Senior Director, Advancement Communications

Posted on 09/03/2021

Bryant University

Smithfield, RI

Reports to: Vice President for University Advancement

Position Summary: 

This position reports to the Vice President for University Advancement and is accountable for overseeing the creation and implementation of a comprehensive advancement communication strategy that builds on existing programs, channels and staff, and which ties into the broader University communications effort, to create general awareness and engagement across all audiences.

Principal Accountabilities: 

  • Design, develop and implement an overarching strategic advancement communications and marketing plan, across multiple platforms, that is innovative, progressive and proactive in order to build awareness and engagement for the University’s constituents with a prime focus on Annual Giving, Capital Campaigns (as needed) and the priorities of the University.  Purposefully integrate Alumni, parent and donor communications to create a seamless and cohesive message.  Use data analytics to continually evaluate and refine communications and marketing plan.
  • Oversee content creation process for print, digital, video and storytelling, marketing and communications for University Advancement.  Work collaboratively with the VP and UA Management team to deploy resources in support of Development, Alumni and Parent Engagement teams.
  • As the lead writer/editor, oversee creation and editorial process for Development case statements, concept papers, principal and major gift proposals, Annual Reports and donor stewardship recognition.
  • Oversee donor stewardship program.  Working with the Development Office, create an annual plan to recognize, incent and generate awareness for philanthropy through ongoing communications, recognition activities, invitations to key events and interaction with beneficiaries.
  • Work to develop a brand for Bryant University’s Advancement Team that helps generate awareness and engagement through print, digital and video.  Leverage existing assets and develop new platforms, programs and messaging vehicles to increase alumni, parent, student and friend engagement, helping to increase donor participation and revenue as well.
  • Manage and develop a team of writers and stewardship professional, while actively contributing to content development.  Work with assigned team with respect to managing strategy, writing across all media, targeting specific audiences, creating messages and connect content across platforms and programs.
  • Provide editorial and personnel oversight for existing UA publications, including Engage newsletter and Around and Beyond the Archway enewsletters.  Explore the feasibility of developing additional online formats to support constituent and alumni communications.
  • Establish a communications planning processes that reflects current priorities and goals for the Bryant Fund, campaigns (as needed) and the advancement office. Work with Bryant Fund and other UA staff to map a communications timeline that coincides with appeal timelines, to aid in monthly and yearly calendar targets.
  • Work collaboratively with colleagues across Advancement and Alumni to create a truly integrated advancement communications program.
  • Work collaboratively with colleagues in University Relations to ensure that Advancement communications messaging is consistent with University communication initiatives.
  • Identify targets, develop, and strengthen existing measurements of return on investment metrics with the end goal of using data to enhance UA communications and marketing to support increased participation, a stronger pipeline of alumni donors, and increased average annual gifts in support of strategic planning priorities.
  • Provide guidance and assistance for scripts and spoken words at Presidential, Advancement and University Events.
  • Other duties as assigned.


  • The ideal candidate will have 15+ years of experience in marketing and communications, ideally in Higher Education.
  • Proven ability to develop and implement a strategic communications and messaging plan across multiple platforms (print, digital, social media whether paid, earned or owned) targeting a wide variety of audiences and designed to meet institutional goals and priorities.
  • Requires demonstrated exemplary writing skills as well as creative and design sensibilities with strong understanding of the communications process from creative concept through production and execution.
  • Demonstrated experience using data mining and analytics to develop successful messaging that targets and influences key audiences.
  • Ability to build, develop and manage a communications and stewardship team as well as the ability to work collaboratively with colleagues within University Advancement and across the University.
This position may require non-traditional hours, including nights and weekends. Certain requirements are subject to possible modification to reasonably accommodate persons with disabilities.
Bryant University recognizes that its position as a leader in higher education is greatly determined both by the diversity of its campus community and its intellectual endeavors. Its commitment to link academic and social diversity for the benefit of the learning and living environment reflects its belief that excellence and diversity are mutually reinforcing objectives. We are committed to building an equitable and inclusive campus community, one that values individual difference and fosters greater understanding of the many facets of diversity and other distinctive characteristics that make us different. We encourage applications from candidates with an appreciation for and understanding of diverse backgrounds and experiences.

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