Major Gifts Officer

Organization: Seattle Aquarium (AZA Member)
Location: Seattle, WA, Country
Job or Internship: Job


Major Gifts Officer

Posted: Internal and External

Reports to: Director of Development

Status: Exempt/Salaried

Hours of Work: Regular full time position. With standard hours 8:00am – 5:00pm. Occasional need for weekend or after hours work.

Dated Needed: ASAP

Posting Expires: When filled

About the Seattle Aquarium: The Seattle Aquarium is nonprofit, 501c3, owned by the City of Seattle. The Aquarium currently serves over 825,000 visitors and 50,000 school children and their teachers annually. Guided by the mission of Inspiring Conservation of our Marine Environment, the Seattle Aquarium has a realistic plan for phased growth based on record-setting attendance, membership and fundraising growth, an energized Board and professional management. The current annual budget is $12 million.

Position Overview: The Major Gifts Officer is responsible to develop and oversee the Seattle Aquarium’s Planned Giving program. Utilizes donor-centered fundraising techniques to secure gifts of $10,000 or higher from existing individual donors and donor prospects for fundraising events, premier donor clubs, program support, capital campaigns and planned giving. Works closely with board leadership, development committee and Director of Development to identify and qualify prospects, cultivate, solicit gifts, acknowledge, and steward donors.

Primary job functions:

• Passionately articulates the cause, mission and opportunity of the Seattle Aquarium to donors and prospects.

• Leads analytical prospect identification, qualification and rating process to identify and track donors and prospects with affluence and affinity for the Aquarium mission.

• Conducts donor/prospect research.

• Formulates donor-centered cultivation and solicitation strategies and implementation plans for a portfolio of existing major donors and major donor prospects assigned to Chief Executive Officer, Director of Development and Major Gift Officer.

• Recommends and assists with donor engagement with the Chief Executive Officer, Board Chair, Development Chair and Campaign leaders to deepen donor relationships.

• Creatively utilizes existing Aquarium programs, events, life science and education staff, exhibit and animal encounters to deepen relationships with donors or prospects.

• Meets with donors/prospects and leads Aquarium tours.

• Contributes to the creation of materials for use in cultivating and soliciting major gifts.

• Solicits or coordinates the solicitation of donors or prospects identified above.

• Oversees the acknowledgement and recognition of major donors.

• Provides major donors with meaningful information regarding the use of their gift before making the next solicitation.

• Institutes and oversees a Planned Giving program.

• Maintains donor and prospect records of cultivation, solicitation and stewardship process in Raisers Edge.

Other Responsibilities:

• Attends events and provides on-site assistance as necessary.

• Assumes other responsibilities and tasks as assigned by the Director of Development and Chief Executive Officer.

Special Knowledge, Skills, Training

• Training and experience with donor centered fundraising.

• Demonstrated skills in effective oral communications including conversing by telephone, conducting tours, and making asks

• Demonstrated skills in persuasive written communications, including case and solicitation writing, clear and concise narratives.

• Powerful interpersonal communication skill and ability to share compelling stories.

• Intellectual depth and maturity to foster the trust and confidence of leadership and donors.

• Advanced software proficiency including donor database software and Microsoft applications.

Experience Required:

• Minimum of 3 to 5 years major gifts experience with success closing gifts.

• Understanding of and experience in the Pacific Northwest philanthropic community.

• Proven ability to manage and motivate volunteer leadership.

• Experience with donor database recordkeeping system, preferably Raisers Edge.

• Proven ability to meet fundraising goals.

Internal/External Contacts: Type and frequency of internal/external contacts (vendors, attorneys, government agencies, Board of Directors, management).

Contact Reason Frequency

Board members Coordinate strategies, cultivation, and asks Daily

Volunteers Interaction on tours Weekly/Monthly

Internal staff in other departments Interaction mainly for donor tours and cultivation. Collaboration with marketing and writer. Daily

Major Donors Cultivation, stewardship and solicitation Daily

Working Conditions:

Campus environment requires ability to move between buildings frequently. Must be able to provide facility tours and travel to meet donors. May include periodic travel outside of the state to meet donors. Requires use of a vehicle and the ability to commute around the Pacific Northwest. Desk work requires time sitting and on computer. Requires roughly two dozen evening or weekend shifts throughout the year.

Financial Responsibility:

• Responsible for increasing donation stream from major donors.

Decision Making:

• Working with and through the Director of Development, develops and recommends policies and practices to build a successful Planned Giving program.

Confidentiality: List level of confidentiality such as proprietary, financial, personnel, strategic.

• Has access to sensitive information about donors

• BOD members and corporate sponsors.

Education Preferred: Education: BA/BS Degree in Marketing, Communications, Business, Museology or other related field.

Salary and Benefits: D.O.E. This is a regular Full-time benefited position.

How to Apply: To apply please send a one page letter of interest and resume to Application review will begin immediately.