Assistant Director, Leadership Giving

Assistant Director, Leadership Giving

Posted: September 6, 2022
Position Code: 874

Position Overview & Responsibilities

Reporting to the Senior Director of Leadership Giving, the Assistant Director will focus on identifying, cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding individual prospects and donors with the goal of securing new gifts, upgrading gifts, and retaining gifts, especially annual leadership gifts ($1000+) for Merrimack College. The Assistant Director will manage a portfolio of 150-200 leadership gift prospects and will play a critical role in identifying major gift prospects for Merrimack College. This position will be responsible for identifying and qualifying prospective leadership gift donors to continuously build their portfolio.

The Assistant Director will work closely with teammates on department-wide initiatives as well as individual giving strategies. They will be tasked with managing a variety of projects, events, and activities, to advance the relationships, reputation, and resources of the College.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Manage a portfolio of 150-200 leadership gift prospects.

  • Build a portfolio and move prospects through the giving pipeline, including setting strategy, proposal development, qualification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship.

  • Solicit prospects for leadership level annual gifts, and some restricted gifts as per donor intent.

  • Meet or exceed goals for prospect visits, solicitations, gifts closed, and dollars raised.

  • When appropriate pass qualified Major Gift and Planned Giving prospects off to the Major Gifts team.

  • Build a fluid target list of yet-to-be engaged alumni and parents based on capacity rating or peer recommendations.

  • Identify, qualify and develop relationships with new leadership gift prospects.

  • Work closely with the annual giving team to identify giving society prospects through demonstrated annual giving.

  • Develop and maintain a broad knowledge of the College’s strategic plan, cases for support, and initiatives within areas at the College, such as admissions, athletics, schools, student life, and campus ministry.

  • Responsible for timely entry of contact reports and upkeep of accurate prospect stage, solicitation records, and biographical data in alumni database.

  • Provide support for special events and projects with other members of the ODAR team.

  • Think critically and proactively offer creative fundraising solutions, event ideas, and cultivation steps that will increase visibility and generate prospects to positively impact the College’s overall fundraising goals.

  • Actively participate in and contribute to Development team efforts including solicitation strategy for key prospects and internal planning efforts.

  • Communicate professionally and effectively with internal and external stakeholders verbally and in writing.

  • Participate in regularly scheduled Prospect Review meetings and Donor Cultivation and Stewardship events.

  • Perform other responsibilities as needed.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • 1-3 or more years of development experience, preferably in higher education.

  • Bachelor’s Degree required.

  • Interest in understanding the needs and interests of donors in order to develop relationships between them and Merrimack.

  • Ability to initiate, analyze, monitor, evaluate and alter strategic development plans.

  • Ability to articulate the case for support and illustrate the impact of philanthropy.

  • Thrives in an entrepreneurial atmosphere, has a high degree of personal responsibility, is committed to continuous improvement to ensure the best outcomes, and has an unwavering focus on the alumni and parents we serve.

  • Highly professional and able to productively collaborate with colleagues in Development & Alumni Relations.

  • Able to diplomatically collaborate with faculty, students, administrators, and departments campus-wide, while focusing on the goals and priorities of Development & Alumni Relations within Merrimack’s strategic plan.

  • Ability to multi-task and thrive in a changing, dynamic environment.

  • Knowledge of annual giving fundraising best practices.

  • A demonstrated commitment to promoting and enhancing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion as an institutional priority.

  • Excellent oral, written, interpersonal, analytical and organizational skills required.

  • Must be able to travel around the region. This position requires frequent attendance at events outside of normal business hours on a regular basis.

Technical Proficiencies:

Computer fluency in MS Office and standard office equipment required. Experience using relationship-building technology tools, including social media, email platforms, web platforms, and video platforms is strongly preferred. Proficiency in constituent relationship management/fundraising software is strongly preferred.

Physical Requirements:

This position requires the ability to sit for long periods of time to conduct daily business operations. Position also requires the hearing and visual acuity to converse with internal and external constituents in person, over the phone, and via electronic communication with or without reasonable accommodation. Position also requires bending, stooping, walking on uneven surfaces and occasionally lifting up to 35 pounds.


The Assistant Director will receive regular guidance and leadership from the Senior Director of Development. The Assistant Director does not manage any direct reports.

Application Materials Should Include:

  • Cover letter stating motivation and interest in the position, citing experience relevant to the qualifications and including experience with, and commitment to our Catholic Augustinian mission, our values, and our desire to be a more diverse, equitable and inclusive institution of higher learning.

  • Resume

This position is subject to the successful completion of a criminal background check.

Required Vaccinations & Remote Work:

Unless otherwise stated above, this is an on-campus position. This is not a remote or hybrid position as employees are essential in order to provide a fully on-campus, residential college experience for our students and the community.

Merrimack College currently has a COVID-19 Vaccination Policy. Students, faculty and staff are required to be vaccinated for COVID-19.

Statement on Our Mission

Merrimack College is a Catholic Augustinian institution of higher education committed to building a culturally and racially diverse community. Our mission is to enlighten minds, engage hearts and empower lives and is inspired by our Catholic faith and the Augustinian tradition of seeking truth through inquiry and dialogue.

Merrimack College seeks candidates who understand, respect and can contribute to Merrimack’s Augustinian mission and values and advance our work in the area of diversity, equity and inclusion. We strongly encourage applications from members of underrepresented groups. All candidates should describe in their application previous experience related to equity, diversity, and inclusion, as well as how they will engage in fostering a culture that supports our Augustinian mission, our Catholic faith and our values of diversity, equity and inclusion.

About Merrimack College

The only Catholic, Augustinian institution of higher education in New England, Merrimack College is a private, independent, coeducational institution with more than 5,000 undergraduates and graduate students from 32 states and 37 countries, and comprises schools of liberal arts, science and engineering, health sciences, education and social policy, and business. The college’s 260-acre campus is approximately 25 miles north of Boston in North Andover and Andover, Massachusetts. Merrimack is a Master’s Colleges & Universities/Medium Programs institution in the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. Merrimack is one of the fastest growing educational institutions in the country and has steadily climbed up U.S. News & World Report’s ranking of Best Colleges, coming in 46th out of 170 schools ranked in the Regional Universities North category in 2020. Merrimack is also listed as one of the top 10 most innovative schools and placed 35th for best undergraduate teaching programs among schools in the U.S. News category.

Merrimack College is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Internal Applicants – Apply Now

Apply Now