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Mount Holyoke College

Senior Leadership Giving Officer

Deerfield Associates Executive Search, Inc. has been retained by Mount Holyoke College, located in South Hadley, Massachusetts, to conduct a national search for a Senior Leadership Giving Officer. 

Mount Holyoke College

Established in 1837, Mount Holyoke College is the world’s longest-standing institution of higher education for women and is renowned for educating women leaders, from medical pioneers to Pulitzer Prize-winning playwrights. Also offering several coeducational graduate programs, Mount Holyoke is a highly selective, diverse, nondenominational, residential, research liberal arts college.

Initially founded as the Mount Holyoke Female Seminary, the school received its collegiate charter in 1888 and officially became Mount Holyoke College in 1893. Founder Mary Lyon argued that education of women was necessary for what she called “the great work of renovating the world.” From its earliest days, when Mary Lyon famously urged her students, “Go where no one else will go, do what no one else will do,” Mount Holyoke has been dedicated to the complementary goals of academic excellence and purposeful engagement in the world.

Today, the college offers 50 departmental and interdepartmental majors, including the option to design a special major. Undergraduates receive a bachelor of arts, and the College offers graduate education and credentials through PaGE (Professional and Graduate Education). Additional course offerings and majors are available through the Pioneer Valley’s Five College Consortium, which includes Amherst College, Smith College, Hampshire College, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Additional information about Mount Holyoke College may be found at

The College is highly selective. It enrolls 2,200 students from 47 states and 57 countries. Twenty-nine percent of Mount Holyoke’s students are international citizens, and 27 percent of domestic students identify as African American, Asian American, Latina, Native American, or multiracial. Over half of incoming first-year students were in the top 10 percent of their high school classes.

Mount Holyoke’s more than 200 full-time faculty members are both innovative teachers dedicated to their students, and also active scholars, research scientists, and creative artists passionate about their disciplines. Faculty members have previously won Pulitzer and Guggenheim awards, NASA grants, and Carnegie Fellowships, and 96 percent have a doctorate or other terminal degree. Eighty percent of the faculty speak more than one language, representing more than 50 languages in all. The student to faculty ratio is 10 to 1, creating a tight-knit, diverse, and international community focused on academic excellence.

Students also benefit from three academic centers: the Weissman Center for Leadership, the McCulloch Center for Global Initiatives, and the Miller Worley Center for the Environment. These centers support the academic program through public lectures by visiting scholars, conferences on issues of pressing concern, mentoring and internship opportunities, and hands-on learning experiences. The college has also established the Lynk, which allows students to connect their academic work with practical applications of the liberal arts and sciences, including experiential learning on- and off-campus. Lastly, Mount Holyoke places strong emphasis on global education, from recruiting international students and faculty to offering traditional study abroad programs to identifying international internships and research opportunities.

The Plan for Mount Holyoke – 2021

In Fall 2015, a strategic planning committee convened to begin framing the Plan for Mount Holyoke. After an initial assessment, the committee focused on four core priorities: the liberal arts and academic innovation, student experience, collaborative governance, and workload and compensation with respect to faculty and staff.

A draft plan was presented to the board of trustees in May 2016. Following that meeting, the committee continued its work, including: crafting a detailed five-year implementation plan; clarifying alignment of divisional and departmental goals including those of the Alumnae Association; developing a fundraising plan that supports the College’s strategic priorities; building a dashboard to document progress; and establishing a sustainable, five-year financial plan. More information about the Plan for Mount Holyoke and the strategic planning process may be found here:

Senior Leadership Giving Officer

Position Summary

The Senior Leadership Giving Officer is an integral member of the College’s Leadership Giving and Advancement staff. As a frontline member of the Leadership Giving team, the incumbent helps design and implement overall strategy for the West Coast; cultivates interest in and conveys the priorities of the College; matches prospect interest to institutional needs; directly solicits individuals; and coordinates regional events. This fundraising professional manages a portfolio of 125-175 Mount Holyoke College alumnae and parent donors and prospective donors and is responsible for the design and implementation of identification, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship strategies. The Senior Leadership Giving Officer travels frequently to engage these key members of the Mount Holyoke College community in conversations leading to six and seven figure gifts. Staffing the College President and the Vice President for Advancement will be required. The Senior Leadership Giving Officer reports to the Associate Vice President for Development and is called on to be an integral representative of the Leadership Giving team.

