Vanderbilt University Assistant Director of Communications Strategy, Major Giving in Nashville, Tennessee

Assistant Director of Communications Strategy, Major Giving (Job Number: 1801530)


The Office of Development and Alumni Relations Campaign Communications (DARCC) develops and disseminates strategic messages to promote philanthropy and alumni engagement at Vanderbilt University. Aligned with Vanderbilt’s mission and vision, DARCC is responsible for university-level advancement communications planning, program management, and project execution. Staff members provide strategic counsel within DAR and across the university.

In support of its purpose and in response to existing and emerging needs, the office is seeking an experienced and proven professional to serve as assistant director of communications for Development and Alumni Relations Communications, with a focus on major giving.

The Department of Development and Alumni Relations (DAR) assists Vanderbilt University in securing the resources, both human and financial, that are required to achieve its mission and goals. The Department is responsible for the identification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of individuals and organizations whose charitable objectives are consistent with those of Vanderbilt University’s teaching and research programs.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Works closely with colleagues in Development and Alumni Relations to maximize the effectiveness of development communications and provides development officers and others with the tools they need to most effectively meet Vanderbilt University’s philanthropic goals.

  • Coordinates development communications projects needed to support efforts of major gift development officers and other staff. This may include conceptualizing, writing and editing fundraising proposals, leading project teams or creating such projects as talking points, case statements, personalized letters, online content and other collateral materials. Advises on a communications strategy that will support development programs’ strategic objectives.

  • Researches and develops pitches for stories on philanthropy and the impact of giving on the university.

  • Works collaboratively with colleagues in Division of Communications, and with other administrators, faculty, and staff throughout the university.

  • Works with in-house graphic designers and web and email programmers as needed to produce and distribute development communications materials.

  • Contributes successfully to the DAR Campaign Communications team in planning, implementing and evaluating a comprehensive communications program in support of Development and Alumni Relations.

  • Performs other duties as assigned.

Education and Certifications

A bachelor’s degree and three years of relevant experience, or the equivalent, is required

Experience and Skills

  • Communications professional with excellent collaborative attitude. Highly motivated team player with strong interpersonal skills for effective interactions working with internal and external individuals.

  • Candidates should have a minimum of three years of communications or writing experience, preferably in higher education, or a record of demonstrated achievement in a field requiring the application of similar skills. Experience in a development or advancement office is desirable.

  • Excellent proofreading skills with precise attention to detail.

  • Ability to work independently, assuming responsibility, prioritizing and carrying out duties with a minimum of supervision.

  • Excellent organizational skills, oral and written communications skills, and the ability to articulate the needs, interests, and accomplishments of Vanderbilt University to a wide range of audiences are required.

  • Candidates must also have the capacity to perform in an intellectually rigorous and complex environment, exhibit personal characteristics enabling effective interaction with important constituencies, and possess a genuine commitment to the advancement of education and to the principles governing Development and Alumni Relations.

About VanderbiltBenefits

In addition to offering a lively community that encourages learning and celebrates diversity, Vanderbilt University offers a competitive, flexible benefits package including health, dental, vision, life, accidental death & dismemberment, disability insurance, paid time off, and a 403(b) retirement plan with employer match. Vanderbilt offers tuition assistance to employees, spouses and dependent children. Also, after five years of service, Vanderbilt will pay up to 55% of the tuition for up to three dependent children to earn a bachelor's degree. Learn more about Vanderbilt's benefits at VU Benefits Overview at .

About VanderbiltUniversity

Vanderbilt is a renowned private institution founded in 1873 and located in the heart of Nashville, Tennessee. The university’s students and faculty frequently cite Nashville and the surrounding area as one of the many perks of being a part of the Vanderbilt community. Vanderbilt University is a place where your expertise will be valued, your knowledge expanded, and your abilities challenged. It is a place where your diversity is sought and celebrated. It is a place where employees know they are part of something bigger than themselves, take exceptional pride in their work and never settle for what was good enough yesterday. Vanderbilt was recently ranked #2 for “best quality of life” and “great financial aid,” #5 for “best run colleges” and “beautiful campus,” and #6 for both being in a “college city that students love” and having “great campus/city relations.”


Vanderbilt University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer. Women, minorities, people with disabilities and protected veterans are encouraged to apply.

Primary Location: United States-Tennessee-Nashville

Organization: 42217 - Communications

Job: External Affairs & Communications Professionals

Vanderbilt University is committed to principles of equal opportunity and affirmative action