Senior Director of Major Gifts

Occidental College
Los Angeles, California
Oct 03, 2017
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution

Reporting to the Associate Vice President for Individual Giving, the Senior Director of Development, Major Gifts will be an integral part of the team to expand a comprehensive major gifts program at Occidental. The Senior Director of Major Gifts (“Senior Director”) will serve as a member of the Institutional Advancement Leadership Team.  He/she must demonstrate familiarity with a variety of the field’s concepts and demonstrate a command of best practices and procedures. Position requires mature judgment and ability to act independently to plan and accomplish goals.

The Senior Director provides leadership, strategy, mentorship, coaching supervision, planning, and direction within the Major Gifts team, including support for fundraising, potential campaigns as well as initiatives and activities for private financial support of the college.

The Senior Director will also demonstrate the best of fundraising practices as a member of the Major Gifts team. He/She will be expected to maintain a robust face-to-face visit schedule and serve as a campus leader in portfolio management.


The following statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by an individual assigned to this job. Other duties may be assigned.

Major Gifts Officer (90%) ·        Manages and builds an active portfolio of 95-120 highly rated suspects and prospects. This thoughtful portfolio management should include personal visits for active cultivation and solicitation as well as stewardship of existing donors. ·        Continues to develop regional plan for major gift solicitation and strategy (for assigned region(s) and assists with strategy for all major gift regional markets. ·        Works thoughtfully with the Gift Planning team on behalf of planned giving suspects and prospects, their professional advisors and other development staff members to guide suspects, prospects, and their advisors in the evaluation and selection of planned gift vehicles appropriate to the donors' personal circumstances and objectives. Prepares proposals and meet expected and stated proposal metrics accordingly. ·        Works with the Oxy Fund team to make leadership annual fund solicitations for Major Gift prospects. ·        Meets face-to-face visit expectations and proposal goals as established. The Senior Director will deliver 20 proposals annually and make 10-12 visits monthly. ·        Completes successful discovery work and moves suspects and prospects along the donor continuum. ·        May be called upon to qualify and cultivate major gift prospects who are not traditional members of the Oxy community but for whom one or more of our fundraising priorities would appeal to their philanthropic interests. ·        May manage prospects for whom the President, or other senior leadership, serves as the Secondary (strategic lead) in advancing their relationships with the College. The Senior Director ensures that the Secondary is apprised of all planned actions with these prospects in advance, is copied on all contact reports, and is included in all prospect strategy discussions. ·        Solicits a pipeline of future bequest gifts and gift agreements governing these future commitments. Institutional Advancement Duties (5%)

  • Understands the mission and priorities of the Office of Institutional Advancement and serve as an advocate for the department.
  • Adheres to the principles of ethics and standard practices as articulated in the Council
  • for Advancement and Support of Advancement (CASE) Donor Bill of Rights from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, Association of Professional Researchers for Advancement (APRA) Statement of Ethics and the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Code of Ethical Principles and Standards as well as the standards of practice of his/her departmental profession, as appropriate.
  • Participates fully during the planning, as deemed necessary, and execution of “tent-pole events” including and not limited to Homecoming and Family Weekend, Founders Day, and Reunion Weekend.

Other Duties as Assigned (5%)

  • Understanding of basic fundraising principles.
  • Ability to comfortably speak with donors regarding philanthropic decisions.
  • Strong organizational and strategic planning skills
  • Experience with management and leadership of a highly functioning and performing team.
  • Experience working in a performance-based environment with tracking of meeting goals, contacts, and dollars raised.
  • Experience working independently and collaboratively in fast-paced, demanding, ever-changing and complex environment.
  • Excellent inter-personal, oral and written skills and the corresponding analytical skills needed to establish strategic fundraising goals and report on results.
  • Ability to adapt to a variety of cultures and customs to engage donors and potential donors in philanthropic conversations.
  • Ability to handle confidential information in a discrete and professional manner.
  • Ability to travel at least 50% of the time.


  • Bachelor’s degree required.
  • Seven to ten (7-10) years of relevant experience required
  • Able to manage projects and determine priorities, and to maintain a high degree of professionalism and confidentiality.
  • Possesses strong interpersonal skills and ability to work with broadly diverse groups of constituents including donors, alumni, trustees, friends of the College, faculty, attorney, trustees and other professional advisors, fundraising colleagues and institutional leadership.
  • Demonstrates strong organizational management skills to successfully handle a wide variety of responsibilities.
  • Demonstrates thoughtful leadership skills and adheres to a servant leadership mindset while also being focused on a highly productive, metrics-based system of performance.


Please submit a resume and cover letter explaining how your qualifications meet the requirements of the position to

We will consider for employment all qualified Applicants, including those with Criminal Histories, in a manner consistent with the requirements of applicable state and local laws, including the City of Los Angeles’ Fair Chance Initiative for Hiring Ordinance.