Cambridge, MA

Director of Development, Harvard University

The Organization

Harvard University

Director of Development
Harvard Graduate School of Education

Job Summary

Reporting to the Senior Director of Development, the Director of Development raises philanthropic gifts in support of the Harvard Graduation School of Education’s mission of preparing leaders in education and generating knowledge to improve student opportunity, achievement, and success.

The Director of Development will raise funds that enable HGSE to deliver on its mission, with a focus on $1M+ gifts for the School’s highest funding priorities, including financial aid, faculty support, curricular innovation, and educational equity. The Director will develop and manage a portfolio of ~100 domestic and international donors/potential donors through all stages of donor engagement, many of whom are not HGSE alumni.

The Director of Development is expected 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 colleagues in the University Development Office and other Harvard schools to engage donors interested in HGSE’s work. In addition, the Director will be creative in identifying new potential donors beyond the traditional HGSE and Harvard donor base. They will help shape specific funding proposals focused on key initiatives and gift opportunities in partnership with faculty and staff colleagues across the School, including the Development Planning and Communications teams. This will necessitate a substantive understanding of HGSE priorities and the ability to translate these priorities and needs to potential donors in an inspirational way. This position requires significant travel (although currently virtual meetings are taking its place due to COVID-19 restrictions).

Job Code
303059 Development Sr Specialist

Job-Specific Responsibilities

Develop and execute strategies for securing major and principal gifts focused on priority areas. This includes conducting at least 75 one on one visits (currently virtual, with the goal of in person once travel is permissible) and at least 15 six-seven figure solicitations.

Travel with and provide staffing support for the Dean and members of the faculty on behalf of fundraising efforts.

In collaboration with others, plans and executes select events related to the cultivation, solicitation and/or stewardship of major gift prospects and donors.

Write briefings, proposals, donor correspondence and updates that shape and reflect fundraising strategies, with support and collaboration from colleagues.

Through effective sharing of information and building of trust, collaborate with colleagues across the University to identify and engage alumni of other Schools who would be interested in the work of HGSE.

In concert with the overall fundraising needs for HGSE, works periodically on special projects in collaboration with the DAR fundraising staff. Additionally, works collaboratively with the University research team to expand the prospect pool.

Achieve annual performance metrics including visit targets and funding goals to be set each year.

Works with Development Coordinators to keep track of plans and outreach in the AA&D database, to ensure transparency and effective pipeline management. Provide timely follow-up and debriefs after meetings.

Actively build knowledge of HGSE and relationships with colleagues across the School by attending campus events and activities, reading HGSE publications and pursuing other avenues for professional learning and growth.

Provide effective management including accountability for performance metrics and thoughtful support on professional growth for one or more Development Coordinators.

Basic Qualifications

Bachelor’s Degree required

Minimum of 8 years of progressively responsible experience in fundraising and/or related field where skills are easily transferable, including direct solicitation and closing of seven-figure gifts from individuals.

Job Function
Alumni Affairs and Development

Sub Unit

USA – MA – Cambridge


Time Status

00 – Non Union, Exempt or Temporary

Salary Grade

Pre-Employment Screening
Education, Identity

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.

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