundbreaking research, and live and grow in a supportive and scholarly environment.

Click here to learn more about Brandeis' giving priorities and funds.


Office of Institutional Advancement

The Brandeis University Institutional Advancement (IA) Division is a comprehensive development and alumni relations enterprise that integrates the critical functions of fundraising, alumni relations and advancement services. Their mission is to:

IA is strongly committed to supporting the academic and intellectual agenda of the university and to creating a culture of philanthropy among members of the Brandeis community. Integrity, collegiality, diversity, accountability, trust and respect for the individual as well as the intentions of our donors are the fundamental values that guide our work.

They aspire to further such important endeavors and are looking to grow their team with individuals who share their passion and commitment. In preparation for its next ambitious campaign, the Division of Institutional Advancement (IA) seeks to strengthen the bonds with the university’s many constituencies. By working together, they will secure the financial resources necessary to continue the legacy of excellence in teaching, research, and scholarship at Brandeis.

Benefits That Fit Your Lifestyle

Brandeis employees enjoy a wide range of benefits, including: 

Learn more about employee benefits

Open Opportunities

Executive Director of Annual Giving

Position Summary:

As a member of the Institutional Advancement Development team, the Executive Director of Annual Giving (EDAG) is responsible for setting and executing an overarching strategy to drive flexible support and pipeline development for the University. Central to this is developing a strategy to engage alumni, parents, faculty and staff, and friends to participate philanthropically in advancing the mission of the University.

The incumbent will work collaboratively with senior leaders and colleagues across the institution to develop strategies that translate into tactics to drive participation via channels that include direct mail, email, volunteers, annual gift officers, and other channels.

Other responsibilities include supporting volunteer leadership to guide and advance the work, from partnering with the development committee of the Alumni Board to developing Annual Giving leadership volunteer opportunities to leverage class, reunion, and affinity-based fundraising programs such as the Brandeis National Committee (BNC) and Hillel.

The work of the EDAG is integral to the University's financial success and generates significant annual revenue. Therefore, an emphasis on developing comprehensive strategies that support pipeline development and participation across Brandeis constituents through annual giving programmatic efforts.

The incumbent will oversee strategies and staff related to direct marketing, reunion fundraising, family philanthropy, annual giving officers, student and young alumni fundraising, Hillel, and BNC. The incumbent will also carry a small portfolio of leadership giving prospects and volunteer leaders.

Primary Responsibilities:

  • Strategy and Program Management:
    • Responsible for setting and achieving aspirational goals for donor growth and unrestricted dollars. In partnership with Development leadership and fundraising colleagues, ensure prospects are solicited across the pyramid to drive flexible funds for the University.
    • Responsible for developing an overarching strategy for growth of $1,000+ by donors by creating and leveraging a multi-channel approach to engaging prospects with direct marketing, volunteers, and staff. In partnership with colleagues, develop a strategy for leveraging and marketing the Justice Brandeis Society to grow this critical cohort of donors.
    • Leverage strong data analysis to drive future strategies. Collaborating with colleagues, develop robust reporting and analytical tools to analyze current fundraising strategies and inform future efforts.
  • Management and Leadership:
    • Oversee the work of the Family Philanthropy team (2), Direct Marketing (3), Annual Giving Officers (3), and reunion and specifically affinity fundraising (1-2). Leverage goal-setting process and performance management system to support team members' success and encourage professional development opportunities as they arise.
  • Volunteer Management:
    • Develop and lead volunteer opportunities to amplify the work of the Development team. In partnership with colleagues in IA and across the University, fully leverage the existing development committee of the Alumni Board and develop a distinct and coordinated Annual Giving Board and volunteer opportunities within and across classes and special affinities.
  • Portfolio Management:                                                                             
    • Engage a portfolio of prospects in support of the University. Secure $1,000+ gifts with keen attention to flexible funds for the University
    • Must be able and willing to work occasional evenings and weekends with an attitude of doing what it takes to get the job done.


  • Bachelor's degree required. Advanced degrees and/or fundraising certification are highly desired.
  • Minimum 8-10 years of relevant work experience or equivalent combination of education and experience. Experience in higher education or non-profit setting preferred; direct experience with fundraising and volunteer management required.
  • Demonstrated ability to develop and execute high-level and multi-channel annual giving efforts.
  • Experience in developing and leveraging diverse volunteer structures to amplify fundraising activity.
  • Proven track record of working in a dynamic, evolving, and highly energetic fundraising environment.
  • Ability to function at a high level within a complex organization.
  • Superior interpersonal skills with proven ability to successfully interact and collaborate with varied constituencies in a professional manner, exhibiting excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Ability to apply good judgment and discretion when dealing with highly confidential alumni, parent, student, family, donor, and prospect information.
  • Must be a detail-oriented, self-starter with an ability to work independently and manage multiple projects and priorities to meet aggressive timelines and challenging deadlines.
  • Must be able and willing to work occasional evenings and weekends with an attitude of doing what it takes to get the job done.
  • Demonstrated experience in working with institutional leadership and volunteer leadership to advance participation and flexible funding.
  • Must be able and willing to travel frequently throughout the United States to attend events and meet with prospects and donors to further cultivation and solicitation strategies.

Submit Your Candidacy

To apply or learn more about one of these opportunities, please submit your resume and cover letter to Leslie Smith, Executive Search Consultant, leslie.smith@boyden.comLisa Vuona, Managing Partner, lvuona@boyden.com, or Wendy Wilsker, Managing Partner, wwilsker@boyden.com.

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Learn more