Drexel University

Development Writer, The Academy of Natural Sciences

Posted on May 8, 2017

Job Description: Development Writer

The Academy of Natural Sciences, Institutional Advancement

Founded in 1812, the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University is a leading natural history museum dedicated to advancing research, education, and public engagement in biodiversity and environmental science. Visitors to the Academy have the opportunity to get face-to-face with towering dinosaurs, meet live animals, and explore a tropical garden filled with live butterflies. Philadelphia’s natural history museum offers surprises for all ages, from changing interactive science exhibits to a children’s discovery center, a fossil dig, and opportunities to interact with real science experts.

Our Mission

The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University is dedicated to advancing research, education, and public engagement in biodiversity and environmental science.

Job Overview

This is a new position. The Development Writer is a creative professional who develops high-quality content in support of the Academy’s fundraising initiatives. The writer researches, writes, and edits materials for established and emerging priorities of the department, including (but not limited to) proposals, grants, appeals, campaign collateral and the Academy website. He/she reports to the Director of Individual Giving & Stewardship, works closely with the Vice President for Advancement and other Advancement Colleagues, and collaborates closely with the Academy’s Marketing & Communications team in preparing content that meets the Academy’s standards. This position does not supervise staff.


Bachelor’s degree required

Minimum of five years’ experience of professional writing and editing in higher education, non-profit fund development work or the communications/public relations fields required; experience in both for-profit and non-profit sectors preferred.

1. Strong writing, editing, and communication skills required

2. Proven track record in developing successful fundraising communications for print and digital media

3. Knowledge of standard concepts, practices and procedures related to the position, including expertise in use of English grammar, punctuation, and syntax; familiarity with appropriate business software applications; and, use of best practices in proposal development

4. Ability to “ghost write” for various Academy executives and staff

5. Ability to learn subject-specific terminology for use in developing written materials

6. Ability to quickly and effectively gather information by means of interviews and research

7. Strong project management/time management skills and ability to meet deadlines

8. Ability to work independently and in collaboration with colleagues throughout the Academy and Drexel University

9. Flexibility and adaptability in responding to changing priorities and new demands

10. Ability to set priorities and manage multiple tasks and projects with strong attention to detail and accuracy

11. Ability to work with designers and printers to bring a project from inception to completion

12. Ability to develop, package and produce editorial content for web sites

13. Ability to produce high-quality work on deadline, managing multiple projects, priorities and deadlines

14. Mature judgment, discretion and professionalism in researching and communicating information

15. Meticulous attention to detail, accuracy and the ability to work independently required

16. High degree of professionalism and presentation skills required

Essential Functions

1. Work closely with development colleagues to plan, create, and implement original written content for Academy fundraising projects; responsibilities include generating content ideas and researching, interviewing, writing and editing proposals, grants, presentations, letters, scripts and website content

2. Research and create boiler-plate descriptions of key priorities as well as writing customized gift proposals

3. Write case statements, white papers and supporting materials for current fundraising objectives

4. Contribute to communications for top donors, prospects and volunteers

5. Create concise content for fundraising web pages and other electronic delivery such as e-mail and social media

6. Interview experts and donors to create compelling stories that highlight the Academy’s needs and priorities and show how gifts transform the Academy

7. Develop scripts for fundraising events

8. Review and edit communications drafted by colleagues

9. Other writing and editing tasks as assigned

10. Assist with all Institutional Advancement activities and fundraising priorities

11. Work strategically and collaboratively with Academy and Drexel Institutional Advancement staff, Trustees, and volunteers to reach targeted goals

12. Attend appropriate Academy cultivation and donor receptions and events

13. Participate in training and professional development programs offered through Drexel Institutional Advancement

14. Perform additional duties and responsibilities as assigned

Supplementary Posting Information:

Drexel University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer, welcomes individuals from diverse backgrounds and perspectives, and believes that an inclusive and respectful environment enriches the University community and the educational and employment experience of its members. The University prohibits discrimination against individuals on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, disability, age, status as a veteran or special disabled veteran, gender identity or expression, genetic information, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions and any other prohibited characteristic. Please visit our website to view all University Policies and Workplace Postings.

Background investigations are required for all new hires as a condition of employment, after the job offer is made. Employment will be contingent upon the University’s acceptance of the results of the background investigation.


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