Northampton, MA

Philanthropic Officer, Smith College

The Organization

Founded in 1871, Smith College opened in 1875 with 14 students. Today, Smith is among the largest women’s colleges in the United States, with students from 48 states and 68 countries. An independent, nondenominational college, Smith remains strongly committed to the education of women at the undergraduate level, but admits both men and women as graduate students.

Position Overview

Smith College is accepting applications for a Philanthropic Officer. Reporting to the Associate Vice President, Individual Gifts, the Philanthropic Officer manages a portfolio of approximately 175-200 major gift-rated ($100K+) prospects; cultivates, solicits and stewards assigned prospects in support of overall divisional fundraising goals; travels frequently in geographically assigned territory to engage and solicit Smith alumnae, parents and friends. As needed, supports the president, vice president, and volunteer and academic leadership in their fundraising efforts and goals; and plans and executes events focused on the College’s strategic initiatives and on expanding a culture of philanthropy.


Manage a portfolio of major gift prospects in assigned region(s), maintaining frequent personalized contact, often traveling to meet the donors. Qualify, cultivate and solicit donors for funding to meet institutional priorities and meet fundraising goals. Design and implement effective and donor-centric strategies to actively engage donors and lead to solicitation. Work with donors and College leaders to match the priority needs of the College with a donor’s philanthropic vision. Spearhead creative and strategic thinking for innovative gift proposals that inspire donors to make major level gifts, and formally close the gift process.

As needed, provide strategic and tactical support to involve the president, vice president, other senior cabinet members, key faculty, and volunteer leadership in developing all major gift prospect relationships. Participate when required, in strategic planning for the president’s development travel schedule and review of presidential prospects. Produce pre-visit briefing materials, and post-visit follow-up communications and proposal plans.

Meet established metrics and goals for visits, solicitations, closes and other meaningful contact with assigned prospects. Promptly record contact reports and carry out other essential follow up activities and ensure accurate documentation of prospect strategies, solicitation plans and contacts and their entry into the college’s prospect management system. Analyze activities to achieve progress towards stated goals. Effectively utilize administrative support and delegate tasks as appropriate. Liaise with Donor Relations, the Smith Fund and Gift Planning to ensure effective, individualized strategies for each prospect.


Education/Experience: Bachelor’s degree plus a minimum of three to five years of progressively responsible experience in a successful, metric-based fundraising operation or an equivalent combination of education/experience. Proven track record of soliciting and closing high five and six-figure gifts required. Experience in higher education preferred. Need for flexible work schedule with the ability to travel, and to work nights and weekends.

Skills: Must be self-motivated with a passion for meeting and exceeding goals. Demonstrated track record in successfully soliciting and closing major gifts ($100K+). Strong strategic thinker and planner. Superb verbal, written, and listening communications skills; demonstrated knowledge of prospect management and fundraising best practices with high-capacity donors; ability to engage in collaborative problem-solving with prospects and colleagues; highly organized in portfolio and time management.

Must possess a keen knowledge of economic factors, as well as societal trends impacting high capacity donors. Must be able to establish and maintain excellent rapport with donor constituents as well as on-campus colleagues. Able to operate both independently and as an active participant in team-based strategies and solicitation approaches. Ability to exercise sound judgment, diplomacy, confidentiality, and to exhibit a mature, professional approach at all times. Versatile in standard office computer skills and donor database systems.

How To Apply

Review of application will begin immediately. To be considered for this position, apply on-line at

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