Director of Advancement Communications

University of North Carolina, Wilmington
North Carolina, United States
Salary Not Specified
Mar 29, 2021
Employment Type
Full Time

Posting Details

Working Title
Director of Advancement Communications
External Link to Posting
Vacancy Number
Position Number
Location of Workplace
Main UNCW Campus
University Advancement - 50000
University Advancement - 50000 Division
Brief Summary of Work for this Position

UNCW is seeking a Director of Advancement Communications – an enthusiastic marketing and communications professional. The ideal candidate will have significant development expertise and will formulate, articulate, and drive strategic communications that support the work of the Division for University Advancement to include Alumni Relations.  

In February 2021, the university launched a $100 million comprehensive campaign. This position will help unify division efforts around the theme – Like No Other: The Campaign for UNCW – to inspire philanthropic investment among university constituents and enhance engagement among our 90,000+ alumni. The successful candidate will help convert campaign concepts, influenced by a recent image study, into various collateral that will resonate with key constituents. We are seeking a master-collaborator who will develop integrated strategies within this framework but will also contribute new ideas and establish operations that transcend the campaign period.  

A leader within the division, the Director of Advancement Communications will guide communication strategies that support the goals of the division – including but not limited to, driving participation in annual giving campaigns, cultivating alumni engagement, and enhancing UNCW’s culture of philanthropy through stewardship and storytelling. The ability to collaborate with internal departments, as well as with campus partners and external vendors, to build consensus and effectively coordinate communications is key. These communications will be multi-channel, including but not limited to, direct mail, digital communications, speaking points, print publications and videos. 

The Director of Advancement Communications will help match departmental goals with broader divisional goals and will work to align communication channels and budgetary resources accordingly. This role will be called upon to protect campaign branding guidelines, teach techniques, and provide guidance on developing and deploying effective advancement communications.  The top candidate will be strategic, innovative, diplomatic and energetic; demonstrate the ability to quickly adapt to new technologies; and be proficient in written, oral and visual communications. Strong attention to detail and the ability to manage multiple projects in a fast-paced yet lighthearted working environment is a necessity.  

This position reports to the Associate Vice Chancellor for University Advancement and will supervise a staff of two. This position will work full-time on-campus when the university returns to normal operations.  

Minimum Education and Experience Requirements
  • Relevant post-baccalaureate degree required, or undergraduate degree with relevant experience in substitution.

  • A minimum of five years of progressive professional responsibilities guiding strategic communications as well as previous management experience. 

  • Demonstrated ability to effectively tell a story through written text. 

  • Knowledge of comprehensive fundraising campaigns. 

  • A self-starter who will immerse themselves in UNCW’s campus community and beyond to uncover stories about the impact of philanthropy and engagement, curate content that appeals to key constituents and foster professional relationships. 

  • High level of cultural competence, an inclusive approach to segmentation and messaging, and comfortable building awareness of diverse individuals and groups. 

  • Ability to implement project management software that keeps internal departments on-task and aligned. 

  • An understanding of university advancement best practices related to communications, engagement, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship. 

  • Ability to analyze and interpret complex data 

  • Excellent interpersonal skills, including high levels of diplomacy, discretion and influence with the ability to work with internal and external stakeholders at any level of seniority. 

  • Must be able to secure buy-in on proposed strategies and advocate for resources. 

  • Demonstrated experience and expertise with Adobe Creative Suite (InDesign, Illustrator, and Photoshop). 

  • Preferred Education, Knowledge, Skills & Experience
  • Professional experience in development or higher education. 

  • Experience using Customer Relationship/Database Management systems. 

  • Experience with marketing automation or utilizing artificial intelligence within marketing strategies is a plus. 

  • Familiarity with UNCW’s history and culture is highly desirable.

