Assistant Chief Advancement Officer and Director of Major Gifts

Cambridge, Massachusetts
Dec 14, 2018
Institution Type
Specialized Institutions


Since its founding in 1780, the American Academy has served the nation as a champion of scholarship, civil dialogue, and useful knowledge. It has engaged in the critical questions of the day, bringing together the nation’s and the world’s most distinguished citizens to address social and intellectual issues of common concern and, above all, to develop ways to translate knowledge into action. The Academy seeks an Assistant Chief Advancement Officer and Director of Major Gifts who will work closely with the Chief Advancement Officer to oversee day-to-day operations of the Development Office and assume primary responsibility for managing the cultivation and stewardship of major gift donors and implement an efficient and effective major gifts plan for the Academy.


  • Working with the Chief Advancement Officer, set short- and long-term strategies for the department and for major gift prospects and donors.
  • Identify opportunities for stewardship and engagement. Manage prospect tracking for President, Development and Communications Committee, Program Directors, and Chief Advancement Officer.
  • Provide coordination and support for the President’s development activities including identifying priorities for engagement.
  • Assume primary responsibility for incorporating development strategy into presidential briefings for individuals.
  • Oversee the flow of materials to and from the President’s Office.
  • Draft and edit major gifts solicitations, acknowledgments, commitment letters, and stewardship materials. Draft presidential correspondence for donors and prospects.
  • Build strong relationships with the Academy’s program staff and stay abreast of current Academy work. Review lists of participants in Academy meetings and identify opportunities for stewardship and engagement.
  • Work with the Chief Advancement Officer to create a supportive and high-achieving work environment. Motivate staff members to develop professionally and achieve success in their positions.
  • Work collaboratively with and directly supervise the Development Associate.
  • In collaboration with the Chief Advancement Officer, co-manage the Associate Director of Development—Director of the Annual Fund and the Associate Director of Development—Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations.
  • Oversee the agenda and preparation of materials for the internal development meetings and for meetings with project teams.
  • May manage a small portfolio of individual donors for cultivation and for major gift and leadership-level annual fund prospects.
  • Other duties as assigned. Some travel may be necessary.


  • 8-10 years of experience, ideally in an academic or non-profit setting; 3-5 years of front-line fundraising experience preferred.
  • Bachelor’s degree required.
  • Experience working with major gift donors and high-level volunteers.
  • Excellent written and oral communications skills as well as the ability to rapidly comprehend and communicate complex information.
  • Ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously and assign priority to key tasks. Ability to think strategically as well as operationally.
  • Track record of building strong internal and external relationships.
  • Computer literate and fluent in PC use of Microsoft Office, Excel, and Raiser’s Edge (or equivalent database).

Commitment to Diversity
The American Academy is committed to the diversity of its staff and membership. As a scholarly organization and research center, the Academy recognizes that diversity of thought, class, experience, sex, gender, race, physical or mental ability, age, religion, national origin, and sexual orientation is a value to uphold and is central to the mission and work of the organization. A more pluralistic staff embracing diversity of thought, approach and life experience fosters a more nuanced understanding of contemporary issues facing the nation and the world. Working together in a climate of respect and openness models the civil discourse that is fundamental to the work of the Academy.

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