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Director of Communications and Development-Johnson Center for Philanthropy

Apply now Job no: 492594
Work type: EAP - Executive, Administrative, Professional
Location: Grand Rapids
Categories: College of Community & Public Service

The Director of Communications and Development (Director) for the Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy (Johnson Center) at Grand Valley State University is a leadership role responsible for supervising and coordinating the Johnson Center's communications and development strategies and activities including the organization's web site, social media presence, marketing, signature publications, and the cultivation and engagement of key stakeholders. The Director works with both external and internal constituencies to promote the Johnson Center to the field of philanthropy and beyond. The Director reports directly to the Executive Director or designee and is part of the organization's Senior Accountability Team (SAT).

Required Qualifications:

  • BA in Communications, Marketing, Journalism, Business or related discipline;
  • Proven professional with five or more years of experience in leading sophisticated communications and development strategies;
  • Three or more years' experience in philanthropy and/or the nonprofit sector at the local, regional, state, or national levels working on communications, public relations, marketing or development;
  • Three or more years of experience in fundraising and donor relations;
  • Comfortable working in a culture of dynamic change while maintaining high standards for quality and accountability;
  • Demonstrated high proficiency for quality writing, editing, and comprehensive marketing and communications strategy management with a keen attention to high quality, error¬≠ free output;
  • Proven success in supporting individual, foundation, or corporate donor development;
  • Ability to manage, produce, and edit an ambitious portfolio of online and printed communications including: constituent newsletters, annual reports, technical and educational products, and social media strategies (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, blogging platforms, etc.);
  • Ability to support the senior staff and Executive Director in fund raising planning, design, and execution (marketing needs, materials, proposal development, recognition, etc.);
  • Strong cultural competence and interpersonal skills;
  • Strong computer skills for communications and development tasks (Microsoft Office Suite);
  • Strong budget management and personnel supervision skills;
  • Experience in fundraising and/or media relations preferred; and
  • Willing to travel.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Master's Degree
  • Experience with: email marketing platform, databases, event registration systems, Salesforce customer relations management systems, Adobe lnDesign, design software and general web content management systems

The Director will spearhead the communications and fundraising component of the functions of the Johnson Center. This leadership position will be responsible for creating, disseminating, and ensuring the quality and continuity of the Johnson Center's messaging, brand, and products. The Director will develop and maintain strategic partnerships with external stakeholders, including funders, that can help expand knowledge of and support for, the Johnson Center's expertise and strategies, tools, and services.

As a member of SAT, the Director will work with Executive Director, Associate Director, and SAT to:

  • Continually identify needs and goals for the Johnson Center's communications and marketing functions and drive accountability for their implementation;
  • Lead marketing and communication strategies that will empower the Johnson Center to cultivate and enhance meaningful relationships with targeted audiences;
  • Support the engagement strategies with key stakeholders to advance the fundraising and client cultivation of the Johnson Center;
  • Support the SAT and other staff in fundraising efforts including proposal development, donor cultivation, and prospect management;
  • Develop, maintain, and promote ongoing processes to circulate updated news about the Johnson Center research, services, and other activities to interested external parties;
  • Coordinate and oversee press and public relations activities, such as a press releases and events;
  • Maintain extensive and positive relationships with media and key stakeholders;
  • Coordinate and provide logistical support for local, regional, national, and international events aimed at raising the visibility of the Johnson Center;
  • Assist staff with production and publishing process for research reports and other technical and education products to ensure brand alignment and quality assurance;
  • Oversee the master "branding" plan across all the Johnson Center communications including the content for the website, social media, and publications in compliance with the university's brand strategy;
  • Provide detailed reports of communication activities, including return-on-investment analyses;
  • Manage contracts with vendors to produce quality communications products;
  • Supervise the Marketing and Communications Coordinator and other staff as assigned and;
  • Other duties as assigned.

Salary: Commensurate with experience

Campus: Pew Campus, Grand Rapids

Department/Division: Dorothy A Johnson Center for Philanthropy/College of Community and Public Service

Application Deadline: Review will begin immediately and continue until position is filled.

How To Apply: Apply online at and click "Apply now". Include a cover letter, resume and the names of three (3) references, including contact information. The online application system will allow candidates to electronically attach these documents.  If you need assistance or have questions, call Human Resources at (616) 331-2215. Additional information about GVSU is available on our website at

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