Harvard University — Associate Director of Development

Harvard University

Associate Director of Development
Harvard Graduate School of Education

Job Summary
Reporting to the Senior Director of Development, the Associate 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 Associate Director will focus on raising unrestricted and flexible support that enables HGSE to deliver on its mission, managing a portfolio of prospects that includes those who are, or have the potential to become, leadership level donors ($10,000-25,000 annually or $100,000- $250,000 multiyear pledges). The Associate Director will develop and manage a portfolio of ~300 donors/potential donors through all stages of donor engagement.

The Associate Director will also work closely with members of our Dean’s Leadership Council, our largest annual fundraising body. The Dean’s Leadership Council plays a unique role in helping HGSE advance this mission by providing critical unrestricted annual philanthropic support for the most pressing needs of the School.

The Associate 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. These strategies may require collaboration with colleagues in other Harvard schools to engage donors interested in HGSE’s work. In addition, the Associate Director will be creative in identifying new potential donors beyond the traditional HGSE and Harvard donor base.

This position requires a bias for action and making the ask, a high level of organization, professionalism, and mastery of the objectives of leadership gift/flexible use fundraising.

Success will be measured by the incumbent’s ability to move donors from cultivation to solicitation and close leadership and major gifts

Significant travel will be required (although currently virtual meetings are taking its place due to COVID-19 restrictions).

Job Code
302058 Development Manager

Job-Specific Responsibilities

  • Develop and execute strategies for increasing leadership giving for unrestricted funds and around priority areas.
  • Identify and qualify potential donors-in collaboration with our AA&D Research Team colleagues-and work with donors at every stage of engagement.
  • Move prospects toward solicitation and completes assigned solicitations on the agreed upon timeline. This includes conducting at least 125 one-on-one visits (currently virtual, with the goal of in person once travel is permissible) and building toward securing 20 (twenty) $25,000+ commitments toward HGSE priorities annually.
  • Recruitment of members of the Dean’s Leadership Council.
  • 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 leadership gift prospects and donors.
  • Write briefings, proposals, donor correspondence and updates that shape and reflect fundraising strategies, with support and collaboration from colleagues.
  • Serve as a member of the DAR team by participating in group strategy discussions, providing project leadership when requested by management, sharing information with colleagues and contributing to the achievement of the overall goals of HGSE.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 5 years of progressively responsible experience in fundraising and/or related field where skills are easily transferable, including direct solicitation. Ability to travel (up to 40%) is required.
  • Applicants wishing to be considered must supply a cover letter in addition to their resume and indicate meeting basic qualifications.

Please Note once Harvard resumes regular operations this position will no longer be remote and work will be performed on campus in Cambridge MA.

Additional Qualifications and Skills

  • Demonstrated experience and effectiveness in individual donor fundraising and volunteer management. The ideal candidate will possess a deep understanding of both higher education and philanthropy, and bring a proactive, entrepreneurial approach to fundraising and a genuine passion for HGSE’s mission.
  • Must be an innovative and creative strategic contributor with strong listening skills and the ability to collaborate and persuade.
  • Proven interpersonal skills with ability to build and strengthen diverse relationships; motivate, engage and work with donors and volunteers, School and University leaders, faculty, and staff.
  • Strong results orientation and proven track record in setting and achieving ambitious goals.
  • Superb organizational, prioritization, public speaking, presentation, written and oral communication skills. Due to frequent interaction with high level donors, senior administrators and faculty, the candidate must maintain confidential information and use sound judgment.
  • Ability to operate both autonomously and in a team, understanding individual success as part of a larger team’s success, with high levels of professionalism, collegiality and self-motivation.
  • Willingness and ability to travel roughly 40-50% of the time (and conduct effective meetings over video and phone, particularly until travel is feasible again). Occasional evening and weekend work required.
  • Computer literacy required; must have experience with Window and databases.

Additional Information

HGSE is a diverse community of learners, teachers, and employees who are passionate about changing the world through education and striving for maximum impact in the field of education.

HGSE Human Resources values diversity in all forms, and believes that each employee brings a set of diverse experiences and identities to the workplace that makes us stronger, encourages innovation, and enhances our collective contributions. We continue to develop and support a workforce that reflects the diversity of those we serve; fosters an environment that allows each individual to belong and to bring their best self to work; and creates the conditions that empower employees to contribute their full potential to advancing the work of the school.

We do this by:

  • Hiring and retaining staff reflecting the diversity of those we serve;
  • Providing employees opportunities to learn, grow, and be challenged;
  • Reviewing and ensuring fairness and equity in HR practices and policies including but not limited to hiring, promotion, and compensation;
  • Developing strong relationships and partnerships internal and external to our community to advance diversity and inclusion;
  • Communicating transparently and respectfully; and
  • Fostering an inclusive, respectful, and professional work environment

We regret that the Harvard Graduate School of Education does not provide Visa sponsorship.

About the Harvard Graduate School of Education
Many choose to work at the Harvard Graduate School of Education because they believe in our mission and are excited by our vision for the future. We have a reputation as a great place to work, for our excellent leadership, and we are a strong community that values diversity. For more information about HGSE, its programs, research, and faculty, please visit: www.gse.harvard.edu

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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