Thanks to Our
2019-2020 Chapter Sponsor:


National Philanthropy Day Sponsors

Interested in being a sponsor for 2019? Download the 2019 NPD Sponsor Packet for more information.

Jobs : Major Gifts Officer

Click here to return to the full list.

Company / Organization: Southern Methodist University
Position Title: Major Gifts Officer
Job Location: Dallas
Application Deadline: Not Specified
Contact Information and
Application Instructions:

The Major Gifts Officer reports to the Director of Major Gifts and is responsible for qualifying, cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding prospective and current donors for major gifts in excess of $100,000.

The position will have a broad-based portfolio to solicit gifts for any fundraising priority, but may also focus on a geographic region, constituency and/or funding initiative. The Major Gifts Officer will serve as the primary point of contact for his/her portfolio, including prospect management and strategy development, personal visits, fundraising proposals, correspondence and volunteer involvement. MGOs work closely with the Director and other colleagues to develop and execute a strategic fundraising plan. Collaboration and coordination with the AVP, Principal and Major Gifts and AVP of School and Project Development, and other DEA departments including Office of the Vice President and other administrative units across campus, will be essential.

Essential Job Functions:

Work with School and Athletic fundraisers, Gift Planning, Corporate and Foundation Relations teams, Annual Giving and Alumni Relations colleagues and other SMU central development staff to develop cultivation and proposal strategies for the major gift portfolio of 100-120 donors and prospective donors.

  • Direct accountability for prospect cultivation, solicitation and stewardship
  • Maintain a vigorous schedule of personal visits to cultivate and solicit prospects and steward donors
  • Strategic guidance regarding the involvement of other fundraising colleagues, volunteers, faculty, Deans, Vice President for Development and External Affairs, Provost and President of SMU
  • Plan and document strategy, specific prospect activity and constituent updates for each assigned prospect, using DEA systems
  • Coordinate with DEA colleagues to draft proposals, correspondence, and other material for prospect/donor information, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship
  • Prepare regular activity reports and provide consistent and timely communication to DEA leadership, colleagues, and constituents on next steps, strategies, and proposals for all Major and Principal-gift-level prospects
  • Comply with SMU prospect assignment, management and clearance process
  • Fully participate in DEA fundraising meetings and training sessions
  • Ability to work well in a team environment and with related external constituencies
  • Attend SMU events for development purposes in working with donors, as determined by the Director of Major Gifts
Minimum Qualifications:


  • Five (5) years professional work experience.
  • Proven major gift ($100,000+) fundraising or sales results required. Knowledge of sales or fundraising management principles required.
  • Professional work experience in an academic/higher education setting, working with alumni, parents and volunteers.
  • Experience working a portfolio and developing strategic plans for securing gift commitments
  • Experience fundraising from parents is a plus.
  • Insightful, articulate and persuasive communicator who is committed to the support of advancement.
  • Ability to think collaboratively, strategically and creatively while participating in decision-making.
  • Knowledge of MS Office (Word, Excel).
  • Experience using Blackbaud Enterprise CRM or other relational CRM database software.

Candidate Profile:

The ideal candidate will be an energetic and collaborative fundraising professional who is entrepreneurial, team-oriented, and excited about joining a campaign in its early stages. This individual should be open to coaching and guidance, while at the same time willing to share ideas from past experiences. As an ambassador, the candidate will work as a reliable colleague to grow the philanthropic goals of SMU's portfolio among its current and prospective donors. This individual will become a trusted and reliable member of the philanthropic community across SMU and will help to build a culture of philanthropy. Additionally, the candidate will exhibit a comfort level working independently and thinking outside of the box with creative ways/methods to engage constituents.

Date Posted: 1/18/2019