Director of Development 53329BR

Harvard Graduate School of Education
Massachusetts, United States
Salary Not specified
Feb 17, 2021
Mar 18, 2021
Employment Type
Full Time

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-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.

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.  Must be flexible and open to new ideas and able to navigate and succeed through ambiguity. 

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 30% of the time (and conduct effective meetings over video and phone, particularly until travel is feasible again). Occasional evening and weekend work required.

Ability to thrive in an environment that requires both high level strategic, innovative thinking and the tenacity to meet the goals of the organization.

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:

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

Location: USA - MA - Cambridge

Job Code: 303059 Development Sr Specialist


Department: DAR

Time Status: Full-time

Salary Grade059

Union: 00 - Non Union, Exempt or Temporary

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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