Director, Donor Communications

  • Washington, DC
  • Full Time
  • Experienced

             Job Description


Title:                        Director, Donor Communications

Reports to:             Vice President, Development

Job Summary:          This position will oversee the communications and messaging strategy for Heritage’s membership base of 500,000 donors. Ensure that the right message and tone reach the right donors, at the right time, in the right way. This includes all major gift proposals, reports, and project descriptions, as well as certain membership cultivation and stewardship pieces. Responsible for winsome storytelling that clearly demonstrates our impact and inspires donors to increase their giving. Manage a six-person Donor Communications team as they create and execute a strategic communications plan to meet annual and long-term fundraising goals of the Heritage enterprise, including future comprehensive campaign efforts. Serves as the chief liaison between the Development and Communications departments.

Job Duties:

Organizational Communications Strategy:

  • Generate a consistent narrative and voice for the organization. Oversee content creation for a variety of formats and subject matter that inspires donors to partner with Heritage to meet their philanthropic goals.
  • Communicate Heritage policy research in clear, relatable, and precise messages that are easily digestible for mass audiences on various event and media platforms.
  • Partner with key stakeholders across multiple public policy-generating departments to understand and effectively communicate organizational goals.
  • Remain up-to-date and well-versed on Heritage research and policy positions; develop and maintain strong relationships with our policy experts.

Donor Communications Team:

  • Establish department priorities, prepare and monitor the department budget, provide overall direction for staff activities, and lead by example. Use department resources effectively to achieve Heritage objectives.
  • Oversee the creation of customized communication and stewardship plans for specific donor segments, including annual, major, and planned gift donors.  
  • Develop strategies, tactics, and cadences for engaging donors through multi-channel communications streams.
  • Stay abreast of emerging technologies in support of digital and traditional fundraising and stewardship initiatives.
  • Work with the Events and Programming department to support the production of collateral materials including event invitations, webpages, presentations, promotional videos, and other communications vehicles aimed at a broad range of donors.
  • Enhance the professional and career development of department staff through effective training, mentoring, and performance evaluations. Reward and motivate staff by using bonus and merit increase budgets effectively and by developing promotion opportunities.
  • Recommend department staffing levels and recruit qualified staff to fill approved positions. Prepare job descriptions and advertisements and handle interviews.

Development Leadership:

  • As a member of the Development leadership team, lead the department’s overall planning activities, developing specific and measurable department goals that advance Heritage’s vision and mission and complement the goals of other departments.
  • Provide input on departmental campaigns, projects, and strategies to increase income and meet fundraising goals.
  • Advise the Vice Presidents of Development and Communications on cross-departmental opportunities and efforts. And on management, strategy, and internal communications as needed. Identify areas for collaboration in creating our donor facing marketing and communication products.


Education:                  Bachelor’s degree in communications or related field

Experience:                 7-10 years of relevant marketing, communications, and/or fundraising experience

Communication:         Excellent writing, editing, presentation, and strong public speaking skills. An articulate advocate of Heritage’s vision and mission. Excellent interpersonal and team management skills; ability to lead others and interact with diversified portfolio of partners; ability to prepare internal reports in easily understandable fashion.

Management:              Key management skills including strategic planning and goal setting, budgeting, staffing, performance counseling, mentoring, and career planning are required

Technology:                Microsoft Office and Outlook, CRM database

Other Requirements:           

  • Understand and support the Heritage mission, vision for America, True North conservative principles, and the department’s goals and objectives.
  • Experience working with writers and demonstrated ability to implement the right systems, process, and standards that bring order and structure to the team’s operations.
  • Ability to handle multiple tasks and meet tight deadlines to drive projects to successful completion in an efficient manner.
  • Ability to take initiative and work in a fast-paced environment while integrating a high degree of attention to detail and organization.
  • Excellent grasp of English technicalities, including grammar and usage, and the ability to proof and edit copy and to adapt voice and style for different writing projects.
  • Ability to collaboratively interact with the rest of the Development leadership team.
  • Ability to work from headquarters.
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