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Harvard University Senior Associate Director of Development, Major Gifts in Cambridge, Massachusetts

52695BRAuto req ID:52695BRJob Code:303059 Development Sr Specialist Location:USA - MA - Cambridge Business Title:Senior Associate Director of Development, Major Gifts, Faculty of Arts and SciencesSub-Unit:------------ Salary Grade:059Time Status:Full-time Union:00 - Non Union, Exempt or Temporary Basic Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree required

  • Minimum of 8 years of experience in university fundraising or relevant transferable experience required

  • Ability to travel approximately 35% of working days

Additional Qualifications and Skills:

  • Knowledge of complex academic institutions and experience staffing academic leaders in development work is preferred.

  • This position requires a sophisticated and comprehensive understanding of fundraising best-practices.

  • Proven track record of significant gift closures or relevant transferable experience strongly preferred.

  • Strong active listening skills, including an ability to ask sensitive questions with tact. Demonstrated ability to uncover interests, motivations, and objections from prospective donors, clients, or others strongly preferred. Someone who is pleasantly persistent while exhibiting sound judgement.

  • Must be willing to learn and embrace new ideas and be flexible and open to change. Must be a professional, confidential, honest and trustworthy person. Must have an even disposition and be able to deal effectively and politely with people from all types of backgrounds and experience and in all types of difficult or challenging situations. Must be able to evaluate problems accurately and display good, sound judgment.

  • Must have a natural affinity for collaboration, leading through influence, and a high level of emotional intelligence. Must be drawn to a challenge and exhibit the patience necessary to advance solutions in a complex and collaborative organization. Demonstrates a personal commitment to excellence as well as an ability to admit mistakes and forgive faults in others.

  • Can evaluate problems and display good, sound, and confidential judgment. Must maintain a professional and caring demeanor. Must be able to listen carefully as well as to influence and persuade others.

  • Superb organizational skills. Must have ability to think strategically and conceptually, manage multiple projects simultaneously. Must be able to listen carefully as well as to influence and persuade others.

  • Computer literacy required must have experience with Windows-based PCs and prospect databases.

Additional Information:This position requires a 6 month orientation and review period.

Please include a cover letter with your application.

About Harvard University

Harvard University, based in Cambridge and Boston, Massachusetts, was established in 1636 and is the oldest institution of higher education in the United States. The University is home to over 20,000 students and employs 18,000 people, making us the fifth-largest employer in Massachusetts. Harvard is a special place, filled with diverse, energetic, and talented people who are driven to grow and succeed. By working here, you join a vibrant community that advances Harvard’s world-changing mission in meaningful ways, inspires innovation and collaboration, and builds skills and expertise.

Why AA&D?

We are a dedicated team of 400 staff who foster engagement with alumni, parents, and friends of Harvard through roles that include front-line fundraising, alumni and volunteer engagement, technology, events, communications, as well as many other areas. Our department recruits for over 100 positions annually that range from entry-level to senior leadership roles.

The mission of AA&D is to maintain and enhance a highly engaged, vibrant community of alumni and friends worldwide and to lead the University’s fundraising efforts in support of Harvard’s mission.

AA&D is committed to diversity. We welcome applicants who bring varied experience, thought, and practice to the department. To learn more about how Harvard supports diversity and inclusion throughout the University please visit the Office for Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging at

Discover AA&D and Harvard University Benefits

  • Opportunities for internal advancement

  • A creative, high- energy, collaborative environment

  • Generous Vacation, Sick, Personal, and Holiday pay

  • Medical, Dental and Vision benefits starting on your first day

  • University-funded retirement plans

  • Tuition Assistance Program

  • Transportation benefits to help with your daily commute

  • Health and wellness discounts, memberships and programs

Additional benefits can be found at


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.

Department:Alumni Affairs and DevelopmentPre-Employment Screening:Education, IdentityJob Function:Alumni Affairs and Development Job-Specific Responsibilities:

  • Manages a targeted portfolio of alumni and other prospects with the capacity to make six-, seven-, and eight-figure gifts, much of which will be directed to Athletics but some of which may be directed to other FAS priorities such as financial aid. Responsible for meeting or exceeding assigned goals, including, but not limited to, goals for prospect visits, solicitations, successful gift closures, and dollars raised.

