The Planetary Society Seeks Manager of Direct Response Giving
Are you an energetic fundraising professional with a passion for space, the desire to create grow a program, and to make your mark on a dynamic, evolving organization?
Like the universe itself, The Planetary Society is in expansion mode. We are growing our space science and exploration programs to new levels of excellence and achievement, and growing our support base to ensure that we are sustainable. We are creating an amazing team, and we plan nothing less than to change the world!
Do you have skills in telling captivating stories? Are you able to read the “stories” embedded in donor data? Are you adept with digital fundraising tools? Are you driven to help donors achieve their philanthropic goals by connecting them to a compelling mission and exciting programs? Have you created a record of successful work that causes you to swell with pride?
Our team needs someone like you; we need someone to help us break new ground in our quest to provide the resources vital to our continued growth and impact.
This is a full-time position in our headquarters situated in the world capital of planetary science and exploration: Pasadena, California. Please read our full position description and follow the directions to apply. We can’t wait to find out more about you!
Reporting to the Chief Development Officer and working jointly with the Development and the Marketing and Communications teams, the Manager of Direct Response - an exempt position - is responsible for providing effective project management for The Planetary Society’s direct appeals and crowdfunding programs; managing membership renewal, reinstatement and upgrade programs; supporting the continuing development, integrity, and integration of fundraising databases; preparing management reports on key indicators tied to appeals and membership programs; and preparing revenue and expense projections for direct response programs for the annual budget.
The position has a direct line of reporting to the Chief Development Officer.
Appeals – 40%
Work closely with the Chief Development Officer and other staff in the Development and Membership Department and the Communications Department to develop direct appeal and crowdfunding campaigns that support Society-wide initiatives.
Manage a comprehensive direct appeals program, including strategies to solicit Planetary Society Members, leverage giving societies, acquire new non-member donors, and increase average gift amounts. Provide focus for converting 50,000+ Members to supporters of appeals, as well.
Work with the Chief Development Officer, the Manager of Membership, Manager of Data Processing, the Society’s direct appeal contractor (Schultz & Williams), and the Chief Communications Officer on themes, value propositions, and artistic concepts for annual direct appeals. Actively explore, plan, and implement new, creative strategies to acquire and retain donors through data-driven mass solicitation. Work with necessary stakeholders and staff to ensure all communications are in line with organizational messaging.
Provide project management for the appeals program, including preparing and executing an annual plan for 4 to 6 multi-channel direct appeal campaigns (including mail, email, social media, and other channels) to support the general operating needs of the Society as well as select special projects.
Determine audience segmentation and ensure coding and suppressions are being applied.
Create appeal codes for all mailings and e-mails; ensure all source codes are created and applied to donor records for tracking purposes.
Implement and monitor test plans, metrics and analysis of fundraising campaigns to increase response and upgrade rates.
Provide quality control for all direct solicitation efforts throughout development, approval and printing processes, including final proofing of copy, design and print production.
Work with Development and Marketing and Communications staff to prepare website landing pages, donation forms, and other related web elements to support appeals, ensuring website capabilities and fundraising related content is current, aligned, and optimized in support of fundraising objectives.
Maintain awareness of industry trends, benchmarks and innovations, using them to further inform recommendations.
Manage crowdfunding campaigns working with external partners such as Omaze and Kickstarter to raise funds to support Society programs and special projects.
Working with the direct appeals contractor (Schultz and Williams), assist in the preparation and monitoring of results reports utilizing software applications such as Raiser’s Edge, Luminate, and Crystal Reports.
Develop and maintain a framework for tracking, evaluating, and optimizing campaign performance and engagement metrics; analyze and translate anecdotal or qualitative data into recommendations and plans.
Partner with Schultz & Williams to understand campaign performance to determine which strategies are most effective and which ones should be eliminated.
Establish a "test and learn" culture that helps to drive response rates; leverage key learnings across direct response programs to stimulate lift in response.
Assist in the development and monitoring of annual budget projections, both revenue and expenses, for appeals. Identify and manage direct response campaign costs, and make recommendations on how to best deploy allocated resources for each campaign, whether internal or via external vendors.
