Durham, NC

DIGITAL COMMUNICATIONS SPECIALIST, Duke Alumni Engagement & Development

The Organization

For the global Duke community, the name “Duke” represents more than just a university. It means family. Duke’s Office of Alumni Engagement and Development is here to keep more than 200,000 alumni, donors, students, parents, and friends connected to the programs, people and places that mean the most at every stage of their lives.

In pursuit of deeper connectedness, Duke’s Office of Alumni Engagement and Development sends more than 5 million email and related digital channel communications to Duke’s alumni, donors, current students, parents, and friends of the university, yearly. Collectively, these communications share compelling stories of donor impact at Duke, inform the community about current university priorities and potential programs of interest, and highlight ways for individuals to engage and to support the university through gifts, volunteering and more.

When you join the Duke Alumni Engagement and Development team, and help to foster these connections, you join a team of high-achievers who are committed to deepening relationships, enabling connections, and helping the community make world-changing impact.

Position Overview

The Digital Communications Specialist leads Marketing, Communications and Stewardship (MCS) e-communications and plays a major role in keeping the broader Duke community connected, electronically, at key points throughout the donor’s lifecycle and their philanthropic journey with Duke.

The specialist oversees day-to-day operations and activities in all MCS e-communications channels. They perform all hands-on work involving assembling, building, scheduling, and timely delivery of virtually all Marketing, Communications & Stewardship email communications, including newsletters, invitations, announcements, and other ad hoc campaigns, as needed. They work in close collaboration with team colleagues to obtain copy and graphic assets, to review design prototypes, and to suggest paths to improvement, ensuring successful execution of e-communication campaigns.

This position also collaborates closely with fundraising communications and event planning colleagues to ensure coordination of e-communications efforts with these team members and partners. They provide support and assistance on fundraising communications and stewardship email efforts, as needed.

Serving as an expert in email marketing, this individual provides input on future platform and application choices that will serve as core tools for expanded acquisition, conversion, and marketing automation strategies in email and related platforms, such as websites, social media, and videos.

This individual manages all e-communications annual campaigns within guidelines of the MCS annual communications plans and framework. They will use MCS marketing and demographics data to drive enhanced communications segmentation strategies designed to increase engagement and conversions, in pursuit of MCS/DAED goals and identify new solutions for integration of e-communications data into CRM systems and platforms.

In collaboration with MCS team colleagues, the specialist oversees practical aspects of metrics and marketing data collection for all e-communications efforts. The specialist assists in establishing and implementing short- and long-range marketing goals and evaluates the effectiveness of efforts continually.

In an ever-evolving digital landscape, new marketing methods and ideas are abundant. The E-Communications specialist uncovers new ideas, researches them and brings them to the table for consideration by the MCS digital, marketing and design teams.

The ideal candidate should possess a strong digital marketing background with proven success in cross-channel and remarketing, have deep knowledge of data and list management, excel in a highly decentralized environment, and be able to adapt to changing landscapes within a collaborative, fast-paced, team environment.

This position reports to the Director of Digital, Development and Analytics within the Marketing, Communications and Stewardship.

Work Performed:

Manage the Marketing, Communications and Stewardship e-communications channel and oversee day-to-day activities related to e-communications 

  • Schedule and send email
  • Manage list pulls
  • Assemble, schedule, and deliver DAED electronic communications
  • Collaborate on design, construction of email to ensure best practices and current techniques are employed at all points of the e-communications process
  • Become resident expert on email delivery platform(s)

Identify and assist in creation and implementation of new e-communications strategies 

  • Establish tactics to increase engagement
  • Drive increase in conversions
  • Assist and collaborate in developing e-mail communications strategy that drives overall fundraising efforts
  • Research new digital marketing and remarketing techniques and ideas

Maintain and organize flow of e-communications data 

  • In collaboration with DAED colleagues, organize, create and maintain recipient lists for e-communications
  • Devise methods for handling and triaging all email replies
  • Manage flow of subscribers/unsubscribers to all email

Collaborate with and support Marketing, Communications and Stewardship colleagues and serve as an active member of the staff 

  • Guide and instruct team colleagues on best practices for build and design of email
  • Work with digital metrics specialist to collect and provide e-communications performance metrics
  • Work with online developers to plan and to execute cross-channel initiatives

Perform other related duties incidental to the work described herein.

The above statements describe the general nature and level of work being performed by individuals assigned to this classification. This is not intended to be an exhaustive list of all responsibilities and duties required of personnel so classified.


  • Experience developing and implementing successful multi-channel-communications and marketing campaigns.
  • Experience creating and driving customer acquisition and retention programs
  • Experience working within CRM platforms
  • Bachelor’s degree or higher, preferably with 4 or more years of relevant work experience with increasing responsibilities
  • Strong knowledge of e-communications creation, delivery, and monitoring systems
  • Understanding of multimedia distribution practices in all digital channels
  • Extensive knowledge of modern HTML and applicable design skills as they relate to design, construction, and delivery of electronic communications
  • Facility with standard graphic design and digital production applications
  • Ability to keep pace with changing digital landscape
  • Experience in development and distribution of content within social media platforms
  • Fluency in both Macintosh and Microsoft Windows environments
  • Knowledge of data collection, analytic and statistical techniques
  • Understanding of online analytics best practices and techniques
  • Demonstrated excellence in writing and editing
  • Careful attention to detail
  • Ability to set schedules and manage deadlines effectively
  • Ability to work flexibly and collaboratively
  • Fundraising experience preferred
  • Knowledge of educational fundraising, higher education issues, research universities, and Duke University a plus

Behavioral Competencies:

  • Curiosity and Information Seeking
  • Attention to Detail
  • Planning, Prioritizing and Multitasking
  • Collaborating with Others
  • Expresses Ideas Orally and in Writing
  • Shares Knowledge

Minimum Qualifications


Work requires the ability to perform creative writing and related activities such as conducting interviews and research, and copy editing normally acquired through attainment of a bachelor’s degree in Journalism, English or a related discipline.


Work requires one year of directly related writing experience. OR AN EQUIVALENT COMBINATION OF RELEVANT EDUCATION AND/OR EXPERIENCE

Duke is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer committed to providing employment opportunity without regard to an individual’s age, color, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status.

Duke aspires to create a community built on collaboration, innovation, creativity, and belonging. Our collective success depends on the robust exchange of ideas—an exchange that is best when the rich diversity of our perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences flourishes. To achieve this exchange, it is essential that all members of the community feel secure and welcome, that the contributions of all individuals are respected, and that all voices are heard. All members of our community have a responsibility to uphold these values.

Essential Physical Job Functions: Certain jobs at Duke University and Duke University Health System may include essential job functions that require specific physical and/or mental abilities. Additional information and provision for requests for reasonable accommodation will be provided by each hiring department.

How To Apply

Go to careers.duke.edu and enter requisition number 136708

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