Development Coordinator

Updated: 3 months ago


Harvard Graduate School of Design


Job Summary

Reporting to the Regional Director, Major Gifts, the Development Coordinator provides the highest administrative support to three major gift officers. The individual in this role works independently and collaboratively to manage competing priorities to meet deadlines. The Development Coordinator is expected to take initiative, manage projects with meticulous attention to detail, communicate effectively and professionally, and be willing to develop new skills continuously. This person serves as a key administrative contact and liaison for external and internal constituencies, including alums, donors, and faculty and development colleagues. The individual in this role maintains a “no job is too big or small” philosophy.

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.  
  • Maintains calendar for the gift officers, organizes meetings, and takes and distributes notes.
  • Achieves proficiency in the alum/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 fundraisers 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 before prospect meetings and is responsible for supporting post-meeting follow-up, including submitting contact/visit reports.
  • Coordinates fundraiser travel arrangements, reimbursements, and expenses in collaboration with the budget office.
  • Provides customer service to internal and external stakeholders such as donors and/or alums both domestically and internationally.
  • Represents the fundraising team in the planning and execution of some high-level events. Acts as primary logistical support for small-scale development events for three major gift officers.
  • Serves as a resource for policies, protocols, and procedures.
  • Strategizes new and creative ways for fundraising efforts to be more efficient and productive.
  • Maintains robust communication with other areas of the development office and the school to address questions from the fundraising team and keep information flowing in all directions.
  • Participates in various team and staff meetings throughout the year and is an engaged member of the team.
  • Performs other duties as required in response to the department's changing needs.
  • 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.

There are no supervisory responsibilities associated with this position.

Basic Qualifications

  • 5+ years of related administrative support experience, preferably in a development office or academic setting.
  • Must possess strong written and verbal communication and customer service skills.

Additional Qualifications and Skills

  • A strong entrepreneurial mindset is essential. Ability to successfully operate in situations that have parameters and guidelines, and in situations or an environment with few guidelines, parameters, and existing frameworks.
  • Embody a high degree of professionalism and the ability to handle sensitive and confidential materials with sound judgment and discretion.  
  • Must be proactive and self-motivated to learn, ask questions, and identify areas of need and opportunities for the team to improve and grow.
  • Excellent organizational skills are required.
  • Capable of managing multiple assignments from multiple sources; efficient, organized, detail-oriented, and able to meet project deadlines.
  • Exceptional written and verbal communication skills. Strong writing skills for effective internal communication, writing and revising briefings, drafting internal and external correspondence for senior academic leaders, and at times for fundraisers.
  • Must be professional, enthusiastic, collaborative, focused, motivated to learn and flexible to change, reliable, and able to work effectively with people from different backgrounds and experiences.

Additional 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.


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, General Administration

Department Office Location

USA - MA - Cambridge

Job Code

403040 Coordinator II

Work Format

Hybrid (partially on-site, partially remote)


Development and Alumni Relations


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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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