Associate Director of Advancement Communications – Digital Communications

22 Aug, 2023


Associate Director of Advancement Communications – Digital Communications

Willamette University
Salem, OR

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Please read the following carefully before beginning the online application process.

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Position Summary:

The Associate Director of Advancement Communications reports to the Director of Advancement Communications. This position is responsible for a range of tasks including overseeing and managing all Advancement e-communications, with strategically segmented audiences. The person in this role is responsible for all Advancement web pages, from managing and updating information including obituaries and class notes to regularly maintaining and updating the overall Advancement site. The role manages the Advancement social media planning, strategies and execution, and takes care of oversight for alumni accounts, as well as being a key manager and expert
user of communications software.

The position provides limited graphic design work (email headers, thumbnails, etc.) and is responsible for managing the video production process, including acquiring and working with freelance editors. The Associate Director works in a team setting where responsibilities for planning and implementing initiatives involve Advancement staff members, colleagues across campus, external vendors and industry partners.

The Advancement Communications team works together closely to ensure all
communications meet University standards and to serve as strong partners to our clients, in what is often a fast paced, high-volume environment. The person in this position collects, tracks and reports key performance indicators and production metrics that inform our strategy around audience, segmentation, message and timing.

The Associate Director adheres to the principles of ethics and standard practices as articulated in the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) Donor Bill of Rights the Association of Professional Researchers for Advancement’s (APRA) Statement of Ethics, and the Association of Fundraising Professionals’ (AFP) Code of Ethical Principles and Standards as well as the standards of practice of his/her departmental profession, as appropriate.

Reasonable Accommodations Statement:
To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable qualified individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.


Digital Communications Production (80%)

  • Builds and implements engagement communications content according to a dynamic schedule and regularly updates partners when changes happen. Content includes but is not limited to event invitations and requests for feedback, outreach to build engagement, e-newsletters, and messages from University leadership. Audiences include alumni, friends, and parents and families of Willamette University and its associated programs.
  • Manages digital communications requests with an emphasis on deadlines and workflow.
  • Serves as the Advancement Communications expert and strives to become a knowledge leader with our partners in tools including Engaging Networks (e-CRM), Smartsheet (project management software), Cascade (website), and Raiser’s Edge. Proactively advises the team on software updates and changes. Actively pushes e-CRM and other software to meet needs, solve problems, and increase innovation within Advancement Communications.
  • Is the principal lead for all structure and organization of Advancement web pages. Develops content with colleagues and works with Marketing to ensure solid structure and usability.
  • Manages, develops strategy for, implements and maintains all Advancement-related digital communications from online registrations, broadcast email, digital advertising, social media, and web ad buys.
  • Oversees the design and execution of Alumni Reunion Weekend registration website using event and e-sales software. Creates and adds graphical elements, updates copy, links, and overall site on a continual basis.
  • Offers strategic input about segmentation, based on data from historical trends, A/B testing, and other standard practices to ensure best outcomes. Spots areas for improvement and recommends steps, and executes the approved plan.
  • Actively participates in user groups within Willamette Advancement and outside the organization. Brings depth of knowledge, understanding of current technology and trends, and communicates that information to the team.
  • Organizes and distributes event participant surveys and follows up with event leads to share feedback reports.
  • Develops other communications as assigned.
  • Works closely and coordinates with on- and off-campus vendors to ensure the best performance of engagement communication tools, platforms and integrations.
  • Supervise one student worker who supports digital communications.


Data Production and Analysis (10%)

  • Pulls performance data, interprets and reports findings for communications outcomes and planning purposes, and to help determine strategy.
  • Works closely with Director of Advancement Communications to develop tracking and metrics that examine the reach and effectiveness of communications and reports key performance indicators for various platforms to better inform our communications strategy.
  • Serve as Advancement Communications’ key liaison and partner with Advancement Strategy and Operations (ASO).


Additional Duties (10%)

  • Attends as a working staff member in support of various engagement-related projects and events throughout the year, including but not limited to orientation/matriculation, commencement, and Alumni Reunion Weekend. Some nights and weekends are required.
  • Other duties as assigned.



