Job Listings

Assistant Director, Messaging and Content Strategy

Harvard University
Job Location:
Cambridge, 02138
Communications, Marketing, and Public Affairs
Alumni Affairs and Development


Job Summary
Alumni Affairs and Development (AA&D)
Alumni Affairs and Development is a dedicated team supporting Harvard's advancement activity through front-line fundraising, alumni and volunteer engagement, technology, prospect management and research, business process, events, communications, and many other areas.

Our goal is to create an environment of respect that leverages the many talents, perspectives, and experiences of our employees; to deliver the strongest possible results by incorporating diverse perspectives into our daily work; and to make AA&D a great place to work for everyone. We strive to live our values of respect, inclusion, trust, collaboration, continuous improvement and innovation; and open communication and effective information sharing in our daily interactions and our work.

AA&D is comprised of the University Development Office (UDO), Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) Development, AA&D Resources, the Harvard Alumni Association (HAA), and the Office of the Vice President (OVP).  

FAS Development is responsible for the fundraising efforts supporting the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, including Harvard College, the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and the Kenneth C. Griffin Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS). The FAS Development Communications team translates broad ideas into coordinated strategies and creates meaningful messages across a variety of platforms.

As part of the FAS Development Communications team, this writing-intensive role crafts compelling content that inspires broad donor support for FAS students and scholars. The Assistant Director is primarily responsible for writing fundraising appeals, event communications, and other print and digital touchpoints that engage Harvard College alumni, Harvard Griffin GSAS alumni, and parents of Harvard College students. These projects require writing both short and long-form copy on behalf of a range of signatories; executing and partnering on strategic communication plans; and coordinating with communications, fundraising, and event colleagues across the University. This role will report to the Associate Director of Messaging and Content Strategy. 

Position Description
  • Writes all print, email, and digital fundraising appeals to targeted alumni, parent, and donor audiences, in close partnership with the Associate Director of Messaging and Content Strategy and Managing Director of Direct Response Marketing.
  • Executes and helps craft targeted communication strategies developed by the Senior Associate Director of Messaging and Content Strategy and the Managing Director of Direct Response Marketing. Participates in creative brainstorms, data analysis, and outside-the-box thinking to inspire alumni and parent giving.
  • Interviews signatories for select appeals, which may include alumni, volunteers, donors, current students, FAS administrators, or AA&D staff. Translates signatory voice into compelling copy that harmonizes with FAS Development messaging. Ensures a positive interview experience for the signatories.
  • Writes and reviews additional FAS development communications as needed, including select marketing communications for donor events and stewardship messages for participation donors.
  • Copyedits, fact checks, and proofreads a portion of communications produced by colleagues on the FAS Development Communications team, such as annual reports, engagement newsletters, and social media content; ensures inclusive, accessible, and positive reader experiences.
  • Drafts content that is consistent, coordinated, and aligned with FAS priority messages and strategies outlined by the Executive Director of FAS Development Marketing and Communications, while adhering to industry best practices and being responsive to performance metrics.
Basic Qualifications
  • Minimum of five years of experience in marketing, communications, PR, journalism, or related writing intensive role.
  • Exceptional writing and editing skills.
Additional Qualifications and Skills
  • Knowledge of direct response marketing best practices preferred; willingness to learn required. 
  • Excellent communications and interpersonal skills. 
  • Ability to translate complex content and robust communication strategies into concise and persuasive messages for a wide range of audiences.  
  • Creativity and willingness to brainstorm. 
  • Commitment to providing positive, engaging, inclusive, and accessible reader experiences. 
  • Ability to accept, process, and effectively translate feedback on written communications. 
  • Ability to work cooperatively and collaboratively across teams. Must be able to understand, address, and balance the concerns and priorities of many stakeholders and collaborators. 
  • Works well as both a member of a large and complex team and independently, taking initiative on projects as appropriate. 
  • Strong attention to detail. 
  • Highly organized. Flexible and able to balance multiple projects, prioritize work appropriately, meet deadlines, and adapt easily to changing priorities.  
  • Understanding of basic communications metrics (email click rates, conversion rates, etc.). 
  • Commitment to fostering an inclusive workplace. 
  • Strong computer skills with the capability to master new software applications and technologies as needed. 
  • Experience working in development/fundraising preferred. 
  • Experience working in education or nonprofit preferred. 
  • Bachelor's degree from an accredited institution preferred. 
Working Conditions
Workplace role requirements outside of campus-based engagements required by AA&D/team or unit, such as reunion activities, retreats, etc. You will be expected to work certain events/campus activities, such as reunions each spring, and participate in department retreats that are taking place on campus in Cambridge, MA.  We will do our best to give you up to 2-weeks' notice with these situations. 
  • For those interested in remote work, this position can be performed as fully remote.  AA&D does require visits to Cambridge for on or around campus-based engagements required by AA&D leadership, your team or unit, such as reunion activities, retreats, etc. All remote work must be performed in a state in which Harvard is registered to do business (CA, CT, GA, IL, MA, MD, ME, NH, NJ, NY, RI, VA, VT, and WA). Additional details will be discussed during the interview process.
Additional Information
  • This position requires a 3 month orientation and review period.
  • Please include a cover letter with your application.
To learn more about the AA&D team, please visit our Careers site at

