Senior Philanthropic Officer, (SC)

Founded in 1871, Smith College opened in 1875 with 14 students. Today, Smith is among the largest women’s colleges in the United States, with students from 48 states and 68 countries. An independent, nondenominational college, Smith remains strongly committed to the education of women at the undergraduate level, but admits both men and women as graduate students.

Position Overview

Smith College is accepting applications for a Senior Philanthropic Officer. As part of a collaborative team working toward a shared goal, the Senior Philanthropic Officer manages a geographically assigned pool of 125 to 200 prospective donors through the fund-raising continuum from discovery, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship, focusing on rated major gift ($100K+) prospects; travels frequently in geographically assigned territory (major East Coast market) to engage and solicit Smith alumnae, parents and friends; works with and supports the president, vice president, board members and other key fundraising volunteers in their fundraising efforts and goals; and plans and implements events focused on College’s strategic initiatives and on expanding a culture of philanthropy. Gift conversations will include annual fund, endowed, capital, current restricted and planned gift components.

Located in Northampton, MA, Smith College is the nation’s largest liberal arts college for women. Smith is a member of the Five College Consortium with Amherst, Hampshire, and Mount Holyoke Colleges and the University of Massachusetts Amherst.


Manage a portfolio of prospects, maintaining frequent personalized contact, often traveling to meet the donors. Provide strategic and tactical support to involve the president, vice president, other senior cabinet members, key faculty, and volunteer leadership in developing these relationships. Increase philanthropic support from Smith alumnae, Smith-affiliated family members, and non-affiliates to become key stakeholders aligned with Smith’s core mission of undergraduate education for women from around the globe. Collaborate with members of the research staff to identify and qualify newly rated prospects.

Participate in strategic planning for the president’s development travel schedule. Organize and staff the president, and other senior leaders and faculty, on meetings with key gift prospects in the assigned territory. Produce pre-visit briefing materials, and post-visit contact reports, follow-up communications and proposal plans. Liaise with Principal and Leadership Gifts and alumnae volunteers in region.

Plan, document and implement strategic, individualized stewardship and cultivation plans for each prospect which include invitations to campus, key events, Smith Fund solicitations, and meetings with academic and volunteer leadership. Work with donors and college leaders to match the priority needs of the college with a donor’s philanthropic vision. Spearhead creative and strategic thinking for innovative gift proposals that inspire donors to make significant gifts, and formally close the gift process, creating appropriate documents. Provide donors with planned giving options, and collaborate with development colleagues to introduce gift “vehicles” and wealth management options to secure ultimate gifts for Smith.

Meet established metrics and goals for the number of visits, solicitations, closes and other meaningful contact with assigned prospects. Promptly record contact reports, strategies, planned solicitations and other prospect interactions through CRM system. Analyze activities to achieve progress toward stated goals. Effectively utilize administrative support and delegate tasks as appropriate.


Education/Experience: Bachelor’s degree required and seven to ten years of progressively responsible fund raising experience required, with a proven record of six-figure and seven figure gift fundraising success or an equivalent combination of education/experience. Master’s degree preferred. Experience in higher education, particularly within a women’s liberal arts college, is preferred, as is experience working with alumni, parents and families, and volunteer and academic leadership. Experience with private and family foundations and knowledge of gift planning tools and techniques is helpful. Familiarity with the Smith community and campus is a plus. Need for flexible work schedule with the ability to travel, and to work nights and weekends.

Skills: Demonstrated record of success in raising six and seven figure gifts. Desire to meet and exceed goals, demonstrated knowledge of prospect management best practices with high-capacity donors; ability to engage in collaborative problem solving with prospects and colleagues; highly organized in portfolio and time management. Superb verbal, written, and listening communications skills. Must be able to establish and maintain excellent rapport with donor constituents as well as on-campus colleagues. Able to operate both independently and as an active participant in team-based strategies and solicitation approaches. Ability to exercise sound judgment, diplomacy, confidentiality, and to exhibit a mature, professional approach at all times. Versatile in standard office computer skills and donor database systems.

How To Apply

Review of application will begin immediately. To be considered for this position, apply on-line at

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