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Major Gift Officer, Institutional Advancement

Company: Westfield State University
Date Posted: July 31, 2017

Major Gift Officer, Institutional Advancement


About Westfield State University:

In 1839, Horace Mann founded Westfield State University as the first public higher education institution without barrier to race, gender or economic class. Westfield State fosters intellectual curiosity, encourages critical thinking, inspires civic engagement, and promotes a global perspective. A public teaching institution committed to offering quality programs in the liberal arts and sciences with complementing professional studies curricula, we are grounded in our founding principles of academic excellence and educating all in a diverse and welcoming community.


Westfield State University is the most residential of the state universities in Massachusetts, with over 60% of our 5600 full-time undergraduate students living on campus. The University is ideally situated on the edge of the Berkshire Mountains in western Massachusetts. The campus is just a half-hour from the diverse cultural centers of Northampton and Amherst, and about two to three hours from Boston and New York City.


Job Description:


Campus Title: Major Gift Officer

State Job Title: Associate Director

Department: Institutional Advancement

Job Code: HA6300

FLSA Status: Exempt

Funding: State Funds (7115-0100)

Bargaining Unit: APA

Job Type: Full Time

Timeframe: 52 Weeks

Shift: 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Regular Days Off: Saturday, Sunday

Supervision Received: The Major Gift Officer reports to the Vice President, Institutional Advancement

Supervision Exercised: None

Salary: $60,000 - $75,000 commensurate with experience and qualifications


General Statement of Duties:

Candidates for this position are applying to be a member of a dynamic, comprehensive and talented advancement team that just completed its most successful year ever by doubling the amount raised over the prior fiscal year. The Major Gifts Officer will be joining a department that is poised to build on this year's successes and will be integral to strengthening engagement with top prospects. Depending on location of primary residence, the successful candidate will have the opportunity to work remotely, with a required weekly day in the office on campus.


Reporting directly to the VP of Institutional Advancement, the Major Gift Officer works to build and enhance relationships with all constituents for the purpose of increasing financial support to Westfield State University. The Major Gift Officer is responsible for identifying, cultivating, and soliciting new prospects, and stewarding current donors toward higher commitments and planned gifts. He/she will work with prospective donors to determine their philanthropic interest related to the University's fundraising goals through the Annual Fund, Endowment, Capital and Planned Giving Programs. The Major Gift Officer will manage a prospect pool of alumni, corporate partners, and other newly identified prospective donors for an estimated total of 120. Success in major gifts means producing consistent results from prospect identification, cultivation, successful solicitation and stewardship.


Duties and Responsibilities:

Duties include but not limited to:



1. Manage a personal portfolio of approximately 100-125 leadership, alumni and friend prospects and donors to ensure that timely steps are taken toward cultivation, solicitation and closure.

2. Make assessment calls, cultivate, solicit, provide recognition and steward appropriate leadership and major gifts, with an emphasis on gifts at the $8,000 - $10,000 level and above. Work with donors on multiple giving methods including current and deferred giving, non-cash gifts, and related tax implications.

3. Build relationships with donors and coordinate solicitation as appropriate with Institutional Advancement leadership staff.

4. Identify, cultivate, solicit, and steward major gift and planned giving donors and prospects with a particular focus on individual outright major gifts.

5. Develop, recruit, and engage appropriate members of the campus and alumni communities to assist in major and planned giving cultivation and solicitation activities.

6. Collaborate with Development colleagues on identification, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship strategies for major and planned giving prospects.

7. Develop and maintain a thorough working knowledge of Westfield State University's academic and strategic programs in order to effectively articulate the University's priorities and fundraising objectives to donors.

8. Prepare and submit goals that contain specific timelines, projected results, and outcomes.

9. Document all activity in Raiser's Edge database.

10. Maintain a schedule of 8 to 10 prospect meetings each month.

11. Attend all appropriate Institutional Advancement meetings as well as other University related events.

12. Work closely with the Institutional Advancement staff to ensure appropriate coordination and communication.

13. Collaborate/review on a monthly basis with VP of Institutional Advancement on prospects and strategic plans.

14. Perform other duties as assigned by the VP of Institutional Advancement.






• Bachelor's Degree; Master's Degree preferred.

• Three - five years front line fundraising experience working in a comprehensive institutional or university advancement office.

• Significant major gift and planned giving experience with a track record of successful solicitations at the highest levels, ideally within a higher education institution.

• Major gift and planned giving experience, working with both defined and non-defined constituencies.

• Superior organizational and time-management skills.

• Excellent written and oral communication skills

• Experience working with Raiser's Edge fundraising database.

• Demonstrated success in personally cultivating, soliciting, closing and stewarding major and planned gifts from individuals. Proven ability to bring creativity and effective strategies to the major and planned gift pipeline.

• The ability to build bridges and strong collaborative relationships across a complex organization; political astuteness and agility.

• Ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously and work autonomously under the significant pressure of multiple and sequential deadlines.

• Willingness to work some nights and weekends on an as-needed basis.

• Willingness to travel within the Commonwealth and throughout the United States when deemed necessary.


Additional Information:


Disability Accommodations:

Westfield State University understands that persons with disabilities may need assistance with the job application process and/or with the interview process. For confidential assistance regarding disability accommodations, please contact Lawrence Johnson, the University's ADA Coordinator at (413) 572-8485.


Background Check:

Employment at Westfield State University is contingent upon a background check that is satisfactory to the University. Failure to provide written authorization for a background check will nullify the offer of employment.


Application Instructions:


An on-line application is required. The successful candidate must submit an official transcript at the time of hire. Interested candidates should electronically attach the following documents:


• Resume

• Cover letter

• Contact information for three references*


*Provide the contact information for reference providers in the references section of the online application.


Application Closing Date: Application review will begin on July 27, 2017. The position will remain a minimum of ten days, or if needed, will continue until finalists have been selected.

Apply here:


NOTE: If you need assistance completing your application please contact our online Help Desk. The link to the help desk can be found at the top of the page via Contact Us.


Westfield State University provides equal access to employment opportunities for all applicants, regardless of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, marital status, age, disability or veteran status in compliance with all applicable laws, regulations and policies.