Communications Strategist, Principal Gifts

University of Chicago

University of Chicago

Marketing & Communications
Chicago, IL, USA
Posted on Thursday, November 9, 2023


BSD DEV - Principal Gifts

About the Department

Medicine and Biological Sciences Development’s mission is to inspire and facilitate philanthropy at the University of Chicago Medicine by building relationships with those who share its goals of advancing excellence in research, education, community, and patient care. We accomplish this mission through expertise, integrity, creativity, and collaboration.

Job Summary

The job independently writes a variety of communications for the University. Works with minimal guidance to research, compose, and edit high-level communications, publications and/or reports with complex and specialized subject matter.


  • Researches and writes a broad spectrum of strategic and complex fundraising materials aimed at specific audiences, including internal and external constituents such as donors, prospective donors, Alumni, Trustees, and faculty, portraying complex medical concepts and programs in a credible and accessible style.

  • A member of the Principal Gifts team, collaborates with their team and across MBSD to conceive of strategies for proposals, stewardship reports, briefings, and other correspondence and s/he assists with prospect cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship in support of ambitious team goals that can range from $20M - $50M annually.

  • Writes proposals that primarily solicit gifts of $5M+ and prepares briefs and other collateral materials to advance the cultivation and solicitation of principal gift donors.

  • Takes comprehensive responsibility for the materials such as, but not limited to: building a persuasive case for each written piece; considering the specific audience; identifying influential facts or statistics; fact checking; and establishing, monitoring, and executing a timeline.

  • Responsible for written materials and projects such as: proposals; briefs, correspondence including acknowledgement letters; cultivation visits/meetings; stewardship reports; Power Point presentations; and conceptualization of a stewardship meeting.

  • Identifies and articulates gift opportunities and be a fundamental resource for fundraisers at MBSD as they identify gift opportunities for donors and prospective donors.

  • Provides editorial support and leadership across MBSD and serves as a leader and expert who will provide coaching and mentoring in writing to other writers in the department.

  • Leads efforts and collaborates with other teams at MBSD such as Individual Giving, Marketing and Communications; Outreach and Events; and Advancement Services.

  • Works closely with MBSD Leaders to create and execute an annual communication and strategic plans.

  • Collaborates with faculty and administrators throughout the University of Chicago and the University of Chicago Medicine in order to articulate programs that will be characterized by leading-edge science and technology and conceived as agenda-setting science.

  • Project manages the team’s activity and is responsible for implementing tactical next steps to ensure goals and objectives are met.

  • Monitors team activity and anticipates and tracks deliverables, including letters, briefings, reports, presentations, and proposals.

  • Designs and plans communications strategies.

  • Uses broad knowledge of writing to write in-depth pieces relating to specialized field (e.g. scientific writing).

  • Performs other related work as needed.

Minimum Qualifications


Minimum requirements include a college or university degree in related field.

Work Experience:

Minimum requirements include knowledge and skills developed through 5-7 years of work experience in a related job discipline.



Preferred Qualifications


  • Bachelor's degree in journalism, English, communications, or a relevant field.


  • A minimum of five years of work experience as a writer or editor.

  • Proven expertise taking complex information and both synthesizing it to identify and clarify key issues and opportunities and developing a compelling message.

  • Understand finance and quantitative documents.

  • Identifying and evaluating basic issues, for bringing together information from a variety of sources, and for selecting appropriate analytical and creative approaches in dealing with immediate responsibilities.

Preferred Competencies

  • Intermediate knowledge of specialized subject matter.

  • Knowledge of grammar, punctuation, spelling and style.

  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.

  • Editing skills.

  • Creativity.

  • Analytical skills.

  • Problem-solving skills.

  • Decision-making skills.

  • Coaching skills.

  • Ability to work independently with a high degree of initiative.

  • Attention to detail.

  • Organizational skills.

  • Ability to maintain confidentiality.

  • Ability to work on multiple projects simultaneously, set priorities, and meet deadlines.

  • Knowledge of word processing software.

Application Documents

  • Resume/CV (required)

  • Cover Letter (preferred)

When applying, the document(s) MUST be uploaded via the My Experience page, in the section titled Application Documents of the application.

Job Family


Role Impact

Individual Contributor

FLSA Status


Pay Frequency


Scheduled Weekly Hours


Benefits Eligible


Drug Test Required


Health Screen Required


Motor Vehicle Record Inquiry Required


Posting Statement

The University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity/Disabled/Veterans and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, status as an individual with a disability, military or veteran status, genetic information, or other protected classes under the law. For additional information please see the University's Notice of Nondiscrimination.

Staff Job seekers in need of a reasonable accommodation to complete the application process should call 773-702-5800 or submit a request via Applicant Inquiry Form.

We seek a diverse pool of applicants who wish to join an academic community that places the highest value on rigorous inquiry and encourages a diversity of perspectives, experiences, groups of individuals, and ideas to inform and stimulate intellectual challenge, engagement, and exchange.

All offers of employment are contingent upon a background check that includes a review of conviction history. A conviction does not automatically preclude University employment. Rather, the University considers conviction information on a case-by-case basis and assesses the nature of the offense, the circumstances surrounding it, the proximity in time of the conviction, and its relevance to the position.

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