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Senior Communications Officer, Principal Gifts

Date: April 2, 2014
Reports to (Job Title): Director, Principal gifts
Jobs Reporting (Job Titles): None
Location: Main Campus

USG 10

35 hr/wk

Primary Purpose

Responsible for the development and production of a variety of effective and compelling communications in support of the University’s Principal Gifts program. Key priorities include the development of high value ($5 million+) proposals to donors on behalf of the President and senior advancement administrators.

Key Accountabilities:

1.  Collaborates with the President’s Office; VP, Advancement; AVP, Principal Gifts; Director, Principal Gifts, Faculty Deans and Development Directors, School Directors, faculty members and the Principal Gifts team to develop the content of communication pieces.



2.  Responsible for the development of highly customized communication pieces to cultivate prospective individual, corporate, and foundation donors and steward existing donors at the principal gifts ($1M+) level.


3.  Ensures Principal Gifts communications are consistent with the university’s branding standards and messaging and style guidelines. 



4.  Provides direction to Creative Services and other writing, design, photography, and printing contractors with respect to the design and production of various publications. Responsible for managing the production of PG materials.

Position Requirements


Bachelor’s degree in communications based discipline (journalism or english); Master’s degree preferred or equivalent combination of education and experience.


Minimum 5 years of progressive writing/editing/business planning experience with a proven track record of creating accurate, compelling, persuasive, and attractive individual and corporate communications for specific audiences. Competencies will include:


MS Word Excel PowerPoint Other
Advanced Intermediate Intermediate

MS Outlook (email and calendar) - intermediate

Adobe Acrobat – intermediate

Raiser’s Edge – basic

Prezi - basic


Nature and Scope

Interpersonal Skills:

Internally, collaborates with the President’s Office; Vice-President, Advancement; Associate Vice-President, Principal Gifts; Associate VP Development; Strategic Communications Team, Deans, Directors, Directors of Development, and Principal Gifts team to create highly customized, highly confidential communication pieces. Discusses subject matter and/or obtains information from various members of the university community (e.g., Office of Advancement, faculty/college advancement offices, SAFA, GSO, Creative Services) to create communication pieces. Externally, may have contact with donors, vendors, and volunteers.

Level of Responsibility:

Responsible and accountable for the quality and accuracy of highly confidential communications from President’s Office; Vice-President, Advancement; Associate Vice-President, Principal Gifts; and Principal Gifts team to the university’s most significant donors.

Decision-Making Authority:

Must be able to make informed decisions regarding suitability of language and appearance of communication pieces that represent the university’s President and senior advancement administrators. Must be able to take initiative where minimal direction is provided and manage priorities and deadlines. Must be proactive in contributing ideas and solutions to the AVP, Principal Gifts and other Principal Gifts team members.

Physical and Sensory Demands:

Minimal demands typical of an administrative position operating within an office environment.

Working Environment:

Minimal exposure to disagreeable conditions typical of an administrative position. Exposed to stress and pressure associated with working in close collaboration with the university’s senior administrators for the university’s most significant donors.