Director, Major Gifts in Evanston, IL

$200K - $250K(Ladders Estimates)

Northwestern University   •  

Evanston, IL 60201

Industry: Education, Government & Non-Profit


8 - 10 years

Posted 46 days ago

Job Summary:

Senior fundraising position with management responsibilities. Designs and implements innovative programs to identify prospective major &/or principal gift donors. Devises and executes plans for a specific region to qualify, cultivate, steward and solicit donors. Oversees the tracking & management of staff to ensure an emerging prospect pool. Builds and adapts programs to a point of sustainability. Collaborates with various teams (e.g. NULC, Reunions, Schools/Units) as well as deans and/or faculty and interfaces with campus leadership to develop philanthropic and fundraising strategies and prepares for prospect meetings and solicitations.

The Director of Major Gifts will manage a team of fundraisers and will recruit and utilize volunteers in key cities to help achieve fundraising objectives.

Specific Responsibilities:

Strategic Planning

  • Creates & leads a coordinated program of fundraising activities designed to increase the number and level of major &/or principal gifts donors.
  • Develops & executes strategies to involve campus leaders, alumni, friends, & volunteers to identify and cultivate new individual, corporate, institutional &/or foundation prospects.


  • Reviews & proposes strategic, philanthropic, alliances, joint ventures & key collaborations with department and other University partners to identify opportunities to integrate University strategic plan goals.
  • Oversees and coaches team members regarding department collaborations.
  • Collaboration with Undergraduate and Professionals Schools and Programs; including Athletics, Block Museum, Financial Aid, Libraries, Parent Giving and Student Affairs

Prospects & Gifts

  • Manages staff within a specific region.
  • Provides leadership, determines & evaluates individual goals, develops & implements training & mentoring, & assigns & monitors coverage of primary areas of focus ensuring that goals & objectives are attained.
  • Identifies and personally solicits high-profile, &/or extremely complex major gifts of $250k+ by managing a pool of 70+/- prospects annually.
  • Oversees continuous research, development & up-to-date knowledge on prospects & works with other areas to coordinate contacts.
  • Requires travel throughout the region or country.


  • Oversees administration of many major gifts operations.
  • Ensures compliance with prospect management guidelines for tracking & maintenance of contact & progress reporting.
  • Coordinates appointments and prepares materials used by senior management, Board & volunteers for meetings, visits, events or phone calls made to high-profile prospects.
  • Oversees administrative support management to ensure effective team success and daily operations.


  • Supervises 2 or more staff &/or provides work direction to others.
  • Provides training to staff within or outside of immediate dept or division in regard to function.
  • Leads, coaches and evaluates performance of direct reports


  • Performs other duties as assigned.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Successful completion of a full 4-year course of study in an accredited college or university leading to a bachelor's or higher degree; OR appropriate combination of education and experience.
  • 8 years development, marketing, sales or other relevant experience is required.

Minimum Competencies: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities.)

  • Goal-oriented; team leadership and team player; collaboration; analytical thinking, complex problem solving and planning; global/organizational perspective; ability to work in fast-paced environment; comfortable with change and associated ambiguity

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experienced fundraiser with track-record of closing six-figure and higher outright and/or deferred gifts

Preferred Competencies: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities)

  • Previous management experience

Valid Through: 2019-10-30