Annual Giving Communications Specialist (18-23)

(Job # 18-23) Public Affairs/Communication Specialist II, Annual Giving Communications Specialist, $3,515-5,993/month. Appointments are typically made at the beginning of the salary range. This is a full-time, benefited, 12-month position with a one-year probationary period in the Office of Philanthropy.

Position Summary: Reporting to the Director of Annual Giving and Philanthropic Services, the Annual Giving Communications Specialist is a key partner in meeting HSU’s Annual Giving program goals and is charged with coordinating an outreach program that has ongoing personal conversations with each of HSU’s constituents. The incumbent supervises the PhoneJacks Program to solicit alumni, parents, and other HSU constituencies to raise unrestricted charitable support and meet special project funding goals. Additionally s/he leads targeted annual giving projects including crowd-funding and departmental solicitations and oversees the stewardship of all of the annual giving efforts which includes maintaining a blog, producing videos, and interviewing donors and students. Working in a small versatile professional office, the incumbent collaborates with the Philanthropy team to meet strategic philanthropic objectives, including collaboratively developing and meeting quantitative and qualitative goals, for his/herself and student caller staff, related to fund-raising and donor relationship building.

Duties: In close coordination with the Director of Annual Giving & Philanthropic Services, the incumbent:

Plans and coordinates all aspects of the PhoneJacks program.

  • Develops productive, donor-centric telefund scripts and messaging for student callers and ensures appropriateness of calling lists and student call assignments
  • Recommends and assists with developing strategies to increase overall gift revenue and alumni participation rates, and helps ensure annual fundraising benchmarks and performance goals are achieved
  • Prepares and implements all aspects of each semester’s calling program
  • Ensures data related to donor giving is promptly and accurately captured in the donor database (Raiser’s Edge)
  • Works with Philanthropic Services team produce reports showing progress against goals and benchmarks, and regularly provides feedback to encourage results and celebrate achievements
  • Recruits, hires, trains, supervises, and evaluates a diverse student workforce comprising up to 40 employees
  • Oversees student employment and payroll documentation to ensure accuracy and policy compliance
  • Monitors shifts, teams, and individual caller contact with prospective donors to ensure program goals are achieved, including tracking caller statistics, overseeing pledge confirmation process, deploying effective caller motivation techniques, and providing on-the-spot coaching and corrective guidance

Supports annual giving communications.

  • Produces videos for solicitations and donor stewardship
  • Writes, edits, and maintains a blog for philanthropy
  • Personally solicits prospective donors and engages in other donor outreach or special fund-raising projects when appropriate or as requested
  • Regularly seeks information about HSU’s programs, accomplishments, alumni activities, and donor interests to strengthen ability to talk with donors and train students to be effective telefund solicitors and voice-to-voice relationship-builders
  • Leads crowd-funding platform, empowering campus partners to raise funds for specific efforts
  • Coordinates assigned department fundraising efforts which may include some consulting and content assistance
  • Contributes to creative donor stewardship processes and constantly seeks innovative opportunities to strengthen donors’ relationships with HSU, including collaborating with Philanthropy Advisors and other team members to further engage with or follow up on donor contacts.
  • Ensures that new donors are thanked specifically and introduced to philanthropy at HSU

Performs other duties as assigned.

This position requires the incumbent to work irregular hours (Monday through Thursday, 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM; Friday 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM; shifts may vary) during the academic year (mid-August through mid-May). Normal hours (8:00 AM to 5:00 PM) are observed when calling is not in session. The ability to work during these times is a condition of employment.

Minimum Qualifications: Entry into the Public Affairs / Communications Specialist classification requires knowledge of the fundamentals of public affairs and media relations, and some exposure to marketing and marketing research. This background normally is obtained through a college degree, which includes relevant coursework in the field, AND up to two years of related professional or technical experience. Additionally, work at position skill level II (Public Affairs / Communications Specialist II) requires the knowledge, skills, and abilities listed below.

Knowledge Skills and Abilities:


  • Working knowledge of and ability to apply standard theories, practices, principles and techniques related to communications in the public affairs, media, marketing, and/or sports information areas
  • Thorough knowledge of and ability to use effectively media outlets including planning media coverage and media publicity campaigns for the university and events
  • Thorough knowledge of web communication techniques, vehicles and formats and how to best use them for philanthropy messaging
  • Working knowledge of marketing and research techniques and methods and the ability to apply them to philanthropy communications
  • Working knowledge of copyright and other applicable laws pertaining to publications and the media
  • Knowledge of interview techniques and the ability to define and deliver media messages
  • Foundation knowledge of general practices, methods and procedures related to public affairs, media relations, marketing, and/or sports information
  • Working knowledge of protocols and institutional etiquette related to public and media relations
  • Working knowledge of applicable software packages, to include Microsoft Office and Google products, e-mail, internet, cloud-based applications, and relational databases
  • Working knowledge of summary statistics as they relate to research or sports information


