Major Gift Officer, College of Education

Posted on 12/14/2021

Wayne State University

Detroit, MI

Working Conditions: 

Wayne State University requires all students, faculty and staff to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 with limited exceptions.

Job Purpose: 

  • Support and participate in fundraising efforts, strategies and initiatives for the College of Education. Cultivate, solicit and steward major gift donors to meet established fundraising goals within the allocated expense budget.

Essential Functions: 

  • Conduct one-on-one visits to qualify, cultivate and solicit donors to increase donor giving.
  • Responsible for achieving annual fundraising goal and assisting in meeting unit goals; allocating and prioritizing time and resources to achieve the greatest return on investment. Performance and productivity will be measured on the following core metrics as determined annually:
    • Dollars raised for campaign gifts
    • Dollars raised for cash and in-kind gifts
    • Number of Major Gift solicitations of $25,000+
    • Number of Major Gifts closed at $25,000+
    • Number of face to face meetings (visits)
    • Number of meaningful contacts each month
  • Assist the director of development, dean, department chairs and faculty in identifying fundraising needs and priorities for the College of Education. Develop major gift fundraising plans and strategies; establish realistic and achievable timelines, remain current with fundraising trends and serve as a resource on successful development activities, techniques and methods.
  • Collaborate with Development units (e.g. Corporate Philanthropy, Foundation Relations, Annual Giving, Planned Giving, Donor Relations and Prospect Research) as well as other university units to ensure operational efficiencies within the unit.
  • Ensure the timely routing of donor contributions to central development for processing.
  • Adhere to confidentiality and data usage policy for the division.
  • This position requires a high level of commitment and enthusiasm. Due to travel requirements, evening meetings and special events, etc., incumbent must be willing to work extended hours as needed.
  • Perform related work as assigned.

Minimum Qualifications: 


  • Graduation from an accredited college or university with a degree in marketing, public relations, business administration or related field.
  • Reasonable knowledge and understanding of University policies and procedures.


  • 3-5 years experience working as a fundraising professional in direct major donor solicitations in excess of $10,000.
  • Direct experience conducting major gift solicitations required.
  • Higher education development and prior volunteer management experience preferred.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities: 

  • Communication Skills: Ability to communicate clearly, concisely and professionally both orally and in writing. Strong interpersonal skills are a must.
  • Planning and Organization: Ability to manage several projects simultaneously, prioritize and plan work activities while meeting respective deadlines. Strong organizational and time-management skills.
  • Analytical and Presentation Skills: Ability to evaluate, interpret, and present complex information effectively in professionally prepared documents or presentations. Must possess a demonstrated attention to detail in order to achieve a high degree of accuracy.
  • Technical Skills: Proficient in the use of complex administrative systems software, preferably in the higher education environment. Proficient with Microsoft Office suite, especially Word and Excel.
  • Learning Agility: Independent and innovative self-starter who displays an ability to learn quickly and easily adapts to changing situations. Experience researching topics to gain knowledge and understanding when information gaps exist.
  • Teamwork: Ability to collaborate effectively with colleagues within the division and other units to gain full understanding of the project and desired outcome; ability to produce high quality and consistent results with assistance of team members; provide support to teammates when tackling complex projects.

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