To learn more about how Harvard supports diversity and inclusion throughout the University please visit the Office for Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging at

Accommodations: Harvard University welcomes individuals with disabilities to apply for positions and participate in its programs and activities. If you would like to request accommodations or have questions about the physical access provided, please let your recruiter know.

COVID 19 Vaccination Information: The health of our workforce is a priority for Harvard University.  With that in mind, we strongly encourage all employees to be up to date on CDC-recommended vaccines.

Work Format Details
This position is eligible for 100% remote work.
Employees may work from any of the Harvard Registered Payroll States, which currently includes Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Virginia, Washington, and California (CA for exempt positions only). Certain visa types and funding sources may limit work location. Individuals must meet work location sponsorship requirements prior to employment.

We invite you to visit Harvard's Total Rewards website ( to learn more about our outstanding benefits package, which may include:
  • Paid Time Off: 3-4 weeks of accrued vacation time per year (3 weeks for support staff and 4 weeks for administrative/professional staff), 12 accrued sick days per year, 12.5 holidays plus a Winter Recess in December/January, 3 personal days per year (prorated based on date of hire), and up to 12 weeks of paid leave for new parents who are primary care givers.
  • Health and Welfare: Comprehensive medical, dental, and vision benefits, disability and life insurance programs, along with voluntary benefits. Most coverage begins as of your start date.
  • Work/Life and Wellness: Child and elder/adult care resources including on campus childcare centers, Employee Assistance Program, and wellness programs related to stress management, nutrition, meditation, and more.
  • Retirement: University-funded retirement plan with contributions from 5% to 15% of eligible compensation, based on age and earnings with full vesting after 3 years of service.
  • Tuition Assistance Program: Competitive program including $40 per class at the Harvard Extension School and reduced tuition through other participating Harvard graduate schools.
  • Tuition Reimbursement: Program that provides 75% to 90% reimbursement up to $5,250 per calendar year for eligible courses taken at other accredited institutions.
  • Professional Development: Programs and classes at little or no cost, including through the Harvard Center for Workplace Development and LinkedIn Learning.
  • Commuting and Transportation: Various commuter options handled through the Parking Office, including discounted parking, half-priced public transportation passes and pre-tax transit passes, biking benefits, and more.
  • Harvard Facilities Access, Discounts and Perks: Access to Harvard athletic and fitness facilities, libraries, campus events, credit union, and more, as well as discounts to various types of services (legal, financial, etc.) and cultural and leisure activities throughout metro-Boston.
Job Function
Alumni Affairs and Development, Communications

Department Office Location
USA - MA - Cambridge

Job Code
CM0057 Writer III

Work Format


Salary Grade

Alumni Affairs and Development

00 - Non Union, Exempt or Temporary

Time Status

Pre-Employment Screening
Education, Identity

Commitment to Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging
Harvard University views equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging as the pathway to achieving inclusive excellence and fostering a campus culture where everyone can thrive. We strive to create a community that draws upon the widest possible pool of talent to unify excellence and diversity while fully embracing individuals from varied backgrounds, cultures, races, identities, life experiences, perspectives, beliefs, and values.

EEO Statement
We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions, or any other characteristic protected by law.

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