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Development Writer

Spelman College
Atlanta, GA

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Employment Type
Full Time
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution

Job Details

Job Title:

Development Writer

Job Summary:

The Development Writer serves as the grant writer for the department and directly supports the revenue-raising functions of Institutional Advancement by creating custom gift proposals, submitting grants, researching and creating written materials for established and emerging development priorities, and acting as editor for the Institutional Advancement Division on a variety of written projects. S/he works strategically with IA colleagues to ensure messages to the external and internal communities are consistent to IA standards and the College’s brand.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

Proposal/Grant Writing: Writes compelling and accurate proposals for Foundation Relations. Research existing and emerging campus initiatives to gather a base of information and create standard written descriptions of key initiative aspects that may be used by field officers and others in the creation of correspondence, marketing and basic or routine proposals. Track proposal metrics (number requested, number completed, of request outcomes) to measure performance. Maintain database of donor information for shared access with Institutional Advancement fundraisers. Conduct Foundation Relations prospect research and budget development as needed to complete successful proposals. Provides key organizational writing and essential elements of grant writing: executive summary, the case for need, project narrative and project budget to include appendices and attachments. Fund-raising activities: For all College fund-raising efforts (including comprehensive campaigns and special initiatives) create – or act as IA’s point person for – all relevant written communications. Develops and maintains a detailed understanding of all major fund-raising initiatives and also of Campaign infrastructure, critical relationships within and outside of IA, timelines and the like. Specific documents that are the responsibility of this person includes selected donor stewardship materials, case statements and support materials. Stewardship and Event Writing: Creates and/or edit talking points for donor-related events; serve as the primary writer of presidential communications that fall under IA’s purview (such as event scripts and appeal letters); create donor stewardship materials and fund-raising volunteer communications. Senior editorial authority/activities: As needed, act as the editor representing Institutional Advancement’s VP and Director of Foundation Relations on important campus-wide communications created across IA. Ensure consistency and style of message in these materials as needed, as well as ghost-write on behalf of the College’s senior leadership and volunteers, including the president and board when appropriate for proposal submission. Campaign/Development Team member: Actively participate in the strategy and planning for fund-raising campaigns by attending relevant campaign-related meetings and maintaining an up-to-date understanding of the most important activities within this effort. Grants Management activities: Complete reports for our foundation donors in partnership with the principal investigators. Collaborate with the team to collect impact narratives and Budget and Contracts for financial requirements.

Required Qualifications:

Bachelor’s degree and a minimum of five years of related work experience required. Successful experience in grant writing and development required. Must possess exceptional writing and editing skills, with a proven track record in producing fund-raising communications and the ability to “ghost write” on behalf of others. The ability to develop superior knowledge of the organization’s mission, goals and programs; and to gather, interpret and reposition complex information are all required. Industry knowledge is a prerequisite for staying updated on the latest information and innovation about grants. The successful candidate will stay at the forefront of the grants field to ensure the maximum amount of grant awards. The ability to work independently in a matrixed environment serving many internal and some external clients is required. Professional demeanor with the ability to interface with internal and external customers with diplomacy and tact is essential. The candidate must demonstrate attention to detail and practical thinking skills when responding to donor/grantor guidelines and specifications for request. Independent judgment is necessary to plan, prioritize and organize a diversified workload that requires fact-finding and compilation skills plus ability to perform a variety of tasks simultaneously, with little supervision. Excellent oral communication skills are required when presenting information and responding to questions from students, parents, donors, faculty and staff, and the general public in one-on-one or group situations. To perform this job successfully, an individual must have intermediate skills using Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint). In addition to producing written materials, duties may involve assignments that require creating spreadsheets, editing newsletters, and using Spelman’s fund-raising software for research purposes. Use of Outlook, or similar software and Internet navigation are essential.

Preferred Qualifications:

Exceptional writing and editing skills, with a proven track record in producing fund-raising communications and the ability to “ghost write” on behalf of others.

Physical Demands:

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to: sit, talk, hear, use hands to operate computers, other office equipment, and to move items. The employee is frequently required to: stand, walk, and reach with hands and arms. The employee is occasionally required to: stoop, lift and/or move up to 15 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include the ability to adjust focus.



% Travel Required:

1% - 25%

Full Time/Part Time:




Number of Vacancies:


Posting Number:


Posting Open Date:


Open Until Filled:


EEO Statement:

Spelman College is an EEO/Minority/Female/Disabled/Veteran/Title IX Employer and we participate in E-Verify. We are a smoke-free campus.