  • Exceptional interpersonal skills, including strong public speaking, listening and interpretive skills
  • Strong story development and journalistic writing skills, as well as advanced editorial skills
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills with a solid foundation in grammar, spelling, and the composition of various communication vehicles
  • Excellent leadership skills, including the ability to recruit, train, coach, and mentor student staff
  • Excellent creative thinking skills that facilitate motivating and inspiring others to achieve results, cultivating productive donor relationships, and soliciting charitable gifts
  • Excellent time management skills and use of effective tracking methods to monitor results and complete work and projects in the time required

Ability to:

  • Build and manage sophisticated media contacts
  • Keep abreast of campus events and subject matter expertise in relation to current events to identify and capitalize on philanthropic opportunities
  • Effectively use web technology to achieve communication goals
  • Analyze and select pertinent facts and integrate them into communication vehicles
  • Apply market research to identify communication needs and target audiences
  • Apply appropriate statistical techniques and methods to research or sports information
  • Provide lead work direction
  • Work with the media for the coverage of events
  • Appropriately handle sensitive and confidential information, maintain confidentiality, exercise good judgment, and use discretion appropriately
  • Apply standard theories, practices, principles, and techniques related to philanthropy / development communications
  • Provide excellent customer service, demonstrating a positive and enthusiastic attitude when interacting with donors and other constituents
  • Work independently, effectively, and cooperatively under pressure in a fast-paced, result-oriented environment to meet deadlines, productivity expectations, and fund-raising goals
  • Prioritize tasks in an environment of changing time constraints
  • Analyze problems, identify key information and effectively resolve issues
  • Deal effectively and sensitively with diverse populations

Preferred Qualification: Demonstrated passion for raising funds that will enrich the learning environment for students and create meaningful philanthropic experiences for donors.

Application Procedure: To apply, qualified candidates must electronically submit the following materials through Interfolio:

  • Letter of Interest
  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae
  • Contact information for at least three professional references
  • HSU Employment History Form (

(NOTE: This form replaces the HSU Employment Application form, which should no longer be used. Download the HSU Employment History Form and save it as a PDF file prior to filling it out. If the form is filled out on line (accessed via a web browser), content WILL NOT be saved.

The Human Resources & Academic Personnel Services office (located in Siemens Hall room 212) has a computer station and front office staff available for applicants requiring assistance.

Application Deadline: The deadline to submit application materials is 11:59 p.m. on Monday, May 14, 2018. To be notified in the event this recruitment re-opens for a subsequent review of applications, send an email to that includes the job number (18-23) and applicant’s last name in the subject line of the message.

HSU is committed to enriching its educational environment and its culture through the diversity of its staff, faculty, and administration. Persons with interest and experience in helping organizations set and achieve goals relative to diversity and inclusion are especially encouraged to apply.
It is the responsibility of the applicant to provide complete and accurate employment information. Incorrect or improperly completed applications will not be considered for vacancies. Any reference in this announcement to required periods of experience or education is full-time activity. Part-time experience or education-or activities only part of which are qualifying-will receive proportionate credit. In accordance with applicable Collective Bargaining Agreements, preference may be given to the campus applicants covered by these agreements. However, positions are open to all interested applicants, both on and off campus.
Evidence of required degree(s), certification(s), or license(s) is required prior to the appointment date. A background check (including a criminal records check, employment verification, and education verification) must be completed satisfactorily before any candidate can be offered a position with the CSU. Certain positions may also require a credit check, motor vehicle report, and/or fingerprinting through Live Scan service. Adverse findings from a background check may affect the application status of applicants or continued employment of current CSU employees who apply for the position.
Humboldt State University is committed to achieving the goals of equal opportunity and endeavors to employ faculty and staff of the highest quality reflecting the ethnic and cultural diversity of the state. Additional information about Humboldt State University can be found at
Humboldt State University is a Title IX/Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer. We consider qualified applicants for employment without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, age, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, genetic information, medical condition, disability, marital status, protected veteran status, or any other legally protected status.
Compliance with the California Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act (CANRA) and CSU Executive Order 1083 Revised July 21, 2017 (EO 1083) is a condition of employment. CSU employees in positions with duties that involve regular contact with children or positions which supervise such employees are designated as Mandated Reporters under CANRA and are required to comply with the requirements set forth in EO 1083. Upon appointment to this position, the successful candidate(s) will be notified of and required to acknowledge their CANRA reporting status.
Additionally, all CSU staff and faculty receive training annually on their obligations in responding to and reporting incidents of sexual harassment and sexual violence. You will be notified by email when you are required to take this mandated training.

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