Advancement Communications and Donor Relations Specialist

William Peace University, Raleigh

William Peace University, Raleigh

Marketing & Communications
Raleigh, NC, USA
Posted on Tuesday, August 8, 2023

Positing Details

Position Information
Position Title: Advancement Communications and Donor Relations Specialist
Posting Number: WPU0045917
University Information:

William Peace University is a nationally-ranked, award-winning institution located in one of the best cities in the United States in downtown Raleigh, NC. WPU provides a culture that values diversity, fosters an energized team environment, builds on our strengths, promotes creativity and innovation, and encourages inclusiveness, respect, and open communication by leading with our actions. Our mission is to prepare our students for careers in the organizations of tomorrow. The ideal candidate will have the ability to embrace the five core values, mission, and vision of William Peace University. Join our team and see why William Peace University was voted one of the Triangle’s Best Places to Work in 2017! Follow your passion and make an impact at WPU.

Department: Office of Advancement
Purpose of Department:
 The Office of Advancement exists to connect alumni and friends to advance the mission of William Peace University. We are responsible for alumni engagement, creating and sustaining community partnerships, friend-raising and fundraising for annual (operating), capital, and endowment campaigns. Our vision is to cultivate a philanthropic culture among our alumni and friends, fostering pathways of support for WPU to provide vibrant learning experiences for our students.
Summary of Position:
The Advancement Communications and Donor Relations Specialist is an essential member of the University Advancement team, with a primary responsibility to build and maintain strong relationships with donors and stakeholders to ensure ongoing support for the university’s programs, initiatives, and campaigns. The Communications and Donor Relations Specialist will be responsible for cultivating and stewarding relationships with donors, managing donor recognition programs, and implementing strategies to increase donor engagement and retention. The Specialist will create and carry out a strategic communications plan and partner with University Marketing and Communications in outreach and communication efforts including enhancement and management of the website.
Essential duties and responsibilities:

Donor Cultivation and Stewardship:
  • Build and maintain strong relationships with donors through personalized stewardship activities, including regular communication, acknowledgment letters, and donor recognition events.
  • Provide exceptional customer service to donors by promptly addressing inquiries, concerns, and requests.
  • Collaborate with university leadership, faculty, and staff to facilitate meaningful donor interactions, including campus visits, meetings, and events.
Donor Recognition and Communication:
  • In partnership with the VP and Directors, create a comprehensive and cohesive strategy for communications across Advancement speciality areas, including specific plans for annual giving, alumni engagement, and development.
  • Create and manage the overall process for the university magazine and advancement annual reports. Will write and edit content, take photographs and work with external printers, designers, writers.
  • Work cross-functionally to execute effective targeted communications plans aligned with prioritized donor segments and organizational strategies.
  • Provide communications and logistical support for all Advancement events. May include photography, content creation, invitations, social media and other event related messaging.
  • Ensure seamless integration of efforts with other advancement initiatives and communications and timely accurate, creative, and productive messaging.
  • Working with the Directors, serve as the writer/editor for advancement messaging. This includes correspondence, reports, brochures, postcards, press releases, blogs, e-newsletters, articles and status reports. and online content for distribution to alumni, employees, the general public, and donors.
  • Work with printing vendors to coordinate the production of large print projects for the advancement office.
  • Enhance and manage departmental website(s) and social media channels to ensure timely and accurate content.
  • Develop and oversee a comprehensive donor recognition program to acknowledge and honor donors at various giving levels. Ensure accurate and timely donor recognition in university publications, websites, and event materials.
  • Coordinate the production of personalized donor recognition materials, such as plaques, certificates, and annual reports.
  • Collaborate with the Marketing and Communications department to create compelling donor stories and impact reports for various communication channels, including print, web, and social media.
  • Provide communications and logistical support for all Advancement events. May include photography, content creation, invitations, social media and other event related messaging.

Donor Engagement and Retention:
  • Develop and execute strategies to enhance donor engagement and retention, including targeted donor events, volunteer opportunities, and special initiatives.
  • Collaborate and partner with University Advancement colleagues and other WPU departments in increasing support from alumni, donors, prospects, friends, and partners.
  • Utilize donor data and fundraising software to track donor interactions, analyze giving patterns, and identify opportunities for increased engagement.
  • Prospect Research and Proposal Development:
    • Conduct prospect research to identify and qualify potential major gift donors.
    • Collaborate with the development team to develop compelling gift proposals and presentations for donor solicitations.
    • Assist with the preparation of donor briefings and materials for university leadership and faculty.
Compliance and Reporting:
  • Ensure personal compliance with all relevant fundraising regulations, policies, and ethical practices.
  • Maintain accurate and up-to-date donor records in the university’s donor management system.
  • Generate regular reports and analysis on donor giving trends, retention rates, and overall fundraising performance.
  • Report to donors the impact of their gifts through fund reports, scholarship programs and other written donor information through comprehensive and integrated stewardship reporting.

Other Responsibilities
  • Collaborate and partner with University Advancement colleagues and other WPU departments in increasing support from alumni, donors, prospects, friends, and partners.
  • Foster good relationships with various constituencies of the University by responding to inquiries, both verbal and written, on relevant topics.
  • Champion advancement-centered communications and best practices. Share expertise and strengths with colleagues.
  • Develop thorough knowledge of WPU’s mission and Impact initiative/programs related to donor impact and identify ways to promote to key audiences (alumni, donors, friends, prospects and the greater Raleigh community).
  • Contribute to the overall success of the Office by working on special projects and performing all other duties and responsibilities as assigned by the Vice President.
  • Work effectively with a diverse population of employees, students, donors, vendors, visitors, and guests.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Minimum Qualifications:
  • Four-year degree in communications, public relations, marketing, advertising or related field and one year of experience in public relations and/or communications in a higher education, non-profit, or other relevant entity.
  • Knowledge/experience of donor relations function.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office and Adobe Suite, Web (HTML and content management platforms, social media, and other electronic communications platforms
  • intermediate to professional level skills in graphic design and knowledge of desktop publishing
Preferred Qualifications:
Experience with authoring and editing communications and public relations within a fundraising environment with background in writing, photography, video production, print, and digital technology as a plus.

Hours per week: Full Time
Job Posting Date: 08/08/2023
Priority Deadline: 08/21/2023
Priority Deadline Information:

Priority consideration will be given to applications received by the Priority Date; however, applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

Supplemental Questions

Required fields are indicated with an asterisk (*).

Documents Needed to Apply

Required Documents
  1. Resume
  2. Cover Letter
Optional Documents
  1. Letter of Recommendation