Senior Development Officer

July 2022 | Hybrid/Wellesley, MA

Wellesley College seeks a Senior Development Officer to join the team responsible for raising major gifts from alumnae, parents, and friends of the College.

About Wellesley College

Wellesley CollegeWellesley 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: a superb education 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 Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 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 (Not to be ministered unto, but to minister), 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 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 to support every Wellesley woman from the moment she arrives on campus through her alumnae years. Success is demonstrated in student outcomes: 98 percent of the Class of 2021 graduates were employed, accepted to graduate school, participating in a service/volunteer program or serving in the military within six months of graduation.

Wellesley’s mission is to provide an excellent liberal arts education to women who will make a difference in the world. The College community enhances this mission by working together, guided by deeply held shared values:

  • Intellectual Discovery and Excellence
  • Gender Equality
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  • Connection and Community
  • Empowerment and Social Change
  • Integrity and Academic Freedom

Wellesley embraces and honors difference and diversity. The College believes that the best ideas—the best solutions—draw on a range of voices, perspectives, and experiences. As a college, and as a community, they are dedicated to assuring that all members of the Wellesley community have an equal opportunity to flourish. 

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

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

For more information about Wellesley College, please visit

About Philanthropy at Wellesley

The 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. In 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 million 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.

About the Position

Students at Wellsley College

The Senior Development Officer reports to the Senior Director of Individual Giving and manages a portfolio of approximately 200 high-capacity prospects rated $250,000 or more, including alumnae, trustees, faculty, friends of the College, and parents. They are responsible for developing personalized strategies for engagement and solicitation that maximize each individual’s philanthropic capacity and support for the College’s funding priorities. They collaborate 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.

Key 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 200 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., Financial Aid, 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 fellow prospect managers, and track progress toward fundraising goal.
  • Travels as appropriate to assigned regions and other areas as needed 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 goals for substantive activity/visits and fundraising.
  • 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.
  • “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.

Key Qualifications

  • 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
  • Proposal writing
  • Experience supporting and collaborating with academic leadership
  • 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

Supervises:  Co-manages a shared administrative assistant.

Wellesley College is currently piloting a flexwork plan for administrative staff that incorporates both flexible hours and hybrid teleworking components, though all employees must live in New England.

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.

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.

Please email your cover letter and resume in confidence to:

Tracy Marshall

Senior Vice President, Principal

Development Guild DDI

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