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Colorado State University Annual Giving Creative Strategist in Fort Collins, Colorado

Working Title Annual Giving Creative Strategist

Position Location Fort Collins, CO

Research Professional Position No

Posting Number 202001019AP

Position Type Admin Professional/ Research Professional

Classification Title Prof/Indiv Contrib I

Number of Vacancies 1

Work Hours/Week 40

Proposed Annual Salary Range $50,000-60,000

Employee Benefits

Colorado State University (CSU) and the State of Colorado are committed to providing employees with a strong and competitive benefits package that supports you, your health, and your family. Visit CSU’s Human Resources website for detailed benefit plan information for permanent full-time and part-time classified employees in the following University benefit areas. https://hr.colostate.edu/current-employees/benefits/.

Desired Start Date 04/05/2021

Position End Date (if temporary)

To ensure full consideration, applications must be received by 11:59pm (MT) on 01/24/2021

Description of Work Unit

Colorado State University University Advancement Annual Giving Creative Strategist (AGCS) for Annual Giving & Membership

The Annual Giving & Membership unit within Alumni Relations at Colorado State University is seeking an Annual Giving Creative Strategist (AGCS).

Who We Are

Located in the beautiful town of Fort Collins, Colorado, CSU is a premier land-grant university with world-class programs in education, outreach, and research. CSU has a student body of over 34,000 students, 7,400 employees, 232,000 living alumni, and annual research expenditures exceeding $350 million. Guided by the five supporting Principles of Community: Inclusion, Integrity, Respect, Service, and Social Justice, the University constantly pursues its mission and vision of access, research, teaching, service, and engagement.

Within CSU, the Division of University Advancement is integral to achieving and sustaining the University’s institutional excellence through fundraising and engagement efforts. Our purpose is to connect our alumni, friends, corporations, and foundations to raise the financial support necessary to advance the University’s mission and vision. With one of the leading development teams in the country, the Division most recently reached its $1 billion fundraising campaign goal 19 months ahead of schedule.

CSU Alumni Relations facilitates meaningful relationships between its 232,000+ alumni and the University. Using a combination of proven alumni engagement strategies and new, innovative approaches, the Alumni Association strives to celebrate the success of our alumni, build an emotional connection back to the CSU, and help alumni to identify connections that are meaningful to them. In addition, the Association also utilized the Iris & Michael Smith Alumni Center to serve as a place of pride and home to alumni when they return to campus as well as a space to engage students.

The primary focus of Annual Giving & Membership is to influence the Alumni Participation Rate (APR) and overall donor count, while generating support for each college and unit on campus. Soliciting broad audiences of alumni, parents, faculty/staff, friends, and students, Annual Giving generates gift revenue for a variety of funds for each division within Advancement. Using various methods of outreach including direct mail, email, digital, and phone, donors are reached strategically and presented giving opportunities that align with their past giving, University affiliation, and interests. Centralizing annual giving outreach provides value across the division and allows our colleagues to focus on major giving and pipeline development. In addition to traditional outreach, Annual Giving conducts two large scale days of giving each year, highly visible and engaging philanthropic events which, in addition to driving gifts, serves as effective entry points for new donors.

Position Summary

The Annual Giving Creative Strategist (AGCS) is a skilled copywriter, gifted storyteller and strategic thinker who will use these skills to drive annual support and alumni association membership. The AGCS is responsible, alongside Annual’s Giving’s digital strategist, for the planning, execution, and management of a comprehensive direct marketing fundraising program with a goal of increasing the total number of annual donors and alumni association members to Colorado State University. The AGCS will implement creative ideas to generate a visionary strategy for a comprehensive multi-channel direct marketing program to increase overall alumni participation and engage and activate alumni and donors. With a steadfast belief in the power of storytelling, the AGCS understands how to create an authentic fundraising narrative that is grounded in strategy. They will be an accomplished writer, committed to creative excellence, and have the drive to exceed ambitious fundraising goals. The AGCS will possess the ability to make informed data-driven decisions and implement program changes where appropriate while highlighting the University’s mission with a focus on annual giving and alumni membership.

The AGCS will develop compelling and high-impact communications through the enhancement of a robust direct mail program for both annual giving and alumni membership. The AGCS will provide overall strategic vision, project management, provide exceptional writing, and direct the creative for each solicitation from conception to completion. Working with a highly creative team of content strategists, graphic designers, fundraisers, and analysts the AGCS will combine creative strategy with the ability to make data-driven analytical decisions to drive results through a diverse portfolio of writing assignments with a goal to increase alumni participation.

