Major Gifts Officer

Posted on 10/05/2023

Valparaiso University

Valparaiso, IN

About Valparaiso University: Valparaiso University, located in the heart of the picturesque city of Valparaiso, Indiana, is a prestigious institution committed to providing a transformative education rooted in the Lutheran tradition. With a history dating back to 1859, Valparaiso University is known for its rigorous academic programs, vibrant campus community, and dedication to fostering ethical leadership, critical thinking, and service to others.

Position Overview: Valparaiso University is seeking a dynamic and experienced Major Gifts Officer to join our dedicated University Advancement team. The Major Gifts Officer will play a critical role in cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding major donors to support the university’s strategic priorities. This position offers a unique opportunity for an ambitious and strategic fundraising professional to make a meaningful impact on the institution’s mission and future.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Donor Cultivation: Build and manage a portfolio of major gift prospects, including alumni, parents, friends, and foundations. Develop and implement personalized cultivation plans to deepen relationships and engage donors in the university’s mission and initiatives.
  • Solicitation: Identify, qualify, and solicit major gift prospects for philanthropic support. Work collaboratively with the Advancement team to create compelling proposals and presentations that align with donors’ interests and the university’s priorities.
  • Stewardship: Ensure that major donors receive regular and meaningful updates on the impact of their gifts. Create customized stewardship plans to express gratitude and foster long-term donor engagement.
  • Portfolio Management and Donor Visits: Effectively manage prospect portfolio through personal visits, correspondence, electronic and telephonic communication. Extensive travel is required.
  • Collaboration: Collaborate with colleagues in University Advancement, academic departments, and other university units to identify funding priorities, align fundraising efforts, and leverage opportunities for philanthropic support.
  • Data Management: Maintain accurate and up-to-date records of donor interactions and communications in the university’s donor database, Advance.
  • Reporting: Provide regular reports on major gift activities, progress toward fundraising goals, and prospect pipelines to the Assistant Vice President of Development and university leadership.


  • Bachelor’s degree required, advanced degree preferred.
  • Minimum of 3-5 years of successful major gifts fundraising experience in higher education or a related nonprofit sector.
  • Strong interpersonal and relationship-building skills with the ability to engage and communicate effectively with a diverse group of stakeholders.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Proven ability to develop and execute successful fundraising strategies.
  • Experience with donor databases and fundraising software, with a preference for Advance.
  • A passion for higher education and a commitment to the mission and values of Valparaiso University.

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