Harvard Business School

Director of Planned Giving

Boston, Massachusetts

Position Description

Executive Summary

As part of a concerted effort to elevate the work of its fundraising efforts, Harvard Business School (HBS) seeks a sophisticated, engaging and collaborative professional to serve as the Director of Planned Giving. As a trusted advisor and highly strategic fundraising partner, the new Director of Planned Giving will bring motivational guidance and provide the insights and understanding of how complex assets might be unlocked to promote opportunities to increase donor support, deepen alumni engagement and advance internal performance for one of the world’s consistently top-rated business schools.

Completing a five-year, $1.4B campaign in June of 2018, HBS has tremendous fundraising momentum, and an increase in Planned Giving in close collaboration with Major and Principal Giving efforts will be critical to maintaining this trajectory. There is ample opportunity for success: many HBS alumni are deeply engaged with and have a variety of assets that could figure more prominently into their philanthropic support of the School.

Reporting to the Managing Director of Major Giving and in close partnership with HBS frontline teams, the Director of Planned Giving (“Director”) is charged with maximizing philanthropic support of HBS with a specific focus on individuals with significant philanthropic capacity with unique gifts in real estate, security, trust, and emerging asset classes.

The Director will employ planned giving strategies for both frontline development and donor engagement through direct marketing to maximize and unlock donors’ potential. A critical role of the Director is to develop and nurture relationships resulting in increased partnerships with gift officers and teams across the institution to promote planned giving, explore the value of blended asks, and build a pipeline for future gifts. The Director will conduct joint visits with development staff and others leveraging resources and technical expertise to meet team goals.

With over 85,000 living alumni in 169 countries, Harvard Business School features an unparalleled network of alumni, students, faculty, scholars, and thought leaders spanning a broad spectrum of industries and organizations across the globe. With the capacity to partner with HBS leadership in bringing big ideas to fruition, HBS’ alumni and donors are a group of leaders who will tap into their complex assets for philanthropic and social impact in their own lifetimes. This is the opportune moment for a seasoned, astute fundraising executive to employ the full potential of HBS’ fundraising, marketing and engagement assets as well as be buoyed by Harvard University’s planned giving team’s deep expertise and specialized network of legal and asset management consultants.

Harnessing this energy and leveraging HBS’ impressive donor and alumni bases will require thoughtful leadership, teamwork, and citizenship. In the spirit of Harvard Business School, the External Relations team has recently engaged in a self-assessment, respecting their past success while acknowledging areas for investment and improvement. A charge for the Director will be to capitalize on the strong tradition of reunion fundraising while forging new pathways for collaboration with Major and Principal Giving, central Harvard Planned Giving, and other constituent units across Harvard University.

The ideal candidate is expected to have a bachelor’s degree and at least seven years of demonstrated success with gift planning or fundraising in a complex, dynamic organizations, or comparable work experience gained within the legal or financial professions is required. An advanced degree (MBA, JD) or related certification is desirable. This includes success in co-creating planned giving illustrations and proposals; assisting and advising various development staff with planned giving strategies; employing analytics and other information to initiate planned giving prospect review and strategy development; utilizing planned giving reporting and advancement data management systems to maintain data integrity; and staying knowledgeable on current and pending legislative tax and technical developments related to planned giving.

Previous experience working in a complex organization, preferably higher education, is highly desired, as is the maturity and acumen to successfully navigate and collaborate within organizations with ambitious goals. The successful candidate will have current or past experience operating as a frontline relationship builder. Excellent organizational and interpersonal skills are necessary, including the curiosity and emotional intelligence to bring new ideas that contribute to the broader HBS mission while maintaining focus on moving plans forward. Stellar verbal and written communication skills are required and the ability to interact with all types of people, especially high net-worth individuals, is essential. The Director must have a balanced approach to their work, recognizing the need to work independently while also collaborating with HBS development leaders, officers, and school leadership. They should also have the presence, cultural sensitivity, and communication skills necessary to be an effective representative of HBS and the broader Harvard community.
Position Description

Application Form

Search Team

Tracy Welsh  

Eva Kotilinek  

Connor Daley