Giving to Yale

Principal Gift Officer

Reporting to the associate vice president for development and working in close coordination with partners across Yale University, the principal gifts officer is responsible for building relationships with and securing seven-, eight- and nine-figure principal gifts from high net worth individuals in support of the university’s highest priorities. The principal gifts officer will identify and engage new, highly philanthropic individual prospects who are unaffiliated with Yale as a first priority. The officer will pursue growth of this portfolio by partnering with Yale’s faculty and activating Yale’s network of committed alumni, parents and friends to engage individuals in the significance of the university’s research and teaching initiatives. The principal gifts officer will at the same time have important responsibilities for managing philanthropic relationships with affluent alumni and parent prospects.

Principal Responsibilities

  1. Develops cultivation and solicitation strategies for a portfolio of prospects and donors. Builds and manages a network of relationships with prospective donors involving university administrators and faculty. Facilitates and coordinates all communication with these prospects and among the prospect’s campus relationships. Promotes positive relations with these prospects and donors.
  2. Evaluates various gift opportunities and giving vehicles and recommends the most suitable for a particular donor.
  3. Interacts with internal contacts such as deans, directors, faculty, officers, and other development staff to consult on university needs, to formulate strategies to promote prospect engagement with the university and to identify potential donors.
  4. Assist with the strategy for and creation of written communications from various university administrators appropriate to a donor’s interests.
  5. Typically participates (often in concert with others) in gift solicitations to fund university programs and to enhance the development efforts of the schools and departments.
  6. May travel (possibly extensively) commensurate with Yale’s standard expectations for fundraising activity, contact and travel. May involve international travel depending upon prospect assignments.
  7. Performs additional development-related activities/efforts at the request of manager.
  8. May perform other duties as assigned.

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. Experience working with sensitive information and ability to maintain strict confidentiality.

Required Skills and Abilities

  • Professional credibility, intellectual depth, maturity, and collaborative skills to lead others by influence.
  • Creative and entrepreneurial outlook with a strong intellectual curiosity.
  • Ability to adapt to changing circumstances in a complex environment.
  • Ability to present complex funding opportunities to prospective donors in person and in writing.

Preferred Education and Experience

Personal success cultivating, soliciting and stewarding individual donors at the eight- and nine-figure levels at a university or college. Experience engaging unaffiliated, high net worth individuals as prospects, preferably in a university setting. Experience working closely with an institution’s president or CEO, faculty, senior officers, and fellow development professionals.