Gift Officer/Major Gifts Officer

Yale University seeks an experienced and successful major gift officer to join the university’s alumni affairs and development division. As a member of the university’s Major Gifts team, the major gift officer solicits prospective donors to Yale University for gifts of $250,000 to $10 million+ and plays a central role collaborating with university leadership, faculty, development senior leadership, campaign volunteers, and colleagues throughout alumni affairs and development. The major gift officer carries their own portfolio of 100+ individual prospects within specific geographic regions. Operating in a comprehensive, university-wide campaign environment, the major gift officer achieves annual fundraising goals and helps to ensure the success of the campaign in a multitude of ways. This position is an ideal opportunity for a high-performing, collaborative and experienced development professional to come in on the ground floor of Yale’s capital campaign.

Principal responsibilities

  1. Identifies, cultivates and solicits Yale alumni/alumnae and friends who are capable of making gifts to the university. Meets assigned activity and revenue goals.
  2. Devises and implements cultivation and solicitation strategies. Evaluates various gift opportunities and giving vehicles; recommends the most suitable for a particular donor. Develops, writes and presents proposals in keeping with university needs and in line with donor’s interest and financial situation. 
  3. Initiates and maintains contact with current, past, and prospective donors, promoting positive donor relations. Engages volunteers proactively as needed. Determines and executes events and programs in support of development activities, assessing the success of such events/programs and recommending changes. Identifies disaffected or disinterested donors and devises strategies to encourage/redirect their interests as appropriate. 
  4. Interacts with internal contacts such as deans, directors, faculty, officers and other development staff to consult on university needs, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship strategies, and potential donors. Keeps abreast of university events and disseminates university information to donors, prospective donors, volunteers and team members as appropriate. 
  5. Performs other duties as assigned.

Required skills and abilities

  1. Demonstrated ability in personally and consistently closing six-figure or larger philanthropic gifts from donors. Utilizes industry standard best practices and a donor-centric approach in managing a donor portfolio of 100+ individuals. Determines donor philanthropic interests related to specific fundraising goals. Ability and willingness to travel.
  2. Excellent written and oral communication skills. Exhibits behavioral and linguistic flexibility as well as strong intellectual and social curiosity. Demonstrated ability synthesizing and prioritizing information from a wide array of sources while maintaining an attention to detail and effectively managing overall workflow.
  3. Proven ability building and maintaining long-term donor relationships. An active listener with a successful track record of interacting with donors, volunteers, colleagues, faculty and administrators at the highest level. Leverages relationships to implement strategic solicitation of donors for gifts of their full philanthropic capacity.
  4. Proactive, productive team contributor with a positive attitude and sense of humor. Appreciation and respect for principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Demonstrated ability to follow through on commitments and take responsibility for outcomes. Persistent, results oriented and driven to succeed. Inspired by challenging individual and team fundraising goals.
  5. Demonstrates initiative, drive and a resourceful and 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.

Required education and experience

Bachelor’s degree required, a minimum of two years of fundraising experience, or equivalent combination of education and experience. Job title and level will be commensurate with experience.

Preferred education, experience, and skills

Six to eight years of fundraising experience. Experience fundraising in higher education and moves management systems.

Preferred licenses or certifications

Valid driver’s license.