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Major Gifts Officer

Req ID: 6940
Location: Chicago - Loop
# of Openings: 1
FT/PT: Full time
Employment Type: Regular
Salary Schedule: 9
Job Notes:



Summary:  Experienced and established fundraising professional with relevant experience and expertise in the cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of major gift donors, defined as those giving (or who have the capacity to give) more than $25,000 annually.  The Major Gifts Officer works as part of an advancement team cultivating and soliciting philanthropic support for Heartland Alliance’s strategic priorities by establishing and nurturing relationships with supporters.  This position will work closely with the Senior Director of Development, President and other executive staff to develop and execute coordinated cultivation and solicitation strategies to secure significant financial resources primarily from individuals, but also from corporations and foundations as assigned. This position will also contribute to the implementation of a comprehensive multi-year strategic development plan for building a major gifts program, including prospect research, cultivation, solicitation, recognition and retention.  Further, the Major Gifts Officer will cultivate, solicit, and steward gifts in person and in writing, using best practices in moves management and relationship management. Other duties will be assigned.


Solicitation (60%)

  • Creates, integrates and implements short, intermediate and long-term individual major gifts and private foundation major gift donor strategies.
  • Develops strategic funding requests based on short, intermediate, and long-term funding goals of the organization for gifts of $25,000 and higher.
  • Acts as primary relationship manager for individual and private foundation prospects of $25,000 or more/year to reach or exceed annual funding goals. Plays lead role in soliciting and closing major gifts.
  • Coaches and provides strategic input to other key solicitors across Heartland Alliance to support relationship management and donor cultivation. Manage relationship process for individual major gift donors including prospect solicitation, briefings with primary relationship managers.
  • Sets annual fundraising goals relative to board and major gifts; monitors and evaluates performance relative to these goals; communicates organization’s brand identity and programmatic impact to potential and current donors and board directors, ensuring that they are able to articulate the organization’s messaging to others in a compelling way in order to improve their ability to serve as effective fundraising ambassadors for Heartland Alliance.
  • Develops a strategic and broad personal network of contacts and alliances useful in advancing the Alliance’s fundraising goals, as well as its visibility, name recognition and positive reputation.
  • Develops and maintains relationships with members of fundraising, public relations, and policy groups, and other business and community organizations; represents Heartland Alliance by speaking to groups and individuals suggested by board directors and donors.
  • Provides input to colleagues regarding donor interests and perspectives to assist in the evolution of Heartland Alliance’s effective messaging.


Cultivation ad Stewardship (30%)

  • Plans and implements funding campaigns, events and activities (volunteer experiences, tours, receptions, etc.) for individual major gift donors leveraging and informing existing activities, as appropriate.
  • Develops major gift materials, including briefing memos, proposals and stewardship materials.
  • Cultivates and expands current giving by planned gift donors and integrates planned gift objectives into major individual donor requests.
  • Continually evaluates and assesses emerging opportunities for partnerships, collaboration, and/or solicitation of new donors referred by board members and regularly communicate findings with specific recommendations to department leadership.
  • Communicates Heartland Alliance’s brand identity and programmatic impact to potential and current donors and board directors, ensuring that they are able to articulate messaging to others in a compelling way in order to improve their ability to serve as effective fundraising ambassadors for the Heartland Alliance.


Monitoring and Reporting (10%)

  • Ensures effective reporting for major gifts management, and monitors weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual activity to inform strategies and achieve major gift revenue goals.
  • Assists with review and verification of major gift donor recognition lists.
  • Tracks relationship management activity using constituent relationship management system including identification, qualification, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship of prospective and current individual major donors
  • Coordinates reporting of progress and financial goals with other members of the Development team to ensure consistency and accuracy.
  • Participates in regular Development staff and organization-wide meetings.



Essential Duties and Responsibilities:


Qualifications:  To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.


  • Education and/or Experience:  Bachelor’s degree in Communications, Public Policy, Non-Profit management, Marketing, Economics or related field.  8-10 years of Development experience, with a history of developing and evolving long-term strategy in a growth environment.
  • Preferred qualifications: Master’s degree in related field, demonstrated experience with planned giving and Raiser’s Edge fundraising software. Active participant in Chicago area community organizations and philanthropic networks and up-to-date on non-profit management and fundraising best practices.




To perform the job successfully, an individual should demonstrate the following:

  • Teamwork : Ability to motivate, reward, and acknowledge team approach to development efforts; Exhibits objectivity and openness to others’ views; Gives and welcomes feedback; Contributes to building a positive team spirit; Able to build morale and group commitments to goals and objectives.
  • Problem Solving: Identifies and resolves problems in a timely manner; Gathers and analyzes information skillfully; Demonstrates alternative solutions; Uses reason even when dealing with emotional topics.
  • Inter-Personal Relations: Comfortable and effective in managing inter-personal relationships with diverse stakeholders including: board members, volunteers, management, colleagues, sponsors, donors, foundations, public opinion leaders, community residents, service vendors and others; Demonstrates emotional maturity and sensitivity in dealings with others.
  • Organizational Skills: High degree of organizational and time management skills; Ability to implement / manage many complex initiatives simultaneously; Follows through in a timely manner on commitments.
  • Staff Management: Includes staff in planning, decision-making, facilitating and process improvement; Takes responsibility for subordinates’ activities and acknowledges staff role in successes; Makes self available to staff; Provides regular performance feedback; Develops subordinates’ skills and encourages growth; Solicits and applies customer feedback (internal and external); Fosters quality focus in others; Improves processes, products and services; Continually works to improve supervisory skills.
  • Knowledge:  Strives to continuously build knowledge and skills; Shares expertise with others.
  • Confidentiality: Ability to maintain confidentiality.
  • Oral Communication : Speaks clearly and persuasively in positive or negative situations; Listens and gets clarification; Responds well to questions; Demonstrates group presentation skills; Participates in meetings.
  • Written Communication: Writes clearly and informatively; Edits work for spelling and grammar; Varies writing style to meet needs; Presents numerical data effectively; Able to read and interpret written information.
  • Strategic Thinking: Develops strategies to achieve Organizational goals; Understands Organization’s strengths and weaknesses; Analyzes market and competition; Identifies external threats and opportunities; Adapts strategy to changing conditions.
  • Judgment: Displays willingness to make decisions; Exhibits sound and accurate judgment; Supports and explains reasoning for decision; Includes appropriate people in decision-making process; Makes timely decisions.
  • Professionalism: Reacts well under pressure; Treats others with respect and consideration regardless of their status or position; Accepts responsibility for own actions.


Heartland Alliance makes all hiring and employment decisions, and operates all programs, services, and functions without regard to race, receipt of an order of protection, creed, color, age, gender, gender identity, marital or parental status, religion, ancestry, national origin, amnesty, physical or mental disability, protected veterans status, genetic information, sexual orientation, immigrant status, political affiliation or belief, use of FMLA, VESSA, military, and family military rights, ex-offender status (depending on the offense and position to be filled), unfavorable military discharge, membership in an organization whose primary purpose is the protection of civil rights or improvement of living conditions and human relations, height, weight, or HIV infection, in accord with the organization's AIDS Policy Statement of September 1987

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