Senior Development Officer

Posted on 11/12/2021

Wellesley College

Wellesley, MA

Position Summary:

The Senior Development Officer reports to the Senior Director of Individual Giving and manages a portfolio of 250 high-capacity prospects rated $250,000 or more, including alumnae, trustees, faculty, friends of the College, and parents. S/he is responsible for developing personalized strategies for engagement and solicitation that maximize each individual’s philanthropic capacity and support for the College’s funding priorities. S/he collaborates across the department and the College to formulate solicitation plans and acts as an ambassador in high-level interactions with trustees, senior leadership, faculty and high capacity donors. This work includes staffing College leadership in meetings with leadership-level and principal gift prospects and donors. All Senior Development Officers take responsibility for leading one fundraising initiative, in addition to managing their prospect pools. These initiatives have beginnings and conclusions, and may shift based on the College’s fundraising priorities.
This might include engaging parents.

Primary Position Responsibilities:

  • Identifies, qualifies, cultivates, and solicits high net worth Wellesley alumnae, parents, and friends with the capacity to make gifts of $250,000 or more in support of the College’s priorities.
  • Actively manages a portfolio of approximately 250 prospects, employing appropriate strategies and tactics in prospect and portfolio management.
  • Responsible for coordinating and moving forward the project plan and solicitation activity for a fundraising priority of the College (e.g. Career Education, Science Center, etc.). Collaborates with faculty and other key partners across the development office and College to build a compelling case for support, build an associated prospect pool, ensure ongoing cultivation and solicitation by prospect managers, and track progress toward fundraising goal.
  • Travels as appropriate to assigned regions to meet with prospects and donors.
  • Collaborates with colleagues in Leadership and Principal Giving, Gift Planning, and The Wellesley Fund to meet individual and shared programmatic and dollar goals.
  • Presents the College’s funding opportunities articulately, persuasively, and with confidence.
  • Meets or exceeds annual visit and fundraising goals.
  • Supports the president, trustees, senior staff, and other campus partners in cultivating and soliciting key prospects.
  • Participates in events at which alumnae, parents, and friends are present, such as Family & Friends Weekend, Commencement, and Reunion.
  • Co-manages a shared administrative assistant.
  • Carries out other projects and duties as required.
  • “Captains” a specific fundraising initiative or priority by helping to identify and develop a pool of potential donors, crafting a case for support, developing ideas and content for collateral, and working with relevant campus partners on behalf of the rest of the Development team.


  • Co-manages a shared administrative assistant.

Education/Skills Required:

  • Bachelor’s degree and valid driver’s license


  • 5-7 years of front-line fundraising or comparable experience, including conducting solicitations and closing gifts, as well as having familiarity with reunion giving and/or alumni/ae development experience, preferably in an academic setting
  • Experience developing, closing, and stewarding prospects rated $250,000 or more and donors making gifts of 6 figures or more
  • Extensive experience working with a wide-spectrum of volunteers and donors in an outward facing capacity
  • Proposal writing
  • Experience supporting and collaborating with academic leadership

Skills and Abilities:

  • Demonstrated thoughtful and collaborative project management skills
  • Highly organized and needing minimal direction to complete complex tasks and multiple projects simultaneously, working both independently and as a member of a team
  • Superior written and oral communication skills, including presentation skills, appropriate for engaging high-level prospects and members of the campus community
  • Strong strategic thinking and analytical skills, including the ability to draw informed conclusions from data
  • Ability to adapt to changing circumstances
  • Comfort with ambiguity and ability to pivot
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, an ability to work collaboratively, and an orientation toward customer service
  • Familiarity with and/or interest in learning about planned giving and events
  • Ability and desire to travel an average of 5-7 days per month to meet with prospects
  • Absolute confidentiality, professionalism, and discretion required
  • Commitment to the mission and goals of Wellesley College
  • High comfort level using technology to communicate and share information, as well as experience with a prospect database


  • This is an exempt, full-time position reporting to the Senior Director of Individual Giving. Some night and weekend work is required, as is regular travel outside Massachusetts.

All employees hired after August 2, 2021 are required to upload proof of vaccination against COVID-19, subject to approved medical or religious exemptions or disability accommodations.

At Wellesley, we embrace and honor difference and diversity. We believe the best ideas—the best solutions—draw on a range of voices, perspectives, and experiences. As a college, and as a community, we are dedicated to assuring that all members for the Wellesley community have an equal opportunity to flourish.

Wellesley College is an Equal Opportunity Employer, and we are committed to increasing the diversity of the college community and the curriculum. Wellesley College and all its subcontractors shall abide by the requirements of 41 CFR 60–1.4(a), 60–300.5(a) and 60–741.5(a). These regulations prohibit discrimination against qualified individuals based on their status as protected veterans or individuals with disabilities, and prohibit discrimination against all individuals based on their race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or national origin. Moreover, these regulations require that Wellesley College and all of its subcontractors take affirmative action to employ and advance in employment individuals without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability or veteran status. Candidates who believe they can contribute to that goal are encouraged to apply.

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