Associate Director, Annual Giving (Communications)

Posted on 10/21/2021

Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh, PA

Carnegie Mellon is enjoying its most productive fundraising years in its history, raising more than $500M over the last three years. University Advancement (UA) supports the entire CMU community in securing the financial resources the university needs to continue its ascent. As the division grows, we are seeking an associate director, Annual Giving (Communications). This is an exciting opportunity if you thrive in an interesting and challenging work environment. Reporting to the executive director, Annual Giving and as an integral member of the annual giving staff, you will write and edit all annual giving collateral, from inception to completion, with the goal of generating gifts from prospects and donors. This includes, but is not limited to: letters, direct mail copy, social media copy, emails, video scripts, event support materials and articles. You will work closely with the office of Advancement Communications and other staff across the University Advancement division. You should bring a creative approach to writing as well as extensive experience in annual giving communications, and exceptional writing and editing skills.

Your core responsibilities will include:

  • Developing messaging for annual giving solicitation materials in various formats (mail, telemarketing, email, web and social) in partnership with the annual giving team;
  • Serving as a member of the annual giving strategy team to assist in the development of solicitation strategies including audience segmentation, solicitation format and themes;
  • Coordinating solicitation designs with the University Advancement creative team;
  • Serving as liaison between UA creative and annual giving teams to ensure on-time and errorfree production of solicitations;
  • Crafting giving messages for use in written solicitations and other communications;
  • Writing giving impact content that can be used on the web, for direct mail and for other annual giving collateral;
  • Assisting with identifying and creating content for annual giving needs – including conducting and interviewing donors, signatories and constituents such as alumni, students, faculty, parents, etc.;
  • Identifying and implementing best practices for annual giving writing, marketing and communication;
  • Writing, editing, copyediting and proofreading all annual giving materials;
  • Making appropriate editorial decisions based on established style guides;
  • Performing related duties as assigned.

Flexibility, excellence, and passion are vital qualities within University Advancement. Inclusion, collaboration and cultural sensitivity are valued competencies at CMU. Therefore, we are in search of a team member who is able to effectively interact with a varied population of internal and external partners at a high level of integrity. We are looking for someone who shares our values and who will support the mission of the university through their work.

You should demonstrate:

  • The ability to: o meet tight deadlines o interact and collaborate effectively within the University Advancement division, as well as with other members of the campus community
    • contribute in a high-performing team environment
    • maintain composure when dealing with difficult situations and/or individuals
    • meet deadlines
    • work under pressure and with frequent interruptions
    • pay close attention to detail
    • keep and maintain accurate and detailed reports and records
    • prioritize work and handle multiple tasks simultaneously
    • understand and follow directions
    • work well with others and/or as part of a team
    • work with sensitive information, maintain confidentiality and use discretion.
  • Strong analytical, research and problem-solving skills
  • Exceptional writing and editing skills


  • A bachelor’s degree in communications, journalism, English or equivalent is required; master’s degree preferred
  • Five to eight years of experience of communications and solicitation writing experience
  • Experience in higher education and/or large institution fundraising; experience with university annual giving preferred
  • Understanding of best practices and metrics for communications
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office
  • Experience with Adobe Creative Suite Requirements
  • Successful background check

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