Director Member Engagement

Church & Missions Full Time

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The Mission Advancement unit of the LCMS works closely with Synod’s Communications unit to raise awareness in the broader church about mission and ministry efforts of the Office of National Mission, the Office of International Mission, and Pastoral Education which all report to the Chief Mission Officer. The Chief Mission Officer, on behalf of the President, shall supervise the fundraising and contributor care activity of the national office according to the policies established by the Board of Directors of the Synod.

Reporting Relationships

  • Reports to the Executive Director, Mission Advancement

Essential Job Functions

  • The Director plans, schedules, leads/directs, and manages all aspects of an annual, recurring comprehensive constituent/contributor engagement effort connecting the LCMS to approximately 30,000 individuals and families every year, as well as congregations and other church-related organizations. The ideal candidate will be tech-savvy, carrying experience in constituent segment identification and management, data extraction, data management and hygiene, query-building, and managing complex, sometimes overlapping production plans.
  • This position plays a key leadership role in defining how the LCMS can connect with first-time contributors (engaging new donors), retain and affirm actively involved contributors, and reconnect with past contributors (donors who made their last contribution[s]) five or more years ago) - as vital facets of a comprehensive advancement strategy.
  • This Director leverages the tools of direct mail, a small team of telephone callers, electronic and web-based marketing/communications, and other available and specialized constituent engagement tools/strategies.
  • With input from leadership, create and manage an annual plan for the wide audience appeals and stakeholder information (awareness raising) efforts of the LCMS, and support the wide audience work of related corporate customers (KFUO Radio, Lutheran Center for Religious Liberty) as time and available resources permit.
  • Direct and coordinate the printing and distribution strategy for wide audience appeals on behalf of the LCMS, its ministry units, and related corporate customers. Coordinate and approve contracts with vendors, and complete required purchase orders paid out of budgeted Mission Advancement resources.
  • As a member of the senior Mission Advancement management team (Cabinet), provide the Executive Director of Mission Advancement and other directors with collegial professional support and counsel on all aspects of the Unit’s work. Offers honest input regarding how best to steward the unit’s human, material and financial resources.
  • Assist the Executive Director of Mission Advancement in completing all work required to propose, maintain and/or modify the unit’s annual operating plan and budget, including determining projections for voluntary charitable giving and the cost of personnel and activities required to meet organizational objectives.
  • Support the unit’s Contributor Care team through a willingness to address more complex contributor/constituent questions or concerns, and amicably bring to a resolution where contributors may be dissatisfied or upset.
  • Guide the shaping, writing, modifying, and dissemination of critical policies and procedures impacting annual contributor engagement, wide audience engagements, contributor care, and unit accountability efforts.
  • At the direction of the unit executive, assume management responsibility for projects and work that do not fall readily or cleanly into the spheres of Missionary Support, Transformative Giving, Campaigns/Special Initiatives, or Pastoral Formation and Care, such as wide audience engagement in the wake of major disasters, etc.
  • Other duties and responsibilities as assigned by the Synod President, the Chief Mission Officer, or the Executive Director of Mission Advancement.

Education and Experience

  • An active member in good standing in the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod is preferred.
  • A minimum of a bachelor’s degree, preferably in communications, marketing, nonprofit management or a related field; a master’s degree is strongly preferred.
  • Ten or more years of experience in promoting large, complex, national and/or international nonprofit causes with a focus on donor engagement.
  • Ten years’ experience in fundraising or nonprofit advancement, including manager-level experience in a non-profit environment.
  • Experience managing a program budget of $1 million+.
  • Professional fund-raising/advancement certification is preferred (e.g. CFRE or similar).

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Understands and can embrace the doctrine, teaching, and mission of the LCMS
  • Above-average knowledge of and familiarity with LCMS structure, congregations, leadership, church workers, auxiliaries, and/or partners of the Synod.
  • Technologically fluent, comfortable with database systems, demonstrable ability to build complex extraction queries that define relevant engagement segments.
  • Creative spirit, open to identifying and designing opportunities for improved engagement efforts that will resonate with Synod individuals and groups not normally involved in LCMS mission and ministry.
  • Exceptional organizational, time-management and priority-setting skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to set and meet deadlines, lead/support teams and inspire others toward excellence.
  • Demonstrated ability to plan, organize, execute and evaluate complex integrated mass audience appeal strategies while remaining open to new approaches and strategies for resource development.
  • Strong background in the production of print appeals, including experience in vendor relations, bids and contracts, production processes and cost/deliverables negotiations.
  • Ability to function in a management system that emphasizes doctrinal consistency, donor retention-focused results, and personal accountability.
  • Ability to oversee, mentor and coach a team of 5-10 full- and part-time staff.
  • Strong interpersonal communication skills, both written and oral.
  • Strong analytical skills, able to identify on the basis of market segment performance data areas of opportunity for improvement.
  • Strong working knowledge of Christian stewardship principles and the ability to apply those principles in a fundraising/advancement environment.
  • Ability to relate easily to clergy and lay leadership as well as to a variety of people in order to secure their interest, involvement and investment in the work of Synod.
  • Possesses a strong understanding board governance, purpose and structure, as well as trends, issues and media pertaining to the sector.
  • Possesses a high-level of financial acumen and is comfortable with discussing the organization’s budget/financial model and relevant economic conditions.
  • Strong desire and enthusiasm for pursuing professional growth and networking opportunities through professional association memberships and training events.
  • Open to periodic travel.

Supervisory Responsibility

  • This position is the primary point of contact with the Synod’s direct mail production vendor (Meyer Partners), and is responsible for directly supervising the following staff in Mission Advancement:
    • Coordinator – Donor Information/Data Extraction
    • Coordinator – Engagement Operations
    • Manager, Data Integrity

This position is the primary team link to a contracted multi-channel planning and production firm and plays a significant role in coordinating production schedules with LCMS Communications, KFUO Radio, and/or any contracted vendor(s) who print and distribute wide-audience marketing (solicitation and awareness raising) materials on behalf of Synod and these related ministries.

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