Director of Annual Giving Programs

November 2019 | Wellesley, MA
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Wellesley College seeks a Director of Annual Giving Programs to lead the team responsible for raising funds from alumnae, parents, friends, and students that support the College’s annual operating needs.

About Wellesley College

Wellesley-College-FallWellesley College is a premier four-year liberal arts college for women located in the greater Boston area. Home to 2,350 undergraduate students representing 50 states and more than 87 countries, 49 percent students of color, and 17 percent first-generation college students, diversity and inclusion are a way of life at Wellesley. The college is situated on a beautiful 500-acre campus. There, students enjoy the best of both worlds: first-rate instruction in a breathtaking setting and easy access to Boston — the academic, medical, cultural and historic hub of the northeast. Wellesley students take advantage of cross-registration with MIT, Babson College, Brandeis University, and the Olin College of Engineering, as well as the Twelve College Exchange, and over 160 study abroad programs.

Wellesley’s motto, Non Ministrari sed Ministrare, captures the College’s mission to provide an excellent liberal arts education for women who will make a difference in the world. With a rich history, an established reputation for academic excellence and state-of-the-art resources, Wellesley College provides its students with a comprehensive liberal arts and sciences education. Wellesley offers more than 1,000 courses and more than 50 majors. With an 8:1 student-faculty ratio, Wellesley professors are accessible and known for their outstanding commitment to teaching, academic and career advising, and scholarship. Faculty and students frequently collaborate on research, publishing papers and presenting at academic meetings. Wellesley students regularly cite the excellence of the faculty as a core component of the transformational learning environment.

Wellesley’s innovative new career education model is designed to prepare and inspire students to craft a lifetime of opportunity and to reach their full potential. The model illuminates the strengths of the liberal arts education and encourages active participation of the full College ecosystem in order to support every Wellesley woman from the moment she arrives on campus through her alumnae years. Success is demonstrated in student outcomes: 96 percent of the Class of 2017 graduates were employed, accepted to graduate school, participating in a service/volunteer program or serving in the military within six months of graduation.

Many Wellesley alumnae are leadership role models, including former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Chinese writer Bing Xin, Korean diplomat In-ho Lee, NASA astronaut Pamela Melroy, journalist Diane Sawyer, writer Nora Ephron, and Hillary Rodham Clinton, the first female presidential candidate to be nominated by a major U.S. political party.

Wellesley College is currently led by its 14th president, Paula A. Johnson, who assumed office in July 2016.

About Philanthropy at Wellesley College

Wellesley-College-studentsThe mission of the Office of Development is to cultivate and maintain relationships with and seek financial support from the College’s key audiences: alumnae, friends, foundations and corporations. Total giving in the first year after the campaign, FY2019, was $42.9 million with an alumnae participation rate of 42.5% percent.

On June 30, 2018, Wellesley completed the largest fundraising effort ever undertaken by a women’s college, one full year ahead of schedule. In all, a goal-shattering $514,485,911 was raised during the Wellesley Effect campaign against a $500-million goal to support Wellesley’s mission to provide an excellent liberal arts education to women who will make a difference in the world.

Annual Giving

Annual Giving serves as the foundational program for giving to Wellesley; the Director oversees a series of programs, which raise approximately $10 million per year, and includes:

  • The Wellesley Fund, which raises more than $10 million in unrestricted and current-use financial aid
  • The Parents Fund
  • The College’s 4 Friends groups: Art, Athletics, Botanic Gardens, Library
  • The Office of Religious & Spiritual Life
  • The Student Philanthropy Program
  • The Durant Society, Wellesley’s premier leadership giving society recognizing gifts across the College of $2,500+
  • The College’s alumnae participation efforts

About the Position

Wellesley-College-students-on-lawnWellesley College is seeking a sophisticated and talented Director of Annual Giving Programs who will be a key member of Wellesley’s high-performing Development division. Reporting to the Vice President for Development, the new Director of Annual Giving Programs will lead the team that is responsible for raising the funds from alumnae, parents, friends, and students that support the annual operating needs of the College.

The Director is responsible for the development and implementation of annual giving strategies and activities, with the goal of growing unrestricted giving and increasing the percentage of alumnae who support the Fund. She/He will develop marketing and solicitation strategies, solicit and close gifts and partner with high level volunteer leaders. The new hire will supervise front-line fundraisers and the Annual Giving Programs’ administrative assistant.

