Senior Writer, Strategic Development Communications (Writer 3)

Jun 08, 2017
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution

Stanford University

Senior Writer, Strategic Development Communications (Writer 3)

Job Number:

Note: Not all unique aspects of the job are covered by this job description

If you can articulate the goals and vision of complex initiatives… if you can clearly explain how something works and why it matters to diverse audiences, including individual philanthropists and sophisticated foundations…. if you can weave in strategic messages that make a compelling case for support… then you could be the ideal candidate for this Senior Writer, Strategic Development Communications position.


Reporting to the Communications Manager within the Communications and Stewardship group in Stanford's central Office of Development, this position is part of a team of several writer/editors. As a member of this team, s/he is responsible for writing and editing a variety of projects that (1) motivate prospective donors to support the university and (2) steward existing donors by reporting on the impact of their gifts.

The Senior Writer, Strategic Development Communications will craft compelling narratives that highlight Stanford's interdisciplinary labs, centers, and institutes and demonstrate the potential of nascent programs. S/he will also work with the Principal Gifts team to develop case statements and gift proposals to secure transformative gifts to Stanford. Other projects may include personalized stewardship reports for major and principal-rated donors; white papers, website copy; profiles of students, faculty, and donors; letters from the president and deans; press releases; and event collateral.

The ideal candidate is a strategic thinker and superb writer with excellent interpersonal skills.


  • Research and draft original content on topics of high complexity. Compose written material for diverse audiences and a variety of channels. Edit content provided by other sources, and adapt and repurpose as needed.
  • Consult with internal and external customers to understand the need and purpose of a project. Propose the most appropriate content and format for the goal and audience.
  • Manage internal client relations.
  • Identify, recruit, and interview students, faculty, and donors. Incorporate feedback and manage reviews by various internal and external clients.
  • Manage production of own stories, publications, and communications projects, and adhere to deadlines. Set and track project schedules and budgets.
  • Work closely with in-house design, online, and video teams, e.g., organizing raw content and channeling reviewer feedback. Maintain records on internal spreadsheets and databases. * - Other duties may also be assigned


    Education & Experience:

    • Bachelor's degree and eight years of related experience, or a combination of education and relevant experience.
    • Development writing experience or familiarity with fundraising strongly preferred. Science writing a plus.
    Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Proven success in writing for publication in print, web, and other platforms.
  • Excellent writing, interpersonal, and oral communication skills with proven ability to present, write, edit, and organize thoughts in a clear, concise, and well-organized manner. Flawless copyediting and proofing.
  • Ability to understand materials of high complexity and synthesize across multiple sources to produce materials for diverse audiences.
  • Ability to change voice and writing style to fit a particular audience and purpose.
  • Solid project management/production management experience, including working closely with clients and designers and overseeing complex projects such as newsletters. Ability to manage multiple tasks simultaneously, coordinate the roles of various projects contributors, set priorities and schedules, and meet deadlines with a minimum of supervision.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to interact effectively with a diverse array of people, including senior leaders.
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite.
  • Ability to manage and prioritize multiple deadlines.
  • Excellent time management skills. PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS*:

  • Constantly perform desk-based computer tasks.
  • Frequently stand/walk, sit, grasp lightly/fine manipulation, and use a telephone, writing by hand.
  • Occasionally reach/work above shoulders, grasp forcefully, and sort/file paperwork or parts, lift/carry/push/pull objects that weigh up to 10 pounds.
  • Visual and auditory acuity, including color vision required. * - Consistent with its obligations under the law, the University will provide reasonable accommodation to any employee with a disability who requires accommodation to perform the essential functions of his or her job.


  • Occasional work on evenings and weekends. WORK STANDARDS:

  • Interpersonal Skills: Demonstrates the ability to work well with Stanford colleagues and clients and with external organizations.
  • Promote Culture of Safety: Demonstrates commitment to personal responsibility and value for safety; communicates safety concerns; uses and promotes safe behaviors based on training and lessons learned.
  • Subject to and expected to comply with all applicable University policies and procedures, including but not limited to the personnel policies and other policies found in the University's Administrative Guide, Please include three writing samples with your resume and cover letter. Further samples will be requested as needed. Final offers of employment are contingent upon successful completion of a background check. Stanford is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

    Job: Communications

    Location: Office of Development
    Schedule: Full-time
    Classification Level:

    To be considered for this position please visit our web site and apply on line at the following link:

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

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