The AGCS will work closely with outside vendors to produce and mail all pieces, and collaborate with internal stakeholders to fundraise on their behalf. This position will also work closely with Annual Giving’s Digital Strategist to plan and execute giving days, crowdfunding projects, and mini giving campaigns to deepen connections with annual donors. The AGCS will create and coordinate the implementation of strategic, dynamic and engaging content and offer consistency, cohesion and “one voice” to all projects. Additionally, this position will work in partnership, with Alumni Relations, Donor Relations and Stewardship, and University Advancement Communications representing annual giving and membership to plan and manage all projects designed to increase Alumni Participation.

This position reports to the Managing Director of Annual Giving & Membership.

Required Job Qualifications

• Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university by employment start date • Minimum 2 years’ experience in creative writing, copywriting, strategic marketing/storytelling, corporate communications or equivalent complex role • Ability to work non-standard hours, including occasional early mornings, evenings and weekends • A demonstrated ability to engage and effectively communicate with diverse audiences

Preferred Job Qualifications

• Extensive experience with direct mail and online giving • Exceptional written and verbal communication skills • An expert in creative writing and the art of effective storytelling • An accomplished editor and proofreader • Experience in fundraising, alumni relations, or membership program role in higher education or other non-profit setting • Proven ability to successfully identify and build relationships and connect donor/client interests with opportunities in a complex organization • Demonstrated project management experience • Ability to analyze quantitative and qualitative metrics for making data driven decisions • Ability to problem solve and adapt to rapidly changing situations and successfully manage multiple complex projects from start to finish • Ability to work cross-functionally with academic and administrative leaders in a collaborative environment to conceive and implement innovative ideas • Proficiency in Microsoft Office and experience working in a CRM or other relational database such as Advance or Raiser’s Edge

Diversity Statement

Reflecting departmental and institutional values, candidates are expected to have the ability to advance the Department’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.

Essential Duties

Job Duty Category Annual Giving and Membership Direct Mail Project Management and APR Strategy

Duty/Responsibility

• Responsible for the overall creative strategy, execution, and management of a comprehensive direct mail program with a goal of increasing the total number of annual donors and alumni association members to Colorado State University, and engaging and activating alumni and donors.
• Contribute to the mission of the unit to increase Alumni Participation through a direct marketing strategic plan designed to exceed all goals. • Serve as the project manager for all direct mail solicitations, managing the timelines and workflow in a project management database. • Responsible to manage the direct mail budget, which totals $100,000 annually. • Strategically solve advanced marketing challenges through segmentation strategy, testing packages and initiatives. • Analyze data and results to identify opportunities and suggest solutions to challenges in donor acquisition and retention. • Understand and apply knowledge of University fundraising priorities and goals.
• Serve as the project manager with all outside vendors including Colorado State Universities direct mail vendor to establish the budget and project timelines for each piece. • Manage the RFP process, alongside the Assistant Director of Annual Giving, Operations, and work with contracting services to establish work with outside direct mail vendors. • Responsible for procurement decisions and management of financial documents as it relates to direct mail. • Analyze processes and suggest process improvements to leadership. Will ensure that projects are moving forward and are on schedule as well as ensuring that each team member has the resources needed to complete their projects. • Develop strategies to manage and continuously improve the donor experience. • Develop processes for projects assigned by Managing Director to meet annual unit/division fundraising goals, handle any roadblocks discovered, and bring issues to closure, discerning when to take an issue up the chain of command.

Percentage Of Time 40

Job Duty Category Annual Giving and Membership Copywriting

Duty/Responsibility

• Expertly write and direct the creative for 50+ fundraising and stewardship pieces annually, creating “one voice” for the Annual Giving and Membership program. • Write clear, error-free content for print and online pieces, while producing high quality final products and managing a diverse portfolio of writing assignments including solicitations, stewardship, member profiles, and other timely initiatives. • Write compelling content on behalf of students, donors, faculty, staff, senior leadership, and other constituents to create powerful, cohesive and meaningful fundraising asks. • Responsible for creating the content and identifying the audiences for Colorado State Universities giving days, and mini giving campaigns. • Responsible for coordinating both central and college/unit based annual giving and membership appeals.
• Serve as a resource for campus partners in developing solicitations and other annual giving communications. • Produce high-quality final products/deliverables on tight deadlines. • Juggle multiple projects simultaneously. • Ensure adherence to graphic standards and brand consistency.

