Staff Position

Major Gift Officer

Position Details

Job ID # 18-974
Department Development
Reports To Executive Director of Development and NU Foundation

Position Summary

Northwest University’s Development department is seeking a skilled major gift officer (MGO) to join our team in achieving major gift fundraising objectives/goals and fostering new major donor relations. Reporting to the Executive Director of Development and the Northwest University Foundation, the MGO will be responsible for identifying and cultivating relationships with prospective major donors and planned giving donors, while overseeing a program for annual donors over a certain gift amount.

This involves prospect research and developing effective solicitation strategies, as well as stewarding donors throughout the major giving process. The MGO facilitates identification of new donor prospects through researching background information on potential donors, while developing messaging, creating marketing and solicitation plans, and helping organize related programs/events. The MGO cultivates, stewards, and solicits donor prospects for gifts ranging from $1,000 to $1M and above. 

The MGO will compile this information in a donor portfolio and emphasize gifts of $5,000 or greater. In addition, the MGO will be in charge of developing and implementing strategies to cultivate, solicit, and close major and planned gifts from alumni and friends of Northwest University.

The MGO will also work with NU board members and staff leaders to coordinate and execute fundraising initiatives. Our ideal candidate will have a master’s degree and at least four to six years of major gift/planned giving experience, preferably in higher education or nonprofits. He or she will also have a thorough background in fundraising best practices and donor databases for managing donor and solicitation records. 

This is a 1.0 FTE position

Essential Functions

  1. Major Donor Cultivation:
    • Manage a portfolio of 50-80 major gift donors and prospects who have the capacity to make multi-year commitments of five, six and seven figure gifts.
    • Initiate donor visits, conduct fundraising calls with a professional and engaging demeanor and well developed interpersonal, and communication skills.
    • Oversee and manage all aspects of major gifts cultivation, supervising annual gifts of at least $1,000 or more, special gifts from these and other donors, and an annual portfolio that yields $100,000 in year one, $150,000 in year two, $200,000 in year three, $300,000 in year four, and $400,000 in year five.
    • Establish and maintain a donor cultivation cycle and gift stewardship program to ensure that new major donors are developed, have opportunities to increase their level of support annually, and enjoy a close relationship with NU.
    • Ensures that predetermined annual fundraising goals are met.
  2. Administration:
    • Partner in the development and execution of a solicitation plan with an emphasis on personal face-to-face visits.
    • Participate in regular prospect meetings; strategize consistently with the Executive Director of Development and the Northwest University Foundation, Senior Vice President of Advancement, University President, Board of Trustees, and fellow staff members as appropriate.
    • Plans, organizes, and helps direct large-scale fundraising initiatives annually, which include multiple components for major donor engagement. 
  3. Other Duties:
    • Maintain a professional and organized work or office space. 
    • Performs other work-related duties as assigned. 


  1. Bachelor's degree required, master’s preferred.
  2. Advanced knowledge of all aspects of fundraising, donor relations and public relations.
  3. Proven success in annual and major gift fundraising, preferably in higher education.
  4. 4-6 Years of major gift fundraising experience.
  5. Demonstrated leadership and the ability to successfully manage multi-functional or diverse areas.
  6. Proven major gifts fundraising experience, preferably during a campaign, and a working knowledge of planned giving fundraising.
  7. Exemplary written, oral and interpersonal communication skills, and maintain good working relationships throughout the organization and with outside constituencies.
  8. Advanced articulate skill in making persuasive and compelling presentations of campus goals/objectives and securing gifts.
  9. Genuine affinity for the liberal arts, Christian higher education, and the mission of Northwest University – able to learn and understand Northwest’s priorities and to advocate and articulate them to donors and prospects.
  10. Must be a self-starter who can work independently, solve problems, professionally handle confidential information and navigate sensitive situations.
  11. Ability to work collaboratively in a team situation required.
  12. Excellent organizational skills.
  13. Bring an entrepreneurial approach to designing personal donor engagement strategies.
  14. Goal-oriented, Time-sensitive, Deadline driven.
  15. Knowledge of word processing, and spreadsheet programs and general familiarity with database programs.  
  16. Maintain valid Driver's License, and willingness to travel.

Working Environment:

  1. Some weekend/evening work required.
  2. Travel, including overnight travel, may be required. 
  3. Position works with strictly confidential information.

Physical Demands:

The functions are usually performed while sitting, but may involve some amount of time standing, stooping, kneeling, bending, crouching, lifting (max. of 40 lbs.), walking, carrying, reaching, stretching, climbing, perform repetitive motions of the hands or wrists and other movements.  The abilities of seeing, hearing and speaking are also required.  

Lifestyle Standards

Recognize, understand, and agree to live by the spiritual, moral, and ethical standards of Northwest University, as outlined in the Employee Manual.

Application Procedure

Please submit your resume, a letter of interest describing your qualifications, and a completed application form to the Human Resources office. Applications are available online (, or in the Human Resources Office of Northwest University.

You may submit your package by mail, scan and email, or fax.

Northwest University
Attn: Human Resources
PO Box 579
Kirkland, WA 98083-0579
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Fax: (425) 739-0695

Inquiries regarding staff positions may be made to:

Human Resources Office
Northwest University
5520 108th Ave NE, Kirkland, WA 98033
(425) 889-5749
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Northwest University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, age, or disability in admissions and access to, employment, or treatment in its programs or activities. Northwest University is an "At Will" employer.

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