To achieve top results each year, the Director works closely with a variety of partners within Development, across the College, and with the Alumnae Association. In particular, the Director collaborates closely with the Development Marketing team to create a coordinated plan that maximizes the effectiveness of staff and volunteer outreach in conjunction with appeals through various direct response marketing channels (mail, phone, email, short-term, focused online giving efforts, etc.).

In addition, for the next two years the Director will play a pivotal role in a grant-funded pilot initiative involving five selective liberal arts colleges that aims to support liberal arts colleges in their effort to increase the number of donations from young alumni/ae and, therefore, fortify the habit of giving for the longer term.

Key Responsibilities

Leadership and Management

  • Facilitate the design, oversight and evaluation of annual giving leadership giving strategies that are coordinated and integrated with the Principal, Leadership & Planned Giving Programs
  • Collaborate closely with colleagues in Principal, Leadership & Planned Giving; Advancement Services; Development Marketing; the Wellesley College Alumnae Association, including Reunion Programs; the Davis Museum, Athletics, Botanic Gardens, the Library & Technology Services; Office of Religious & Spiritual Life; and the broader campus community
  • Coordinate annual giving solicitations from all leadership alumnae volunteer groups, including the Board of Trustees, the WCAA Board of Directors, the Friends National Committees, the Business Leadership Council, and all annual giving volunteers
  • Ensure effective oversight of annual giving events for volunteers and donors both on campus and regionally.
  • Grow unrestricted revenue from top tier donors and increase the annual alumnae giving participation rate

Volunteer Management and Relations

  • Provide direct support to top tier volunteer leadership, including the Annual Giving Chair, the Durant Chair, and key Chairs of the Friends groups.
  • Work closely with volunteers to support class goals, strategies, leadership cultivation, events, stewardship, problem solving and evaluation of results.
  • Ensure sophisticated staff support for recruitment, training, management, and stewardship of annual giving volunteers
  • Oversee development of volunteer training programs and tools to export successful practices from highest performing classes to the entire volunteer network.


  • Effectively communicate college and annual giving goals and initiatives to volunteers, alumnae, parents, and internal constituencies.
  • Facilitate team collaboration with Development Marketing in the creation, budgeting for, and production of all print and electronic communications for annual giving.
  • Work closely with Advancement Services to assess technology and tool needs of staff and volunteers, to enable dashboard-based reporting of progress against goals, and to model performance of defined donor segments.

Key Qualifications

  • 7+ years of progressively complex roles directing nonprofit or higher education fundraising programs
  • 10+ years of development experience, preferably in higher education, with proven success in growing both revenue and percentage of participation
  • Knowledge of fundraising principles, ethics, volunteer management and trends in higher education, including fundraising for annual gifts, major gifts and designated gifts
  • Staff management experience
  • Excellent planning and organizational skills, with an ability to prioritize and manage multiple tasks
  • Attention to detail, with a high level of productivity
  • Solution-oriented performer who can be highly responsive to donor, staff, and volunteer needs
  • An authentic appreciation for liberal arts education and women’s education, particularly the education and opportunities provided by Wellesley, and an ability to eloquently articulate the mission
  • An understanding of, and appreciation for, inclusive excellence within a higher education setting
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, an ability to work collaboratively, and an orientation toward customer service
  • Superior written and oral communication skills
  • Strong analytical skills, including the ability to look at data and draw conclusions
  • Ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously, working both independently and as a member of a team

 Other Qualifications

  • Strong technical skills in generic software programs (Excel, Microsoft, Power Point) and information systems
  • Enthusiasm, ability to take risks, and the courage to speak and act on convictions
  • Ability to maintain the highest level of confidentiality, professionalism, and discretion
  • A sense of humor is appreciated
  • A valid driver’s license
  • Some night and weekend work are required, as is periodic travel outside of the state of Massachusetts

Wellesley College is an Equal Opportunity Employer and is 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, disability or veteran status. Candidates who believe they can contribute to that goal are encouraged to apply.

Please email your cover letter and resume in confidence to:

Tracy Marshall
Senior Vice President, Principal
Development Guild DDI

For more information about Wellesley College, please visit

Interested in this position or other new career opportunities?