Development Officer, Leadership Giving

Yale University seeks a driven and successful fundraiser to join the distinguished division of alumni affairs and development. As a member of the university’s Leadership Giving team, the leadership giving officer solicits prospective donors to Yale University for gifts of $10,000 to $250,000 and plays a central role collaborating with Major Gifts, the Alumni Fund, Reunion Giving, and Planned Giving to ensure prospects are solicited comprehensively. The leadership giving officer carries their own portfolio of approximately 250 individual prospects within specific geographic regions and functions in a discovery role. In addition to annual fundraising goals, this position will identify new major and principal-gift prospects through superior qualification work. This position is an ideal opportunity for a high-performing, collaborative, and motivated development professional to come in on the ground floor of Yale’s next campaign.

Principal responsibilities

  1. Qualifies, cultivates, and solicits Yale alumni capable of making leadership annual and capital gifts to the university.
  2. Devises and implements cultivation and solicitation strategies and meets activity and revenue goals by planning, managing, and maintaining an aggressive travel schedule. Executes cultivation methods to solicit gifts. Raises leadership annual and capital gifts to fund university priorities.
  3. Develops and implements retention strategies to upgrade donors. Recognizes disinterested donors and devises strategies to redirect their interests.
  4. Participates in execution of events and programs in support of development activities. Engages key volunteers and effectively utilizes events and other activities to move solicitations forward. Conducts appropriate stewardship activities to further enhance the relationship between assigned donors and Yale. Initiates and maintains contact to promote positive donor relations.
  5. Solicits leadership annual and capital gifts working with donors directly and working with department colleagues and volunteers.
  6. Qualifies prospects for potential major gift capacity and interest. Provides appropriate background on prospects to be assigned to Major Gift portfolios.
  7. Effectively communicates progress of cultivation efforts and results of visits to appropriate personnel.
  8. Exercises good judgment in discussing alumni issues and results. Maintains composure and calm demeanor in difficult situations.
  9. Acts as liaison between various university departments and donors.
  10. May perform other duties as assigned.

Required skills and abilities

  1. Experience in personally and consistently closing philanthropic gifts from donors. Utilizes industry standard best practices and a donor-centric approach in managing a donor portfolio. Ability and willingness to travel regularly to meet with prospects; which may include times in the evenings and weekends.
  2. Active listener with a successful track record of interacting with donors, volunteers, colleagues, and philanthropic stakeholders. Ability to understand university approved fundraising priorities and translate those into enticing philanthropic giving opportunities for prospects. Leverages relationships to implement strategic solicitation of donors for stretch gifts.
  3. Proactive, productive team contributor with a positive attitude and sense of humor. Demonstrated ability to follow through on commitments and take personal responsibility for outcomes. Persistent, results oriented and driven to succeed personally, and is inspired by challenging team goals.
  4. Demonstrates initiative, drive, and a resourceful and a data-driven work ethic. Creative, innovative, flexible, with excellent organizational and analytical skills. The ability to work independently, manage multiple projects effectively, and maintain a high degree of professionalism and confidentiality in a team-oriented, complex environment.
  5. Excellent written and oral communication skills. Exhibits behavioral and linguistic flexibility as well as strong intellectual and social curiosity. Experience synthesizing and prioritizing information from a wide array of sources while maintaining an attention to detail and effectively managing overall workflow.

Required education and experience

Bachelor’s degree and three to five years of fund raising or an equivalent combination of education and related experience.

Preferred education, experience, and skills

Experience soliciting and closing six-figure gifts. Experience fundraising in higher education and moves management systems.