Major Gifts Officer Salary (United States)

Major Gifts Officers in the United States ordinarily take home approximately $61,553 per year. The pay spectrum stretches from $41,226 to $87,632 per year. Residency is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by experience level. Benefits are plentiful in this line of work; the vast majority people have both medical and dental plans, and a majority have vision insurance. Job satisfaction is high and work is enjoyable for most Major Gifts Officers. Participants in PayScale's salary questionnaire provided the particulars of this report.
Major Gifts Officer Salary (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
$41,351 - $87,199
MEDIAN: $61,383
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National Salary Data

XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
$41,351 - $87,199  
$0.00 - $7,314  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
$41,226 - $87,632  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 3 Sep 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 496
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Job Description for Major Gifts Officer

A major gifts officer works intimately with the annual giving or fundraising office of an organization. While most staff focus on calling donors for smaller amounts, the major gifts officer is focused on the large donations that the organization regularly receives and is responsible for ensuring that the donors at that level continue to donate substantial amounts. The employee will also look for prospective donors to add to the major gifts database and will keep track of donor information to see that the correct names, addresses, phone numbers, and other means of contact are on file with the organization. While standard office hours are worked, the major gifts officer will also be expected to attend fundraising events for the group, meet with current and prospective donors in person, and ensure that donors see or continue to see the benefit of giving to the organization. To that end, a professional demeanor is required and good social skills are a necessity. The major gifts officer will have excellent organizational and communication skills to keep information up to date and to keep in touch with donors to ensure that they see the impact of their gifts and the gratitude the organization has for their financial assistance. The major gifts officer will review annual donations and make recommendations to the fundraising office regarding how to show appreciation to the major gifts donors, such as an engraved plaque or an engraved brick in one of the walkways on the property. The employee will also be prepared to handle gifts made by bequest.
Major Gifts Officer Tasks
  • Recruits, trains, and delegates volunteers for fundraising events.
  • Oversees the communication with donors and potential donors.
  • Coordinates and executes strategic plans and programs that increase fundraising capacity.
  • Records budget data including income and expense information.

Common Career Paths for Major Gifts Officer

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For Major Gifts Officers, career advancement usually has a positive, and rather large, impact on pay. Approaching the top of the pay scale, a Senior Major Gifts Officer will earn $21K more than someone not as far along in their career.

Major Gifts Officer Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Major Gifts Officer

Just a handful of professional skills are reported by Major Gifts Officers who took the survey. Fundraising and Oral / Verbal Communication are considered valuable skills and can increase employee pay by 5 percent and 5 percent respectively. Those educated in Fundraising tend to be well-versed in Customer Relationship Management (CRM).

Pay by Experience Level for Major Gifts Officer

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Major Gifts Officers do not generally earn higher salaries from more experience in the field—in most many but not all cases, experience is not a driving force behind pay increase. Those in the early stages of their career can expect to make around $55K; however, pay rises to approximately $66K after five to 10 years. Between 10 and 20 years, pay reaches $69,752. After 20 years of work in the field, Major Gifts Officers typically earn $77K and go on to enjoy (slight) increases in earnings. Experienced employees who have 10-20 years of experience make up 20 percent of the workforce; inexperienced individuals who have been working for less than one year comprise 2 percent, and senior people with more than 20 years under their belt fill out the remaining 6 percent. Between one and nine years is the typical spectrum of experience for those in this line of work—of those who took the survey, most land within this radius.

Pay Difference By Location

Los Angeles
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up arrow 26%
San Francisco
up arrow 23%
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New York
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National Average
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Larger circles over a city indicate a job is popular in that location.
For Major Gifts Officers, busy Los Angeles offers a higher-than-average pay rate, 43 percent above the national average. Other big spenders include Boston, San Francisco, Minneapolis, and New York, top-paying cities where Major Gifts Officers see paychecks higher than average (+26 percent, +23 percent, +17 percent, and +15 percent). Charlotte is the lowest-paying area, 19 percent south of the national average. Below-median salaries also turn up in Atlanta and Seattle (-3 percent and -2 percent, respectively).

Related Job Salaries

Experience Affects Major Gifts Officer Salaries

up arrow 25%
National Average

Skills That Affect Major Gifts Officer Salaries

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
up arrow 2%
National Average

Job Satisfaction

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Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5 based on 114 votes.


female alumni
male alumni

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
1-4 years
5-9 years
10-19 years
20 years or more

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 93% dental benefits Dental: 79%
vision benefits Vision: 61% employee benefits None: 6%
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