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Harvard University Director of Development, Major Gifts, Faculty of Arts and Sciences in Cambridge, Massachusetts

56781BRAuto req ID:56781BRJob Code:302060 Development Manager Location:USA - MA - Cambridge Business Title:Director of Development, Major Gifts, Faculty of Arts and SciencesSub-Unit:------------ Salary Grade ( :060Time Status:Full-time Union:00 - Non Union, Exempt or Temporary Basic Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree required.

  • Minimum of 10 years of experience in university fundraising or relevant transferable experience required.

  • Experience received while in college may contribute to the minimum required work experience for this position, if the role was within the Development field.

  • 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 required.

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

  • Proven track record of significant gift closures and/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.

  • Superb organizational skills. Must have ability to think strategically and conceptually, manage multiple projects simultaneously and handle even difficult situations with patience and a sense of humor.

  • Excellent public speaking, presentation skills and written communication skills required.

  • Computer literacy required and 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.

Vaccine Requirements:

The University requires all Harvard community members to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and remain up to date with COVID-19 vaccine boosters, as detailed in Harvard’s Vaccine & Booster Requirements ( . Individuals may claim exemption from the vaccine requirement for medical or religious reasons. More information regarding the University’s COVID vaccination requirement, exemptions, and verification of vaccination status may be found at the University’s “COVID-19 Vaccine Information” webpage: Department:Alumni Affairs and DevelopmentPre-Employment Screening:Education, IdentityJob Function:Alumni Affairs and Development Job-Specific Responsibilities:

  • Manage a targeted portfolio of approximately 75 prospect households in an assigned region or regions. 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 and virtual meetings.

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

  • Foster relationships between prospective donors and academic leadership, faculty, and other members of the Harvard community to deepen a prospect’s engagement with Harvard.

  • Travel frequently with senior academic and administrative leaders. Responsible for securing anchor visits for all leaders and for constructing meetings to effectively leverage each senior leader’s time to advance prospect strategies. Responsible for communicating meeting strategies through written briefings and pre-visit briefing meetings or calls.

  • Work closely with senior fundraising leaders within FAS Development, 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 to maximize giving potential through broad interests.

  • Serve as a resource and mentor for other fundraisers in the organization by leveraging their fundraising experience, as well as their knowledge of FAS content acquired through their prospect work to inform prospect strategies. Will be expected to contribute productively to prospect strategy reviews and trainings. May be asked to staff key administrators on prospect visits.

  • May be called upon to be the fundraising strategy lead for prospect cultivation efforts.

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

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: This position will be based on our campus in Cambridge, MA. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic this position will be remote until further notice.

We are seeking a Director of Development, Major Gifts on the Faculty of Arts and Sciences 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 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 Director of Development, FAS Major Gifts. The incumbent will be charged with developing and executing sophisticated cultivation and solicitation strategies leading to the realization of seven and eight-figure major and principal gifts from an assigned portfolio of approximately 75 high-capacity alumni and parent prospect households.

This role requires a fundraiser to operate with a high 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 external 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.

The incumbent may also take on programmatic responsibilities such as focusing on discrete fundraising initiatives or priorities. Programmatic responsibilities may shift portfolio composition and expectations for fundraising productivity.

Strategically integrates Gift Planning, Reunions and Annual Campaigns and Initiatives into the development and execution of high-level fundraising strategies to enable the realization of established FAS goals and objectives

Success will be measured by the incumbent’s ability to uncover prospective donors’ philanthropic interests; the quality of their prospect strategies; their ability to move donors from cultivation to solicitation, and the successful closure of seven- and eight-figure gifts.

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 and across Alumni Affairs & Development 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. 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.