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Director of External Relations

Company: Santa Clara University
Location: Santa Clara
Posted on: May 3, 2021

Job Description:

Position Title:

Director of External Relations

Position Type:


Salary Range:

$79,920 - $108,000 annual; commensurate with experience

Pay Frequency:



The Director of External Relations leads the School of Law's efforts to provide services that build lasting relationships with external constituents, including law alumni, donors, friends, University departments and the broader Silicon Valley community. The Director, in partnership with the Dean, the development staff, senior university administrators and other schools/departments on campus, develops programs, events, and communication efforts (with a strong focus on social media) to engage these external audiences, and also coordinates the solicitation and stewardship of annual gifts to the Law School. This is a full time position reporting to the Senior Assistant Dean for External Relations.



  • Lead the strategic planning for increasing engagement with the School of Law.
  • Manage a volunteer corps of alumni ambassadors and their various fundraising and outreach activities, particularly the annual Celebration of Achievement awards, involvement of alumni during the annual Convocation and Commencement activities, and the ongoing alumni mentor program. Identify and recruit potential new volunteers.
  • Plan and execute events for external audiences, including local, regional and national events, Grand Reunion Weekend activities, Celebration of Achievement awards, and other projects as assigned.
  • Collaborate with University on events and programs throughout the year to benefit the entire Santa Clara University community, especially Campaign activities.
  • Collaborate with Office of Career Management to connect law students with alumni and employers through events and mentoring programs.
  • Serve on advisory boards and coordinate with other Law School departments to engage law alumni in their programs and activities.
  • Represent the Law School on campus-wide committees including the University Relations External Relations group and the Community of Fundraisers. Collaborate with other campus Directors of External Relations as appropriate.
  • Benchmark external relations best practices through active membership in organizations such as the Jesuit Advancement Administrators (JAA), American Bar Association (ABA) and Association of American Law Schools (AALS).
  • Manage department budget.
  • Supervise, mentor and train Administrative Associate.
  • Perform other duties and special projects as assigned in support of the mission of Santa Clara Law and Santa Clara University.


  • Manage all online information and communication for external audiences utilizing appropriate social media channels, University resources (such as CLARA) and the Law School website.
  • Plan, edit and publish regular communications to alumni, friends, faculty and staff of the Law School.
  • Manage the Law School's social media presence (including but not limited to LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram), collaborate with other departments/units on audience, messaging, and brand consistency.
  • Collaborate with Law Digital Media team and University Marketing & Communications to ensure seamless communications across all audiences, including the Santa Clara magazine, University website and other media sources.


  • Work with development team to design and implement an annual giving program that cultivates, solicits and stewards donors at the Dean's Circle Level ($1,000 or more, and lesser amounts for young alumni e.g. 1-4 years since graduation - $250 annually; 5-9 years since graduation - $500 annually).
  • Plan giving strategy around existing annual funds and identify/create new annual funds as appropriate for scholarships, programs, and professorships.
  • Develop and execute targeted online and print solicitations throughout the fiscal year in conjunction with University Relation's Annual Giving Team.
  • Collaborate with law school departments to design and implement strategies for their annual gift campaigns.
  • Advise Call Center Team on specific strategies during annual giving calendar cycle.
  • Plan and implement annual stewardship cycle, including the Dean's Circle Appreciation event, Endowment Reporting, and all ongoing stewardship communications.
  • Manage alumni scholarship programs: lead volunteer committees, solicit annual donations, oversee application process, and manage stewardship activities between recipients and donors.
  • Develop and implement programs to encourage law firm and corporate/foundation support.
  • Identify potential prospect leads and recommend to development team for targeted cultivation and solicitation.


  • Provides work direction to Administrative Associate as well as shared administrative staff, social media intern(s), student worker(s), contract employees and vendors.


  • Recommends initiatives and implements changes to improve quality and services.
  • Identifies and determines cause of problems; develops and presents recommendations for improvement of established processes and practices.
  • Maintains contact with external constituents and solicits feedback for improved University Relations.
  • Maximizes productivity through use of appropriate tools, planned training and performance initiatives.
  • Researches and develops resources that create timely and efficient workflow.
  • Prepares progress reports; informs supervisor of project status; and deviation from goals.
  • Ensures completeness, accuracy and timeliness of all operational functions.
  • Prepares and submits reports as requested and required.
  • Develops and implements guidelines to support the functions of the unit.