Working at Spelman College

Spelman College is a prestigious, highly selective historically Black college that prepares women to change the world. Spelman’s holistic liberal arts education empowers women to excel intellectually, think creatively, serve wholeheartedly, act globally, and lead boldly. Located in Atlanta, Spelman College’s multifaceted, person-centered learning community creates lasting bonds of sisterhood and support. Providing an educational experience unlike any other, Spelman embraces a long-standing and life-changing commitment to academic rigor, career development, community involvement, and positive social impact.

Spelman is part of the Atlanta University Center, the largest consortium of historically Black institutions of higher learning in the world. Its partner institutions include Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College and Morehouse School of Medicine. Spelman shares cross-registration with its undergraduate partners. The AUC institutions also share the newly renovated Robert W. Woodruff Library.

A historic campus of 32 acres, dating back to 1883, Spelman is five minutes west of downtown Atlanta. There are 25 buildings on the lush, well-manicured campus, including a new, silver LEED- certified green residence hall, The Suites, and The Camille O. Hanks Cosby Academic Center, which houses the Spelman College Museum of Fine Art and the state-of-the-art College Archives.

As a result of its dedicated faculty and staff, Spelman College has gained an excellent national reputation and high rankings in the media’s annual college guides. The College ranks among the top 70 Best Liberal Arts Colleges, consistently ranks as a top producer of Fulbright Fellows and Teach For America candidates, and has the distinction of being the leading producer of Black females who go on to earn doctoral degrees in science and engineering.

Spelman College is also home to SpelBots, the first all-women, African-American robotics team to take part in the international RoboCup competition in 2005, long considered the Olympics of Robotics and artificial intelligence. In addition, the Women’s Research and Resource Center, the WISDOM Center and Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement, as well as the College’s departments of art and drama and dance, are among the many esteemed programs that showcase the College’s strengths in the humanities, arts and service leadership.

Dedicated, talented, and well-qualified faculty members are a hallmark of Spelman College. Home to 183 full-time faculty members, Spelman boasts an 11:1 student/faculty ratio, providing students with greater opportunities to engage with professors across disciplines. The William and Camille Cosby Endowed Professorship Program, for example, supports professorships in the fine arts, humanities and the social sciences. It is a multidisciplinary initiative designed to enhance the intellectual, cultural and creative life of Spelman College and its surrounding community. Previous Cosby Chairs include former Atlanta mayor Shirley Franklin; award-winning author and poet Pearl Cleage, C’71; the Rev. Renita Weems; distinguished scholar and economist William Darity, Ph.D.; and Bernice Johnson Reagon, C'70, an internationally known producer, composer and recording artist, and founder of the Grammy Award-nominated a cappella ensemble Sweet Honey and the Rock.

Spelman faculty have a significant impact on the College’s mission to educate students to lead and serve their communities and the world. To this end, Spelman’s iconic representative is the Millenial professor. The College is strengthening its Faculty Development Program to be comprehensive – recruiting and retaining talented individuals who pursue creative, rigorous scholarship and course development within their disciplines and in multidisciplinary ventures. These professors will also lead the way in internationalizing the curriculum.

As part of the College’s strategic plan for 2015, Spelman’s agenda is to strengthen the academic core of the institution. Constituents such as students, faculty, staff, administrators, alumnae, trustees and community partners participate by taking specific actions called GOALS. Spelman’s faculty goals are: global engagement; ongoing professional development; advising students to prepare not only for careers but for lives of success, leadership, and service; leadership through participation in shared governance; and service learning integrated across the curriculum.

The Spelman MILE – My Integrated Learning Experience – forms the foundation of Spelman College’s strategic plan. Symbolizing a transformational journey of learning, the Spelman MILE will ensure key competencies – such as critical thinking, effective communication, quantitative reasoning, and digital literacy – that Millenial students need for personal success. Student GOALS include: global engagement, including at least one meaningful international travel experience; opportunities for undergraduate research and career-related internships; alumnae connections to strengthen our sisterly bonds early on; leadership development focused on individual potential and best practices; and service learning that pairs hands-on community engagement with coursework shared governance.

Each year, the College hosts Research Day in April, as well as Faculty Research Day in October. Both events are designed to showcase excellence in student and faculty research across academic disciplines.

For more information about Spelman, visit

Company info
350 Spelman Lane SW
United States

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