The Senior Writer is an accomplished communications professional with broad-based responsibilities for conceptualizing, writing, and editing content about Northwestern that support efforts to engage alumni, parents and friends, raise funds and cultivate long-term commitment of donors. This position frequently interacts with major donors and senior administrators representing every area of the University. This position focuses on communications for frontline fundraising, Annual Giving, the Northwestern University Leadership Circle, and Gift Planning. The Senior Writer’s responsibilities also include writing appeals and remarks on behalf of senior Administrators, as well as serving as a back-up to the other writers on the Marketing and Communications team who handle communications for the Northwestern Alumni Association, internal communications for the Office of Alumni Relations and Development, major and principal gifts, and proposal writing.
Please Note: This position is a part-time (18.75 hours/week), benefits eligible term position that will end on February 1, 2018.
Develop content for a wide range of materials, including case statements, brochures, fact sheets, direct mail pieces, event materials, press releases, and advertisements.
Consult with development officers (frontline fundraisers), deans, and communications professionals in the schools to develop communication materials for fundraising priorities.
Provide the design team with recommendations on images and graphics to accompany the materials.
Work with the graphic designers to complete the production process (review and approve proofs).
Develop content for a variety of fundraising and stewardship newsletters and other publications (print and online)
Create the editorial outline and timeline, present them to internal clients, and refine them based on feedback.
Conduct research and interviews, and then write articles.
Route the drafts to associate director of editorial content, internal clients, subject matter experts and sources, and then refine based on their feedback.
Provide the graphic designers with recommendations on images and graphics to accompany the articles.
Work with the design team to complete the production process (review and approve proofs).
Other Writing and Editing Assignments
Edit and proofread content written by other members of the Marketing and Communications team, other colleagues or freelance writers.
Write appeals and remarks on behalf of senior administrators, including the vice president, provost, and president.
Ensure copy follows the established style guide.
Serve as back-up to the other writers on the Marketing and Communications team as needed. Projects include writing fundraising proposals and presentations for major and principal gift donors on behalf of the University’s president.
Collaborate with Marketing and Communications team and internal clients on developing communications strategies and creative approaches for publications, collateral and other communications.
Work with Marketing and Communications team members to establish project timelines. Assist with keeping progress consistent with prescribed timeline.
Meet with internal clients, assess communications needs, keep clients updated, and ensure delivery to client satisfaction.
Ensure project solutions meet defined goals.
Message Development and Process Optimization
Keep abreast of new developments and trends in communications and fundraising. Educate team members and clients on these new developments as appropriate.
Assist with the updating of the editorial style guide, and the development of key messages to produce a compelling case for donor support.
Perform related duties as required or assigned.
Successful completion of a full 4-year course of study in an accredited college or university leading to a bachelor's or higher degree in English, journalism or related field; OR appropriate combination of education and experience.
A minimum of five years of professional writing experience, including print and online content.
Experience in writing fundraising materials
Minimum Competencies: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities.)
Exceptional interviewing, writing, editing, fact-checking and proofreading skills.
Ability to handle multiple projects simultaneously, and to produce polished content under tight deadlines.
Strong portfolio of writing that is clear, accurate and compelling.
Ability to interview University administrators and faculty across a wide range of disciplines and present complex concepts in clear and lively prose for diverse donor audiences.
Ability to write in a voice appropriate to the varied audiences addressed, and to write to the style of key individuals.
Demonstrated ability to work independently as well as collaboratively with others on a team.
Proficiency with Microsoft Office
Preferred Qualifications: (Education and experience)
Experience in higher education advancement
Experience writing fundraising proposals
As per Northwestern University policy, this position requires a criminal background check. Successful applicants will need to submit to a criminal background check prior to employment.
Northwestern University is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer of all protected classes, including veterans and individuals with disabilities. Women, racial and ethnic minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply. Hiring is contingent upon eligibility to work in the United States.
Northwestern University is a major private research university with 12 academic divisions located on three campuses in Evanston, Chicago, and Education City in Doha, Qatar. We have approximately 2,500 full-time faculty members, 17,000 graduate and undergraduate students, and over 5,700 full and part-time staff. Northwestern University combines innovative teaching and pioneering research in a highl...y collaborative environment. It provides students and faculty exceptional opportunities for intellectual, personal and professional growth.