Job Listings

Development Assistant

Harvard University
Job Location:
Cambridge, 02138
Development and Fundraising
Harvard Graduate School of Design


Job Summary

The Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD) educates design, research, and scholarship leaders to make a resilient, just, and beautiful world. The GSD offers degree programs across a range of design disciplines-architecture, landscape architecture, urban planning, urban design, design engineering, and real estate-as well as advanced research programs that cut across these disciplines and a robust public program of lectures, exhibitions, and publications. The immense variety of people, programs, and ideas at the School sustains a vibrant and rich environment for learning, inquiry, and collaboration, unlike any other design school. 

The Development Assistant will join the Development and Alumni Relations office at the GSD. The position will report to the Senior Associate Director of Development and provide support to two gifts officers who are committed to raising funds through annual, leadership, planned, and major gifts. The successful candidate will take on a variety of tasks with enthusiasm and approach their work with curiosity.  

Position Description


  • Performs necessary support duties for two fundraisers. These duties include but are not limited to: preparing agendas for officer travel and internal meetings, drafting briefings, drafting and editing correspondence, and running donor reports. It also involves managing calendars, coordinating regular team meetings, confirming appointments, making travel and accommodation plans, and reconciling officer expenses. 

  • Coordinate aspects of fundraiser prospect meetings, including requesting updated prospect research, scheduling meetings, logistics, itineraries, briefing management, record-keeping in the donor database, follow-up correspondence, contact reports, and next steps. 

  • Proofreads, formats, circulates, and files correspondence, memos, e-mails, reports, and agendas. Runs lists, compiles bios, ensures prospect data is accurate, drafts correspondence, purchases gifts, and assists in trip preparation and follow-up. Occasionally will organize and produce mailings. All of these duties involve detailed and time-specific work.   

  • Responsible for coordinating logistics for small donor focused events. 

  • Contribute to briefings for senior-level administrators, faculty, and the dean by utilizing resources to prepare a first draft of the document for officer input; this includes writing background information, objectives, and talking points for the dean. 

  • Enters data into the Advance database in a timely manner; assists with fundraising tracking, reporting, and data analysis.  

  • Handles travel arrangements and books flights and hotels while adhering to the confidentiality protocol. Assists gift officers with preparation, including gathering prospect profiles, news updates, and other relevant information. 

  • Maintains excellent customer service with other departments, including but not limited to Communications, Events, the Office of the Dean, and others as needed. 

  • This position's responsibilities also consist of varied projects and tasks that arise out of ongoing shifting demands that cannot always be foreseen. Flexibility, priority-setting and re-prioritizing, and initiative are essential. 

  • Participate in and/or support departmental and school-wide activities as needed. 


  • There are no supervisory responsibilities associated with this position. 
Basic Qualifications
  • Minimum of two years related office experience; strong knowledge of Microsoft Office software; available to work additional evening hours, particularly during the academic year. 
Additional Qualifications and Skills
  • BA/BS degree or equivalent; office experience, preferably in an academic environment. Must be highly organized, detail-oriented, and have strong interpersonal and communication skills. Must possess the ability to establish and promote good working relationships with colleagues, alumni, and donors. Must be flexible and possess the ability to prioritize and handle multiple tasks in a fast-paced, deadline-oriented environment.  

  • Strong writing and copy-editing skills and exceptional attention to detail. 

  • Must be able to work independently and take initiative. Must be able to focus on priorities and time specific duties. 

  • Must be a professional, proactive, collaborative, conscientious, and results-oriented individual. Must have an optimistic and positive demeanor and demonstrate good intuition and the ability to adapt to changing priorities. Must demonstrate the ability to innovate, think strategically and conceptually, and display good, sound judgment. 

  • Comfortable speaking in group settings; willing to take charge in difficult situations and remain calm and collected under pressure.   

  • Excellent computer skills; experience with Windows, Excel, Word, and Microsoft Office. Prior database experience strongly preferred. 

Physical Requirements
  • Position involves frequent use of computer keyboard and mouse. 

  • May be required to lift and handle event supplies weighing 20-30 lbs. 

Working Conditions
  • This position will be based in Cambridge, MA. The work is mainly performed in an office setting. Flexible work options for this role will be discussed during the interview process.  
  • This position requires frequent in-person work at the GSD throughout the academic year. Applications are accepted and encouraged from candidates not based in the Boston-Cambridge area, so long as they are able to commute to campus regularly during the academic year and reside in one of our approved payroll states. Harvard registered payroll states currently include Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Virginia, Washington, and California (CA for exempt positions only). 
Additional Information

Please note that in order to be considered for this position, a cover letter and resume are required with the submission of your application.

The health of our workforce is a priority for Harvard University. With that in mind, we strongly encourage all employees to be up-to-date on CDC-recommended vaccines. 

For more information about Harvard GSD see:   

Work Format Details
This is a hybrid position that is based in Massachusetts. Additional details will be discussed during the interview process. All remote work must be performed within one of the Harvard Registered Payroll States, which currently includes Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Virginia, Washington, and California (CA for exempt positions only). Candidates must be authorized to work in the United States. We regret that Harvard cannot sponsor a work visa. Certain visa types and funding sources may limit work location. Individuals must meet work location sponsorship requirements prior to employment.

We invite you to visit Harvard's Total Rewards website ( to learn more about our outstanding benefits package, which may include:
  • Paid Time Off: 3-4 weeks of accrued vacation time per year (3 weeks for support staff and 4 weeks for administrative/professional staff), 12 accrued sick days per year, 12.5 holidays plus a Winter Recess in December/January, 3 personal days per year (prorated based on date of hire), and up to 12 weeks of paid leave for new parents who are primary care givers.
  • Health and Welfare: Comprehensive medical, dental, and vision benefits, disability and life insurance programs, along with voluntary benefits. Most coverage begins as of your start date.
  • Work/Life and Wellness: Child and elder/adult care resources including on campus childcare centers, Employee Assistance Program, and wellness programs related to stress management, nutrition, meditation, and more.
  • Retirement: University-funded retirement plan with contributions from 5% to 15% of eligible compensation, based on age and earnings with full vesting after 3 years of service.
  • Tuition Assistance Program: Competitive program including $40 per class at the Harvard Extension School and reduced tuition through other participating Harvard graduate schools.
  • Tuition Reimbursement: Program that provides 75% to 90% reimbursement up to $5,250 per calendar year for eligible courses taken at other accredited institutions.
  • Professional Development: Programs and classes at little or no cost, including through the Harvard Center for Workplace Development and LinkedIn Learning.
  • Commuting and Transportation: Various commuter options handled through the Parking Office, including discounted parking, half-priced public transportation passes and pre-tax transit passes, biking benefits, and more.
  • Harvard Facilities Access, Discounts and Perks: Access to Harvard athletic and fitness facilities, libraries, campus events, credit union, and more, as well as discounts to various types of services (legal, financial, etc.) and cultural and leisure activities throughout metro-Boston.
Job Function
Alumni Affairs and Development, Communications, General Administration

Department Office Location
USA - MA - Cambridge

Job Code
403033 Staff Assistant III

Work Format
Hybrid (partially on-site, partially remote)


Salary Grade

Development and Alumni Relations

55 - Hvd Union Cler & Tech Workers

Time Status

Pre-Employment Screening

Commitment to Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging
Harvard University views equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging as the pathway to achieving inclusive excellence and fostering a campus culture where everyone can thrive. We strive to create a community that draws upon the widest possible pool of talent to unify excellence and diversity while fully embracing individuals from varied backgrounds, cultures, races, identities, life experiences, perspectives, beliefs, and values.

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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