Director, Donor Relations – Volunteer Leadership

Job ID
Location : Location
US-MA-Woods Hole

Job Summary

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is seeking a Director of  Donor Relations - Volunteer Leadership to join our Advancement department.  Reporting to the Vice President for Advancement and Chief Marketing Officer and the Chief Development Officer, this position will manage activities/functions of volunteer groups at Woods Hole Oceanographic, including the Corporation, Life Trustees, Board of Trustees’ Advancement Committee, regional chapters, and President’s Council. Primary responsibilities include communication with volunteer leaders, planning and execution of meetings and events, preparation of related materials, management of nominating processes, and member cultivation and stewardship.


This position works closely with the multiple partners across the Advancement Team, members of the Communications Team, and the Director’s office. The diverse functions of this position require the ability to juggle competing priorities, initiative, proactive problem-solving and a high level of diplomacy. Flexibility, discretion and confidentiality are required.


WHOI is seeking a highly detailed, articulate, and poised professional who thrives as a self-starter. Excellent written and spoken communications skills as well as a strong customer service mentality are a must. This is a regular, full-time, exempt position, and is eligible for full benefits.

Essential Functions

  • Serve as primary point of contact for volunteers with respect to general questions, meeting schedules, and other routine communications.
  • Ensure that fundraisers are kept up-to-date on volunteer engagements.
  • Develop relationships with volunteers to further enhance their engagement with WHOI.
  • Serve as one of the main staffing contacts for the Corporation Executive Committee, which includes assisting in the management of the Advancement, Advisory, Ambassador and Nominating Committees and the DEI liaisons.
  • In conjunction with the Director’s Office and Events team, oversee the development and delivery of agendas, content, and logistics related to joint meetings of the WHOI Trustees and Corporation Members.
  • In collaboration with the Director’s Office and VP of Advancement, lead communications, planning, stewardship, and events for the newly established President’s Council, which is comprised of donors who have contributed $1 million or more to WHOI.
  • Track interactions and communications with volunteers in Raiser’s Edge.
  • Maintain volunteer membership coding in the database.
  • Develop metrics to measure volunteer engagement and report progress regularly.
  • Oversee and/or coordinate with Development team on stewardship and engagement activities related to volunteers.
  • Draft and send communications from WHOI to members of the Corporation and Life Trustees.
  • Work closely with the Events Team to ensure that volunteers have access to and information about upcoming events.
  • Attend occasional night and weekend events and activities that involve volunteers.
  • Work with the Director’s Office and Communications Department to maximize positive name association with Life Trustee and Corporation and Chapter members.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Education & Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree required. Master’s degree preferred.
  • Five plus years of relevant work experience, preferably in a non-profit setting.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and proven ability to foster effective working relationships with Board members, executive and senior staff members, major donors, and fundraisers.
  • Ability to navigate a complex organization with professionalism and diplomacy.
  • Must have the ability to work independently and as a member of a team.

Special Requirements

  • WHOI has a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy in effect, where you must register your full vaccination status [vaccination plus booster] in order to begin your employment. The registration process is confidential and entails submitting your official vaccination records, or requesting to engage in the interactive exemption process for either a medical or religious reason

Physical Requirements

This position is mostly sedentary, and works with and around others as well as working alone at times.  We welcome all to apply to this position.


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