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Assistant Director of Donor Communications

University of Colorado
Colorado, United States
$81,000.00 - $85,000.00
Closing date
Jan 4, 2022

The Assistant Director of Donor Communications supports various donor communications strategies for the University of Colorado. This primarily entails overseeing the creation of compelling, memorable, and imaginative communications that share CU’s story with donors so they’re inspired to support what matters to them.

Primary duties include managing, creating, and optimizing philanthropic donor communications through messaging platforms, stories and narratives, creative and process strategy, partner relationships, and project development.  This position supervises a small team that creates written, visual, and event content—and frequently creates that content, too.

This role is a vital part of a Marketing and Communications team that pushes new creative boundaries with every project. We are a visionary and inventive group whose work backs our mission: inspiring donors to support CU to improve lives in Colorado and around the world.

This position reports to the Executive Director of Marketing and Communications and is exempt from the State of Colorado Classified Staff system.

The CU System Office of Advancement provides excellent customer service, strategy, expertise, and efficiency to our partners on CU’s campuses and at the University of Colorado Foundation. We support CU’s fundraising and engagement goals through advancement operations that include constituent research and development, data management, business intelligence, technical architecture, annual giving, planned giving, marketing and communications, IT, budget and finance, and more. We believe that a healthy office culture is foundational to our success. We create this by bringing together a diverse team of colleagues and infusing our core values—Work Together, Think Big, Be Good and Have Fun—into our work every day.

Duties and responsibilities of the position include, but are not limited to:

Develop a broad donor communications strategy that results in strong brand, identity, and direction for CU advancement communications.

Direct the development of donor communications platforms, including all their components, such as messaging, channels, audiences, timelines, and deliverables.

Oversee the execution of creative output, including writing, editing, design, photography, video, illustration, and animation while ensuring they meet quality and brand guidelines.

Partner with annual giving, planned giving, events, stewardship and campus teams to develop creative for donor communications.

Write, edit, and produce creative materials in varied media to support fundraising, including gift solicitation, stewardship, and other communications.

Manage team members (2 full-time equivalent [FTE] professionals) and hire and train employees within the department.

Support multi-campus advancement leadership communications related to presidential-level engagement.

Determine both short- and long-term project roadmaps for the donor communications team.

Collaborate with marketing colleagues to develop enhanced audience-analysis and marketing-intelligence strategies.

Hire and manage contract freelancers and vendors, as needed.

Help author strategic performance plans to support the objectives of CU, System Advancement, and the team.

Maintain quality oversight by conducting regular reviews of team members’ work to evaluate for accuracy and overall delivery of services and customer experience.

Provide regular feedback to team members and coach for improvement.

To be successful in this position, candidates will need the following:

Expert team leadership skills.

Expert project management skills.

Expert verbal and written communication skills.

Expert writing, storytelling, editing, and proofreading skills.

Knowledge of strategic communications principles related to higher education or philanthropy.

Ability to develop strategic donor communications plans that are predicated on consistent messaging, precise audiences, and communications calendars.

Ability to create original compelling and inspirational content for donor audiences.

Ability to think visually and create content ideas related to page design, graphic design, photography, web, audio, and video.

Ability to generate content ideas through brainstorms, research, interviews, and other means.

Knowledge of layout and graphic design principles.

Knowledge of brand-adherence principles.

Knowledge of principles related to photography, video production, website design, social media, eComm platforms, and content management (CMS) tools.

Collaboration skills, including the ability to work with various partners, including donors, fundraisers, executives, peers, and academic leaders.

Exceptional interpersonal skills and abilities: communication, listening, teamwork, transparency, integrity, and open-mindedness.

Ability to create goals that can be identified, measured, and tracked.

Strong organizational, time-management, and problem-solving skills.

Strong knowledge of and skill using Microsoft Office applications.

Knowledge of Associated Press (AP) or similar grammar style and usage guidelines.

Minimum Qualifications

Please ensure your resume includes any and all relevant experience to be accurately assessed against these qualifications.  You must meet all minimum requirements listed at the time of application to be considered for this role.

Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution of higher education in communications or field of study related to the work performed, or equivalent professional experience (the educational requirement may be substituted for professional experience on a year for year basis).

Five (5) years of professional communications experience, which also includes:

Three (3) years of experience writing and editing content for publications

One (1) year of experience in a lead or supervisory role, which may include assigning and reviewing the work of others, providing guidance to internal and external team members, and/or assisting management with performance reviews. 

Preferred Qualifications

Seven (7) years of professional communications experience, as indicated above.

Two (2) years of experience in a lead or supervisory role, as indicated above.

Experience working in higher education or at a nonprofit.

Experience managing external vendors or internal clients

Understanding of and experience  with hypertext markup language (HTML), cascading style sheets (CSS), and user interface/user experience (UI/UX) principles.

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