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Senior Associate Director - Individual and Planned Giving

Marine Biological Laboratory
Massachusetts, United States
Competitive Salary
Closing date
Nov 25, 2022

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Job Summary:

Reporting to the Chief Advancement Officer, the Senior Associate Director creates and implements comprehensive strategies to identify, cultivate and solicit high capacity donors and prospective donors to the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL). This position builds engagement of these individuals with the MBL, and creates and refines gift opportunities based on the MBL’s priorities. A successful candidate for this role will be someone who has demonstrated a success in major gift frontline fundraising for 3+ years prior, a familiarity with planned giving and experience closing life income and/or estate gifts, and has experience closing gifts at the $250K+ level. The ideal candidate will be entrepreneurial, curious, enthusiastic, and detail-oriented, have a passion for working with people, wants to be an integral part of a high-performing and strategic team, and is dedicated to advancing the MBL’s mission.


·         Plan and implement strategies for a coordinated program of fundraising activities for the MBL in one or more geographical regions with required travel to region(s) – approx. 25%.

·         Plan and implement strategies to grow membership and coordinate activities associated with MBL Council leadership donor group and 1888 Society of planned giving donors including stewardship, events and special solicitations.

·         Identify, cultivate and solicit MBL alumni, prospects and donors who have the capacity to make financial commitments of $100,000+ or planned gifts at similar levels.

·         Plan and execute a target of 100 prospect visits per year.

·         Build and manage a portfolio of 100-150 MBL prospects by qualifying suspects monthly.

·         Determine timely cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship strategies for prospects in portfolio. Plan and execute strategies to engage donors in meaningful ways who have the capacity to make a major gift ($100,000+) to the MBL.

·         Arrange for prospects to meet with appropriate MBL or University of Chicago leadership, faculty, and staff when needed as part of a cultivation strategy.

·         Maintain strong communication links with various MBL and University colleagues to ensure a coordinated approach to strengthening the prospect's/donor's relationship with the MBL.

·         Deliver timely and effective follow-up in various forms to prospects and donors, which would include generating customized fundraising proposals.

·         Generate timely contact reports in prospect database following prospect/donor visits.

·         Serve as key partner for stewardship of major gift donors and planned giving donors working collaboratively with MBL and University partners to maintain a strong stewardship strategy.

·         Manage one or more MBL-specific fundraising projects, which could include monthly oversight of fundraising progress on project(s), developing a fundraising strategy for project(s), assisting in the coordination of fundraising activities associated with project(s), partnering with appropriate colleagues on collateral pieces and other elements associated with project(s).

·        Serve as the MBL Development Team's liaison to the University of Chicago – Alumni Relations and Development Office of Gift Planning.

·      Partner with the Chief Advancement Officer on strategy and planning for the MBL’s strategic programmatic priorities. Solicit annual and endowed support on behalf of these areas.

·    Seek opportunities for professional development that will enhance job performance, including building networks within the University and with colleagues at peer institutions.

·      Perform other duties as assigned.


  • Communicate Effectively & With Influence
  • Exhibit Resilience & Optimize Resources
  • Serve as a Brand Ambassador
  • Demonstrate Emotional Intelligence
  • Foster Partnership & Collaboration


Bachelor's degree or higher required


  •  A minimum of four years of professional work experience in nonprofit management, development, alumni relations, marketing, public relations, sales or similar professional work experience required.
  •  A minimum of three years of soliciting and closing major gifts experience required.
  •  A minimum of two years of experience with project or initiative leadership strongly desired.
  • A minimum of one year of experience developing and monitoring budgets preferred.

Technical Knowledge or Skills:

·         Demonstrated skill and knowledge of, or ability to learn quickly, the internal workings of the MBL as well as the technology tools available to Development, including RaisersEdge (the MBL’s Donor Relationship Management System), Microsoft Windows computer environment, Microsoft Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Access.

·         Demonstrated success of meeting or exceeding goals

·         Expertise managing a complex prospect and donor pipeline required.

·         Experience with project management in the development field and knowledge of the higher education arena preferred.

Working Conditions and Physical Requirements:

·         Willingness and ability to travel to MBL and/or non-MBL locations for MBL business.

·         Willingness and ability to work evenings and weekends.

·         Access to reliable transportation to visit field sites and day travel via boat

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