Assistant Director, Reunion and Leadership Giving, External Relations

Updated: 3 months ago


Harvard Business School


Job Summary

The Assistant Director is a frontline fundraising position responsible for managing class-based reunion fundraising campaigns and securing leadership gifts from alumni. Directly oversees reunion fundraising activity, including volunteer management, for a portfolio of classes to primarily raise support from alumni for the Harvard Business School (HBS) Fund. Cultivates, solicits, and stewards gifts of five- and six-figure gifts from a portfolio of class-based prospects. Identifies, enlists, and manages volunteer leadership who serve as partners in driving class fundraising activities and leads class fundraising committee meetings and calls. Develops and/or collaborates on class campaign and individual prospect strategies. This position requires a strong command of fundraising principles, a familiarity with the objectives of reunion and leadership giving fundraising, a high level of organization and professionalism, and the ability to work with a sophisticated and high-level alumni constituency.

Position Description

Responsibilities Include:

  • Oversees a portfolio of reunion and non-reunion classes and is responsible for the development and management of class gift committees.
  • Identifies and recruits class leadership and fundraising volunteers, sets goals, develops and implements class fundraising plans as well as collaborates with class leaders and colleagues on individual prospect strategies.
  • Manages a portfolio of leadership gift prospects (reunion and non-reunion).
  • Cultivates, solicits, and stewards alumni; coordinate with Gift Opportunities team on proposals and gift agreements; partners with Donor Relations team on stewardship of named funds.
  • Determines and executes fundraising strategies to increase reunion class giving, including personal cultivation and solicitations, management of peer-to-peer solicitations, appeals, events, stewardship activities, and strategic visits by School leadership.
  • Analyzes fundraising activity to identify ideas for improvement in both dollars raised and participation.
  • Advises on class fundraising strategies, participates in class leadership conference calls, surveys class leadership and donor prospects, and determines solicitation strategies for leadership gift prospects.
  • Works to increase dollars, educate volunteers, and drive donor retention and acquisition in both reunion and non-reunion classes.
  • Collaborates regularly across HBS Development and External Relations to promote strategies to move prospects through the gift cycle and to further the case for HBS Fund support.
  • Conducts approximately 75 personal visits annually for recruitment, volunteer management, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship purposes.
  • Solicitation activity focused on Investors Society gifts of $25,000 and above.
  • Identifies prospects for longer-term institutional engagement and giving.
  • Partners with Direct Marketing colleagues on development of reunion appeals strategy.
  • Strategically plans events and programs in support of fundraising activities and partners closely with Alumni Relations to ensure partnership between Reunion fundraising and Reunion program committees and activities.
  • In collaboration with Reunion and Leadership Giving leadership, works on special projects to advance overall fundraising objectives.
  • Ability to perform the essential duties of the position with or without reasonable accommodation

This role is responsible for other duties as assigned

Basic Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree required
  • 5+ years of experience in fundraising and administration and/or related transferable experience is required.

Additional Qualifications and Skills

  • This position requires a strong command of fundraising principles, a high level of organization, professionalism, and a familiarity with the objectives of reunion, annual, and unrestricted-gift fundraising.
  • Demonstrated success in reunion and/or leadership giving, devising cultivation and solicitation strategies, volunteer management, and event management.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and a collaborative working style are essential.
  • Must be highly organized, detail-oriented, and able to prioritize and manage multiple tasks in a fast-paced and goal-oriented environment.
  • Must have the ability to innovate, think strategically and conceptually, manage multiple projects, and handle difficult situations.
  • Must be able to listen as well as to influence and persuade others.
  • A self-starter who can work effectively as a team member and promote collaboration in an environment of accountability.
  • Must be motivated to learn and flexible to change.
  • Proven ability to motivate, engage, and work with alumni and members of the Harvard University community, including high-level donors and leadership volunteers.
  • Superior written and verbal communications skills.
  • Computer literacy required; must have experience with Windows and databases.

Working Conditions

Ability and willingness to travel and work occasional weekends and evenings is required.

Additional Information

This role is offered as a hybrid (some combination of onsite and remote) where you are required to be onsite at our Boston, MA based campus 2 days per week. Specific days and schedule will be determined between you and your manager.

We may conduct candidate interviews virtually (phone and/or via Zoom) and/or in-person for this role.

A cover letter is required to be considered for this opportunity.

Harvard Business School will not offer visa sponsorship for this opportunity.

Culture of Inclusion: The work and well-being of HBS is profoundly strengthened by the diversity of our network and our differences in background, culture, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, and life experiences. Explore more about HBS work culture here .


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

Department Office Location

USA - MA - Boston

Job Code

300057 Development Professional

Work Format

Hybrid (partially on-site, partially remote)


External Relations


00 - Non Union, Exempt or Temporary

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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