This job has expired

Director of Advancement Communications

Rhode Island School of Design
Rhode Island, United States
Salary Not Specified
Posted date
Aug 23, 2021

View more

Position Type
Faculty Positions, Communications, Other Communications, Public Relations & Advertising, Administrative, Business & Administrative Affairs, Public Relations & Marketing (Campus), Executive, Executive Directors, Editing & Publications Management
Employment Type
Full Time
You need to sign in or create an account to save a job.

Job Summary

Rhode Island School of Design is actively seeking a Director of Advancement Communications to join its Institutional Advancement Department (IA). Institutional Advancement cultivates and stewards relationships from a variety of sources to support the priorities of the college. IA understands that art and design drive human progress and produce innovations that shape our world. It is deeply committed to building an inclusive community enlivened by a determination to address the most important challenges of our time. As an employer, RISD offers a supportive, collegial, and inclusive work environment, and a competitive benefits package.

With an in-depth understanding of RISD’s strategic priorities, the Director of Advancement Communications drives and coordinates the efforts of all communications initiatives to advance Institutional Advancement’s (IA) work to foster lifelong relationships with alumni, parents, friends, donors, and organizations to strengthen goodwill and philanthropy. The incumbent leads the Communications team to develop and execute compelling written and visual communications across print, website, email, and social media platforms. This position ensures cohesive, timely, and impactful messaging across IA and oversees the execution of an integrated communications strategy necessary for the implementation of responsive, multi-channel communications for RISD’s fundraising and alumni and family relations efforts.

We seek a culturally competent candidate who will thrive in a campus environment that is committed to advancing the principles of social equity and inclusion, environmental and climate justice, and equal access to resources and opportunities.

Essential Functions
  • Develop and direct annual and long-range strategic multi-channel communications plans for approval by the Executive Director of Campaign Planning + Strategy and in alignment with institutional messaging and branding, to support the Division of Institutional Advancement’s work to strengthen RISD’s culture of philanthropy, engagement and volunteerism.
  • Develop and lead annual and long-range strategic communications plans to support IA’s work to strengthen RISD’s culture of philanthropy. Contract with and manage vendors as need to execute these plans.
  • Lead a growing team of advanced communications professionals who develop and execute writing, design and data analytics for digital and print communications. These include IA’s promotional materials, storytelling, fundraising proposals, publications, various websites, email communications, e-newsletters and social media.
  • Direct all content production assignments, maintenance and workflows associated with all projects and initiatives developed and executed by the Communications team. Manage the editorial review process for all external and internal communications and collaborate with RISD Media and other campus partners to cross-promote content beyond IA's channels.
  • Identify and direct the creation and maintenance of internal communications guidelines, internal communications newsletters, resources and talking points for IA colleagues and volunteers.
  • Ensure the highest standard of quality for all content and manage compliance with institutional messaging, branding and editorial guidelines.
  • Collaborate with IA colleagues across the RISD Fund, Planned Giving, Alumni + Family Relations and Advancement Services to oversee the execution of coordinated digital and print communications initiatives. Ensure all visual and written communications are cohesive and aligned with institutional branding guidelines.
  • Assign, or execute as needed, the writing needs of the Vice President of Institutional Advancement and Executive Director of Campaign Planning + Strategy, including crafting announcements, scripting event talking points and speeches for college and volunteer leadership and other high-level communications that require discretion and institutional knowledge.
  • Contract with and manage creative vendors to execute communications deliverables as needed, including but not limited to website development, graphic design, marketing photography and videography for a variety of strategic needs in support of the RISD Fund, Planned Giving and Alumni + Family Relations.
  • Manage communications budget as assigned by the Executive Director of Campaign Planning + Strategy.
  • Partner with key campus stakeholders, including faculty and senior leadership and communications staff in other offices, on communications that require collaboration and discretion.
Additional Functions:
  • Serve as liaison to the Media Group and as IA’s representative on the RISD Communicators Network to align institutional communications efforts across campus.
  • Provide editorial guidance on printed and electronic fundraising materials and communications to ensure materials are of highest quality and greatest appeal.
  • Complete other duties as required.
  • Bachelor’s degree in English, Communications or related field or equivalent combination of education and experience. Master’s degree is strongly preferred.
  • Minimum ten years of experience in fundraising and/or marketing communications, and/or a related field
  • Proven ability to write persuasively
  • Prior experience managing an advanced communications team
  • Extensive experience developing and implementing strategic communications plans that use communications research and analysis to drive decision-making
  • Strong writing, editing and proofreading skills with expertise in use of English grammar, punctuation and syntax with proficiency in the Chicago Manual of Style
  • Demonstrated expertise in the use of Google Apps (G Suite), Microsoft Office, CRM/Databases, Adobe Creative Suite and Asana, or similar project management collaboration tools
  • Experience directing the work of graphic designers, photographers and videographers
  • Ability to manage complex projects with multiple stakeholders, meeting priorities and deadline
  • Superlative diplomatic and communication skills, including an ability to work and communicate effectively with a broad spectrum of internal and external constituents (donors, alumni, business leaders, foundations, journalists, senior leadership, faculty and staff), within a broad range of cultural environments
  • Capability to work independently and collaboratively with limited supervision
  • Ability to work and communicate effectively with a broad spectrum of divisional and institutional colleagues, within an environment that values diversity, equity, and inclusion.


Work Schedule

35 hours/week; 12 months/year

Employment Status

Exempt. Full-Time; Regular.



Documents Needed to Apply

Resume (required)

Cover Letter (required)

Writing Sample (required)

Incomplete applications will not be considered. Please upload all required documents.

The successful candidate will be required to meet our pre-employment background screening requirements.

For certain positions, RISD is currently supporting remote work arrangements due to the pandemic. When work resumes in person, employees are expected to perform work on campus.

RISD recognizes diversity and inclusivity as fundamental to its learning community and integral to an art and design education. We welcome candidates whose experience has prepared them to contribute to our commitment to diversity and excellence. RISD is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Employment decisions are made without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetics, or any other protected characteristic as established by law.

For internal use only - Job Family:

Development - Operations
You need to sign in or create an account to save a job.

Get job alerts

Create a job alert and receive personalised job recommendations straight to your inbox.

Create alert