Position Overview

The Department of Principal Gifts in the Office of Advancement is currently seeking a Full-time Limited Term Development/Strategist for approximately 2 years.

Located in Canada's most enterprising city, the University of Calgary (UCalgary) is a global intellectual hub for teaching and learning, research and scholarship, and community engagement.

UCalgary is one of Canada¿s top comprehensive research universities, with over 6,500 graduate students and 28,500 undergraduate students, over 1,800 academic staff, and over 3,200 non-academic staff in 14 faculties, across five campuses. As one of Canada's leading research-intensive universities, the UCalgary is home to 146 research chairs (75 Canada Research Chairs), and more than 50 research institutes and centres. The recently completed Energize: The Campaign for Eyes High, was the third-largest fundraising campaign in Canadian history, raising $1.41 Billion to support student experience, knowledge creation, and innovations. UCalgary has the fastest growth rate in attracting research funding among the 10 largest universities in Canada.

"Growth through focus," is a new strategy to ignite our entrepreneurial spirit to turn challenges into opportunities to improve the world around us. It will help to meet our Eyes High academic and research ambitions and strengthen our community engagement in one of Canada's most diverse and fastest growing cities. Built around three big ideas, the new plan will distinguish our university and drive growth: transdisciplinary scholarship, integration with our community and future-focused program delivery that will see us expand a more flexible and customizable UCalgary education experience.

The Office of Principal Gifts, reporting to the Chief Development Officer in the VP Advancement unit, directly develops and implements focused, integrated fundraising strategies to drive donor engagement and advance philanthropic investment opportunities in support of UCalgary's strategic plan and priorities.

Reporting to the Senior Specialist, Development Communications, the Development Strategist/Writer, is responsible for managing and executing multiple writing projects supporting institutional priorities and related development strategies for major and principal giving donors.

Primary Purpose of the Position: (Key purpose, functions, roles):

The Development Strategist and Writer is responsible for translation and integration of complex academic and non-academic initiatives and information into compelling, engaging materials and stories. This position works closely with the Development Leadership Team and collaborates with members of various teams within Advancement, particularly Communications and Stewardship, across faculties and units, in addition to working with academic leaders and researchers across the university. The work requires strategic thinking; attention to detail; creativity; and the capacity to meet constant deadlines with best-in-class work. The position will uncover the stories that highlight the impact of teaching, research and community engagement at UCalgary and connect these stories to our emerging priorities, strengths, grand challenges and 10-year vision to help advance cultivation and solicitation of donors and lead to increased philanthropic gifts. Strong, intelligent, persuasive, engaging, relevant and accurate writing is key to the successful navigation of this role.

The Writer should be self-motivated and highly flexible, with the ability to prioritize workflow in response to changing workloads and shifting priorities. Keen analytic ability; experience interpreting, translating and writing highly technical and scientific content; the ability to work with broad range of individuals and teams; and superior verbal and written communication skills are required. This individual must have the ability to work courteously and professionally under stressful conditions and tight deadlines, using tact and diplomacy while respecting appropriate confidentialities. The position requires both a technical and creative thinker and fast learner who is proficient with information and communication technologies, and who wants to continuously improve their knowledge base and skill sets.

Position Description

Summary of Key Responsibilities (job functions include but are not limited to):

  • Work closely with the Senior Specialist, Development Communications, Advancement leadership, particularly the senior development leaders and communications and stewardship teams, as well as academics, researchers and administrators in the Office of the Vice-President Research, Innovate Calgary, and other units and faculties across campus, to articulate institutional priorities for existing and emerging areas of excellence with programs and projects that have demonstrated potential for large- scale impact and investment.
  • Lead translation of above priorities and projects into compelling fundraising materials.
  • Work closely with the Director, Principal Gifts to craft tactics and accompanying materials to help advance fundraising efforts following the identification of fundraising priorities and related programs, strategies and investment opportunities.
  • Research, write, curate, edit and produce materials such as development cases for support; fundraising proposals, reports and templates; white papers; pitch decks; grant applications; advertising and promotional materials; feature and news stories.
  • Write, review and edit copy for a variety of assets and channels including print, digital and web.
  • Collaborate with research experts, fundraisers and communicators across campus to identify relevant information and data as well as supporting examples and compelling stories of impact related to fundraising projects.
  • Review and edit documentation for accuracy, consistent messaging, formatting, grammar and compliance with university standards and style.
  • Provide coaching, guidance and at times support to the two Principal Gift Specialists in writing and other communication-related projects used prepare and strengthen fundraising meetings, presentations and pitches led by the President, VPR and VPA
  • Contribute to overall development communications strategic planning and execution of related tactics
  • Play a key role in creating tone, voice and messaging for development-focused communications and help to develop usage guidelines to ensure consistency and alignment across the institution
  • On behalf of development, ensure accuracy, quality, creativity, and linkages to strategic messaging
  • Other duties as assigned

Qualifications / Requirements:

  • University degree with five to seven years of relevant experience in fundraising communications/strategy and/or business development
  • Proven track record writing and producing materials (i.e., proposals, grant applications, pitches) that directly lead to results (i.e., increased sales and/or philanthropic investment
  • Ability to synthesize a broad range of academic and non-academic information into a concisely persuasive narrative for non-academic audiences- A demonstrated portfolio of excellence in writing, editing and producing a variety of different types of content that speak to depth and breadth of ability; examples of writing for all media including print, web, video, social and digital with demonstrated understanding of how to write for different platforms and channels
  • Outstanding written and verbal communication skills
  • Excellent organizational, project management, analytical, problem-solving, interviewing and research skills
  • Ability to work independently, take initiative, work under pressure and with frequent deadlines, and handle numerous priorities at once
  • Accuracy and attention to detail
  • Innovative and self-motivated
  • Knowledge of post-secondary educational issues
  • High-level of problem solving and interpersonal skills
  • Proven ability to use discretion with confidential material; high level of tact, diplomacy, professionalism and a strong work ethic
  • Experience working for or within post-secondary environment is an asset
  • Knowledge of fundraising is an asset
  • Creative and collaborative

Application Deadline: June 21, 2021

We would like to thank all applicants in advance for submitting their resumes. Please note, only those candidates chosen to continue on through the selection process will be contacted.

Additional Information

This position is part of the AUPE bargaining unit, and falls under the Specialist/Advisor Job Family, Phase III.

To find out more about management and staff opportunities at the University of Calgary and all we have to offer, view our Management and Staff Careers website.

About the University of Calgary

  • a living, growing and youthful institution that embraces change and opportunity with a can-do attitude. Located in the nation's most enterprising city, the university is making tremendous progress on its Eyes High journey to be recognized as one of Canada's top five research universities, grounded in innovative learning and teaching and fully integrated with the community it both serves and leads. The University of Calgary inspires and supports discovery, creativity and innovation across all disciplines. For more information, visit ucalgary.ca.

The University of Calgary has launched an institution-wide Indigenous Strategy in line with the foundational goals of Eyes High, committing to creating a rich, vibrant, and culturally competent campus that welcomes and supports Indigenous Peoples, encourages Indigenous community partnerships, is inclusive of Indigenous perspectives in all that we do.

The University of Calgary recognizes that a diverse staff/faculty benefits and enriches the work, learning and research experiences of the entire campus and greater community. We are committed to removing barriers that have been historically encountered by some people in our society. We strive to recruit individuals who will further enhance our diversity and will support their professional success while they are here. We encourage all qualified applicants to apply, however preference will be given to Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada.

Employer Information

Calgary, AB, Canada
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