Home » Jobs » Senior Director of Principal Gifts

Senior Director of Principal Gifts

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Job Title: Senior Director of Principal Gifts
Job Type:
Job Search Ends:
May 11th, 2021
Organization's Website:

About the job

Job Summary: 

The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Office for External Relations (OER) is committed to securing the financial resources, time, and loyalty of alumni, friends, corporations, and foundations to promote the School’s work of educating new generations of global health leaders and producing powerful ideas that can transform the lives of people everywhere.

Reporting to the Vice Dean for External Relations, the Senior Director of Principal Gifts will manage their own portfolio of principal gift prospects and donors. The Senior Director of Principal Gifts will identify, cultivate, solicit and steward prospects and donors capable of making gifts of $1M or more to Harvard Chan priorities, with a focus on special initiatives. The position will also devise, in close collaboration with other School and University colleagues, fundraising strategies to secure transformational gifts for high priority initiatives.

Job-Specific Responsibilities:

The Senior Director of Principal Gifts serves in a highly visible and significant role as a senior member of the leadership team in OER. A key objective for this position is to partner with the Vice Dean, OER leadership team, other OER colleagues, faculty, and University development officers to identify, cultivate, secure, and steward transformative gifts. Staffing the faculty on principal prospect visits is also a key component of the role, in addition to managing prospects and raising money. The Senior Director will build a reputation as a good citizen and ambassador for the Harvard Chan School through strong representation to both internal and external diverse constituencies, making it important that the Senior Director serve as a trusted advisor, collaborative colleague and effective mentor to the HSPH faculty, the OER team, and University Development colleagues.

The Senior Director of Principal Gifts will be an active principal gifts fundraiser and will lead and support solicitations from their prospect pool and in support of select special initiatives. As such, they will manage a portfolio of prospects and create relationships for giving in the present and future. In this way, the Senior Director will lead both by word and by deed as a lead fundraiser, working closely with the Vice Dean, OER Leadership Team, OER colleagues and faculty. A successful candidate will have experience and enthusiasm to perform discovery work at the principal gift level and build and develop a portfolio, effectively and creatively developing engagement strategies leading to securing principal gifts, particularly for special initiatives.

Additional duties and responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Cultivating and solicit alumni and friends rated with a capacity of $1M
  • Managing a prospect pool of 30-40 names
  • Cultivating, soliciting and providing stewardship of prospects with an emphasis on increasing their financial commitment to School priorities, with a focus on funding for special initiatives
  • Identifying and rating new prospects capable of making gifts of $1M or more for special initiatives
  • Providing individualized and strategic stewardship contact for existing principal gift donors
  • Participating in the development of gift proposals and other materials as needed
  • Representing the School at regional and on-campus events
  • Working strategically with volunteers to encourage them to build bridges and utilize their networks to help Harvard Chan and the University develop stronger relationships with other prominent alumni, parents, and friends
  • Other duties as assigned

PLEASE NOTE: This position requires evening and weekend work as needed, and is expected to travel frequently once normal business operations resume.

PLEASE NOTE: The primary work location for this position is Boston, Massachusetts. Until our return to campus, which is still to-be-determined, this interview process and position will be conducted virtually – including virtual interviews, remote onboarding, and remote work. The remote nature of this position is only temporary. Local, on-campus work will be required as a condition of continued employment once the School and this role return to an operational status that supports it.

Basic Qualifications:

  • Bachelor's Degree or equivalent experience required
  • 10+ years of progressively responsible experience in fundraising/development or related field, including direct solicitation of seven-figure gifts from individuals and corporations, required

Additional Qualifications:

  • Experience in biomedical research, healthcare, and/or higher education preferred
  • Excellent organizational and interpersonal skills; self-starter; excellent oral and written communication skills; a willingness to dig in and contribute in a team-orientated environment; enthusiasm; comfortability to take risks; intelligence, good judgement, insight, initiative, resilience, and a pioneering spirit; experience managing ambiguity and change and a strong attention to details; project management skills and experience juggling multiple priorities preferred

Additional Information: 

  • Harvard University requires pre-employment reference checks and background screenings.
  • This position has a 180 day orientation and review period.
  • The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health does not provide visa sponsorship for administrative and staff positions.


The Harvard T.H. Chan of Public Health is dedicated to building a diverse community of individuals who are committed to contributing to an inclusive environment – including fostering respect for all, serving the greater good, and welcoming individuals from diverse backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives. To learn more about the Chan School’s mission, objectives, and core values, please visit our website https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/about/mission/

Harvard offers an outstanding benefits package including:

  • Time Off: 3- 4 weeks paid vacation, paid holiday break, 12 paid sick days, 11.5 paid holidays, and 3 paid personal days per year.
  • Medical/Dental/Vision: We offer a variety of excellent medical plans, dental & vision plans, all coverage begins as of your start date.
  • Retirement: University-funded retirement plan with full vesting after 3 years of service.
  • Tuition Assistance Program: Competitive tuition assistance program, $40 per class at the Harvard Extension School and discounted options through participating Harvard grad schools. 
  • Transportation: Harvard offers a 50% discounted MBTA pass as well as additional options to assist employees in their daily commute.
  • Wellness Options: Harvard offers programs and classes at little or no cost, including stress management, massages, nutrition, meditation and complimentary health services.
  • Harvard access to athletic facilities, libraries, campus events and many discounts throughout metro Boston.


Join the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health to support our mission of health research and education, and to be a part of the oldest institution of higher learning in the country!


Job Details:

Department: Office for External Relations 

Grade: 060

Time Status: Full-time

Job Function: Alumni Affairs & Development

Background Screenings: Identity & Education


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.

Link to complete job description

133 Federal Street, Suite 802 | Boston, MA 02110
Phone: 617.426.2606
© 2019 Philanthropy Massachusetts