Senior Development Officer
  • Development

Walnut Hill School for the Arts, Natick, MA

Accredited by NEASC

Senior Development Officer

Walnut Hill School for the Arts seeks a Senior Development Officer. This is an exceptional opportunity to join an enthusiastic and accomplished development team at an innovative and growing independent school. Walnut Hill School for the Arts, in Natick, Massachusetts, is an independent boarding and day high school. Walnut Hill combines a college-preparatory academic curriculum with intensive, pre-professional artistic training in five majors. This is a 12-month, full-time position that reports to the Chief Development Officer and requires some travel as well as occasional evening and weekend work.

The Senior Development Officer has primary responsibility of donor acquisition and increase, with an emphasis on grants, foundations, sponsorships, and partnerships. This individual will have an entrepreneurial approach to garnering new donors and increasing current donor gifts via donor visits, events, relationship building, and other innovative ideas.

Position Responsibilities:

  • Collaborate with colleagues to identify major gift prospects and develop comprehensive solicitation strategies that are donor-centric and will maximize each individual’s support of the School;
  • Serve as a strategic partner to the Chief Development Officer (CDO); in consultation with the CDO, serve as their deputy and act on their behalf as necessary;
  • Manage a portfolio of select prospects, including alumni, parents, and friends, with a focus on raising funds;
  • Responsible for the creation and management of events necessary to support acquiring new and/or enhancing existing donors;
  • Identify and apply for grants as well as manage and oversee all aspects of grant and proposal management; submit timely and accurate reports for all existing and new grant-funded projects supporting the School;
  • Identify new prospects, make discovery and qualification visits/calls, establish cultivation and solicitation strategies, and ask for gifts;
  • Build and enhance constituent relationships by partnering strategically with faculty and staff in special programs and events, and connecting them to donors.
  • Manage expenses related to donor meetings, travel, and stewardship in conjunction with Chief Development Officer;
  • Create and lead new initiatives that provide meaningful and substantive engagement opportunities for targeted individuals;
  • Travel both domestically and internationally as required to build and cultivate donor relationships, solicit gifts, and attend events; work evenings and weekends as needed;
  • Support students and attend or engage in arts productions, shows, exhibitions, and performances; and
  • Other duties as assigned.


  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience required;
  • Five or more years of progressively responsible experience in development or a related field; experience in independent schools and/or arts organizations a plus;
  • Experience with identification, cultivation, and solicitation of leadership gifts;
  • Demonstrated knowledge of the full spectrum of development practices, principles, and activities, including gift policies, solicitations, stewardship, donor recognition, working with high-level volunteers, and the ability to apply this knowledge creatively to fundraising projects;
  • Previous grant writing success and familiarity with foundation work;
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to work effectively with a wide range of people;
  • Outstanding written and verbal communications skills and polished presentation skills;
  • Ability to work independently as well as part of a collaborative team;
  • Strong computer skills including proficiency with Google applications, Microsoft Office, and knowledge of donor software;  
  • Share an educational and artistic vision that aligns with the core principles of Walnut Hill; and
  • Strong collaboration skills and work ethic, along with the ability to balance a pursuit of academic, artistic, and institutional excellence with compassion and nurture for each individual.


All Walnut Hill faculty/staff are active and engaged members of the school community who are committed to collaborating and growing in their field, participating in school events and supporting students in their arts, supporting other community members, and who have the ability to self-reflect on their own practice. Commitment to the school’s Core Values, of Community, Growth, Excellence, Creativity, and Respect are imperative to the success of a Walnut Hill community member.


To Apply: Submit resume and cover letter through the Walnut Hill Career Center.