Percentage Of Time 30

Job Duty Category Communication

Duty/Responsibility

• Establish and determine storytelling strategies that highlight the value and impact of the fundraising opportunities within the unit and follow protocol to ensure quality communication pieces go out to the donors and members. • Strategize with the Annual Giving Digital Strategist, Associate Director of Alumni Association membership, and Athletics unit to develop cross-promotional messaging and areas of partnership. • Work in partnership with Alumni Relations, Donor Relations and Stewardship, and University Advancement Communications to plan and manage all projects designed to increase Alumni Participation. • Serve on appropriate cross-campus committees representing Annual Giving and Membership.

Percentage Of Time 20

Job Duty Category Develop Strategy for Annual Giving and Membership Growth

Duty/Responsibility

• Identify opportunities for growth in annual giving metrics. • Become an expert on Colorado State University and familiar with campus leadership to better respond to the needs of donors and staff. • Actively participate as a staff member in the Division of University Advancement, attend Division-wide meetings and trainings, support Division-wide priorities and initiatives and serve on committees as time permits.

Percentage Of Time 10

Special Instructions to Applicants

For full consideration, all materials must be received by 11:59 pm (MT) on January 24, 2021. Applications will be reviewed within 2 weeks of the full consideration date. Following this, all applicants will be notified of their status in the search.

A $3,000 moving allowance may be negotiated at the time of hire.

Applicants should submit 1) a cover letter that demonstrates any and all of the required and preferred qualifications that they meet 2) a resume, and 3) three professional references noting name, phone number, email address, and professional relationship (one must be a current or former supervisor). Successful applicants should be prepared to submit a copy of professional work that they feel best showcases their experience, style and skill set as it relates to this position. Examples might include a creative portfolio, writing samples, design pieces, etc. References will not be contacted without prior notification of candidates.

For tips on how to craft a successful application, please review the FAQ document on our Careers site at: https://giving.colostate.edu/careers/current-opportunities/. You can also sign up for our Careers mailing list to receive updates about future job opportunities with CSU University Advancement.

Questions regarding the position or anything else related to careers with UA may be directed to Annika Yappert, Recruiting & Talent Acquisition Specialist, at Annika.Yappert@colostate.edu.

Conditions of Employment Pre-employment Criminal Background Check (required for new hires)

Search Contact Annika Yappert, Recruiting & Tallent Acquisition Specialist, Annika.Yappert@colostate.edu

EEO Statement

Colorado State University is committed to providing an environment that is free from discrimination and harassment based on race, age, creed, color, religion, national origin or ancestry, sex, gender, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or pregnancy and will not discharge or in any other manner discriminate against employees or applicants because they have inquired about, discussed, or disclosed their own pay or the pay of another employee or applicant. Colorado State University is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action employer fully committed to achieving a diverse workforce and complies with all Federal and Colorado State laws, regulations, and executive orders regarding non-discrimination and affirmative action. The Office of Equal Opportunity is located in 101 Student Services.

The Acting Title IX Coordinator is the Vice President for Equity, Equal Opportunity and Title IX, 123 Student Services Building, Fort Collins, CO. 80523-0160, (970) 491-1715, titleix@colostate.edu.

The Section 504 and ADA Coordinator is the Vice President for Equity, Equal Opportunity and Title IX, 101 Student Services Building, Fort Collins, CO 80523-0160, (970) 491-5836.

Background Check Policy Statement

Colorado State University strives to provide a safe study, work, and living environment for its faculty, staff, volunteers and students. To support this environment and comply with applicable laws and regulations, CSU conducts background checks. The type of background check conducted varies by position and can include, but is not limited to, criminal history, sex offender registry, motor vehicle history, financial history, and/or education verification. Background checks will also be conducted when required by law or contract and when, in the discretion of the University, it is reasonable and prudent to do so.

References Requested

Minimum Requested 3

Maximum Requested 3

Supplemental Questions

Required fields are indicated with an asterisk (*).

  • * Will you have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university by the employment start date?

  • Yes

  • No

  • * Will you have a minimum 2 years’ experience in creative writing, copywriting, strategic marketing/storytelling, corporate communications or equivalent complex role?

  • Yes

  • No

  • * Do you have the ability to work non-standard hours, including occasional early mornings, evenings and weekends?

  • Yes

  • No

  • * Do you have a demonstrated ability to engage and effectively communicate with diverse audiences?

  • Yes

  • No

Applicant Documents

Required Documents

  • Resume

  • Cover Letter

Optional Documents

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