Giving to Yale

Development Officer, Parent Gifts

The development officer will be a part of a growing parent gifts team and joining Yale at a historic moment. With the opening of two new residential colleges in the fall of 2017, undergraduate enrollment at Yale College will increase by 15 percent over the next four years. The parent gifts team will play an increasingly pivotal role in securing resources to support this growth as well as contributing significantly to the upcoming campaign for Yale. The development officer will manage a portfolio of non-alumni parents and grandparents capable of leadership annual fund gifts and major gifts. He or she will report to the director of parent gifts and assist in implementing a dynamic program to engage and build meaningful relationships and philanthropic support from families. 

Principal responsibilities

  1. Identifies, cultivates and solicits Yale parents who are capable of making major gifts to the University; create and present proposals for consideration according to donor's interest and financial situation.
  2. Initiates and maintains contact with prospective donors.
  3. Acts as liaison among the Office of Development, university officers, various university departments and donors.
  4. Solicits major gifts from donors directly and working with volunteers, administrators and other department colleagues. Develops, writes and presents proposals appropriate to donor's interest and financial situation.
  5. Develops financial solicitation programs and meet activity and revenue goals. Promotes positive donor relations. Raises major gifts to fund university programs and enhance development efforts of schools and units, with an emphasis on key university funding priorities.
  6. Devises and recommends cultivation and solicitation strategies. Determines and executes events and programs in support of development activities. Recognizes disinterested donors and devise strategies to redirect their interests.
  7. Interacts with external contacts such as volunteers, alumni, friends and other prospective donors to cultivate and solicit gifts. Proactively engages development volunteers in a variety of roles, including identification, cultivation, solicitation and events.
  8. Interacts with internal contacts such as deans, directors, faculty, officers and other development staff to consult on University needs, formulate proposal strategies and identify potential donors.
  9. Evaluates various gift opportunities and giving vehicles; recommends the most suitable for a particular donor. Assesses success of development events and programs and recommend changes. 
  10. May perform other duties as assigned. 


Skills and abilities

  1. Demonstrated ability to work independently and as part of a team. Maturity to work with close supervision in some situations and with minimal supervision in other situations.
  2. Credibility to win the trust and respect of prospective donors, development colleagues and university administrators. Experience working with sensitive information and ability to maintain strict confidentiality.
  3. Strong and effective interpersonal and communication skills including business writing.
  4. Willingness and ability to travel regularly to achieve team goals.
  5. Demonstrated soft skills and emotional intelligence: flexible, innovative, resilient.

Required education and experience

Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field and four to six years of experience in fundraising or a related field, preferably in higher education or equivalent combination of education and experience. 

Preferred education and experience

Experience in event planning or project management. Comfortable with cold calling, negotiating, and closing business deals. 

Preferred licenses or certifications

A valid driver's license is required.