The Smart Museum of Art's Grant Writer/Manager of Strategic Communications is the chief writer for the Museum's development and external relations office and is responsible for ensuring the clarity, consistency, and effectiveness of all development and other public communications, in line with Museum and University best practices and priorities. The communications manager produces strong and effective copy in a wide range of formats, including grant applications; stewardship reports; the Museum’s annual report, Bulletin; direct-mail solicitations; press releases, blog-posts, and gift acknowledgments. He or she is responsible for generating a high volume of foundation, corporate, and government funding proposals each year, and will work directly with program officers and foundation representatives to identify, cultivate, solicit, and steward grants from institutional donors. This staff member also plays an important role in crafting overall strategic communications for the Museum's public communications, annual giving campaigns; cultivation and stewardship programs; and exhibition, collections, and education program-specific communications efforts. Reporting to the Director of Development & External Relations and collaborating closely with the Associate Director of Communications and other members of the Museum's staff and colleagues within University and UChicago Arts Alumni Relations and Development and Communications.
40% Leads museum grant-writing, research, and reporting efforts.
- Researches and identifies opportunities to apply for corporate, foundation, and government grants to support the Smart Museum's exhibitions, educational programs, special initiatives, and general operations, works directly with program officers and foundation representatives when necessary.
- Writes letters of inquiry, full proposals, and interim and final narrative reports for all grants.
- Maintains a database of grant application and reporting deadlines and works with colleagues at the Museum and at other University offices (e.g., URA and Corporate and Foundation Relations) to ensure that all deadlines are met.
- Creates and maintains a robust set of standard texts about the Smart Museum, its fundraising priorities, and its upcoming exhibitions and programs.
30% Works closely with the Director of Development and External Relations and the Associate Director of Communications, writes key public communications and coordinates strategic communications efforts.
- Writes and edits copy for external relations department projects including press releases, blog posts, event invitations and special solicitation pieces.
- Helps to develop strategic messages and communications strategies for each of the Museum's major exhibitions and programs, for special initiatives, and for the institution as a whole.
- Seeks opportunities to connect the Smart Museum's exhibitions, programs, and events to University development priorities and communications efforts.
25% Develops annual giving communications materials to build Smart Partners Program.
- Working with the development & external relations team, writes all standard solicitation and acknowledgment letters for the annual giving program.
- Creates and maintains templates and texts for a variety of routine communications. Produces copy for all print, web, e-mail, and onsite development marketing materials.
- Ensures overall consistency, clarity, and effectiveness of messaging within annual giving programs.
5% Assists with various other programs and projects. This includes coordination with colleagues across UChicago Arts, representing the Smart Museum on various arts-related fundraising and communications committees both within the University and beyond, and other duties as assigned.