Openings >> Major Gifts Officer
Major Gifts Officer
Title:Major Gifts Officer
Organization:A Better Chance
Location:New York, NY



A Better Chance


Major Gifts Officer

Opportunity Guide


Our mission is to increase substantially the number of well-educated young people of color who are capable of assuming positions of responsibility and leadership in American society.

A Better Chance was founded in 1963 during the height of the civil rights movement by 23 headmasters of selective independent schools who shared a commitment to change the profiles and compositions of their student body. During the first year, 55 students of color, who were economically disadvantaged but academically able, were selected to further their education at these institutions. Over the last 54 years, A Better Chance has been a driving force in the effort to increase educational attainment among youth of color.

With its historic signature program, the College Preparatory School Program, A Better Chance identifies, recruits, and annually places more than 500 academically talented students into over 300 of the most rigorous and prestigious independent day school, boarding schools, and public schools in the country. To date, A Better Chance has over 15,000 alumni who are enriching their communities and creating a more representative leadership pool for American society as a whole.

The Opportunity: Major Gifts Officer

In an effort to continue to grow and expand philanthropy across the country, A Better Chance is seeking a Major Gifts Officer (MGO) with proven ability to cultivate and manage relationships with major donors, as well as develop new relationships. Reporting to the Director of Development, the MGO will be based out of A Better Chance headquarters in New York City and manage a portfolio of 125-150 donors and prospects, initially with the majority of the portfolio residing on the east coast.

The MGO will identify, cultivate and manage relationships with major donors and high-capacity prospects, as well as assist with managing and growing the 1963 Society, A Better Chance’s giving society. The successful candidate will be an independent and nimble self-starter with a strong background in major gift fundraising. The MGO will manage a portfolio, moving donors from current giving levels to higher levels, along with creating and maintaining a solid communication strategy for working with DreamBuilders (donors of $1200 or more).

Performance Objectives

Leadership and Fundraising Management

  • Lead in one-to-one solicitation, gift acknowledgement and stewardship communication, traveling as necessary, establishing and maintaining excellent donor relationships, providing written proposals where needed, with a focus on donors at the $10,000 level and above.
  • Collaborate with the development team to design and implement a comprehensive calendar of cultivation and stewardship events for donors and prospects, including major donor receptions and volunteer opportunities.
  • Keep the Director of Development and other leadership apprised of all significant interactions, inputting all contact reports in Raiser’s Edge as required, consulting with organizational leadership as needed to understand organizational priorities.
  • Stay driven towards goals and focused on portfolio, setting and meeting quarterly, annual and long-term objectives.


  • Develop individual major gift strategies and communication plans for each prospect and donor in assigned portfolio to effectively cultivate, solicit and steward each donor.
  • Meet regularly with development and program staff to refine portfolio plans and donor strategies and match donor interest with appropriate programs.
  • Work in close conjunction with peer MGO and other development staff contributing to harmonious collaboration between annual fund, major gifts, foundations, and corporation staff for optimal integration strategies for overall department initiatives.
  • Support and contribute to, as requested, overall organizational policies, business practices and strategies to continually increase major gifts revenue and program growth.
  • Analyze current portfolio and create effective and efficient donor engagement plans, using data points to identify good donor prospects. Conduct prospect research based on the analysis.

Donor and Volunteer Relations

  • Manage a caseload of 125-150 donors and prospects, initially focusing on the east coast, following appropriate communications plans for each donor and prospect.
  • Work diligently to meet agreed upon monthly and annual activity and income production goals, and is purposeful about every visit, communication, and desired outcome for each “touch” with the donor.
  • Ensure excellent customer service is provided to donors through accessibility to staff and leadership, timely responsiveness, quality in all interactions and personalized communications.
  • Attend and participate in National Advisory Council (alumni volunteer group) meetings and calls.
  • Manage all office systems related to MGO duties, including maintaining updated donor files, tracking spreadsheets, correspondence and gift acknowledgments in keeping with department policies and procedures. Document all donor interactions through system contact reports and according to established business practices. Carry out any office and computer-related tasks important to fulfilling the goals of the position.
  • Assist with donor event cultivation, as it relates to the major gift portfolio.

The Qualified Candidate

A Better Chance seeks a dynamic and experienced fundraising professional with a minimum of four years of experience in development. A strong background in major gift fundraising is highly preferred. Strong commitment to the mission and growth of A Better Chance is essential. The successful candidate will have experience developing and sustaining meaningful relationships with major donors, board members, volunteers, staff, and other stakeholders. The MGO will be creative, energetic, and determined, with a talent for identifying and developing opportunities for donors and A Better Chance to come together.

Specific Requirements Include:

  • Passion for the mission of A Better Chance, as well as a strong commitment to the growth of the organization.
  • Bachelor’s degree; advanced degree and/or CFRE preferred.
  • Minimum of four years of experience in a nonprofit fundraising role, with a proven track record of major gift success and a strong working knowledge of strategy success in moves management systems in the cultivation, solicitation and stewardship processes.
  • Highly effective interpersonal, conversational and presentational skills, demonstrating an emotional intelligence and situational awareness in tandem with excellent writing abilities and strong case development and sales pitch skills.
  • Demonstrated expertise in developing and maintaining positive relationships with diverse individuals, including executives, high-level volunteers, wealthy donors, and internal stakeholders and leadership.
  • Prowess in problem-solving, strategic and creative thinking, and taking initiative with consistent and good follow-through.
  • Great comfort level with direct donor interaction is a must, including discussions of personal and family finances and asking for major financial commitments.
  • Willingness and ability to travel on a regular basis. Valid Driver’s License required.
  • Drive to make a difference, goal-oriented with a proven ability to achieve or exceed goals and meet deadlines.
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite, hands-on experience with donor management software (e.g., Raiser’s Edge, MyEmma and Eventbrite), and savvy in the maintenance of current contact and activity tracking reports.

This position offers a competitive salary with a comprehensive benefits package. All inquiries will be held in strict confidence.

A Better Chance is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, gender, religion, age, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, disability, marital status, veteran status, or any other occupationally irrelevant criteria.

To Apply

Candidates may apply by clicking the APPLY NOW button below. To assure confidential tracking, no resumes will be accepted via email. ALL INQUIRIES WILL BE HELD IN STRICT CONFIDENCE.

This search is being managed by Sue Bultman, Consultant, and Heather Eddy, President and CEO of KEES. Questions may be addressed to

KEES (Kistner Eddy Executive Services) is a retained search firm that builds transformative teams and leaders in the nonprofit and public sectors. For more information, please visit

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