Major Gifts Officer

Aurora, IL
Jun 24, 2017
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution
Major Gifts Officer

Aurora University is an independent, comprehensive institution founded in 1893 offering bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees. Our two campuses are located in Aurora, Illinois and on the shores of Geneva Lake in Wisconsin. Additionally, we have an Educational Center in Woodstock, Illinois. We seek people passionately involved in the educational process who will help us realize our vision.

Aurora University is flourishing as it continues to serve the educational needs of a growing student body. Building on its mission of transforming lives through education, the university has grown exponentially during the last seventeen years, with undergraduate and graduate enrollment at almost 5,500 students. AU’s value proposition--providing a high quality education at a fair, affordable price, resonates with students and their families. Likewise, alumni and friends continue to increase their engagement with and support of the university, helping to secure the future through new endowments and capital projects, and increased operational support. There is significant potential among alumni to expand their investment. More so, development and alumni relations are fully integrated and operational systems are in place to bolster an expanded major and planned gifts program. Aurora University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission to award degrees at the baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral levels.

Position Purpose: Aurora University seeks a highly-motivated, goal-oriented and energetic fundraising professional with a proven track record of exceeding measurable performance goals. This position will focus on increasing gift revenue by cultivating one-to-one relationships and identifying new opportunities with alumni and friends. The Major Gift Officer will be responsible for managing a portfolio of current and potential donors. The successful individual will have a highly cooperative spirit, strong communication and relationship-building skills, a forward-thinking approach, and the ability to relate to multiple constituencies and represent the University with tact, diplomacy, and passion. The successful candidate will cultivate and solicit major gifts, including planned gifts, based on established best practices and will build effective relationships with prospects and donors. She/He will actively manage a portfolio, maintain a travel schedule to engage prospects, and ensure that all donors within the portfolio are properly stewarded for their giving. The successful candidate will be self-motivated in initiating contacts with potential donors but work effectively as part of a dynamic team.

Core Competencies:

  1. Represents Aurora University in the most positive manner with prospective, former and current students, clients, suppliers and the community we serve. Interacts effectively with a diverse group of faculty, staff, students and other customers of our service, learns and uses operating practices of the department and Aurora University.
  2. Upholds the Mission Statement: Aurora University an inclusive community dedicated to the transformative power of learning.
  3. Handle confidential information with tact and discretion.
  4. Supports learning through performance of essential job functions and performing other duties and functions as necessary or as assigned.

Essential Job Functions:

  1. Complete and document between 90 and 120 prospect visits annually.
  2. Cultivate and solicit gifts of $25,000+.
  3. Document financial expectancies of known bequests and other planned commitments.
  4. Promote the university's greatest needs and opportunities among constituencies.

Essential Job Requirements:


  • The successful candidate will have earned a bachelor's degree.


  • The successful candidate will have earned at least five years of successful experience in individual giving and/or major gift fundraising or any equivalent combination of experience and training, which provides the knowledge, skills and abilities required to perform the essential job functions.


  • Proven experience in one-to-one fundraising, preferably in higher education.
  • Broad knowledge of the principles of fundraising and an ability to participate in all aspects of the donor relationship and giving cycle.
  • Knowledge of principles and practices pertaining to charitable giving from accumulated personal assets and estates is a plus.
  • Effective interpersonal skills and verbal and written communication skills.
  • Integrity and high ethical standards.
  • Ability and willingness to support and articulate the mission, identity, and strategic goals of Aurora University.
  • Entrepreneurial approach to problem-solving and demonstrated success in exceeding goals and expectations.
  • Ability to work independently but also as a team player.
  • Experience and comfort level with databases and systems.
  • Ability to travel and work weekends as needed.

Physical Requirements:

  • Ability to communicate by phone, in person and via e-mail. Ability to travel and visit prospects and donors in their offices and/or homes.

Benefit-eligible positions offer excellent benefits including health, dental, life, vision, long term disability, a 403(b) retirement plan through TIAA, and tuition remission included. Please send resume with cover letter and contact information for three references including name, telephone and email address.

Apply to:

Aurora University
Human Resources
347 South Gladstone Ave
Aurora, IL 60506
630-844-5650 - fax - email

Aurora University is an Equal Opportunity Employer.


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