Education:  Any combination of education, training, and experience that provides the required knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform the essential functions of the position.



  •  Two or more years of experience building, editing, developing and coordinating outstanding digital marketing and communication content.
  • A gifted organizer, project and time manager. Must be able to reprioritize several projects simultaneously, often with shifting deadlines, and communicate changes in a timely manner while maintaining integrity around strategy and the “why” of each piece.
  • Comfort with communications management software, preferably with Smartsheet or another project management suite, and Engaging Networks or similar e-CRMs.
  • Proficiency or better with Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, Powerpoint), G Suite/Google Drive, Cascade CMS (or other web CMS programs), Google Analytics, and Adobe Creative Suite software. Experience with PowerBI is helpful.
  • HTML/CSS knowledge/experience preferred.
  • A talent for interpreting communications data.
  • A demonstrated excitement and interest in playing an important role in strategic, consistent messaging across the units of Advancement.
  • Outstanding interpersonal skills and a strong customer service orientation. The person in this role is expected to work effectively in a team environment that includes people from diverse backgrounds and life experiences, including senior administrators, faculty, staff colleagues, students, parents, friends, alumni, and internal as well as external partners.
  • Able to maintain confidential information and work to the highest ethical standards as outlined by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE).
  • Able to work occasional evenings and weekends for signature events and activities including but not limited to matriculation, commencement, and Alumni Reunion Weekend.


Computer Skills:  Fluent in the use of Engaging Networks or other e-CRM, Smartsheet or other project management tracking, HTML/CSS, and Cascade or other website CMS. Comfortable with Adobe Creative Cloud software and PowerBI or other data reporting software, and an aptitude for navigating Raiser’s Edge or another member database. Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite and G Suite/ Google Documents, (editing, formatting, citations, headers, footers, pagination, image embedding) and advanced skills in Powerpoint and Google Slides.



Applicants should have

  • A thorough understanding of Willamette’s history, direction, and goals, and be able to articulate the value of a private liberal arts education. Ability to effectively communicate the value and message of Willamette University in the right voice for each piece, and maintain tight brand standards.
  • A strong candidate will have excellent interpersonal and communication skills as well as an exceptional ability to analyze data.
  • Proven ability to build effective direct mail and email communications, preferably in a higher education environment, as well as executing strategies such as A/B testing, survey compilation and reporting and carrying out social media strategy.
  • Deadline-driven and detail-oriented, must take initiative to actively move projects forward and communicate issues and updates clearly to the team and leadership.
  • Strategic and creative person who is willing to think beyond traditional boundaries or existing practices that may benefit from updating, whether in the industry, within software packages or at Willamette.
  • A talent for scheduling and calendar management.
  • Strong initiative, creativity, a high energy level, and demonstrated ability to lead and motivate people are essential.
  • Proactive, and able to work collaboratively to establish and meet goals.
  • Ability to execute tasks with impressive accuracy and quality under sometimes intense deadline pressure, while maintaining high quality and professionalism. Will manage several projects simultaneously, set priorities, and follow through.
  • Able to maintain confidential information, navigate relationships with finesse, and work to the highest ethical standards as outlined by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE)
  • Highly value interpersonal working relationships and have the ability to build, improve, and maintain them.
  • Ability to work occasional evenings and weekends for signature events and activities including but not limited to Alumni Reunion Weekend one weekend each June.


Salary: $50,440


Typical Work Schedule    

Monday – Friday 8am to 5pm

Physical Demands & Working Conditions

Typical work is performed indoors in a normal office environment.


All University positions require that candidates submit to a criminal conviction record check prior to hire. Conviction does not automatically preclude candidates from being hired. Nature of conviction will be considered relative to the duties of the position.


You will need to upload the following documents as part of your application materials in the “My Experience” section labeled Resume:

  • Cover letter addressing the required/desired qualifications and presenting any other applicant characteristics which deserve emphasis
  • Current Resume


Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis as received until the position is filled.


​Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Job posted: 2023-08-22