Major Gifts Officer

Start Date: August 2019

As a member of the Durham Academy Development Team, the Major Gifts Officer will play a key role in developing and executing strategies to identify, qualify, cultivate and solicit major gift prospects with the capacity to make commitments of $25,000 or more. The Major Gift Officer’s priority is to manage his/her portfolio to deepen major gift prospects’ engagement with the school and secure major philanthropic commitments.

The Major Gifts Officer reports to the Director of Development. This is a permanent, full-time, 12-month position with benefits.  

Responsibilities: Working closely with the Director of Development, develop and implement donor cultivation strategies to secure major gift funding for the capital campaign, Durham Academy (annual) Fund and endowment.

  • Actively manage a portfolio of 150–200 prospects rated with the capacity to give $25,000 or more
  • Conduct 80–100 meaningful prospect encounters per year, in person, locally and nationally
  • Engage in all aspects of the gift cycle: identify prospective donors; initiate contacts with potential major donors; move potential donors toward solicitation and closure; and maintain stewardship expectations
  • Prepare written materials, including correspondence, solicitation and proposal materials, acknowledgments, regular communications and moves management reports
  • Work collaboratively with the Development team and volunteers to fulfill Durham Academy’s mission by meeting its fundraising goals
  • Participate in donor events and fundraisers, such as biennial Benefit Auction Gala and annual Cavalier Circle Donor Reception, and, where appropriate, other school events

Experience and skills:

  • Bachelor’s degree required, advanced degree a plus
  • Five or more years of successful major gifts work in an independent school, college or university
  • Demonstrated experience in various aspects of development, from prospect identification and qualification to face-to-face solicitation; from annual giving programming to event planning
  • Experience with a moves management system is highly desired, as is previous campaign experience
  • Demonstrated track record as a self-motivated, action-oriented fundraiser and relationship builder, with a sense of urgency in implementing major gift strategies and tactics, who can think creatively and work independently
  • Ability to develop genuine relationships with donors that enhance their inclination to support DA and the confidence to solicit, secure and steward major gifts at the appropriate aspirational levels
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Personal commitment to the Durham Academy mission and the work of the development team to support and enhance that mission

Applicants should email a cover letter, résumé and list of three references to Director of Development Leslie Holdsworth at leslie.holdsworth@da.org. No phone calls, please.

It is the policy of Durham Academy to make employment decisions on the basis of qualifications for a specific job without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national or ethnic origin, age, veteran status, or the presence of a disability, except where such is a bona fide occupational qualification.