UCD Foundation: Alumni Communications Manager

UCD Foundation


UCD Foundation engages in fundraising and alumni engagement to support University College Dublin in its pursuit of world-class education, teaching, research and innovation. Six Colleges and their constituent Schools make up the academic structure of UCD. Alumni Relations, Annual Giving, Information Services and Development make up the UCD Foundation’s Development and Alumni teams’ structure.


The Alumni Communications Manager will report to the Associate Director of Alumni Relations and will be responsible for implementing core components of UCD’s strategy, fostering excellent alumni relations engagement that will build and strengthen relationships between the University and its community of nearly 300,000 graduates to maximise and deepen alumni engagement with the University.

This is a new pivotal role within the UCD Development and Alumni Relations team. With the growth of the team and the growth in activity, the need has arisen to develop branding, streamline communications, build on audience segmentation, and connect alumni and development messaging and tone. The Alumni Communications Manager will drive the development, launch and coordination of communications and content strategies and programmes. In addition, will provide expertise on branding and identity and will be a key engagement link with our alumni worldwide - to showcase the University and continue to build its global reputation. This role will involve relationship management and engaging various audiences through collaboration and the development of mutually beneficial relationships within and beyond the University. In addition to managing a broad variety of projects and adapting plans to consider the needs and concerns of different audiences across different channels - educating alumni, donors and prospects on UCD’s research, philanthropy, sport, student activity, and promoting and showcasing our alumni achievements and stories to the wider audience.

This position is an exciting opportunity for a creative, technical, resourceful, motivated, strategic, ambitious and diligent individual to join a highly successful team.

The Manager will lead the Digital Engagement Officer and have oversight of digital engagement on social platforms, website, email and UCD purpose-built platforms.

Main Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Lead and implement a branding and identity project for the Alumni Relations team
  • In collaboration with team members, create and implement impactful supporter journeys
  • Manage and deliver a marketing and communications strategy
  • Develop templates for use within email platforms for alumni and donor communications
  • Actively co-lead a Communications Working Group across Alumni, Annual Giving and Development teams
  • Develop consistent, accurate and appropriate information-sharing mechanisms across teams
  • Lead the Digital Engagement Officer to deliver a significant increase in engagement on social channels, website traffic and email engagement including the delivery of an annual Year in Review video
  • Develop and implement the use of tools to monitor and analyse segments within our email platform
  • Use communications and marketing campaigns to create a pipeline of donors, volunteers and engaged alumni who are our ambassadors across the world
  • Manage people, budgets, projects and relationships in a fast-paced and changing environment.

Relationship Management

  • Liaise with Alumni Relations, Annual Giving, Information Services and Development team members to ensure effective internal communication
  • Build strong relationships with key units and stakeholders across the University, including senior academics and professional staff
  • Collaborate with the Information Services team to ensure data drives and defines communications engagement activities and strategy
  • Lead special communications projects with the Communications Specialist and Working Group members
  • Collaborate with the Communications Specialist to ensure effective management of imagery, including consent forms, stock photography and managing use of UCD-owned images
  • Collaborate with all teams to ensure consistency of messaging and voice across web, email and social media.

Team Management and Reporting

  • Take full line management responsibility for the Digital Engagement Officer - allocating tasks, monitoring progress, motivating, and supporting professional development
  • Work closely across the team on various projects to deliver the programme outlined above
  • Contribute significantly to the strategic direction and growth of the Development and Alumni Relations team.

Strategy Development

  • Take the lead, in consultation with team members, on developing and implementing the Alumni and Development Marketing and Communications strategy
  • Provide leadership, motivation and support to maintain the quality of the team’s output so that the University’s and UCD Development and Alumni objectives are achieved
  • Develop communications and marketing strategies to grow and engage the alumni audience, identifying innovative ways of connecting with ‘Lost Alumni’
  • Work with the Alumni Engagement Group - a cross-University group with an alumni engagement remit, who meet quarterly to progress alumni relations priorities - to build on the progress achieved to date
  • Conduct bi-annual surveys in conjunction with team members to increase alumni engagement and strategically optimise the overall offering to alumni.

Fundraising support

  • Collaborate with the Annual Giving and Development teams to ensure we are leveraging alumni engagement to devise, implement and drive fundraising to create a pipeline of new donors
  • Assess and advise on appropriate timing for donor and prospective donor communications in the context of the overall communications strategy
  • Assist with the categorisation of newly engaged alumni segments based on behaviour or interests
  • Drive support from alumni on digital platforms and in print
  • Collaborate with the Communications Specialist and Working Group members to develop cohesive messaging of UCD funding needs and major campaigns.

Finance & Suppliers

  • Responsible for all relevant budgets and reporting, including cost management and monitoring return on investment targets, planning and management of design agencies and marketing budgets
  • Manage service providers, ensuring that third parties are cost-effective and budget is always used effectively, with maximum impact.

Data & GDPR

  • Work closely with the Information Services team to develop plans to ensure the team gathers accurate and complete alumni details
  • Work closely with the Director of Annual Giving to ensure compliance with GDPR on all marketing and communications channels
  • Work closely with the Information Services team on providing a new platform for the Alumni Community.


  • Proactively monitor the external alumni relations environment and content landscape to seek out, develop and successfully implement innovative ideas that contribute to the achievement of the Development and Alumni Relations strategy.

Suitable candidates will possess the following experience and professional characteristics:

  • Five years relevant experience working as a manager in marketing, communications, alumni relations, stakeholder engagement or fundraising with a track record of achieving results
  • Proven track record of delivering and managing the rollout of a marketing and communications strategy, including identity and branding
  • Experience in devising, creating and implementing supporter journeys
  • Creating templates and leading a team on their use
  • Tracking, analysing and reporting on the performance of communications campaigns
  • Proven track record of managing a team to deliver key performance targets on time within budget
  • Experience and understanding of Alumni Relations and fundraising an advantage
  • Thorough understanding of GDPR and how it impacts communications with key stakeholders
  • Supervisory problem solving
  • Co-ordinate, analyse, critically assess and evaluate information to reach a decision
  • Motivated, flexible, agile, adaptable and adept in using initiative in a dynamic environment
  • Ability to work with others and creatively engage with colleagues and volunteers
  • Highly developed organisational, planning and multi-tasking skills and prioritisation to meet deadlines
  • Exceptional interpersonal, verbal and written communication skills, paying great attention to detail
  • Should be familiar with and understand the risks of contracts and SLA agreements
  • Experience with Raiser's Edge or a similar database
  • A degree in a relevant discipline.

What You Can Expect from Us

You will be part of a dynamic, fast-paced organisation with an entrepreneurial and inclusive culture where you will be working in a close-knit and collaborative team environment.

UCD Foundation has a structured formal and informal training programme that all staff may avail of.

This is an exciting new role and offers an opportunity to make the role your own with great potential for development.

Additional details/ Application process

This position is for a 1-year period with the possibility of renewal. An attractive remuneration and benefits package is available for this post. Interested applicants should apply with a CV and cover letter to sierra.bower@ucdfoundation.ie by Friday 23 April 2021.

Informal enquiries can be directed to sinead.dolan@ucdfoundation.ie

Candidates will be required to prepare and deliver a presentation as part of the interview process.

Further information on the work we do can be found on the following websites:
www.ucd.ie/alumni        www.ucdfoundation.ie               www.ucd.ie

Note: This Job Description may be subject to change to reflect the UCD Development and Alumni Relations Office’s evolving requirements.

General Info

Date Entered/Updated
1st Apr, 2021
Expiry Date
23rd Apr, 2021