  • Required Certifications or Licensures


    Primary Purpose of Organizational Unit

    The Division for University Advancement responds to the needs of a variety of external and internal constituents in achieving its primary goals to: 1) Increase private financial support for prioritized university programs and activities, and 2) Improve external relations for the university through effective board management and donor stewardship. The division strives to raise funds, as outlined by the Chancellor’s vision statement and strategic plan, from the private sector to further the university mission of pursuing the resources that will enable our faculty and students to excel, and becoming intensely regionally engaged. In doing so, the division plans strategically to facilitate the identification, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship of all constituencies, and seeks to positively promote the university. The division’s fundraising efforts are enhanced by effective partnerships with components of the campus community as well as external audiences including alumni, parents, corporations, foundations, legislators, volunteer board members and friends. Development areas include major gifts, planned giving, corporate and foundation relations, annual giving, UNCW constituent liaison and alumni relations. Prospect management and research, advancement services, university events and boards, and the business office are support services for the fundraising activities of the division.

    College/School Information

    University Information

    The University of North Carolina Wilmington, the state’s coastal university, is dedicated to the integration of teaching, mentoring, research and service. Widely acknowledged for its world-class faculty and staff and continuously recognized at a national level for scholarly excellence and affordability, UNCW offers a powerful academic experience that stimulates creative inquiry and critical thinking and a community rich in diversity, inclusion and global perspectives.

    A public institution with nearly 18,000 students, UNCW offers a full range of baccalaureate- and graduate-level programs, as well as doctoral degrees in educational leadership, marine biology, nursing practice and psychology; and many distance learning options, including clinical research, an accelerated RN-to- BSN program, an Executive M.B.A. program structured for working professionals, and the nation’s only bachelor’s degree program focused on coastal engineering.

    The university’s efforts to advance research and scholarly activities have earned UNCW the elevated designation of “Doctoral Universities: High Research Activity” institution (R2 University) by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.

    UNCW has been part of the University of North Carolina System since 1969.

    EEO Statement

    At the University of North Carolina at Wilmington ( UNCW ), our culture reflects our values of inclusion, diversity, globalization, ethics and integrity and innovation and we are committed to providing equality of educational and employment opportunity for all persons without regard to race, sex (such as gender, gender identity, marital status, childbirth, and pregnancy), age, color, national origin (including ethnicity), religion, disability, sexual orientation, political affiliation, veteran status, military service member status, genetic information, or relationship to other university constituents – except where sex, age, or ability represent bona fide educational or occupational qualifications or where marital status is a statutorily established eligibility criterion for State funded employee benefit programs. UNCW believes that embracing the unique contributions of our faculty, staff and students is critical to our success and paramount in being recognized for our global mindset.

    Eligibility for Employment

    Final candidates are subject to criminal & sex offender background checks. Some vacancies also require credit or motor vehicle checks. UNC Wilmington participates in E-Verify. Federal law requires all employers to verify the identity and employment eligibility of all persons hired to work in the United States.

    Number of Openings
    Single Incumbent
    Special Notes to Applicants

    Months Per Year
    12 Months
    Type of Position
    Anticipated Ending Date if Time-Limited Positions

    Job Posting Date
    Posting Close Date
    Applicant Documents
    Required Documents
  1. Cover Letter
  2. Resume
  3. List of 3 Professional References
Optional Documents Posting Specific Questions

Required fields are indicated with an asterisk (*).

  1. * A key objective of this role is to help develop integrated marketing communications that will convert alumni into donors. What are some data sets that you would evaluate to inform strategies?

    (Open Ended Question)

  2. * Share an example of how you've driven disparate groups toward consensus and adoption.

    (Open Ended Question)

  3. Candidates are encouraged to provide work samples or a link to a professional portfolio.

    (Open Ended Question)

  4. * How did you learn of this opportunity with UNC Wilmington (2021)?
    • UNCW Website
    • UNCW Facebook Page
    • UNCW Linkedin Page
    • UNCW Twitter Account
    • UNCW Employee Referral
    • Chronicle of Higher Education
    • Craigslist
    • Diverse Issues in Higher Education
    • Glassdoor
    • Higher Ed Jobs
    • Hispanic Outlook
    • Indeed
    • Inside Higher Ed
    • North Carolina Job Network
    • Women In Higher Education
    • Other

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