Harvard University Graduate School of Design — Alumni Relations and Annual Giving Manager

SUMMARY:  The Annual Giving and Alumni Relations Manager is an integral member of the Graduate School of Design, Development and Alumni Relations team, reporting to the Director of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving. Working closely with the Director will support annual giving program and alumni giving retention programs. Will manage recent alumni engagement and philanthropic activities, annual reunion programs, and manage volunteer activities related to reunion planning and Alumni Council committee work.


GSD Annual Giving Program:

  • Works closely with Director to design and implement direct mail appeals, broadcast email appeals, and phonathon program; including strategy, list generation, and results analysis. Annual giving appeals are coordinated with annual leadership giving renewals and acquisitions.
  • Generates and manages data for appeals and outreach; consults with Development Information Systems Manager on segmentation; Coordinates with gift officers on appeal list review.
  • Through reporting, actively tracks the progress of donor giving habits and identifies trends to support annual giving solicitation program.
  • Manages graduating students class gift challenge and staffs student committee.
  • Collaborates on marketing material and collateral for Annual Giving program and events.
  • In collaboration with Communications team, coordinates vendors, including graphic design and print house, for production of direct mail appeals and GSD annual giving marketing materials.

Alumni Engagement & Volunteer Management

  • Acts as key liaison to the GSD Alumni Council and its committees, overseeing monthly phone calls and between-meeting work as it aligns with department goals.  This includes administrative aspects of committees: scheduling, sending conference call reminders, circulating agendas, staffing conference calls, writing follow-up correspondence and minutes from regular conference calls. Committee program work includes governance nomination process, Unsung Hero award nomination process, and coordination of Alumni-Student mentor breakfasts.
  • In collaboration with events team, organizes and manages reunion volunteers, coordinates with GSD faculty and staff partners for reunion program participation, and manages follow-up with volunteers/attendees.
  • Establishes recent alumni committee to engage and reconnect recent GSD alumni.
  • Liaises with other GSD departments (Student Services, Career Services, and Communications) and groups (Student Forum) to collaborate on programming and outreach to students, alumni, and friends. Activities to include, but not limited to: Student welcome gift/reception, portfolio reviews, career panel program development, and graduating class gift.
  • Coordinates with frontline officers on identification of alumni volunteers for engagement activities and as potential Alumni Council nominees.
  • Examines best practices for applicable strategies with other Harvard schools and liaises with HAA’s efforts.
  • Provides meeting support as needed, including logistical, note-taking, etc.

Additional Administrative Responsibilities:

  • Serves as point-of-contact for alumni contacting the office via phone or email about development and alumni relations events.
  • Conducts prospect research and generates reports in support of annual giving program.
  • Works on event and prospect briefings.
  • Occasionally liaises with the Recording Secretary’s Office on gifts as needed.
  • Performs general administrative duties in support of the annual giving and alumni relations program as needed.
  • Provides back up administrative support as needed for office-wide projects, activities, and events .
  • Performs other duties as required.


  • Bachelor’s degree with at least 5 years of work experience in development and/or alumni relations, required.


  • Exceptional organizational skills
  • Must have demonstrated ability to effectively handle multiple tasks while paying close attention to detail.
  • Experience with Advance, Microsoft Office, especially Excel, Salesforce Marketing Cloud, and Adobe Suite preferred.
  • Experience with event management,
  • Strong communication skills and ability to work with high level prospects, alumni, donors and friends.
  • Proven ability to work effectively as part of a team and take the lead on certain projects.
  • Knowledge of fundraising and alumni relations in higher education with specialization in graduate education.
  • Interest in design and architecture a plus.
  • Some travel, night, and weekend work required.

May require lifting, moving and opening boxes of office supplies, event materials.
This position has a standard schedule of 40 hours per week, Monday through Friday, 8 hours/day, and may require overtime and some travel during peak periods.


Please apply at https://hr.harvard.edu/search-jobs 

**Enter requisition #44519BR