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Associate Director of Philanthropy

Wyss Institute
Massachusetts, United States
$79,000.00 - $135,000.00
Closing date
Jul 13, 2022

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Position Type
Fundraising, Corporate and Foundation Relations, Donor Relations, Fundraising Administration, Major Gifts, Planned Giving, Prospect Research, Other Fundraising
Academic Centers, Research, Technology
Employment Type
Full Time
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About Us:
The Wyss Institute’s mission is to transform healthcare and the environment by emulating the way nature builds. We harness the freedom of academia and the focus of industry in order to translate revolutionary technologies into commercial products and solutions. At the Wyss Institute, faculty from premier academic and clinical institutions, collaborate with staff scientists, postdocs, graduate students, industry experts, business development leaders, and entrepreneurs across disciplines to invent and de-risk new technologies that don’t just succeed at making it to the market – they disrupt it. We support research that universities, companies, and venture capital firms don’t fund because they view it as too risky. We prefer to use the word “challenging,” and we love challenges. For more information, visit:

About You:
You are a collaborative, results-focused development professional who wants to be part of a dynamic team dedicated to furthering the mission of the Wyss Institute by integrating and coordinating the engagement of current and prospective donor prospects to support the development of enduring relationships. You want the freedom to explore, to push the boundaries of what is possible, and to use your ambition to tackle challenging projects in a results-oriented, innovation-driven environment. You have experience working in a science/healthcare-oriented organization supported by an active philanthropic effort. You enjoy working with diverse groups of people and contributing your fundraising expertise to support innovations that can change the world.

About the Role:
We are seeking an experienced development professional who will contribute to strategy development and execution of key outreach and stewardship initiatives focused on the engagement of corporate, foundation, and individual donors.  Reporting to the Senior Director of Strategic Engagement, you will work closely with Wyss Executive Leadership, Faculty, Business Development, and Communications Team to identify, prioritize, and engage prospects in close collaboration with the Harvard University Development Office.


What you’ll do:

  • Strategic Planning
    • Operationalize Wyss-specific fundraising strategies in close alignment with existing systems and key stakeholders in the Harvard-wide development community.
    • Contribute to the development of a strong prospect strategy focused on finding and engaging donors with no prior affiliation with the Wyss Institute through effective integration of existing processes and the development of new systems where appropriate.
    • Under the direction of the Senior Director, act as a liaison between Strategic Engagement and Wyss administrative and academic personnel in order to develop deep content knowledge of Wyss scientific and commercialization activities.
    • Use information gathered from key stakeholders across the Institute and University to develop and execute key strategies for donor engagement, and the development of new initiatives in support of fundraising goals.
    • Build the corporate, foundation, and individual donor solicitation program processes to achieve on-going growth in both cash and future commitments of support, including developing both long-term solicitation strategies and an effective stewardship effort to maintain support from existing donors.
    • Develop and maintain professional relationships with key stakeholders of corporate, foundation, and individual donors. Manage the timely reporting of progress and evaluation to the Director, Strategic Engagement.
    • Support the development of metrics and important milestones to realize strategic engagement goals for the Institute’s long-term sustainability goals and report progress on the achievement of these milestones on a regular basis to the Wyss Executive Team, Board of Directors and other Stakeholders.
  •  Prospect Research and Information Process
    • In conjunction with the Wyss Communications Team, create a donor monitoring strategy to identify new areas of interest in Institute initiatives and upcoming events.
    • Work with the prospect research team to create a moves management process and build a prospect pipeline.
    • Work independently and with the University Development Office on alumni and external prospect identification, strategy, proposal submission, and gift policies.
  • Donor Engagement
    • Foster a supportive and collegial work environment with the Wyss Institute and the greater Harvard community that focuses on shared values and common goals and that encourages mutual respect, constructive feedback, and openness to change.
    • Lead on the creation of key philanthropic and stewardship communications, compiling data from Finance, Communications, the Executive team, and relevant scientific stakeholders.
    • Produce content that is audience-specific and consistent in message, tone, and style, with particular sensitivity to the differentiation/balance between academics and marketing.
    • Create development planning documents, concept papers, gift opportunities, gift proposals, and other content that advance Wyss fundraising priorities. Ensure all content is thoroughly researched and accurate, well written and edited, and compelling. Seek input from and vet materials with the appropriate academic, administrative, and development leadership.
    • Develop and maintain engagement with high-level Wyss Lumineers and other alumni to identify prospects and oversee gift solicitations.
    • Establish and maintain relationships with colleagues at Harvard schools and affiliates to coordinate donor identification and stewardship. Work in collaboration with the Harvard UDO development staff to plan and implement fundraising efforts in accordance with Harvard Fundraising procedures and gift acceptance policies across areas of mutual opportunity. 
  • Demonstrate a commitment to diversity, inclusion, and cultural awareness through actions, interactions, and communications with others


What you'll need:

  • Bachelor's degree in Business or related field, Advanced degree may count towards years of experience
  • A minimum of 7 years of experience in nonprofit fundraising /development with significant experience in prospect research.


Desirable Skills:

  • Master's Degree Preferred
  • Prior experience in a science / healthcare orientated organization with an active philanthropic effort
  • Previous experience in Institute or University department fundraising operations with insights into strategy development, planning operations, development of metrics and execution
  • Highly effective written and oral communications skills; proficient at meeting facilitation
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