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Director of Major Gifts and Leadership Annual Giving

Wellesley College
Wellesley, Massachusetts (US)
$160,000 to $165,000 annually
Date posted
Apr 17, 2024

Aspen Leadership Group is proud to partner with Wellesley College in the search for a Director of Major Gifts and Leadership Annual Giving.

Reporting to the Associate Vice President for Development, the Director of Major Gifts and Leadership Annual Giving will provide deeper and broader coverage of Wellesley’s robust alumnae and donor pool. The Director will serve as part of the frontline unit (principal gifts, gift planning, corporate and foundations relations, major gifts, and leadership annual gifts) while simultaneously creating and overseeing a new fundraising unit comprised of two teams, the Major Gifts (MG) team and the Leadership Annual Giving (LAG) team. The Director also will maintain and grow their own pool of prospects. The Director will identify and use AI programs and other digital and technological resources to complement and supplement officer assignments and to ensure coverage of donors in anticipation of a campaign and for the long-term future. The MG team will be anchored by a seasoned gift officer and will ultimately have up to four additional gift officers to cover a portfolio of 2,200 prospects and donors rated $250K up to $5M. The LAG team will start with three officers to cover a portion of the 6,500 prospects and donors rated between $10K up to $250K, with the potential to grow as the success of the team increases.

Wellesley is known as a unique community that sends accomplished women out into the world, committed to making a difference. Situated on a breathtaking campus in the quintessentially New England town of Wellesley, and home to over 2,400 of the highest-achieving female undergraduates in the world, Wellesley is a lively learning community dedicated to probing inquiry and creative, cross-disciplinary thinking. With a focus on collaboration, students are encouraged to question, debate, and refine their points of view with each other, and the world-class faculty. As a private, liberal arts institution, Wellesley places a great deal of importance on preparing its graduates for the real world in all senses. The College’s full-engagement philosophy ensures that the student voice is central in decision-making with students serving on major committees of the Board of Trustees, participating in faculty searches, and contributing to strategic planning. Accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education, Wellesley grants bachelor’s degrees in more than 50 majors and boasts an 8:1 student to faculty ratio.

With an alumnae base of more than 35,000, the women of Wellesley continue to support the institution, and one another, long after they leave the beautiful campus. This powerful network of alumnae helped the College raise a record breaking $514 million in its most recent campaign, The Wellesley Effect.

Wellesley’s motto, Non Ministrari sed Ministrare (Not to be ministered unto, but to minister), is evident in the College’s mission to provide an excellent liberal arts education to women who will make a difference in the world. This mission is advanced by working together as a community, focused on shared values of intellectual discovery and excellence; gender equality; diversity, equity, and inclusion; connection and community; empowerment and social change; and integrity and academic freedom.

Wellesley students come from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. They hail from 87 countries of citizenship and 59 countries of residence. At least one language other than English is spoken in 47% percent of students’ homes; over 30 languages are spoken on campus. 52 percent of the class of 2023 identify as students of color. 18 percent of students in the class of 2023 will be the first generation in their families to graduate from college. The Office of Intercultural Inclusion and Engagement—whose mission is to promote cultural competence through intercultural programs and activities—equips students with the skills they need for life and leadership in a diverse, inter-dependent, and every-changing world.  There are also a multitude of formal and informal advising and mentoring for students of color and LGBTQ+ students. 13 religious organizations serve students from agnostic to Zoroastrian and everything in between.

Wellesley graduates are ready to make a difference in the world, evidenced by the fact that 98 percent of the most recent graduating class were in jobs, graduate education, the military, or service within six months of graduation. The 2024 US News and World Report ranks Wellesley College as the fourth best national liberal arts college in the nation, #20 in best undergraduate teaching, and sixth in best value schools. Wellesley received an A+ rating from NECHE (New England Commission of Higher Education). Wellesley is the only liberal arts college that consistently rates in the top 50 colleges and universities in producing the largest number of women Ph.D.s in STEM. Considered to have created the most powerful women’s network, Wellesley College was ranked #57 in the top colleges and universities of 2023 by Forbes and #36 in private colleges. Not forgetting the beautiful setting of Wellesley, the College was voted first among the best river and lake colleges by College Consensus.

Wellesley College seeks a strategic and self-driven Director of Major Gifts and Leadership Annual Giving who possesses an ability to inspire donors, lead with deliberate optimism, contribute toward building a positive culture on campus and beyond, and foster an engaged and productive environment. The Director should combine a desire to collaborate with superior coaching and team building skills. A bachelor’s degree or an equivalent combination of education and experience and at least eight years of frontline fundraising or comparable experience, including conducting successful solicitations, closing gifts, and familiarity with reunion giving or alumni/ae development experience in an academic setting, is preferred for this position as is at least five years of management experience. Wellesley College will consider candidates with a broad range of backgrounds. If you are excited about this role and feel that you can contribute to the College, but your experience does not exactly align with every qualification listed above, we encourage you to apply. All applications must be accompanied by a cover letter and résumé. Cover letters should be responsive to the mission of Wellesley College as well as the responsibilities and qualifications stated in the prospectus.

The salary range for this position is $160,000 to $165,000 annually.

Wellesley College is committed to the inclusion of all qualified candidates. If you require reasonable accommodation in completing this application, interviewing, or participating in the selection process, please contact Kim Farr at

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