Development Writer

Lexington, Virginia
Minimum $49,283 - salary commensurate with experience
May 25, 2017
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution

The Development Writer is a communications position focused on appropriately thanking donors who make major gifts to Washington and Lee University. The Development Writer reports to the Director of Donor Relations and is responsible for writing and editing communications to donors, particularly presidential acknowledgements and stewardship-related materials. The Development Writer also provides limited writing support for the executive director of development and university development staff.

  • Manages the university’s presidential acknowledgment program. This high-volume program results in an average of 1,500 personalized thank you letters sent from the president to leadership donors each year.
    Researches donors and gifts, coordinates with development staff and the president’s office, and writes timely, accurate, and personal letters. Successful management of the program requires a constant awareness of the obligation we have to our donors to be good stewards of their philanthropy, as well as an awareness that each acknowledgment letter represents the president and the university to our donors.
  • Manages various annual stewardship mailings each year from the president (and other campus leaders) to leadership donors. This primarily includes a biannual stewardship update letter from the university president to members of The President’s Society, a leadership annual giving society.
  • Manages and/or supports other acknowledgment programs within university development that utilize senior volunteers, including but not limited to the university’s trustee acknowledgment program. These programs are designed to create a culture of celebration of major gifts within W&L’s Board of Trustees and other senior volunteer groups. Works with university development staff to arrange for W&L trustees and volunteers to personally thank donors who make leadership gifts.
  • Under the direction of the Director of Donor Relations and with the coordinated assistance of the development staff, the Development Writer also manages and maintains the stewardship content for an up-to-date University Development website.
  • Provides limited writing and editing support for Development Office colleagues.
  • Additional related duties as assigned.

Bachelor’s degree required from an accredited institution of higher education with three to five years’ experience writing/editing, preferably in a fundraising or other persuasive capacity. Higher education or non-profit fundraising writing is a plus. Must be able to write clearly, quickly, and persuasively. This position requires strong computer skills using Microsoft programs such as Word and Outlook, and the ideal candidate will preferably have experience in writing for the web. Ability to listen carefully and communicate well verbally is essential. As a team player in development, must have the ability to meet deadlines, protect confidential information, satisfy multiple responsibilities, and maintain the highest standards of excellence in communications.

Washington and Lee is an Equal Opportunity Employer. As such, we are interested in candidates who are committed to high standards of scholarship, performance and professionalism and to the development of a campus climate that supports equality and diversity in our faculty, staff and student body. Job description requirements are representative, but not all‐inclusive of the knowledge, skill, and abilities needed to successfully perform this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable qualified individuals with disabilities to perform essential functions.