The purpose of a major gifts officer is to target possible donors for substantial donations to an organization and to solicit them for a large donation. In many cases, the process includes taking the potential donor to lunch, allowing him or her to meet with members on the board of directors, and demonstrating to the person why the company would benefit from their donation. Some of this job can take place in an office, such as sending emails and making phone calls to potential donors, but it also involves traveling to meet with targets donors.
There are usually no specific requirements for a qualified major gifts officer, but many employers prefer a candidate who has a bachelor’s degree in finance, economics, or a similar field. The most important qualifications are experience and interpersonal skills. Since the major gift officer is expected to spend significant amounts of time with affluent people, it is important that an officer be personable and relatable. The position does not have much contact with other workers in an organization, as a major gift officer can work strictly with the organization's head or board of directors. Time and travel are various, so the major gift officer does not have set hours each day. The work is inconsistent, and a major gift officer works on an as-needed basis.
The most important part of a major gifts officer's position is to work directly with donors. By setting donation financial plans and securing long-term donations from targeted people, the major gifts officer secures the long-term financial stability of nonprofit organizations.
Major Gifts Officer Tasks
Coordinates and executes strategic plans and programs that increase fundraising capacity.
Records budget data including income and expense information.
Recruits, trains, and delegates volunteers for fundraising events.
Oversees the communication with donors and potential donors.