Development Writer

Job description

5235 S. Harper Court

60630 Development-VP For

About the Unit
The University of Chicago Campaign: Inquiry and Impact launched in 2014 with a fundraising goal of $4.5 billion. In March 2017, that goal was expanded to $5 billion. The campaign is the most ambitious and comprehensive in the University's history. Campaign priorities cover every division, school, department, and institute across the University. Along with its fundraising goal, the campaign has an equally ambitious goal of engaging 125,000 alumni through intellectual, professional, and social activities on campus, around the world, and online. To date, $4.3 billion has been raised and more than 119,000 alumni have connected with the University through volunteering, giving, events, and online interactions. The Leadership Engagement team in the Office of the Vice President for Alumni Relations and Development is charged with managing and executing fundraising strategies around the University of Chicago's senior leadership, including the President and Board of Trustees.

Job Information

Job Summary:

  • Reporting to the Associate Director, Leadership Engagement, the Development Writer is responsible for the writing, editing, and management of gift acknowledgments from a variety of signers within the University of Chicago's senior leadership; include the President, Vice President for Alumni Relations and Development, and the Chair of the Board of Trustees.

  • Write customized acknowledgment and stewardship correspondence signed by chair of the Board of Trustees, president of the University, and vice president for Alumni Relations and Development, as well for other senior leadership as assigned.
  • Collaborate with team, University relationship managers, ARD Communications' senior editor, and other staff to draft individualized thank-you letters to donors.
  • Draft congratulatory greetings, condolence letters, and other special fundraising communications, including donor-focused high-level gift and administrative announcements, from the president and vice president of Alumni Relations and Development.
  • Work with appropriate offices to track the drafting, approval, and mailing of approximately 1,300 letters annually (25 per week on average).
  • Develop and maintain cordial relationships with University leadership and colleagues.
  • Maintain and update the presidential style manual, and advise on presidential style to others wishing to draft letters for the president's signature.
  • Attend quarterly meetings of ARD's campus-wide Donor Relations Roundtable.
  • Use all available tools, including internet resources and the University's Donor Relationship Management System (Griffin), to research programs, faculty, and students who benefit from specific gifts.
  • Produce and distribute weekly Griffin-generated reports of gifts requiring acknowledgment by University leadership.
  • Keep organized files on acknowledgments and other writing projects, including weekly tracking reports.
  • Upload completed special correspondence and proposals to Griffin.
  • Assist in editing or writing briefing materials for University leadership and other fundraising communications to prospective donors of principal gifts ($5 million and up).
  • Oversee the work of staff or temps charged with formatting, tracking, mailing, or filing correspondence.
  • Seek opportunities for professional development that will enhance job performance.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

  • Communicate Effectively & With Influence
  • Display Emotional Intelligence
  • Foster Partnership & Collaboration
  • Lead Performance & Flawless Execution
  • Exhibit Resilience & Optimize Resources

Additional Requirements

Education, Experience or Certifications:

  • Bachelor's degree or higher required.
  • Major in English, journalism, publishing, communications or a related field preferred.

  • A minimum two years nonprofit management, development, alumni relations, marketing, public relations or similar work experience required.
  • A minimum two years of relevant professional work experience in writing and editing preferred.

Technical Knowledge or Skills:
  • Demonstrated skill and knowledge of, or ability to learn quickly, the internal workings of the University as well as the technology tools available to the Office of Alumni Relations and Development, including Griffin (the University's Donor Relationship Management System), Microsoft Windows computer environment, Microsoft Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Access.
  • Demonstrated project management experience preferred.
  • Knowledge of The Chicago Manual of Style preferred.

Working Conditions and Physical Requirements:
  • Willingness and ability to travel to campus and/or non-campus locations for University business.
  • Willingness and ability to work evenings and weekends.

Required Documents:
  • Resume
  • Cover Letter

(NOTE: When applying, all required documents MUST be uploaded under the Resume/CV section of the application.)

Benefit Eligibility

Pay Frequency

Pay Range
Depends on Qualifications

Scheduled Weekly Hours


Job is Exempt?

Drug Test Required?

Does this position require incumbent to operate a vehicle on the job?

Health Screen Required?

Posting Date

Remove from Posting On or Before

Posting Statement:

The University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity/Disabled/Veterans Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, status as an individual with a disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, or other protected classes under the law. For additional information please see the University's Notice of Nondiscrimination.

Staff Job seekers in need of a reasonable accommodation to complete the application process should call 773-702-5800 or submit a request via Applicant Inquiry Form.

The University of Chicago's Annual Security & Fire Safety Report (Report) provides information about University offices and programs that provide safety support, crime and fire statistics, emergency response and communications plans, and other policies and information. The Report can be accessed online at: Paper copies of the Report are available, upon request, from the University of Chicago Police Department, 850 E. 61st Street, Chicago, IL 60637.

Full time

About Us
The University of Chicago is an urban research university that has driven new ways of thinking since 1890. Our commitment to free and open inquiry draws inspired scholars to our global campuses, where ideas are born that challenge and change the world.

We empower individuals to challenge conventional thinking in pursuit of original ideas. Students in the College develop critical, analytic, and writing skills in our rigorous, interdisciplinary core curriculum. Through graduate programs, students test their ideas with UChicago scholars, and become the next generation of leaders in academia, industry, nonprofits, and government.

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Job No:
Posted: 7/13/2018
Application Due: 8/23/2018
Work Type: