Vanderbilt University Assistant Director of Communications in Nashville, Tennessee

Assistant Director of Communications (Job Number: 1900040)


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.

The office of Development and Alumni Relations Campaign Communications (DARCC) provides strategic counsel to internal colleagues and crafts messages for alumni, parent, student and donor audiences focused on enhancing engagement with and support of institutional mission and goals. The Campaign Communications team has responsibility for development and alumni relations projects spanning 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 Campaign Communications.

Duties and Responsibilities

As part of a team of Development and Alumni Relations Campaign Communications professionals supporting the university, the assistant director of communications will have the following responsibilities:

  • Cultivates strong partnerships withcolleagues responsible for annual giving and serves as strategic communications advisor. Develops content and writescommunications materials to support effortsof annual giving programs, including solicitations, stewardship and volunteeroutreach. This includes conceptualizing, researching, writing, editing and advisingon direct mail and email appeals and other materials (both traditional anddigital media) for annual giving constituents.

  • Duties also include coordinatingproject teams and implementing strategies and content for efforts related tocohesive messaging for key constituencies, which may include such projects asnews articles, talking points, invitations, ads, newsletters, website content and social media campaigns.

  • Collaborates with colleaguesresponsible for annual giving on yearlyschedule of appeals and stewardship, ensuring full coordination of messagingand timing.

  • Ensures online giving content iscurrent, compelling and persuasive and focuses on Vanderbilt’s philanthropicpriorities.

  • Works closely with colleagues inDevelopment and Alumni Relations to maximize effectivenessof development communications and provides annual giving programs and otherswith the tools they need to most effectively meet Vanderbilt University’sphilanthropic and constituent engagement goals.

  • Collaborates with colleagues in annualgiving to implement traditional and digital media strategies into annualgiving processes.

  • Partners with colleagues in annualgiving programs, and with other communication professionals, faculty and staffthroughout the university. Provides outstanding service to colleagues insupport of university mission.

  • Tests and analyzes performance of communications pieces inachieving fundraising and engagement goals. Uses data to inform futurecommunications efforts.

  • Assists Development and AlumniRelations Campaign Communications in implementing and evaluating acomprehensive communications program in support of Development and AlumniRelations.

  • Performsother duties as assigned.

SupervisoryRelationships :

This position reports administratively and functionally to the Director of Communications.

Profile of an Ideal Candidate

  • A bachelor’s degree, or the equivalent, is required.

  • Candidates should have a minimum ofthree years of communications experience, preferably in higher education, or arecord of demonstrated achievement in a field requiring the application ofsimilar skills. Preference will be given to candidates with at least five yearsof experience.

  • Communicationsprofessional with excellent track recordof customer service and project management. Highly motivated team player withstrong interpersonal skills for effective interactions working with internaland external individuals.

  • Excellentproofreading skills with precise attention to detail. Familiarity with AP Stylea plus.

  • Ability to workindependently, assuming responsibility, prioritizing and carrying out dutieswith a minimum of supervision.

  • Excellentorganizational skills, oral and written communications skills, and the abilityto articulate the needs, interests, and accomplishments of VanderbiltUniversity to a wide range of audiences are required.

  • Candidates mustalso have the capacity to perform in an intellectually rigorous and complexenvironment, exhibit personal characteristics enabling effective interactionwith important constituencies, and possess a genuine commitment to theadvancement of higher education and to the principles governing Development andAlumni Relations.

  • Values the importanceof equity as an organizational operating principle and is committed to equity,diversity, and inclusion.

About Vanderbilt Benefits

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 Vanderbilt University

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