This individual plays a vital role in raising endowment-level leadership gifts in support of Mount Holyoke College’s comprehensive and targeted campaigns.

The Senior Leadership Giving Officer takes appropriate actions to support a diverse workforce and participates in the College’s efforts to create a respectful, inclusive, and welcoming work environment.

Principal Duties and Responsibilities

95%  Fundraising

  • Manage a portfolio of 125-175 Mount Holyoke College alumnae, parent and prospective donors.
  • Responsibility for the design and implementation of identification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship strategies.
  • Frequent travel to engage these key members of the Mount Holyoke College’s community. Rate of prospect visitation to be determined in consultation with the Associate Vice President, within an average range of 10-15 face-to-face visits per month.
  • Cultivating, asking and closing six- and seven-figure gifts in support of Mount Holyoke College’s established priorities.

5%  Performs other duties/functions as requested. All employees are expected to participate in the College’s efforts to create a respectful, inclusive, and welcoming work environment.

Internal-External Interaction/Communication

Daily interaction with College constituents, including colleagues and donors, as well as regular interaction with the Board of Trustees, President, faculty, senior staff, and students.



  • Bachelor’s degree is required.


  • Proven success cultivating, asking and closing six figure and above gifts or comparable and relevant experience in a related field.
  • Demonstrated ability to cultivate and advance relationships strategically and proactively.
  • An unassailable sense of judgment and integrity.
  • Personal capacity to thrive in a fast-paced environment.
  • Able to travel 35-50% of the time to different areas of the country.
  • Strong organizational, interpersonal, and written and verbal communication skills.
  • Night and weekend work occasionally required.

Decision Making

  • The Senior Leadership Giving Officer organizes own work-flow in accordance with the priorities of donor cultivation and solicitation and in consultation with the Associate Vice President.

Supervision Exercised/Received

  • Reports to the Associate Vice President for Development. Minimal supervision received from supervisor. The Senior Leadership Giving Officer does not supervise other personnel.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Initiative

Diversity at Mount Holyoke has long been a mark of distinction and a source of pride. The college acknowledges and values the intersections of race/ethnicity, gender, class, sexual orientation, ability, age, national origin, and religious/spiritual identities in the classroom, in cocurricular activities, and in personal relationships. The College’s commitment to diversity and inclusion is based on continual engagement and communication across campus.

Therefore, President Stephens charged a steering committee of faculty, staff, and students to spearhead a new initiative focused on diversity, equity and inclusion. The group worked with outside counsel to review existing activities and identify new areas for conversation. This was followed by a learning conference for the entire community in March 2017. In 2018, a Vice President for Equity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer was hired by the College to oversee and help develop the recommendations of the committee into a clear plan of action. More information about the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Initiative may be found here:


As of June 30, 2018, Mount Holyoke’s endowment was valued at $777 million and its operating expenses for the 2017-2018 fiscal year were $138 million. Distributions from the endowment contribute 26 percent of the college’s annual operating budget.


Mount Holyoke College Benefits

Mount Holyoke College is an Equal Opportunity Employer, committed to diversity in education and employment.

Mount Holyoke College offers a dynamic and supportive work environment, competitive salaries and a generous benefits package including a retirement plan, paid vacations, and medical insurance.

Contact Information

To explore this superb career opportunity on a highly confidential basis please send a letter of interest and a resume (both as Microsoft Word documents) to:

Doug Cooney, Executive Search Consultant, Deerfield Associates Executive Search, Inc.
572 Washington Street, Suite 15, Wellesley, MA 02482
Telephone: 781.237.2800

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