Job Title: Director Of Fundraising Communications
Type of Company: I work for a major university.
Education: BA, English, Ohio State University MA, Journalism, Ohio State University
Previous Experience: I worked for six years as an arts editor for a weekly "alternative" newspaper, then two years doing public relations for a professional ballet company that knew me from my work at the newspaper. My current employer hired me three years ago to be a general editor--writing and editing stories for newsletters, press releases, proposals, etc. I took advantage of every opportunity to do new things, I did a good job, and I made a point of being easy to work with. When my boss was moved to another area, I was offered his position and jumped at the chance.
Job Tasks: The university I work for receives lots of donations and contributions to support scholarships, research projects, and other important things that go on at the school. I direct a team of people who create communications tools that help our co-workers who meet and talk with donors about causes within the university they might be interested in supporting. One person creates proposals for use on potential donors, describing how their contributions could be used. For example, we created one for a man who graduated in engineering some years ago, outlining how a particular amount of money would help build a new building and create a scholarship for future students. He liked the idea and gave several million dollars!
Another person on my team runs the intranet (an internal website) that provides information, forms and other important materials for the 180 people who work in the overall fundraising department. A third person on my team writes news releases about gifts that have been made to the university and the awesome things that they make possible, and she works with reporters to help them write articles. Those articles let people know about the great things the university does--like finding a cure for a disease, or discovering a new planet--and what a big difference people can make by contributing money for those projects. This person also helps create invitations and programs for events that the university hosts for our donors.
The fourth person on my team is a graphic designer who does layout for proposals and invitations. Occasionally he gets special assignments like designing stationery, a neck tie and a woman's necklace for our top donors to receive. Personally, I write reports for our senior vice-president that go to the president, the university trustees and other people who monitor and participate in our fundraising efforts. I also write speeches for the university president and senior vice-president to use at events where they are asked to speak.
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of being director of communications is there's a lot of variety in the work we do, a lot of writing, which I enjoy, and lots of opportunities to be creative. It's also fun to create something that you know someone is going to pick up and read and enjoy, and maybe learn from. And I love working for a university in particular because I believe in the mission of educating people, creating knowledge, and serving others.
The hardest part of my job is managing multiple deadlines and working on tight timelines. It requires good organizational skills and the ability to work nicely with other people even when you're feeling stressed out.
1. Save everything you write--you never know when you'll be asked for writing samples, and there are a lot of ways to show you can write. (I got my newspaper job because they liked a story I wrote for my own homemade 'zine!) 2. Take advantage of opportunities to build your skill set. A good writer is good, but a good writer who also knows how to do page layout is great! 3. Learn how to interview people and ask questions. These are the best ways to gather information, and following your curiosity can lead you to cool facts and stories to share.
Additional Thoughts: Something that surprises me about my job is that I get paid to make decisions that seem like no-brainers to me, that anyone could make--namely, what certain people should say, whom they should say it to, and how they should say it (a letter? a fancy report? an email?). However, I have come to understand that not everyone can process all those factors as well as I can. In life, if you find something that seems easy to you, don't assume it's because it's easy for everyone. It could be that you have a valuable skill that you could make a career out of!
Click the Visit School Site buttons to go directly to a school's website and learn more about the school and programs it has to offer. School website will open in a new tab. .
Click the Request Info buttons to request more information from a representative at the school
Experience an education that helps you realize your potential in a way that fits you best. Request more information about Post University today.
Ready to earn your business degree?
As a student at South University, Online Programs, you will receive the same quality instruction, variety of learning options and level of service found at the campus locations.
Abilene Christian University is a national leader in Christian higher education and a place where students, faculty, staff and alumni make a real difference in the world.
Since 1977, Keiser University has provided quality student-centered, career-focused education.
The Forbes School of Business® combines the power and flexibility of online learning with high-quality, topical Forbes content.
UNC Kenan-Flagler is one of the world's top-ranked business schools. At UNC Kenan-Flagler, you develop the skills that make you a highly effective leader and prepare you for long-term career success. The strength of the UNC Kenan-Flagler MBA degree comes from a school culture in which members live the business school's core values of excellence, leadership, teamwork, integrity and community.
The Secret to Getting Ahead is Getting Started
Regent University prepares students with the knowledge to excel and the faith to live with purpose.
Turn your talents into a career at nationally recognized and accredited Platt College.
The inside stories from people actually working in the field.
Click a story title to show the story, and click the title again to hide it.
Career Stories are concise, real-world career overviews written by people relating their personal career experiences and wisdom. They provide invaluable insights and mentoring advice to students and career changers.
Most stories include:
Please also see our detailed information about Sales Managers, including: