Assistant Director, Direct Marketing

Columbia University | New York, New York


Columbia University is geared as never before to address world issues from climate change to social justice. The Columbia Commitment builds partnerships with donors and volunteers sharing an urgent sense of what Columbians can do for our students and the world.

Job Summary

Reporting to the Senior Associate Director for Annual Fund Programs in the Office of Alumni and Development, the Assistant Director, Direct Marketing is an important member of the Annual Fund Programs team.

The Assistant Director leads in the planning, implementation, and management of annual fund solicitations for various schools and/or programs and manages direct mail, e-mail, and call center project strategies, implementation, and analysis including editing written copy and reviewing live proofs for other projects within Annual Fund Programs. Works with multiple internal constituents and manages vendors as direct marketing projects are brought to completion. Projects may involve copy writing for print, web, and phone, in addition to start-to-finish execution of given projects or coordination and oversight of a defined aspect of a project, depending on the needs of the office at the time. 


  • Develop and implement comprehensive and integrated direct marketing solicitation strategies to secure gift income for various annual funds at Columbia University through mail, phone, and electronic communications. 
  • Collaborate with annual fund unit partners and colleagues in direct marketing solicitations to implement strategy, timing, messages, segmentation, and populations. Expected to anticipate and interpret the needs of unit partners. 
  • Guide and participate in the creation of direct mail and e-mail content, including working with other staff to craft effective solicitations. Draft and edit direct mail, e-mail, digital, and phone copy for style, accuracy, grammar, spelling and punctuation, and prepare for publication. 
  • Assist in the day-to-day management of the student calling program and operations including, but not limited to, facilitating up-to-date creative materials, assist with strategy recommendation, information sharing among teammates, and manage inquiries from partners and any follow-up questions from calling. 
  • Proactively manage graphic designers, production artists, print vendors, mail houses and postal authorities, from bidding process to completion of project. 
  • Submit database query requests for mailing lists to database technical team. Manage data query projects with database team to ensure accuracy of the list. Create electronic data files of mailing lists for annual giving solicitations and related mailings. Implement e-mail solicitations via mass e-mail utility. 
  • Ensure messages align with messaging at the school, unit, and University level. 
  • Analyze and report ROI and cost-benefit analysis of direct marketing projects; understands database processes for capturing gift, demographic, and other data 
  • Independently analyze data related to solicitation result tracking, segment composition, and population performance. Provide cost benefit analysis of direct marketing projects outlining the return on investment. 
  • Assist with the planning and execution of Columbia Giving Day


Bachelor's degree and/or its equivalent required, including a minimum of 2 years of related experience.

Ability to travel on occasion required. Proficient in Microsoft Office required.

The ideal candidate will be deadline-driven with strong writing skills and an intense attention to detail. In addition, this individual will be proactive in client and vendor management, anticipating problems that may arise and quickly and independently resolving unforeseen situations along the way. Demonstrated ability to work in a high pressure, fast-paced environment. Demonstrated excellence in a variety of competencies including: project management, teamwork, analytical thinking and client/customer awareness. Must possess the ability to work with changing priorities and multiple projects. Excellent analytical, organizational, interpersonal, oral and written communication skills, including a high level of attention to detail and active listening skills. Must be able to problem-solve and troubleshoot, in addition to the ability to work independently in a dynamic team environment. Demonstrated ability to effectively partner with a diverse group of administrators and academic leaders. Must be able to negotiate issues, resolve problems and have strong influencing skills.

The successful candidate must be a strategic thinker, effective in moving strategic agendas, ensure the utmost discretion in all matters, as well as possess an ability to work well with all levels of management, both internally and externally, be flexible in nature, have a sound judgment with a collaborative style that fosters teamwork and cooperation beyond the immediate team to the broader organization. Must have a passion for excellent customer service and commitment to exceptional quality. 

Preferred Qualifications

Prior experience in annual fund is preferred. Work experience in higher educational institution, or other complex organization, highly preferred. 

Columbia University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.


Commensurate with experience


Benefits: Medical and dental coverage, tuition exemption, retirement contributions and more.


Organization: Educational Institutions