Development Assistant, Donor Relations, University Development Office

Company Details

Harvard University

Job Summary

This position will be based on our campus in Cambridge, MA. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic this position will be remote until further notice.

Alumni Affairs and Development (AA&D)

AA&D comprises the University Development Office (UDO), Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) Development, AA&D Resources, and the Harvard Alumni Association (HAA). There is a unique relationship between the University and the FAS fundraising operations, resulting from a long history in which University fundraising ultimately grew out of College fundraising.

University Development Office (UDO)

UDO works closely with the President and Provost, and their teams, to advance the University’s goals through their development activity; leads fundraising for University principal gifts, initiatives, and international fundraising; and coordinates cultivation and stewardship strategies for a select group of top donors.


Provides daily administrative support to a team of writers and stewardship officers in University Donor Relations and Engagement (UDRE), a 17-person team that delivers customized and comprehensive stewardship, recognition, and engagement for Harvard’s most generous donors. Main responsibilities include daily data entry, database management and report generation, basic research, scheduling and organizing meetings, and assisting with preparation of large, complex mailings. May include some writing, such as donor biographies and presidential correspondence. Works independently as well as part of a team to complete major projects, balancing competing timelines and requests. The staff assistant will have access to confidential information pertaining to donors, alumni, and students and must use discretion and diplomacy to safeguard records.

Position Description

  • Facilitates smooth day-to-day workflow for all donor relations activities within UDRE, including printing and preparing weekly mailings and keeping detailed, accurate records through daily entries into department’s database.
  • Serves as the administrative liaison and contact with constituents of UDRE, including donors, principal gift officers, faculty, and Harvard University administrators. Assists with special events as needed.
  • Schedules and coordinates the use of facilities and online resources for meetings and conferences. Prepares meeting materials and transcribes and distributes meeting minutes as needed. Maintains director’s calendar.
  • Supports all administrative needs for the department, including ordering letterhead and office supplies, maintaining printers, and distributing mail. Keeps up-to-date training materials for team and documents team’s processes and best practices.
  • Stays current with new technologies to assist with team’s work and department-wide communications and workflow in a remote environment, attending all training sessions and providing support for team members as needed.
  • May be called upon to draft, format, proofread, edit, fact-check, distribute, and track correspondence produced by department personnel. May conduct research for narrative reports to donors and draft short donor biographies for internal use.
  • Manages invoice payments, processing credit card and purchase card payments, and travel reimbursements for the department.
  • The above covers the most significant responsibilities of the position. It does not, however, exclude related duties as needed.

Basic Qualifications

  • 1-2 years of related experience, education beyond high school may count toward experience.
  • Solid computer skills, particularly with Microsoft Office software, and familiarity with or ability to learn and use additional database, design, and project management software.

Additional Qualifications and Skills

  • Attention to detail
  • Excellent organizational skill, accomplishing work efficiently with accurate results within a complex and fast-paced environment
  • Flexibility to adapt to changing priorities and ability to work independently to meet deadlines
  • Adept at problem solving and willing to ask questions and to take initiative with minimal supervision
  • Skill with writing, proofreading, formatting, and editing data and business documents a plus
  • Customer service orientation and good judgment to handle sensitive/confidential information with discretion
  • College degree preferred but not required; education beyond high school may count toward experience

Additional Information

This position requires a 3 month orientation and review period.

Please include a cover letter with your application.

About Harvard University

Harvard University, based in Cambridge and Boston, Massachusetts, was established in 1636 and is the oldest institution of higher education in the United States. The University is home to over 20,000 students and employs 18,000 people, making us the fifth-largest employer in Massachusetts. Harvard is a special place, filled with diverse, energetic, and talented people who are driven to grow and succeed. By working here, you join a vibrant community that advances Harvard’s world-changing mission in meaningful ways, inspires innovation and collaboration, and builds skills and expertise.

Why AA&D?

We are a dedicated team of 400 alumni affairs and development professionals supporting Harvard’s advancement activity through roles that include front-line fundraising, alumni and volunteer engagement, technology, events, communications, prospect management and research, business process, talent management and many other areas.

Harvard’s Alumni Affairs and Development team inspires and galvanizes alumni, friends, and members of the University community to support Harvard through philanthropy, governance, and active engagement. AA&D believes a workplace that reflects the diversity of our society and our ever-evolving University constituency makes us a stronger and more effective organization. Our goal is to create an environment of respect that values the many talents, perspectives, and experiences of our community, to deliver the strongest possible results by incorporating diverse perspectives into our daily work, and to make AA&D a great place to work for everyone. AA&D strives to live our values of respect, inclusion, trust, collaboration, innovation and sharing of information in our daily interactions and our work.

To learn more about how Harvard supports diversity and inclusion throughout the University please visit the Office for Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging at

Discover AA&D and Harvard University Benefits

  • Opportunities for internal advancement
  • A creative, high- energy, collaborative environment
  • Generous Vacation, Sick, Personal, and Holiday pay
  • Medical, Dental and Vision benefits starting on your first day
  • University-funded retirement plans
  • Tuition Assistance Program
  • Transportation benefits to help with your daily commute
  • Health and wellness discounts, memberships and programs

Additional benefits can be found at

Accommodations: Harvard University welcomes individuals with disabilities to apply for positions and participate in its programs and activities. If you would like to request accommodations or have questions about the physical access provided, please let your recruiter know.

Vaccine Requirements:
The University requires all Harvard community members to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and remain up to date with COVID-19 vaccine boosters, as detailed in Harvard’s Vaccine & Booster Requirements. Individuals may claim exemption from the vaccine requirement for medical or religious reasons. More information regarding the University’s COVID vaccination requirement, exemptions, and verification of vaccination status may be found at the University’s “COVID-19 Vaccine Information” webpage:

Job Function

Alumni Affairs and Development, General Administration


USA – MA – Cambridge

Job Code

403033 Staff Assistant III



Alumni Affairs and Development

Time Status


Salary Grade



55 – Hvd Union Cler & Tech Workers

Pre-Employment Screening


Commitment to Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging

Harvard University views equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging as the pathway to achieving inclusive excellence and fostering a campus culture where everyone can thrive. We strive to create a community that draws upon the widest possible pool of talent to unify excellence and diversity while fully embracing individuals from varied backgrounds, cultures, races, identities, life experiences, perspectives, beliefs, and values.

EEO Statement

We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions, or any other characteristic protected by law.

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