Development Assistant, Major Gifts, Faculty of Arts and Sciences

Updated: 6 months ago


Alumni Affairs and Development


Job Summary

This position will be based on our campus in Cambridge, MA, in a hybrid environment.   

Alumni Affairs and Development (AA&D) comprises the University Development Office (UDO), Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) Development, AA&D Resources, and the Harvard Alumni Association (HAA). There is a unique relationship between the University and the FAS fundraising operations, resulting from a long history in which University fundraising ultimately grew out of College fundraising.

Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) Development
FAS Development is responsible for the fundraising efforts supporting the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, including Harvard College, the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. FAS Development staff work with Harvard College donors, alumni, parents, and friends who provide critical support for the FAS and often for other parts of the University.

The Development Assistant is an integral member of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) development team. This full-time non-exempt position supports frontline gift officers to advance the philanthropic mission of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.

FAS Development is responsible for the fundraising efforts supporting the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, including Harvard College, the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. FAS Development staff work with donors, alumni, parents, and friends who provide critical support for the FAS and often for other parts of the University.

This is a great opportunity for someone who is interested in building their career within higher education and learn more about alumni affairs and development.

The person in this role should be mission driven, have attention to detail, strong organizational ability, and robust communications skills. The Development Assistant will have access to and utilization of confidential information pertaining to donors and alumni where a high degree of discretion, diplomacy and professionalism are required.

Position Description

The list below covers the most significant responsibilities of the position. However, it does not exclude other duties, the inclusion of which would be in conformity with the level of the position.

  • Provides support to all aspects of the fundraisers prospect management process including (but not limited to) drafting prospect outreach, data gathering and maintenance, scheduling, meeting preparation and follow-up on action items.   
  • Achieves proficiency in the alumni/donor database to research prospects, organize data and produce reports.
  • Regularly manages updates to the alumni/donor database to ensure all information is entered accurately and timely.
  • Partners with gift officers to write high quality donor briefings for meetings with the President, Deans, Provost, Faculty, and other staff.
  • Develops and prepares necessary meeting and solicitation materials prior to prospect meetings and is responsible for post meeting follow-up, including drafting thank you notes and submitting contact/visit reports.
  • Coordinates gift officers’ travel arrangements, reimbursements, and expenses in collaboration with the budget office.
  • Maintains calendar for the gift officers, organizes meetings, and takes and distributes notes.
  • Provides customer service to internal and external stakeholders such as donors and/or alumni both domestically and internationally.
  • Serves as a resource for policies, protocols, and procedures.
  • Strategizes new and creative ways for fundraising efforts to be more efficient and productive.
  • Builds relationships and collaborates with other departmental teams including (but not limited to) the University Development Office, Harvard College Fund, Communications, Events, Alumni Development Services, Development Technology Services, and the Harvard Alumni Association.
  • Participates in various team and staff meetings throughout the year and is an engaged member of the team.
  • Provides other job-related duties as required.

Basic Qualifications

  • 1-2 years of related experience, education beyond high school may count toward experience.
  • Strong knowledge of Microsoft Office software
  • Strong writing skills and attention to detail.
  • Available to work additional evening hours if necessary

Additional Qualifications and Skills

  • The department of Alumni Affairs and Development at Harvard University is committed to diversity. We welcome applicants who bring varied experiences, thought, and practice to the department’s mission to maintain and enhance an engaged community of alumni and friends worldwide and to lead the University’s fundraising efforts.

Additional Information

This position requires a 3 month orientation and review period.
Please include a cover letter with your application.

Why AA&D?
We are a dedicated team of 400 alumni affairs and development professionals supporting Harvard’s advancement activity through roles that include front-line fundraising, alumni and volunteer engagement, technology, events, communications, prospect management and research, business process, talent management and many other areas.

Harvard’s Alumni Affairs and Development team inspires and galvanizes alumni, friends, and members of the University community to support Harvard through philanthropy, governance, and active engagement. AA&D believes a workplace that reflects the diversity of our society and our ever-evolving University constituency makes us a stronger and more effective organization. Our goal is to create an environment of respect that values the many talents, perspectives, and experiences of our community, 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. AA&D strives to live our values of respect, inclusion, trust, collaboration, innovation and sharing of information in our daily interactions and our work.

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

Harvard University Benefits: Information can be found 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.

Vaccine Requirements: Harvard University continues to place the highest priority on the health, safety and wellbeing of its faculty, staff, and students, as well as the wider community. Please note that all new employees are required to provide proof of primary series COVID-19 vaccination upon hire, as detailed on our COVID-19 Vaccine Requirement Webpage . Harvard University Health Services employees and other health care individuals are also required to be up to date on vaccination as described by the CDC. Individuals may claim exemption from the vaccine requirement for medical or religious reasons. Additional information regarding this requirement, exemptions, verification of vaccination status, and other related policies and resources may be found on the University’s COVID-19 Information Website .

Job Function

Alumni Affairs and Development, General Administration

Department Office Location

USA - MA - Cambridge

Job Code

403033 Staff Assistant III


Alumni Affairs and Development


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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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