Position Overview: The Assistant Director, Communications Content Strategy is an integral member of a versatile editorial team that collaborates with Alumni Affairs and Development colleagues (AA&D), faculty members, and administrators to develop written materials in support of University-wide donor and alumni engagement activities. Utilizing strong writing, editing, project management, and communication skills, the Assistant Director will create compelling copy for a varied portfolio of print and digital projects—focusing primarily on proposal development. Working closely with the Associate Director, Communications Content Strategy, this position will also help develop prospect materials for key events throughout the year, including donor and alumni stories, event invitations and programs, email campaigns, and other fundraising collateral. In addition to writing fundraising content, helps develop and maintain fundraiser education materials to build support for multi-School and centrally based University funding priorities.
This position requires excellent communication skills, the ability to write persuasively, and the ability to foster effective and positive working relationships with colleagues. A high level of organization will be needed to navigate internal communications, progress reporting, and gift policy guidelines. A successful Assistant Director must demonstrate self-motivation, professionalism, flexibility, and discretion. The ability to balance short- and long-term deadlines, accept and process feedback, and work collaboratively with colleagues at all levels are essential skills for this role.
Principal Duties and Responsibilities:
Writes proposals, terms, concept papers, and gift opportunity descriptions for significant gifts supporting University goals and priorities. Draws information for these documents from independent research, as well as academic planning materials prepared by members of the faculty, administrators, and members of the Provost's office.
Translates complex academic planning documents into fundraising-focused materials for use across print and digital communication platforms, such as gift opportunities, proposals, and fundraiser education materials. Shows resourceful approaches to finding content to use in written materials. Uses persuasive language and visuals to make the case for support. Collaborates with AA&D Communications on the production of marketing materials to make the case for University initiatives and priorities.
Ensures that all materials are thoroughly researched, clearly written, reviewed by appropriate colleagues, and well edited. Ensures all materials adhere to University policies—especially gift policies. Ensures appropriate colleagues have vetted documents, and that status and outcome of projects are communicated with interested parties.
Collaborates with development colleagues (notably with the Associate Director, Communications Content Strategy) in creating proposals, gift agreements, and terms, to ensure sensitivity to issues related to funding priorities and donor coordination. Seeks input and vets proposals with appropriate University and School academic, administrative, and development leadership.
Develops deep content knowledge on a range of University academic programs and priorities, serving as a resource for partners throughout Alumni Affairs and Development.
Conducts independent research and monitors developments around Harvard to inform writing and content strategy—demonstrating the ability to distill complex information and ideas from multiple sources into concise and compelling communications
Participates in formal and informal content planning processes, contributing ideas for new communications projects or new approaches to cyclical work, as appropriate.
Copyedits work produced by other team members and partners, as needed.
Supports special projects for the team, as needed.
Please include a cover letter with your application.
Skills testing may be a component of the interview process for this position.
The department of Alumni Affairs and Development at Harvard University is committed to diversity. We welcome applicants who bring varied experience, thought, and practice to the department's mission to maintain and enhance an engaged community of alumni and friends worldwide and to lead the University's fundraising efforts.
Harvard University Benefits Package Vacation/Sick/Personal/Holidays: Harvard offers 3 (union roles) - 4 (exempt) weeks paid vacation, a paid holiday break between Christmas and New Year's Day, 12 paid sick days, 11.5 paid holidays, and 3 paid personal days each year. Medical/Dental/Vision Benefit: Harvard offers a variety of excellent medical, dental, and vision plans which all begin on the first day of employment. Retirement: University-funded retirement plan with full vesting after 3 years of service. Tuition Assistance Program: Competitive tuition assistance program, $40 per class at the Harvard Extension School and discounted study options through participating Harvard Graduate Schools. Transportation: Harvard offers a 50% discounted MBTA pass as well as parking options to assist employees in their daily commute to campus. Wellness Options: Harvard offers programs and classes at little or no cost, including stress management, massages, nutrition, meditation, and complimentary health services. There are also fee-based athletic facility memberships available at various locations around the university for employees.
Salary Grade: 057
Union: 00 - Non Union, Exempt or Temporary
At least four years of relevant work experience in a writing-intensive role
Superior writing, editing, project management, and communication skills
Ability to work independently, prioritize assignments, and consistently meet deadlines
Computer literacy, including proficiency with Microsoft Office and Adobe Acrobat tools
Familiarity with Chicago Manual of Style and ability to master in-house style guide
Flexibility and willingness to learn
Ability to hold sensitive information in confidence
Experience working in development, marketing, or communications preferred
Experience working in higher education preferred
Sense of humor preferred
EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER: We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.
Internal Number: 50180BR
About Harvard University Alumni Affairs and Development
Harvard University is devoted to excellence in teaching, learning, and research, and to developing leaders in many disciplines who make a difference globally. The University, which is based in Cambridge and Boston, Massachusetts, has an enrollment of over 20,000 degree candidates, including undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. Harvard has more than 360,000 alumni around the world. The University has twelve degree-granting Schools in addition to the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, offering a truly global education. Established in 1636, Harvard is the oldest institution of higher education in the United States.