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Senior Leadership Gift Officer

Senior Leadership Gift Officers
Materials Science and Engineering
Mechanical Engineering

Position Overview:

Reporting jointly to the Head of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering (DMSE) and the School of Engineering (SoE) Assistant Dean for Development, the Senior Leadership Giving Officer (SLGO) will create and execute a comprehensive, strategic development plan, designed to raise financial support and awareness for DMSE. This position manages, builds and executes successful fundraising strategies for a mature portfolio (including Core Team) creating individualized solicitation plans leading to major and principal gifts in support of MIT's fundraising priorities, capital projects and other departmental priorities.
Responsibilities include working collaboratively with the DMSE Department Head, key faculty and investigators, administrative officer, and events/communications staff to increase the visibility of DMSE and establish a thriving community of supporters, including both philanthropic and industry partnerships. The SLGO will build, manage, and collaborate on a portfolio of donors and industry prospects (including Core Team); collaborate with MIT’s central prospect management teams as well as with colleagues within MIT’s School of Engineering Resource Development group and MIT’s Office of Corporate Relations, to identify and engage prospective donors and industry partners. This work will include, but not be limited to, taking part in face-to-face donor/industry partner/prospect visits; arranging faculty meetings, site tours, and events; drafting high-level proposals for six, seven, and eight figure gifts; creating materials and disseminating content and collateral related to DMSE; and, as well as strategically orchestrate meetings and other interactions between faculty/staff with prospects, donors, and industry partners.

The SLGO will help maximize the Department Head’s/faculty travel to engage with prospective donors and industry partners. The SLGO is responsible for keeping all relevant donor/prospect records updated with notes and activities.

Principal Responsibilities:

  1. Manages portfolio of 50-75 prospects and donors (including core team collaborations with Central Resource development), including identification, cultivation and solicitation ($1M+). Primary focus will be on capital projects and other departmental priorities, such as fellowships, professorships, and research funds.
  2. Work collaboratively with DMSE Department Head and faculty, as well as Resource Development colleagues, to identify and engage new prospective donors, expanding the donor base and philanthropic support of DMSE.
  3. Take part in face-to-face donor/industry partner/prospect visits (often including the DMSE Department Head, faculty, and/or senior administrators), as well as strategically orchestrate meetings and other interactions between faculty/staff and donors, industry partners, or prospects. Maximize DMSE Department Head/faculty travel to engage with prospective donors and industry partners. Provide and update all relevant donor/prospect records accordingly.
  4. Work collaboratively with DMSE Department Head and faculty to develop and execute a strategy to build relationships with and maintain a network of partner organizations resulting in research collaborations, funding, and recruitment opportunities.
  5. Research and prepare background information, draft high-level strategy briefings and prepare correspondence or other communications as needed.
  6. Work collaboratively with all SoE colleagues; members of the central Resource Development team (including Office of Philanthropic Partnerships, Leadership Giving, Institutional Initiatives, Industrial Liaison Program, Corporate Relations, and Foundation Relations); MIT communications units; MIT Alumni Association; and members of the MIT Corporation; departmental Visiting Committee(s); and external volunteers.
  7. In partnership with the Assistant Dean for Development and team and the central Resource Development stewardship team, develop and execute a comprehensive strategic plan for stewardship of current DMSE donors.
  8. Oversee and assist with developing, producing, and disseminating collateral and content related to initiatives including high level proposals.
  9. Represent DMSE at events and meetings.
  10. Event Planning – In partnership with DMSE teammates and Resource Development colleagues, develops concept and content of DMSE development-related events.
  11. Using the central Resource Development data management system, Advance, ensure data consistency and accuracy with prospect and donor records. Run reports and work with the DMSE Administrative Officer and the MIT Office of the Recording Secretary to ensure all gifts are properly tracked and stewarded. Enter contact reports for prospect and donor engagements and key conversations.
  12. Analyzes giving trends and recommends targeted strategies for increasing support.
  13. Regularly reports on progress against goals.
  14. Documents all donor interactions in a timely fashion utilizing MIT Advancement database.
  15. Perform other duties as required.

Supervision Received:
Reports directly to the Head of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering and the School of Engineering, Assistant Dean for Development.

Supervision Exercised:

Qualifications & Skills:

Five years of direct fund raising experience, preferably with a higher education organization. Applicant must have exceptional interpersonal, organizational, project management, and communication skills–both written and oral–as well as time management skills. A proven record of successful cultivation and solicitation of 6-figure+ gifts is highly desirable and entrepreneurial approach to developing a prospect pool. The candidate must have the ability to manage multiple projects with confidentiality and discretion. A high level of computer competency required, including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Travel required for ~20% of time.

Education: Bachelor’s degree required (preferably in an engineering or scientific field). MBA/MS (in a technical, engineering, or scientific field is preferred).


  • Active learner and effective communicator, who has a strong interest in the DMSE mission.
  • Experience with research university culture and administration preferred.
  • Strong interpersonal skills for relating with diverse constituencies, including faculty; alumni; resource development colleagues; and industrial partners.
  • Knowledge of professional options and career strategies, particularly, but not exclusively in engineering or other related fields.
  • Prior experience presenting content to large groups.
  • Ability to work evening and occasional weekend hours with advance notice.
  • Ability to travel regionally and out-of-state travel is required.
  • Proficiency with office software, including Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
  • Ability to handle confidential information and/or issues using discretion and judgment.
  • Proficiency with prospect management systems or other CRM systems.

EQUAL OPPORTUNITY OFFICER: Catherine Kim, Assistant Dean for HR and Administration

Interested Applicants should contact:

Maureen Pena/The Pena Network

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