Senior Associate Director of Stewardship - Wharton External Affairs

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Senior Associate Director of Stewardship - Wharton External Affairs

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.

Posted Job Title
Senior Associate Director of Stewardship - Wharton External Affairs

Job Profile Title
Director B

Job Description Summary
Wharton External Affairs engages alumni and friends in meaningful, lifelong relationships with the School, sustaining and strengthening a culture of giving that creates positive impact among students and communities worldwide. Four External Affairs teams - Operations; Development; Alumni Relations; and Communications and Donor Relations - work collaboratively across the School and the University to secure philanthropic commitments that empower teaching and learning, research, and dynamic programs that comprise a leading global business education. Wharton celebrates diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging among its esteemed students, faculty, staff, and alumni.

The Senior Associate Director of Stewardship leads the Stewardship group within the Donor Relations team and is a central member of Wharton External Affairs. Donor Relations includes multiple channels with staff focusing in respective interconnected areas, including: Stewardship - focusing in writing donor acknowledgments, reports, and leadership messaging to engage donors; Development Communications - focusing in composing custom proposals, booklets, program overviews, web assets, and other materials to promote fundraising; and Other Donor Relations - focusing in family engagement, campus project recognition, and other activities.

Job Description

The Senior Associate Director of Stewardship plans and manages a School-wide, best practices stewardship program on behalf of Wharton External Affairs to thank donors and inspire continued and expanded giving. You will lead all areas of stewardship, including Dean's acknowledgments, donor reports, and senior leadership correspondence to engage donors. In addition to managing written correspondence to and about donors, you will engage in front-facing experiences, arranging opportunities for donors to meet with the student beneficiaries of their generosity at events such as the MBA Fellowship Celebration and executive board meetings, as well as individualized meetings. This entails close, coordinated partnership with gift officers and occasional direct correspondence with donors at all levels and constituencies - including major and principal gift donors, and members of Wharton's eight executive boards.

You will manage a team of four stewardship professionals, including an Associate Director and Staff Writers and provide the individualized guidance and coaching needed for success in their roles and positive outcomes of their work in partnership with others. The position reports to the Director of Donor Relations and is a highly collaborative role requiring diplomatic and interpersonal savvy, liaising with individuals across all levels of the institution, as well as externally in sending reports to donors and periodically communicating with alumni and other stakeholders. Serving as an ambassador of the stewardship program, you will foster relationships with an intricate network of partners across the School and the University - including the Dean's Office; gift officers, the Chief Advancement Officer, and others throughout External Affairs; undergraduate and graduate financial aid; a variety of research programs and centers; University Development and Alumni Relations; and others - in order to gather materials for reports and deliver personalized donor correspondence and meaningful experiences. You will apply your ability to navigate a variety of complex, time-critical projects and your commitment to leading a highly functional team in support of outstanding fundraising and engagement results through this role.

Specific duties and activities include:

  • Manage the stewardship reporting process for endowed and term scholarships, MBA and PhD fellowships, professorships, student and faculty awards, and programmatic funds, ensuring donors receive timely, personalized, accurate, and compelling reports that capture the impact of their generosity.
  • Direct acknowledgment and other letter processes, including condolences, congratulatory notes, meeting and event follow-up, and other messaging to position senior leadership in engaging donors.
  • Interface regularly with colleagues in Development and throughout External Affairs; the MBA Financial Aid office; programs, centers, and initiatives at Wharton; Undergraduate Financial Aid; and others across Penn to facilitate a best practices stewardship operation.
  • Contribute to special projects, including individualized and event-based donor and student beneficiary meet-ups and special touchpoints such as photo books.
  • Research particularities of stewarded funds as needed and assist with development and implementation of stewardship strategies, policies, and procedures.
  • Manage a team of four stewardship professionals, providing individualized support and guidance and ensuring delivery of quality and timely letters and reports.


  • A Bachelor's degree is preferred and 5 to 7 years of experience in stewardship and communications or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Exceptional verbal, written, and interpersonal skills and an ability to interact with senior level executives and administrators and periodically with donors.
  • Excellent project management and strategic planning skills, with an acute ability to manage multiple deadlines and track activities in a fast-paced, high-volume environment.
  • Experience with creating and refining communications processes to write, review, send, and record a high volume of correspondence in a personalized, efficient manner.
  • Outstanding detail orientation and proven ability in writing, editing, and proofreading.
  • Managerial experience or a deep interest in gaining the opportunity to provide professional development and coaching to a team of individuals reporting to you.
  • Proven technical literacy and strong familiarity with Microsoft Office, especially Word, Excel and Outlook, mail merge and platforms and methods to efficiently send high volume personalized email and print mail.
  • Position will require a limited number of evening and weekend work and travel to staff alumni and donor events.

Required Documents

Cover letter


Job Location - City, State
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Department / School
Wharton School

Pay Range
$59,703.00 - $113,435.00

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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