  • To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily.
  • This position requires the ability to effectively establish and maintain cooperative working relationships within a diverse multicultural environment.
  • The items below are representative of the knowledge, skills, abilities, education, and experience required or preferred.


  • Direct knowledge of development programs.
  • Direct knowledge of successful fundraising best practices.
  • Knowledge of higher education advancement and/or legal profession preferred.


  • Must be a goal oriented and self-motivated individual who can demonstrate accountability, initiative, creativity and focus in a rapidly changing and intellectually stimulating environment.
  • Demonstrate strong interpersonal skills and the ability to collaborate, build alliances, and achieve results within a population that may possess competing interests, opinions, and /or expectations.
  • Demonstrate strong active listening skills and ability to negotiate positive outcomes.
  • Positive attitude, sense of humor and flexibility.
  • Required to have a valid driver's license and personal transportation vehicle available for frequent travel to business meetings (mileage is reimbursed under federal guidelines).


  • Demonstrate a level of comfort working and communicating with top executives, community leaders and/or university leadership.
  • Ability to motivate, build long-term relationships with and gain the respect of internal and external clients.
  • Demonstrate the ability to manage time and work load to multitask and achieve goals in a deadline driven environment.
  • Demonstrate a genuine appetite to contribute to a collaborative, ethical, and professional team environment.
  • Ability to work on the road and/or work at odd hours and on weekends.


  • Bachelor's degree required.
  • Graduate or professional degree preferred.

Years of Experience

  • 6-8 years of direct fundraising, alumni relations and event management experience and/or transferrable professional skills such as sales/marketing and/or developing relationships with clients or customers.
  • Experience working with volunteer leaders preferred.


The physical demands described below are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, as amended, the California Fair Employment & Housing Act, and all other applicable laws, SCU provides reasonable accommodations for qualified persons with disabilities. A qualified individual is a person who meets skill, experience, education, or other requirements of the position, and who can perform the essential functions of the position with or without reasonable accommodation.

  • Considerable time is spent at a desk using a computer and phone.
  • Required to frequently travel to outside constituent meetings.
  • Required to travel to other buildings on the campus.
  • May be required to attend conference and training sessions within Bay Area or in-state or out-of-state locations.


The work environment characteristics described below are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job.

  • Typical office environment.
  • Mostly indoor office environment with windows.
  • Offices with equipment noise.
  • Offices with frequent interruptions.
  • Driving related to meetings with external constituents.
  • Meeting with external constituents at off-campus locations including other offices, restaurants, other private and public venues.

EEO Statement

Equal Opportunity/Notice of Nondiscrimination

Santa Clara University is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action employer fully committed to achieving a diverse workforce and complies with all Federal and California State laws, regulations, and executive orders regarding non-discrimination and affirmative action. Applications from members of historically underrepresented groups are especially encouraged. For a complete copy of Santa Clara University's equal opportunity and nondiscrimination policies, see

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972

Santa Clara University does not discriminate in its employment practices or in its educational programs or activities on the basis of sex/gender, and prohibits retaliation against any person opposing discrimination or participating in any discrimination investigation or complaint process internally or externally. The Title IX Coordinator and Section 504 and ADA Coordinator is Belinda Guthrie, Director of Equal Opportunity and Title IX, 408-551-3043,, Inquiries can also be made to the Assistant Secretary of Education within the Office for Civil Rights (OCR).

Clery Notice of Availability

Santa Clara University annually collects information about campus crimes and other reportable incidents in accordance with the federal Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act. To view the Santa Clara University report, please go to the Campus Safety Services website. To request a paper copy please call Campus Safety at (408) 554-4441. The report includes the type of crime, venue, and number of occurrences.

Americans with Disabilities Act

Santa Clara University affirms its' commitment to employ qualified individuals with disabilities within the workplace and to comply with the Americans with Disability Act. All applicants desiring an accommodation should contact the Department of Human Resources, and 408-554-5750 and request to speak to Indu Ahluwalia by phone at 408-554-5750 or by email at

Santa Clara University annually collects information about campus crimes and other reportable incidents in accordance with the federal Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act. To view the Santa Clara University report, please go to the Campus Safety Services website. To request a paper copy please call Campus Safety at (408) 554-4441. The report includes the type of crime, venue, and number of occurrences.

Keywords: Santa Clara University, Santa Clara , Director of External Relations, Other , Santa Clara, California

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