The Principal Gifts Officer reports to the Director of Principal Gifts and works as part of the overall Development Principal Gifts team to support key relationship managers (primarily the President, the Provost, and the Vice President for Development), who work with top-tier donors and prospective donors. In conjunction with a variety of colleagues, s/he develops engagement and solicitation strategies for assigned donor prospects with a rated capacity of $5 million or more to inspire their most generous support of the College’s stated priorities. The PGO’s pool comprises 50-100 PG prospects.
Primary Position Responsibilities:
Work closely with the Vice President for Development, relationship managers, Principal Gifts and other Development colleagues, and key College staff to ensure that donors rated at $5 million+ develop and deepen a close connection to the College.
Regularly review strategies for top prospects with the Vice President and assigned Relationship Manager to develop individual strategies for each top donor
Participates in regular review meetings with the Vice President and Principal Gift team and others to develop and outline prospect strategies and ensure they are initiated and steady progress is made to advance through the solicitation cycle
In coordination with the Directors of Principal Gifts, Leadership Gifts, and Gift Planning, provide support to implement specialized engagement opportunities for top donors
Manages a prospect pool of 50-100 top-rated prospects. Travels as appropriate to meet with prospects and donors—often with the relationship manager, College leadership, faculty, or senior leadership.
Evaluates gift opportunities and giving vehicles to recommend to assigned PG prospects
Assists the Principal Giftsteam in marshaling key campus constituents for complex proposals that draw upon and combine stated College priorities in ways that inspire capacity level gifts from the College’s top donors and prospects.
The Principal Gifts Officer is responsible for building relationships with the College’s most important prospects and donors, and securing seven- and eight-figure gifts in support of the College’s top priorities. The PGO collaborates with senior leadership, Development colleagues, faculty, College administration, Trustees, and other lead volunteers to engage top prospects and donors.
The PGO facilitates and coordinates all communication with assigned PG prospects and among prospects’ College relationships, and develops and promotes compelling engagement and relationships with PG prospects.
A shared Development Associate and a shared administrative assistant.
Bachelor’s degree and a valid license required.
8+ years of front-line fundraising or comparable experience, including conducting successful solicitations, closing gifts, and familiarity with reunion giving and/or alumni/ae development experience, preferably in an academic setting
Experience working with $5 million +-rated prospects and donors giving 7-8 figure gifts
Experience developing, closing, and stewarding 7-8 figure commitments
Extensive experience working with a wide-spectrum of volunteers and donors
Experience supporting and collaborating with academic leadership
Highly organized and needing minimal direction to complete complex tasks
Exceptional verbal and written communication skills appropriate for engaging top donor prospect pool and campus community
Ability to adapt to changing circumstances
Comfort with ambiguity and ability to pivot
Donor event planning and high-level, sophisticated cultivation experience
Absolute confidentiality, professionalism, and discretion required
Commitment to the mission and goals of Wellesley College
Fluency in Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Powerpoint)
Knowledge of Salesforce or other prospect database a plus
Internal Number: R0000084
About Wellesley College
The world’s preeminent college for women, Wellesley is known for intellectual rigor, its belief in the enduring importance of service (and putting that belief into practice), and its cultivation in students of an inclusive, pragmatic approach to leadership.
Wellesley College’s reputation as a place of teaching, learning, and sharing extends far beyond our classrooms, and our mission to make a difference extends beyond our students. That’s why we strive to recruit and retain a diverse blend of talented, enthusiastic individuals who will take full advantage of the extraordinary environment and resources available to them to further their lives and careers.