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How to Apply

Interested candidates must apply through the UM Jobs website ( A cover letter, not to exceed two pages, is required and must answer the following questions:

  1. Based on your understanding of LSA Advancement, please explain why you are applying for this position.
  2. Briefly describe your recent experience in communications or public relations, including  your experience writing news releases, articles, brochures, marketing/fundraising materials, etc.
  3. Outline your experience in non-profit fundraising, your role and accomplishments.
  4. This position requires working with different teams in LSA Advancement.  Please share how you have worked collaboratively with others to produce a successful project.

Please submit your cover letter and resume as a single electronic document. In addition, please submit two writing samples that show your versatility as a writer, as either a link in your cover letter (be sure to provide the entire URL) or following your resume. Candidates who are not in compliance with these requests will not be considered.

Job Summary

LSA Advancement champions the liberal arts at the University of Michigan by creating access and opportunities for learning, engagement, and giving that will improve the world.  We believe deeply in the transformative power of LSA's research and education, so we work to the highest standards of excellence and with joy, in the conviction that what we do matters to our students, our state, and the world.

The role of the Development Communications Specialist will be to articulate the critical importance of philanthropic support for LSA students, faculty, departments and programs through a variety of communications.  The focus of this position is to support LSA fundraising and stewardship priorities by developing, writing, and editing gift stories, solicitation messaging, and stewardship communications that stimulate giving to and engagement with LSA.

The ideal candidate will be a skilled writer and editor with experience writing for fundraising purposes.  This person must be able to tell gift impact stories that inspire, produce strategic, marketing-style writing that communicates funding needs in a clear, concise, and compelling manner, and provide meticulous editing that preserves the voices of a variety of authors.  Writing for social media is a plus. 

To be effective, this person must have a strong ability to collaborate across LSA Advancement teams, working closely with colleagues in the major gift, stewardship, external relations, and college marketing/communications teams to plan, execute, and disseminate communications that organically fuse college messaging with fundraising and stewardship efforts.

The target salary range for this position $47,000 to $52,000.


(50%)  Donor and gift impact communications 

  • Write and edit donor and gift impact stories and releases that convey appreciation, inform, and engage donors and alumni for a variety of media. 
  • Strategize, develop and edit new content to keep the Support LSA, Planned Giving, and other LSA giving web pages fresh and compelling to encourage alumni and donors to return and make gifts.  Work with campaign director, major gift officers, planned giving director,  annual giving officers, digital fundraiser, external relations director and stewardship director to identify and determine content.  Implement website updates. 
  • Write or edit gift impact/donor stories for department newsletters and websites, and work with department major gift liaisons and digital fundraiser to strategize placement in social media platforms.  Collaborate with faculty, staff, donors, students, and others to create content.
  • Collaborate with Office of University Development to promote LSA Advancement message in University-wide communications such as Leaders & Best, planned giving and campaign communications, and other media/platforms.
  • Develop and facilitate partnership between Major Gift, Stewardship, External Relations, and Marketing/Communications teams in ways that will enable fundraising and stewardship teams to leverage upcoming LSA communications effectively to engage and steward donors in preparation for solicitations. 

(30%)  Stewardship communications

  • Write stewardship communications that are compelling and actively convey the vibrancy of the college, the impact of gifts, the importance of scholarships, and the unique value of philanthropic support.  Create text for templates, letters, targeted emails, and other methods to communicate stewardship messaging.    
  • Edit impact reports and other materials to uphold college style guide standards while maintaining unique author voices.  Create customized text for individual donors, as well as materials written for collective groups of donors.
  • Partner with stewardship team in developing and executing communication plan for stewardship of scholarship and other LSA donors.

(20%)  Marketing collateral for fundraising

  • Develop and edit fundraising and solicitation materials and templates to support fundraising initiatives, such as college major gift priorities, annual fund, and department level fundraising.
  • Partner with Marketing and Communications and annual giving teams to strategize ways to incorporate fundraising priorities seamlessly into broader college messaging.

Required Qualifications*

The most competitive candidates for the position will possess public relations and marketing experience, excellent writing skills, strong collaborative instincts, a willingness to learn, and a deep commitment to the value of philanthropy. They will also need to be willing to support and create a culture which values the philosophy and practice of Positive Organizational Scholarship.

In addition, candidates should have:

  1. Strong writing, editing, and proofreading skills including: demonstrated experience drafting marketing materials, writing stories and releases; ability to adapt writing styles to fit different audiences and writing purposes
  2. Demonstrated ability to collaborate with a wide variety of colleagues and stakeholders, including ability to interact effectively with faculty and donors
  3. Must demonstrate high degree of accuracy and meticulous attention to detail
  4. Experience working with highly confidential and sensitive information
  5. Demonstrated organizational skills and ability to prioritize multiple projects with tight deadlines
  6. Proven ability to work independently and to exercise initiative
  7. Ability to navigate a decentralized work environment, using expertise and relationship-building skills to achieve objectives
  8. Demonstrated commitment to the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion: treat others with respect, dignity, and in a manner where individuals feel they belong; listen, value feedback, and learn from the perspectives of others
  9. Proficiency in MS Office applications (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) and Google (Docs, Spreadsheets)

Desired Qualifications*

  1. Bachelor’s degree in communications, English, marketing, or similar subject, and two to five or more years of direct and recent public relations, marketing writing or related field experience
  2. Passion for the University of Michigan and the liberal arts
  3. Familiarity with news and media related to higher education
  4. Experience working in non-profit fundraising
  5. Working knowledge of social media platforms (e.g., LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.)
  6. Working knowledge of the University organizational policies, rules, regulations

Work Locations

LSA Advancement office is located off-campus at 101 N. Main Street in Downtown Ann Arbor (corner of Main Street and Huron Street).

Additional Information

The College of Literature, Science, and the Arts seeks to recruit and retain a diverse workforce as a reflection of our commitments to serve the diverse people of Michigan, fulfill the College’s Guiding Principles, and sustain the excellence of LSA.  

Women, minorities, individuals with disabilities and veterans are encouraged to apply.

Additional Information

Skills testing may be required.


Background Screening

The University of Michigan conducts background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer and may use a third party administrator to conduct background checks.  Background checks will be performed in compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

Mission Statement

The mission of the University of Michigan is to serve the people of Michigan and the world through preeminence in creating, communicating, preserving and applying knowledge, art, and academic values, and in developing leaders and citizens who will challenge the present and enrich the future.  The University of Michigan is committed to foster learning, creativity and productivity, and to support the vigorous exchange of ideas and information, not only in the classroom but in the workplace by: 

  • Creating a work environment in which people treat each other with respect and dignity, regardless of roles, responsibilities or differences. 
  • Providing support, direction and resources enabling us to accomplish the responsibilities of our jobs and to reach the goals that are set for professional and personal growth.

Application Deadline

Job openings are posted for a minimum of seven calendar days.  This job may be removed from posting boards and filled anytime after the minimum posting period has ended.

U-M EEO/AA Statement

The University of Michigan is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.