Senior Donor Relations Writer, Donor Services

California University of Technology
Pasadena, California, United States
12 Oct 2016
End of advertisement period
09 Nov 2016
Contract Type
Full Time

Job Summary

The purpose of Development and Institute Relations (DIR) is to foster a thriving and engaged community of support for Caltech. By connecting the people who share and support Caltech’s mission and values, we will ensure the Institute receives the necessary resources to achieve Caltech’s aspirations and sustain its excellence in teaching, research, and scholarship in perpetuity. DIR team members embrace and uphold the values of diversity, integrity, respect, focus, and pride.

Reporting to the Senior Director of Donor Services, the Senior Writer performs all aspects of a wide variety of donor relations-related communications projects. S/he serves as the dedicated writer for a nine-member team that develops pieces to acknowledge, promote, celebrate, or communicate impact and support for Caltech. Typical assignments include writing and designing personalized donor impact reports and development of event invitations and program materials. The Senior Writer works closely with teammates in Donor Services, as well as Advancement Communications and other Institute communications teams, members of the academic community, and development officers. He/she also interacts regularly with senior leaders of the Institute, notably including the Vice President of Development and Institute Relations, as well as prominent faculty in all academic divisions.

Job Duties

  • Define, research, write, edit, and follow through on development-related gift and stewardship reports, and other stewardship-focused communications which are typically submitted under the signature of DIR leadership, and, on an occasional basis, members of the Board of Trustees and academic leadership, and directed to the Institute’s most generous benefactors.
  • Research and write compelling reports and other individualized communications in support of the Institute’s top donors, inspiring continued philanthropy and exhibiting impact of giving at the highest level.
  • Serve as principal writer for custom stewardship reports and other communications from Donor Services (e.g., impact reports, endowment reports, etc.) that demonstrate the impact of the donors’ gifts. In addition to receiving information to synthesize into reports, be able to conduct research and independently incorporate changes, comments, and critiques from multiple reviewers using exceptional writing, and editing skills; exercise sound judgment with regard to strategy, appropriate points of emphasis, and persuasive impact. Describe complex academic subject matter in clear, persuasive language and present concise rationales for philanthropy.
  • Write, edit, and manage the creation of compelling collateral for donor stewardship, ensuring that donors receive professional and timely information regarding the impact of their philanthropy.
  • Provide writing and graphic design support for Donor Services projects (both print and Web-based publications) including distribution of Caltech’s Annual Report and annual Scholarship Report messages
  • Submit information online for annual reporting requirements by select foundation and corporate donors
  • Produce speaking points/remarks and follow-up messages for donor events, as well as review event materials (including invitations, menus, programs, etc.)
  • Use graphic design skills to design and high-quality production of all aspects of impact reports and donor relations materials including selecting and securing appropriate images to utilize in reports, layout, preparing files for print, and overseeing print quality and completion
  • Oversee all aspects of electronic donor communications for donor services, which includes ensuring the accuracy of recipients, sender, subject, and contents (ex: follow-up messages to event attendees or non-attendees), as well as designing content and writing messages
  • Draft and review language for signage to appear across campus that recognizes the philanthropy of Institute friends
  • Maintain a clear understanding of all advancement and fundraising goals, strategies, and messages and articulate this information within the prescribed methods for doing so. Manage multiple projects simultaneously and keep a comprehensive plan of all work in progress. Analyze requests for assistance, project realistic deadlines for project completion, and complete work on schedule.
  • Develop strong working relationships and understand the communications goals and styles of other writing teams across campus to ensure the successful integration of donor-stewardship materials with the messaging of Advancement and Campaign Communications, Strategic Communications, and other academic partners.

Basic Qualifications

  • Bachelors’ degree.
  • Six or more years of experience writing in a professional setting.
  • Proven superior writing and editing skills. Versatility in a range of formats and voices. Ability to cover a wide range of science and technology topics.
  • Ability to synthesize large amounts of information and compose clear and persuasive prose.
  • Ability to manage complex tasks simultaneously, coordinate the roles of various participants in projects, set priorities and schedules, and meet deadlines with a minimum of supervision.
  • Attention to detail and exceptional editing and proofreading skills.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills. Ability to facilitate mutual understanding and work effectively with a wide variety of people including faculty, administrators, development colleagues, donors, alumni, students and friends of the Institute.
  • Proven customer-service focus.
  • Layout and graphic design experience, specifically Adobe InDesign & Mail Chimp.
  • Proficiency in computing applications including e-mail, Windows, Word, Excel, MS Project, PowerPoint, and Internet navigation tools.
  • Demonstrate the ability to practice and adhere to organizational values.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Degree in the fields of English, Journalism or Communications.
  • Advancement writing experience is preferred.
  • Science or medical writing experience is highly desirable.
  • An understanding of the entire advancement enterprise—particularly within an academic setting—and the ability to work within that framework.
  • Previous production management experience desirable.

Supervisory position? No Posting Detail Information

Open Until Filled No

EEO Statement

We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Caltech is a VEVRAA Federal Contractor. For more information about “EEO is the Law” click here: EEO is the Law

Special Instructions to Applicants Supplemental Questions

Required fields are indicated with an asterisk (*).

  1. What is the highest level of education you have completed?
    • No GED/High School Diploma
    • GED/High School Diploma
    • Associates Degree
    • Bachelors Degree
    • Masters Degree
    • Doctorate
    • Other Professional Degree (e.g., JD or MD)
  2. How many years of experience writing in a professional setting do you have?
    • less than 6
    • 6 or more
  3. Do you have layout and graphic design experience, specifically Adobe InDesign & MailChimp?
    • Yes
    • No

Documents Needed to Apply Required Documents

  1. Resume
  2. Cover Letter

Optional Documents