Job Listings

Assistant Director of Development, Major Gifts, GSAS

Harvard University
Job Location:
Cambridge, 02138
Development and Fundraising
Alumni Affairs and Development


Job Summary
Alumni Affairs and Development (AA&D)
Alumni Affairs and Development is a dedicated team supporting Harvard's advancement activity through front-line fundraising, alumni and volunteer engagement, technology, prospect management and research, business process, events, communications, and many other areas.

Our goal is to create an environment of respect that leverages the many talents, perspectives, and experiences of our employees; to deliver the strongest possible results by incorporating diverse perspectives into our daily work; and to make AA&D a great place to work for everyone. We strive to live our values of respect, inclusion, trust, collaboration, continuous improvement and innovation; and open communication and effective information sharing in our daily interactions and our work.

AA&D is comprised of the University Development Office (UDO), Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) Development, AA&D Resources, the Harvard Alumni Association (HAA), and the Office of the Vice President (OVP).

Position Description
This newly created fundraising opportunity focuses on Harvard's Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) and is part of the growing Faculty of Arts and Sciences Donor Development team. This full-time non-exempt position reports to the Senior Associate Director of Development, Major Gifts, serves as a key member of the Major Gifts team, and works in close partnership with GSAS and all FAS colleagues. The Assistant Director will balance internal work with colleagues, institutional partners, and external work with alumni volunteers and donors.

Primary responsibilities include managing all annual and volunteer fundraising efforts in alignment with the FAS multi-year fundraising plan. This position requires strong organizational and project management skills with an ability to identify, develop, steward, and expand philanthropic and/or revenue-based relationships in an academic setting.  Programmatic responsibilities may shift over time.

- Support annual fundraising plan and strategy for Kenneth C. Griffin Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) in alignment with FAS multi-year development agenda.  
- Work closely with Senior Associate Director of Development to manage the Graduate School Fundraising (GSF) Committee, consisting of approximately 25 volunteers. Create agendas and all supporting materials for quarterly calls and regular email updates.  
- Assign GSAS alumni to be solicited by GSF volunteers through Give Campus portal. Prepare Give Campus volunteer outreach updates and manage volunteer assignments.   
- Help develop pipeline for GSAS prospects in Major Gift portfolios.  
- Serve as Annual Fund Officer contact for unassigned GSAS Alumni prospects who express interest in making a gift, respond to email inquiries, review correspondence to be sent by university leaders to edit, coordinate strategies with Harvard College Fund (HCF) officers, and identify prospects for major gift portfolios.   
- Partner with Direct Response Marketing on Annual Appeal strategy and assist with finding signatories.  
- Convene a group of GSAS and AA&D team members monthly to receive updates and inquire about various areas of concerns or needs.   
- Serve as the GSF Lead for Associates Annual Report by attending meetings, suggesting and reviewing content for annual report.    
- Attend GSAS Alumni Council meetings and events as needed and available.   
- Manage a small portfolio of GSAS prospects capable of making annual gifts. Responsible for meeting or exceeding assigned goals, including, but not limited to, goals for prospect visits, solicitations, successful gift closures, and dollars raised.  
- Adhere to all prospect management processes and policies pertaining to contact reports, proposals, etc. to ensure cross-departmental transparency and effectiveness.  
- Serve as a member of the AA&D team by participating in group strategy discussions, sharing information with colleagues, and contributing to the achievement of the overall goals of Harvard University and the FAS.  
- The above covers the most significant responsibilities of this position. It does not exclude other duties, which would conform with the position level.  

Basic Qualifications
  • Bachelor's degree required.
  • Minimum of 3 years of experience in university fundraising or relevant transferable experience required.
  • Experience received while in college may contribute to the required work experience minimum for this position, if the role was in the development field.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills required.
  • Occasional on-campus work and travel required.
Additional Qualifications and Skills
  • Strong interpersonal and verbal communication skills, with the ability to communicate broadly across the University and to build trust with donors and their representatives.
  • Good judgment and discretion when discussing alumni and parent prospects and ability to build trust and maintain composure in difficult situations.
  • Detailed and comprehensive understanding of stewardship and fundraising best-practices.
  • Strong active listening skills, including an ability to ask sensitive questions with tact.  Demonstrated ability to uncover interests, motivations, and objections from prospective donors or others strongly preferred.  Someone who is pleasantly persistent while exhibiting sound judgement.
  • Willingness to learn and embrace new ideas and be flexible and open to change.  Must be able to evaluate problems accurately and display good, sound judgment.
  • 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 as well as an ability to admit mistakes and exhibit patience. 
  • Superb organizational skills and ability to think strategically and conceptually while managing multiple projects.
  • Computer literacy required must have experience with Windows-based PCs and prospect databases.
Additional Information
  • This position requires a 6month orientation and review period.
  • Please include a cover letter with your application.
To learn more about the AA&D team, please visit our Careers site at

To learn more about how Harvard supports diversity and inclusion throughout the University please visit the Office for Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging at

Accommodations: Harvard University welcomes individuals with disabilities to apply for positions and participate in its programs and activities. If you would like to request accommodations or have questions about the physical access provided, please let your recruiter know.

COVID 19 Vaccination Information: 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.

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). 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, Faculty & Student Services

Department Office Location
USA - MA - Cambridge

Job Code
405011 Stud Serv Professional (N)

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


Salary Grade

Alumni Affairs and Development

55 - Hvd Union Cler & Tech Workers

Time Status

Pre-Employment Screening
Education, Identity

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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