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Major Gifts Officer Salary (United States)

Major Gifts Officers in the United States usually make around $61K per year. Location and career length each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Medical benefits are awarded to almost all workers, and a fair portion earn dental coverage. Most Major Gifts Officers report high levels of job satisfaction. The figures in this overview are derived from responses to the PayScale salary survey.
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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Though not the most common occurrence, Major Gifts Officers sometimes become Senior Major Gifts Officers, where the average income is $82K per year.

Major Gifts Officer Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Major Gifts Officer

Major Gifts Officers typically list a handful of skills they use on the job. Fundraising and Oral / Verbal Communication are considered valuable skills and can increase employee pay by 5 percent and 5 percent respectively. Those familiar with Fundraising also tend to know 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.
For many Major Gifts Officers, extensive experience does not lead to significantly more money. Relatively untried employees who have less than five years' experience make $54K, but folks with five to 10 years under their belts enjoy an appreciably larger median of $66K. For Major Gifts Officers, 10 to 20 years of experience on the job amounts to an average salary of $70K. Ultimately, more time spent in the workforce does seem to translate to bigger paychecks; seasoned veterans with more than 20 years of experience report a median income of $77K. Most of the workforce has between one and nine years of experience. Experienced employees who have 10-20 years of experience make up one-fifth of the workforce; inexperienced individuals who have been working for less than one year comprise less than two percent, and senior people with more than 20 years under their belt fill out the remaining less than one-tenth.

Pay Difference By Location

Los Angeles
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up arrow 26%
San Francisco
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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.
With a pay rate for Major Gifts Officers that is 43 percent greater than the national average, Los Angeles offers a comfortable salary for those in this profession. Major Gifts Officers will also find cushy salaries in Boston (+26 percent), San Francisco (+23 percent), Minneapolis (+17 percent), and New York (+15 percent). Trailing the national average by 19 percent, Charlotte is the market with the smallest paychecks. A couple other locations with smaller-than-average paychecks include Atlanta (3 percent lower) and Seattle (2 percent lower).

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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%