  • Responsible for acquiring a deep understanding of assigned prospects’ philanthropic interests, capacity, and inclination through face-to-face meetings.

  • Utilizes knowledge of prospects’ interests, to develop and execute robust, multi-step prospect strategies. Strategically leverages academic leadership, faculty, and other members of the Harvard community leading to successful solicitation and closure of six, seven, and eight-figure gifts.

  • Fosters relationships between prospective donors and academic leadership – particularly the Athletics Director - and, when appropriate, faculty, and other members of the Harvard community to deepen a prospect’s engagement with Harvard.

  • Travels frequently with Athletics Director and in coordination with key Athletics events.

  • Works closely with senior fundraising leaders within FAS Development, Athletics, the University Development Office, and other Harvard Schools to coordinate strategies for prospects with multi-school affiliations and/or interests. Embrace collaboration with these partners to deepen each prospect’s relationship with the university in an attempt to maximize giving potential through broad interests.

  • Responsible for timely entry of contact reports and the accurate upkeep of prospect stage and solicitation records in the alumni database.

  • Serves as the fundraising strategy consultant for athletics to the Associate Vice President. Works with AVP, Athletic Director, and senior frontline officers on strategy for all major gift level donors and prospects.

  • Oversees Development participation in Capital Projects and special initiatives: serves on planning team with Athletics and FAS counterparts, works with ADC to develop case statements and gift opportunities, leads development feasibility efforts and pipeline tracking, coordinates with gift officers to execute on mini-campaigns for capital and other special projects.

  • Participates as a member of the Athletics team through activities such as volunteer administration for team.

School/Unit:Alumni Affairs and Development 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.Job Summary:We are seeking a Senior Associate Director of Development, Major Gifts on the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Development team within Harvard Alumni Affairs and Development.

Alumni Affairs and Development (AA&D) comprises the University Development Office (UDO), Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) Development, AA&D Resources, and the Harvard Alumni Association (HAA). There is a unique relationship between the University and the FAS fundraising operations, resulting from a long history in which University fundraising ultimately grew out of College fundraising.

Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) Development

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 Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. FAS Development staff work with Harvard College donors, alumni, parents, and friends who provide critical support for the FAS and often for other parts of the University.

The Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) Major Gifts team advances the vision and priorities of the Dean of FAS. This full-time, exempt position is a member of the FAS Major Gifts team and reports to the Managing Director of Development, FAS Major Gifts. The incumbent will primarily be charged with developing and executing sophisticated cultivation and solicitation strategies leading to the realization of six, seven and eight-figure major gifts from an assigned portfolio of alumni and parent prospect households. The Senior Associate Director will also be responsible for programmatic initiatives in Athletics as well as coordination with the rest of the Major Gifts team to help drive cultivation and solicitation strategies for major gifts to Athletics.

This role requires a fundraiser to operate with a degree of autonomy and limited guidance to develop multi-step prospect strategies to secure gifts, which often represent a significant increase in a prospect’s philanthropy. These strategies will often require significant collaboration with internal colleagues and volunteers.

The incumbent will help donors articulate their philanthropic interests and goals and connect them to the institution’s needs to maximize their support of Harvard, with focus on those prospects for whom maximized support includes Athletics.

The incumbent will work closely with their manager and with other members of the FAS Development Team to develop and execute prospect strategies for their own portfolio, and advise other officers whose prospects have an interest in Athletics.

Finally, the incumbent will take a leading role in developing and executing on special initiatives including capital projects, as needed. Working closely with partners in Athletics, FAS Finance and Administration, and FAS Development, create and track donor pipelines, case statements, and gift opportunities pertaining to key initiatives.

The ideal candidate has experience as a major or principal gifts fundraiser and a comprehensive understanding of fundraising principles and practices. This position requires the highest levels of professionalism, collegiality, self-motivation, and organization.

The incumbent must work collaboratively with colleagues throughout FAS Development, Alumni Affairs & Development, and Athletics to achieve the successful completion of strategic goals.

Must possess excellent communication skills, including the ability to write persuasively and quickly develop strong relationships with internal and external constituencies to promote a positive and effective collaboration to ensure success.