Manage project workflows and timelines to ensure projects are delivered on time, accurately, and on budget.
Membership – 25%
Work closely with the Chief Development Officer and other staff in the Development and Membership Department and the Marketing and Communication Department to manage membership acquisition, renewals and reinstatements, and upgrades to support the Society’s mission, to maximize income, and to reach a goal of 75,000 members by the end of the 2024 fiscal year.
Working with the Chief Development Officer, Manager of Membership, the Marketing and Communications Department, and outside contractors (S&W and Optikal), manage programs designed to increase the size and amount of financial support of the Society’s membership.
prepare and execute annual direct mail renewal series to retain and upgrade existing members,
prepare and execute annual direct mail reinstatement appeal to inspire lapsed members to rejoin,
manage efforts to recruit members via crowdfunding campaigns,
participate in gift membership acquisition and then manage gift membership renewals,
participate in the periodic update the email welcome series,
work with Development and Communications staff to prepare website landing pages, donation forms, and other related web elements to support membership renewals, upgrades, and reinstatements.
Support broad development goals by identifying mid-level prospects who can be elevated to higher levels of giving, targeting prospects for special additional touches such as personal emails, telephone calls, and/or visits. Make creative connections between and among people, events, programs, and their associated circles.
Working with outside contractors (for direct response and marketing), assist in the preparation and monitoring of results reports related to membership renewal, reinstatement, and upgrades.
Develop and monitor annual budget projections for membership renewals and reinstatement.
Analytics: Budget & Key Indicators – 15%
Work with the Chief Development Officer, Development Director, Chief Operating Officer, Chief Financial Officer, and other staff in the Development and Membership Department to apply analytics to data related to the Society’s fundraising activities.
Work with the Director of Development to develop reports that document key performance indicators for appeals, crowdfunding, and membership as identified in the Society’s strategic framework.
Assist in analyzing fundraising revenue patterns, preparing revenue and expense projections, and monitoring budget expenses for appeals, crowdfunding, and membership programs.
Assist with analysis of data related to the Society’s members and supporters for the evaluation of various fundraising and/or mission-related programs.
Other Duties – 5%
Perform other duties as required.
3-5 years of experience in direct response; experience using online tools, processes and techniques for donor development, engagement, recruitment, retention, conversions, and list building; experience using/managing a complex database.
Must possess knowledge of fundraising principles and practices, including aptitude for the management and effective use of information systems in support of fundraising.
High level of knowledge and competence in the use of fundraising systems such as Blackbaud's Raiser's Edge, Luminate, ImportOmatic, and Crystal Reports (or equivalent software applications), as well as Microsoft Excel.
Knowledge of social media, including Facebook Business Manager tools, including Instagram ads, Google Adwords.
Strong self-motivation and the ability to work as a team member.
Detail oriented, organized, and adept at managing and prioritizing multiple deadlines.
Commitment to maintaining confidentiality and a high degree of accuracy in member and donor records.
Must maintain a professional, polished demeanor.
Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively and relate well to members, donors, and staff, and others while maintaining appropriate confidentiality.
Must be able to work an irregular schedule, evenings or Saturday as needed, additional hours during peak times or as required.
Proficiency with Microsoft Office.
Strong written, verbal and visual communication skills.
Ability to think creatively, strategically and analytically.
A commitment The Planetary Society's core values: passion, credibility, optimism, integrity, effectiveness.
Salary is commensurate with qualifications and experience
Medical and dental insurance
403(b) retirement savings plan
11 holidays + vacation and sick leave
Group Term Life insurance
Long-term and short-term disability
Supportive work environment
Beautiful location in Pasadena, CA
The Planetary Society is an equal-opportunity employer. We prioritize diversity at all levels of our work. Job applicants from all backgrounds are encouraged to apply.
How To Apply
Applications will be accepted until the position is filled, with application reviews commencing immediately. Your submission should include a resume, cover letter and a list of references. Please email your submission to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Let's Change the World
Become a member of The Planetary Society and together we will create the future of space exploration.