Lead Writer, Campaign Communications
August 23rd, 2019


Job Description

Join SMU in the launch of an exciting fundraising campaign that will take the University to the next level in shaping world changers. 


The Lead Writer will articulate SMU's campaign key messages and create content that inspires major and principal gift donors including alumni, North Texans and supporters across the country to invest in SMU. 


This position reports to the Executive Director of Creative Marketing and leads a small team of writers to strengthen engagement with current and prospective SMU major donors. This person will collaborate with the extended marketing team and with the fundraising team to support SMU brand messaging.

Job Responsibilities

Essential Functions:

  • Manages and leads a small team of writers to create content that inspires and strengthens engagement with current and prospective SMU major and principal gift donors. Serves as writer but also the main editor for all campaign content, coaching the team on using SMU's voice and tone, key messages, and storytelling.

  • Teaming with marcom colleagues produces highly visual and compelling digital and print development/campaign related materials such as proposals to donors; gift summaries, announcements and impact stories; video testimonials and stories; gift and donor-related content for speeches and events; quarterly campaign newsletter; vibrant campaign website; social media; etc.

  • This position will also build a digital library of resources for the fundraising team that are easy to use and enables them to be self-sufficient in the fundraising of leadership and major gifts (examples: templated proposals for merit- and need-based scholarships, endowed positions, etc.)

Job Qualifications

Bachelor's degree is required, preferably in Writing, English or Journalism.

A minimum of seven years of work experience in creative and professional writing and editing is required, preferably in higher education or non-profit. Previous experience supervising a professional staff is also required.


Experience in the areas of development or advancement communications is preferred. Experience writing proposals and other content for major and principal gift donors is highly desirable. Experience engaging sophisticated donors in interviews to share their stories is a plus. 


Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

Candidate must demonstrate strong verbal and interpersonal communication skills, as well as the ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with a wide range of constituencies in a diverse community. Must also be a good listener and have demonstrated experience collaborating with fundraisers, designers, videographers, social media, project managers and others in the creation of content.

Candidate must have proven ability to articulate complex ideas in writing and verbally. Strong writing skills with the ability to produce error-free communications and other materials are required. Strong knowledge of AP Style; usage, grammar and punctuation rules for proofreading; fact checking; and quality control are essential. 

Candidate must possess strong organizational, planning and time-management skills with the ability to proactively manage multiple concurrent projects, ensure high-quality standards, ensure deadlines are met and delegate effectively. Must also demonstrate a strong attention to detail, the ability to be flexible and have a strong sense of urgency. 

Candidate must possess strong problem solving skills with the ability to be resourceful, proactive and seek assistance as needed. The ability to work both independently and in a team-focused, collaborative environment is essential. Must also be a team player with a can do attitude and have proven experience collaborating with many stakeholders. 

Candidate must possess strong leadership skills with the ability to provide focus and motivation to professional staff in a goal-driven, fast-paced and changing environment. Demonstrated understanding of audience and placement is essential; example: able to make decisions of when to start with a mobile or print concept first.

Candidate must have a strong working knowledge of Microsoft Suite, especially Word and Excel. The ability to edit content in InDesign, Illustrator or other design software is strongly preferred. 

Physical/Environmental Demands:

  • Sit for long periods of time

Deadline to Apply:

September 13, 2019



SMU will not discriminate in any program or activity on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, genetic information, veteran status, sexual orientation, or gender identity and expression. The Executive Director for Access and Equity/Title IX Coordinator is designated to handle inquiries regarding nondiscrimination policies and may be reached at the Perkins Administration Building, Room 204, 6425 Boaz Lane, Dallas, TX 75205, 214-768-3601, accessequity@smu.edu.  

How to Apply

Posted By
Erica Velasquez

A nationally ranked comprehensive research university with seven degree-granting schools, SMU is a distinguished center for teaching and research located near the heart of Dallas. SMU's nearly 12,000 students benefit from small classes,research opportunities, leadership development,international study and innovative programs. The University is strengthened by its partnership with the Dallas region, a global center of commerce and culture. SMU students, faculty and alumni are changing the world through their chosen fields, civic engagement and service to society.


Dallas, TX

Job Type