Major Gifts Officer Salary (United States)

Major Gifts Officers in the United States ordinarily take home approximately $61,553 annually. Pay ranges from $41,226 on the low end to $87,632 per year on the higher side. Geographic location is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by career duration. Medical benefits are awarded to almost all workers, and a solid majority earn dental coverage. The majority of workers are highly satisfied with their job. Figures cited in this summary are based on replies to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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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Major Gifts Officers often receive a large increase in pay with career advancement. Those who transition into an upper level Senior Major Gifts Officer position frequently earn an additional $21K per year.

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 proficient in Fundraising are, more often than not, also skilled 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.
Across the entire workforce, experience and pay tend to be weakly linked—those with more experience do not necessarily bring in much higher salaries. Beginning workers can expect to earn $55K starting out, which grows to $66K after five to 10 years. Those who spend a decent amount of time in this profession—one to two decades—usually make about $69,752. After spending 20 years in the field, salary continues to increase (though at a slower pace) for Major Gifts Officers and pay is expected at $77K. Experienced employees who have 10-20 years of experience make up about one in five 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. One to nine years of experience is standard for most employees in this area; most of respondents fit between this range.

Pay Difference By Location

Los Angeles
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up arrow 26%
San Francisco
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up arrow 17%
New York
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National Average
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up arrow 19%
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. Those in search of high salaries should also consider checking out cities like Boston, San Francisco, Minneapolis, and New York, top-paying markets where Major Gifts Officers rake in more than the national norm (+26 percent, +23 percent, +17 percent, and +15 percent). Those in the field find the lowest salaries in Charlotte, 19 percent below the national average. Workers in Atlanta and Seattle earn salaries that trail the national average for those in this profession (-3 percent and -2 percent).

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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%