Olin College of Engineering

Senior Advisor for Philanthropy
Location: Needham, MA | Hybrid/Commutable

Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering (Olin) seeks an entrepreneurial, strategic, and highly collaborative fundraising professional to serve as Senior Advisor for Philanthropy (Senior Advisor), situated within the Office of the President. The Senior Advisor will be a vital leader within the College by strategically leading major and principal gift fundraising, working closely with the Offices of Strategic Communications and External Programs and Partnerships, and holding joint responsibility for achieving the College’s annual fundraising goals. The Senior Advisor will have a unique opportunity to cultivate a culture of philanthropy and elevate the fundraising capabilities of the institution. Success for the Senior Advisor will be defined in part by the ability to harness the vision and stellar reputation of Olin College President Dr. Gilda Barabino and the new strategic plan. The Senior Advisor will seek to propel the work of Olin’s students, faculty, and staff by developing a principal giving program aligning with the College’s founding vision and fueling its aspirations for the future.

Founded by a visionary $460 million grant from the F.W. Olin Foundation in 1997, with the first class of students matriculating in 2002, Olin College of Engineering was always “intended to be different…to be a constant contributor to the advancement of engineering education in America and throughout the world, and through its graduates, to do good for humankind.” These foundational goals remain paramount as Olin evolves in its third decade of existence. Recently ranked #2 in the nation for undergraduate engineering education by U.S. News & World Report, Olin College envisions engineering for everyone, meaning both that engineering education needs to be for everyone and that engineering as a profession must serve everyone. Having just gone through this comprehensive strategic planning process, the Olin community is excited about the future growth and trajectory of the College. This provides ripe ground for the Senior Advisor to be innovative and opportunistic in identifying prospects, implementing strategies, and cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding individual gifts of $1 million and above.

Olin is educating the next generation of engineering innovators and shifting the definition of engineering. Not only do Olin students ask, “Who are we designing this for, and what are their values?,” they also ask questions about the impact of their work on society. As Olin evolves under the leadership of President Barabino, it seeks to become a more diverse and aware community, a place where everyone is a learner and where everyone is an educator. Olin will become a place where experimentation—including making and learning from mistakes—will be embraced across the institution, not just in the classroom. Olin is a very small community, characterized by collaboration, experimentation, and interdisciplinarity across the institution. Collaboration is key to Olin’s curriculum and culture, and everyone works intentionally to reinforce the core values and culture to which the Olin community aspires. Olin is a community that thrives on being together; mutual trust is a shared value and a constant practice. The College supports teams to collaboratively decide how they can best do their work, display a commitment to the community, all while providing individuals with overall work-life flexibility.

Now is the time to further accelerate this vision. In support of these bold endeavors, the Senior Advisor will have primary responsibility for raising significant levels of philanthropic support, putting to advantage the growing national reputation of President Barabino, who is a frequent guest and speaker at events, committees, and councils of strategic national importance. The Senior Advisor will bring dynamic, fresh leadership and motivational guidance to the development process; provide day-to-day support for the President’s fundraising activities; and collaborate across the institution in pursuit of philanthropic goals. The Senior Advisor will personally build and manage a portfolio of the College’s most significant donors with direct involvement in the identification, cultivation, and solicitation of major and principal gifts (ideally seven figures and above) and will become an active and visible member of the social fabric that includes Olin’s key donors, volunteers, and supporters located regionally and nationally.

The Senior Advisor will build deep relationships with Olin faculty and staff, serve as a key manager for the President’s high-value relationships, and increase philanthropic support for and awareness of the groundbreaking work of Olin faculty, staff, and students. Building on the tremendous goodwill and engagement from loyal alumni, parents, and friends, the Senior Advisor will lead a systematic initiative to identify and target new donors capable of significant gifts in support of the College’s strategic plan. Priorities include devising new approaches to closing equity gaps in society through science and engineering—and doing so in ways that engage those who are underserved. Real world impact includes Olin faculty and students engineering solutions to environmental injustice, educational access, sustainability, climate change, and beyond.

The successful candidate will possess at least seven to 10 years of progressively responsible development experience in a nonprofit environment. Candidates will have a proven track record of growing and implementing development strategies and programs with demonstrated results across the spectrum of philanthropic fund development, including major and/or principal gifts, capital campaigns, proposal development, special events, planned gifts, and donor relations.

A collaborative and accessible leadership style, well-suited to working within a distributed model of institutional advancement, is a prerequisite, as is the creativity, energy, and political savvy needed to prioritize and champion new ideas. Strong administrative and motivational skills are required, as well as the compassion, clarity, and communication skills necessary to articulate clear philanthropic goals and empower Olin staff, faculty, and influential supporters. In accordance with its core values and mission, Olin is especially interested in recruiting members of diverse communities and individuals with a commitment to anti-racism.


Application Instructions

Olin College of Engineering has partnered with Talent Citizen to assist in this recruitment. Please reach out to President Tracy D. Welsh and Senior Associate Rachel K. Partin to share your resume and cover letter via email at: ocoe-sap@talentcitizen.com.

Olin College is dedicated to building a diverse, inclusive, and authentic workplace. If you’re excited about the role and have relevant experience, but your work history doesn’t align perfectly with every qualification in the job description, we would nevertheless welcome hearing from you.

We especially welcome applications from candidates belonging to groups that have been historically underrepresented in higher education, including women, racial and ethnic minorities, LGBTQIA people, and people with disabilities. Olin College is an Equal Opportunity Employer.


The Talent Citizen Search Team

Tracy D. Welsh

President | She/Her
Full Bio

Rachel K. Partin

Managing Associate | She/Her
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Alicia Paquette

Search Coordinator | She/Her
Full Bio