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Duke University Development
Durham, North Carolina

Category: Administrative officer
Field of Interest: Other

Job Description:

Staff Assistant to Graduate School Development 

Trinity College and The Graduate School Department
Duke University Development Office

Level 9

Occupational Summary

Perform administrative duties and secretarial duties of a complex and confidential nature in support of the Director and Associate Director of Development for The Graduate School. The staff assistant handles duties which include but are not limited to, arranging meetings, travel and events, recording gifts and pledges, drafting high-level correspondence and briefings, conducting research, and providing technical and logistical support.


Work Performed


This position will provide an advanced level of direct administrative support to the Director and Associate Director of Development for The Graduate School (“development directors”), and collaboratively provides support to five employees who comprise the Trinity College and The Graduate School team. This position will work cooperatively with other Development Assistants, The Graduate School staff, and Regional Major Gift Directors (RMGD), both within and outside of University Development. The staff assistant coordinates administrative details related to planning and running The Graduate School Board of Visitors meetings.

Essential Job Functions

Travel and Events: Coordinate development directors’ trip preparation and travel arrangements, including providing suggestions on prospect visits, establishing the itinerary, making flight and hotel arrangements, and preparing the travel materials. Anticipate and identify appropriate supporting documentation and briefing materials for the gift officers such as research materials and historical gift, biographic and prospect information. Contact Duke Alumni, parents and friends to request and schedule gift officer appointments, and respond to inquiries from donors. Participate in the planning of select events for cultivation, solicitation and/or stewardship purposes. Serve as the liaison to University Development Special Events Office to oversee implementation of meetings and events.


Reporting:  Draft a wide variety of written materials including detailed individual prospect briefings, letters and internal and external correspondence. Gather information from faculty, administrators, academic units, and other colleagues to support the development of gift proposals. Develop the criteria, initiate the requests and follow up on reports required by the development directors. Verify the data and proof financial and fundraising reports after receipt. Research and investigate gift commitments using the database and prepare reports. Assist in the tracking of major gift proposals, annual fund solicitations, endowment agreements and contact reports. Use the moves management database and master call list to enter moves and solicitations and check the accuracy of reports consisting of moves management data.


Administrative:  Maintain the development directors’ calendars including scheduling meetings and alerting development directors of important dates. Prepare and/or provide necessary documents for gift officers’ use in meetings. Attend meetings as requested to take minutes. Manage primary administrative activities related to planning and running The Graduate School Board of Visitors meeting twice a year.


Proactively support the team and make suggestions to enhance communication in support of departmental activities and operations.


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.


Skills Required

Required proficiency in Microsoft Office, Outlook, Word, and Excel. 

Adobe Acrobat experience preferred.

Database experience required; DADD (Duke donor database) experience preferred.

Required Behavioral Competencies

The ideal candidate will possess strong organizational and communication skills, the ability to multi-task and prioritize and work independently in a fast-paced environment. Interest in fundraising or higher education career.


Attention to detail: Values and ensures thorough and accurate information. Organizes and delivers information in a clear and concise manner.


Organizational awareness: The ability to understand and learn organizational relationships and dynamics and use them to achieve objectives.


Planning, prioritizing, and multitasking: The ability to plan, organize, and prioritize work; effectively manages multiple tasks or projects simultaneously.


Decisiveness and judgment: Uses sound judgment to make appropriate, timely decisions in complex situations for which there are no set procedures.


Listening: Is an “active listener.” Establishes rapport with and is receptive to speaker. Picks up on underlying messages; “hears between the lines.”


Education: Work requires a broad knowledge of clerical and accounting principles and practices normally acquired through two years of post-secondary education in secretarial science or a related business field.



Work generally requires two years of related secretarial/clerical experience to acquire skills necessary to administer complex office functions related to office management, communications, and budgetary/accounting activities.




Interested Applicants
Please submit cover letter and resume to

Please put "Staff Assistant – Graduate School" in the subject line.