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Assistant Director, Major Gifts

Harvard Radcliffe Institute
Massachusetts, United States
$70,800.00 - $119,000.00
Closing date
Dec 15, 2022

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Position Type
Fundraising, Major Gifts
Academic Centers, Education
Employment Type
Full Time

Job Summary: 


The Assistant Director, Major Gifts, is responsible for driving Major Gift prospect activity, expanding the donor pipeline at both the Leadership Society and Major Gifts level, and building a long-term pipeline of Major Gift support. The Assistant Director manages a portfolio of prospects that includes those who are, or have the potential to become, donors capable of five- to six-figure gifts to the Radcliffe Institute. Reporting to the Director of Major and Planned Giving, they will develop qualification, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship strategies for assigned prospects and ensure that these strategies are proactively pursued. The Assistant Director, Major Gifts will collaborate with colleagues in Events and External Relations to manage the development and implementation of assigned prospect and donor engagement efforts, departmental initiatives, and regional programming, including events with the dean and other Radcliffe ambassadors, to cultivate support. Travel will be required throughout the year to accomplish these goals. The Assistant Director, Major Gifts also contributes to special projects and initiatives as assigned.

The successful candidate will possess the following competencies: judgment, strategic thinking, initiative, ability to deal with ambiguity, quality decision making, integrity and trust, interpersonal savvy, listening, negotiating, presentation skills, priority setting, strategic agility, strong written communication skills, openness to risk, persistence, creativity, and collaboration.


Position Description: 

  • Responsible for frontline focused priorities aimed at moving prospects toward a major gift. They will manage a prospect portfolio of approximately 175 and conduct a minimum of 100 face-to-face visits to donors per year. This number may be adjusted to meet evolving department needs.
  • Develops and implements strategies to move prospects toward solicitation; completes assigned solicitations on the agreed upon timeline.
  • Participates in prospect review sessions outlining strategic moves for his/her prospects, consistently documenting activity in Advance (donor database), and building positive working relationships with colleagues in Communications, Dean’s Office, Events, Finance, and Harvard Alumni Affairs and Development.
  • Collaborates with development colleagues across Harvard Schools, University Planned Giving, and University Principal Gifts to coordinate prospect strategy.
  • Effectively manages involvement of the Institute’s senior leaders with fundraising engagement involving assigned prospects. This includes preparing strategic briefings prior to visits and arranging for appropriate follow up from visits and events.
  • Identifies and prioritizes prospects, makes volunteer prospects assignments, prepares background material for solicitations, and follows up with volunteers to ensure completion of assigned solicitations. .
  • May manage an advisory council of philanthropic and other volunteers responsible for supporting a fundraising priority at the Radcliffe Institute, in coordination with colleagues across the Institute.
  • Assumes other special assignments for the senior managers in the External Relations department as needed. Provides mentorship to other members of the department as appropriate.
  • Continually builds knowledge about the mission, projects, and prospects of the Radcliffe Institute and serves as an ambassador for the Radcliffe Institute.

 Basic Qualifications: 

  • Bachelor’s Degree required.
  • A minimum of three years successful development or related experience.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office and other computer applications.

Additional Qualifications and Skills: 

  • Demonstrated success in fundraising, or in alumni relations and volunteer management.
  • Knowledge of fundraising strategy and techniques and an ability and willingness to implement strategy.
  • Ability to take relationships with alumni and donors to a higher level and to move difficult cases forward.
  • Strong communication skills, both oral and written.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills required to relate to donors, volunteers, and colleagues. Must be able to consistently display tact, diplomacy, discretion, and maintain confidentiality inside and outside of the organization.
  • Must be a self-starter who is organized, detail-oriented, and able to prioritize and balance multiple tasks in a fast-paced complex environment.
  • Must have a natural affinity for collaboration, leading through influence, and a high level of emotional intelligence. Must be drawn to a challenge and exhibit the patience necessary to advance solutions in a complex and collaborative organization. Demonstrate a personal commitment to excellence.

Physical Requirements: 


The demands described below are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • Employee must have the ability to work at a desk for a minimum of seven hours a day and complete tasks requiring repetitive use of hands to handle files, computers, and phones; reach with hands and arms
  • Regularly required to talk or hear and frequently required to stand, walk, sit, stoop, kneel. The employee will occasionally lift and/or move up to 40 pounds.

 Working Conditions: 

  • This role is offered as a hybrid (some combination of onsite and remote) where the incumbent is required to be onsite at our Cambridge, MA location. Specific days and schedule will be determined between the incumbent and manager.
  • Must be able to travel frequently to meet with prospects and donors.
  • Able to work some nights and weekends as required


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