Career Opportunity

Development Associate, Major + Planned Gifts

Website Rhode Island School of Design

Job Summary

RISD’s Division of Institutional Advancement (IA) seeks a Development Associate to provide proactive operational and administrative support to the Major & Planned Gifts team. Reporting to the Senior Executive Director of Major + Planned Gifts, the Development Associate, Major + Planned Gifts is responsible for providing proactive administrative support to the Senior Executive Director, including, but not limited to the coordination, preparation, and completion of travel logistics and follow-up for internal and external meetings. The Development Associate, Major + Planned gifts must provide excellent customer service to IA, campus colleagues and alumni, families, and friends in response to phone, email inquiries, and requests for information. This position ensures that all actions foster and promote a culture of inclusivity and respect. The Development Associate, Major + Planned gifts, will also provide operational and administrative support to the Major and Planned Giving team, and assist in coordinating and implementing a variety of team logistics, activities, and projects.

We seek a culturally competent candidate who will thrive in a campus environment that is committed to advancing the principles of social equity and inclusion, environmental and climate justice, and equal access to resources and opportunities.

RISD offers competitive wages and benefits, which includes but is not limited to:

Four (4) weeks of paid vacation
Personal and sick time, 14 paid holidays
Robust medical, dental, and vision benefits
Professional development opportunities
Essential Functions

1. Provide proactive administrative support to the Senior Executive Director of Major + Planned Gifts and the team including:

  • serving as an initial point of contact for telephone calls and visitors.
  • maintaining and updating the Senior Executive Director’s calendar, including but not limited to proofreading, preparation of meeting agendas and communications, and conference travel itineraries and travel arrangements. Ensure that all materials and documents related to meetings and any resulting assignments or information are recorded and distributed as appropriate.
  • serving as team project facilitator for intra- and inter-departmental projects and initiatives as needed.
  • processing invoices and expenses for the Senior Executive Director and team; working with the Manager of Operations, preparing Work Day budget reports and budget projections for the Senior Executive Director.
  • entering/updating data in the database (Raiser’s Edge) as needed.
  • working collaboratively and proactively with other administrative support staff to coordinate meetings and other events.  Schedule routine meetings including, but not limited to staff meetings, Executive Directors’ meetings, and Prospect Review meetings.

2. Manage the Major + Planned Giving team calendar and present upcoming activities and deliverables for the Major + Planned Giving unit at team meetings. Act as scribe for team meetings and retreats.

3. Address inquiries to the Major + Planned Giving team via email and phone, answering questions and disseminating to other staff when appropriate and other general inquiries.

4. Support and staff on-campus events, including RISD and reunion weekends, Commencement, and Founders Day.

Additional Functions:

  • Complete temporary special assignments and projects at the direction of the Executive Director, which may include work in support of any of the individual units within IA.
  • Examples may include: Coordinating and scheduling candidate interviews and supporting Executive Director with new hire onboarding; Coordinating and scheduling firm interviews during the RFP process.
  • Performs other related duties as assigned.

Required Knowledge/Skills/Experience

  • Ability to work and communicate effectively with a broad spectrum of divisional and institutional colleagues, within an environment that values diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Must have experience with the Microsoft Office suite–Word, Excel, and Powerpoint
  • Strong time management skills. Demonstrated ability to organize, prioritize and complete multiple tasks simultaneously with close attention to detail and under deadlines.
  • Must be able to work independently and as part of a team.
  • Demonstrated database entry and reporting experience).
  • Ability to write professionally and strong interpersonal skills.
    Strong work ethic, attention to detail, and engaging nature.
  • Ability to comfortably and effectively speak in public and make presentations in meetings.
  • Ability to interact and correspond professionally with senior staff and distinguished alumni + families.
  • Ability to monitor and track budgets and expenses.
  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Minimum one year of experience in an office setting required.


Experience in the higher education or nonprofit sector
Raiser’s Edge data entry and reporting experience