Based in Ithaca, New York, Cornell University is a leading, privately endowed research university and as the federal land-grant institution of New York State, Cornell University has a responsibility — unique within the Ivy League — to make contributions in fields of knowledge to help improve the quality of life in its state, the nation and the world. Its global campus footprint in Ithaca, New York City, Doha, Qatar and other regions across the world serves over 23,000 students. To provide these students with the highest level of education possible, Cornell University employs close to 10,000 faculty and staff. Its entire workforce — faculty and staff — contribute to the fabric of the community and the possibility for building on a long and recognized tradition of alumni relations and development excellence.
The Division of Alumni Affairs and Development (AAD) facilitates lifelong relationships between alumni, parents, and friends and the university. We embrace an unwavering commitment to donor-centric fundraising and collaboration.
We are for someone who can...
Develop a wide variety of written content for use in fundraising and strategic engagement initiatives (drawing on best practices in development writing for non-profit environments), including: long-form cases for support, gift impact stories, gift and stewardship stories, proposals, short-form soliciting, technical writing (challenge-match, gift-planning, giving society, etc.), letter writing (for gift acknowledgement, proposals, etc.), short-form multi-channel storytelling
Also develop reference documentation for use in development and engagement communications, including: messaging frameworks, key messaging, talking points, creative briefs, informational brochures and 1-sheets, guidelines and recommendations, etc.
Strengthen communications and collaboration within Alumni Affairs & Development, with University and College/Unit partners in Development and Communications, and with external partners, to identify shared priorities, interconnected messaging and opportunities for mutual support/amplification of development communications efforts
This position also has an important set of responsibilities related to effective monitoring of, and response to, communications from donors and alumni, that include: responding to messages from key donors that pertain to routine business; flagging sensitive issues that require additional input from key stakeholders within AAD or University Relations; drafting responses for feedback and approval, and managing follow ups (including archiving/version control)
The position is also a vital team member of a small and collaborative AAD Brand and Communications team, and as such must contribute to certain core functions of that team:
Keeping AAD messaging and published materials up to date and accurate
Maintaining and advocate for AAD communications best practices and high editorial standards
Being a communications thought leader, and strategic and flexible partner—to units within AAD, and to partners in the University, Colleges and Units and beyond
We are looking for someone who has...
Bachelor's degree and at least 4 years relevant experience
Knowledge of fundraising principles and practices
Demonstrated proficiency in ‘development communications’ strategy and solutions
Experience in PR/Communications ‘situational management’ vis a vis individuals outside the organization, taking account of internal best practices and key stakeholder inputs
Track record of envisioning, researching, writing and editing compelling content across a variety of communication media and platforms
Ability to work collaboratively with multiple key stakeholders, accommodating and prioritizing inputs while maintaining a clear message and voice
Comfort balancing urgent, short-term jobs and longer-term initiative—concurrently
An entrepreneurial drive to identify and solve complex communications problems
Sensitivity to confidentiality, stewardship of university resources, protection of the private information
Personal curiosity and regard for higher education
We prefer someone who has...
Deep understanding of the role of communications in delivering strategic results
Project management experience
Comfort with both Mac and PC environments
Experience working in a complex and decentralized organization
Familiarity with multiple content management, editing and project tracking tools
University Job Title:
Communication Spec III
Pay Rate Type:
Number of Openings:
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About Cornell University
In 1865, Ezra Cornell founded an institution "where any person can find instruction in any study." From the beginning, all students were welcome, regardless of race, gender, ideology, or socioeconomic status. Today, we invite you to join our talented and diverse students and accessible faculty who, together, form a living and learning community unmatched in its breadth of opportunities.Cornell University's college, schools, and other academic units offer more than 4,000 courses, 70 undergraduate majors, 93 graduate fields of study, undergraduate and advanced degrees, and continuing education and outreach programs.