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Director of Advancement Communications

Rhode Island School of Design is actively seeking a Director of Advancement Communications to join its Institutional Advancement Department (IA). Institutional Advancement cultivates and stewards relationships from a variety of sources to support the priorities of the college. IA understands that art and design drive human progress and produce innovations that shape our world. It is deeply committed to building an inclusive community enlivened by a determination to address the most important challenges of our time. We seek a culturally competent candidate who will thrive in a campus environment that is committed to advancing the principles of social equity and inclusion, environmental and climate justice, and equal access to resources and opportunities.
With an in-depth understanding of RISD’s strategic priorities, the Director of Advancement Communications drives and coordinates the efforts of all communications initiatives to advance Institutional Advancement’s (IA) work to foster lifelong relationships with alumni, parents, friends, donors, and organizations to strengthen goodwill and philanthropy. The director is a key member of the Donor Engagement team who drives the external visibility of RISD’s fundraising and engagement efforts comprising Advancement Communications, Donor Relations and Special Events. This role collaborates with IA colleagues within the Donor Engagement team and across the division, including the RISD Fund, Major and Planned Giving, Alumni + Family Relations and Advancement Services, to oversee the execution of coordinated digital and print communications initiatives. The director leads the Advancement Communications team to develop and execute compelling and inclusive written and visual communications across print, website, email, video, and social media platforms. This position also ensures cohesive, timely and impactful messaging across the division and oversees the execution of an integrated communications strategy necessary for the implementation of responsive, multi-channel communications for RISD’s fundraising and alumni and family relations efforts.

  • Superlative diplomatic and communication skills, including an ability to work and communicate effectively with a broad spectrum of internal and external constituents, within a broad range of cultural environments.
  • Demonstrated commitment to social equity and inclusion, including experience/ability to identify and emphasize diverse perspectives in communications, and strategy.
  • Five-plus years of experience managing a professional communications team.
  • Extensive experience developing and implementing strategic communications plans that use communications research and analysis to drive decision-making.
  • Proven ability to write persuasively.
  • Strong writing, editing and proofreading skills with expertise in use of English grammar, punctuation and syntax with proficiency in the Chicago Manual of Style.
  • Demonstrated expertise in the use of Google Apps (G Suite), Microsoft Office, CRM/Databases, Adobe Creative Suite and Asana, or similar project management collaboration tools. Ability to manage complex projects, oversee rounds of revision, and resolve editorial feedback from multiple stakeholders.
  • Experience directing the work of writers, graphic designers, photographers and videographers.
  • Ability to manage multiple projects, priorities and deadlines. Capability to work independently and collaboratively with moderate supervision. Ability to occasionally work evenings and weekends.
  • Bachelor’s degree in English, Communications or related field or equivalent combination of education and experience. Master’s degree is strongly preferred.
  • Ten-plus years of experience in fundraising and/or marketing communications, and/or a related field.

RISD recognizes diversity and inclusivity as fundamental to its learning community and integral to an art and design education. We welcome candidates whose experience has prepared them to contribute to our commitment to diversity and excellence. RISD is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Employment decisions are made without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetics, or any other protected characteristic as established by law.