Director of Alumni Relations and
Special Events

Title of Position: Director of Alumni Relations and Special Events
Name of Organization: Guerin College Preparatory High School Website: www.guerinprep.org
Location of Position: River Grove, IL
Type of Organization: Secondary Education
Reports To: President/Director of Advancement
Status: Full-time (Exempt)

History, Purpose, Direction of Organization: Guerin College Preparatory High School is a private, Roman Catholic high school sponsored by the Sisters of Providence in River Grove, IL, which has been transforming the lives of young men and women and their communities since 1961. Situated in the Archdiocese of Chicago, Guerin Prep was originally founded Mother Theodore Guerin High School to serve young women. When Holy Cross High School, the adjacent all boys school, closed in 2004, Guerin Prep was established as a Catholic co-educational college preparatory high school.

The School has a diverse student population, with current enrollment of 302 young men and women who reside in Chicago’s Northwest side and neighboring communities. Given its 57-year history, Guerin Prep has over 20,000 alumni.

Sharing in the mission of the Sisters of Providence, Guerin College Preparatory High School, a Catholic Learning Community, committed to works of love, mercy and justice, is dedicated to the education and faith development of young women and men and to the cultivation of individual values and skills.

Job Summary

The Director of Alumni Relations and Special Events (“Director”) is responsible for Guerin Prep’s alumni engagement efforts designed to cultivate more targeted, meaningful, and impactful relationships. In addition, the Director oversees the school’s special events program including annual fundraisers, regional alumni and reunion/affinity programs, on campus events engagement events, and other initiatives that connect alumni, donors and friends to Guerin Prep. The Director coordinates all aspects of the events from conceptual pre-planning through post-event follow up and evaluation.

The Director is a member of the Office for Institutional Advancement (“Advancement”), reporting to and receiving administrative direction from the President and working closely with other members of the Advancement team. The Director will have a strong commitment to supporting the Mission, Vision, and Core Values of Guerin Prep, and will actively participate in school sponsored activities and programs.

Principal Responsibilities

Alumni Relations (50%)

Devise a comprehensive alumni relations program to draw alumni closer to and build affinity with Guerin Prep. Engage alumni for volunteer and networking opportunities, to gain feedback on the school’s strategic direction and to benefit from longer-term financial support.

Establish and serve as a staff liaison to the Alumni Association, providing vision and guidance in its oversight of reunions and regional receptions.

Build positive and productive relationships with Mother Theodore Guerin alumnae, Holy Cross alumni and Guerin Prep alumnae/i through a strategic and coordinated series of engagement opportunities. Create a comprehensive special events plan and calendar. Work with the Alumni Association to assume ownership of various alumni events over time (i.e., homecoming, alumni awards, and student engagement).

Maintain regular print and electronic communication with alumni to provide updates on other alumni, as well as overall initiatives.

Engage in direct contact and solicitation of select alumni via face-to-face, phone, email and social media. Conduct personal cultivation and solicitation visits to advance alumni giving.

Coordinate with various faculty and staff (i.e., Admissions, Academics, Athletics, IT) to host events on campus that support alumni relations.

Support activities and develop a culture within the present student body which prepares individuals to be active and engaged alumni upon completion of their time as Guerin Prep students.

Support the President and Advancement Team regarding targeted steward programs, from concept to implementation, as well as other Advancement initiatives.

Special Events (50%)

The Director is responsible for planning and implementing the annual fundraising events for Guerin Prep. The viability and usefulness of each event should be assessed to determine if any should be eliminated or if new ones should be launched. Currently, fundraising events include Guerinfest, The Scholarship Dinner, and Scholarship Golf Outing. In addition, there are other engagement events such as Career Day, Homecoming Tent, Memorial Mass, Distinguished Alumni/Wall of Honor and Athletic Hall of Fame. For each event, the Director will oversee all aspects, executing the required activities and managing volunteers to do so. The level of involvement will be based upon the number and engagement of volunteers.

Work with the Advancement Team to establish an annual calendar of events. Coordinate throughout the year to make adjustments as necessary.

Coordinate with the President and the event Co-Chairs, if applicable, to set the theme, strategy, and financial goals for each event.

Create, coordinate and monitor the event timeline to ensure deadlines are met. Track and monitor against the overall plan. Hold all involved accountable for the goals.

Oversee the budget for each event, including all revenue and expense expectations related to the event.

Create a marketing plan to appropriately promote and advertise the event. Determine use of save-the-date cards, invitations, and all other marketing and advertising pre-event. Provide expectations for all post-event communications.

Manage all communications with external providers, performers, and artists, including the execution of contracts. Obtain biographies & program content, tech rider, promotional materials, etc.

Provide event updates, as requested by the President or the Board, detailing expectations on attendance, sponsorships, marketing campaigns, etc.

Coordinate with the President and the Co-Chairs, if applicable, to secure sponsorships, underwriters, auction items, entertainment, advertisers or any other donations to support the event. Oversee the capture of the funds and donor information for recognition purposes.

Create and execute an attendee development plan for the event, utilizing support from the Development Coordinator for past event information, mailing lists, etc.

Engage faculty, staff, and other volunteers to assist with the execution of the event. Designate roles and responsibilities as appropriate.

Provide pre-event oversight of security, entertainment, facilities, housekeeping, and catering.

Prepare a recap report (i.e., attendees, sponsorships, gifts-in-kind, general feedback) utilizing input from the event team, with an eye toward potential improvements for future events. Ensure all attendee, donors and participant information is properly tracked in the stakeholder database, and all correspondences (i.e., acknowledgements, tax statements) are sent.

Evaluation

The Director will meet with the President at the beginning of each fiscal year to establish goals and objectives, as well as develop a schedule of activities for the year. Mid-year and at the end of each fiscal year, the President, using input from other partners in the school, will review the Director’s progress toward the overall plan.

General Qualifications

A bachelor’s degree in a relevant field and five plus years of experience in alumni engagement, advancement, or related experience in marketing, sales or public relations, as well as experience in event planning or event management.

Represents Guerin Prep in a positive manner internally and to the broader community. Able to formulate and articulate a clear vision and direction. Passionate about their work and driven for success.

Exceptional listener, with strong written and verbal communication skills. Experience with mass dissemination of information in both print and electronic forms, as well as social media strategies.

Strong computer skills and knowledge of database research and maintenance.

Experience in recruiting, training, and effectively directing parents, staff, students and other volunteers to ensure they understand and align to event goals.

Ability to work well individually or as part of larger team. Collaborative, inclusive, and transparent, while fostering positive working relationships.

Operates with honesty and integrity and treats others with respect. Operates in a confidential and professional manner, especially as it relates to high-level donors.

Excellent organizational skills, with a strong attention to detail. Ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously.

Skilled in negotiation and conflict resolution with the ability to handle difficult situations with tact.

Ability to make sound decisions and/or recommendations within and outside the department.

Conditions of Employment

Completion of Protecting God’s Children training

Criminal background check and fingerprinting

Reference checks

Flexible hours required

Inquiries and Correspondence

Starting Date. The start date is January 2, 2019. Interested and qualified candidates should electronically submit a resume, along with a letter of introduction and five professional references (name, address, telephone number, and email address) in a pdf file by December 3, 2018. The application can be submitted electronically to President Tom Bednar at tbednar@guerinprep.org, Subject: Director of Alumni Relations and Special Events

 


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