Openings >> Major Gifts Officer
Major Gifts Officer
Title:Major Gifts Officer
Organization:The Salvation Army - USA Central Territory, Midland Division
Location:Columbia, MO

The Salvation Army - USA Central Territory - Midland Division

Columbia, MO area



Donor Relations Director (aka: Major Gifts Officer)


JOIN THE ARMY’S GROWING FUNDRAISING TEAM IN THE CENTRAL TERRITORY and become part of an exciting new major gifts program making a profound impact!


Today, nearly 30 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through a range of social services: providing food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless, and opportunities for underprivileged children. Eighty-two cents of every dollar the Army spends is used to support these services in 5,000 communities nationwide. As a branch of the Christian church, founded by William Booth and his wife Catherine in 1865 to serve London’s worst poverty-stricken streets, the ultimate goal of all programs is the spiritual regeneration of all people.



The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian Church. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by love for God. Its mission is to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.

The Midland Division (based in St. Louis) is one of ten divisions in the Central USA Territory, one of the Salvation Army’s four U.S. geographic service areas. The Midland Division serves communities in Missouri and Southern Illinois. The division operates 12 corps (program sites) with community and worship centers, seven (7) social service facilities, and 23 extension units. The regional annual operating budget is $24 million. Funding sources include government contracts, foundation and other grants, and donations from corporations, small businesses, individuals, churches, and civic organizations.

The Salvation Army Midland Division provides support throughout the community by offering permanent and transitional housing, emergency shelters, summer camp, disaster relief, emergency social services, substance abuse programs, and youth development programs. In 2015, The Midland Division provided over 453,000 meals to people, emergency social services to over 75,000 people, and over 178,000 nights of shelter to the homeless.

“The Salvation Army is by far the most effective organization in the U.S. No one even comes close to it with respect to the clarity of mission, ability to innovate, measurable results, dedication, and putting money to maximum use.”

The late Dr. Peter Drucker, renowned management expert


The Opportunity: Donor Relations Director (DRD), aka: Major Gifts Officer (MGO)

In response to a strategic cultural shift designed to invigorate philanthropy, The Salvation Army is investing in the expansion of its Major Gift program. As a result, The Army will be hiring several Donor Relations Directors (aka: Major Gifts Officers) across the Central Territory. The plan to invest in major gifts includes a 300%+ growth over the next five years.

The Salvation Army has made a commitment to invest in and amplify the Major Gifts program with a goal of securing additional (new or renewed) leadership gifts. The collective portfolios in the 10 Divisions are comprised of more than 800,000 active donors, but less than 5% are giving at a Major Gift level. Leadership sees this as an enormous opportunity to grow philanthropy, both in volume and gift level. The Central Territory desires to provide guidance to each of its Divisions in identifying, retaining and cultivating these donors to minimize attrition and maximize giving.

The Donor Relations Director/Major Gifts Officer (DRD/MGO) will play a key role in the success of the Midland Division fund development efforts, specifically leading the major gift strategies in the Columbia, MO area. The newly minted DRD/MGO role will be a key role in the strategic focus on major gifts. Over the next five years, the Central Territory anticipates raising over $200M in major gifts. Each DRD/MGO’s role in this goal will be to reach a caseload value of at least $1M per year. The Army’s commitment to growing its major giving programs is reflected in plans to steward current donors to make greater investments in the Army, reach out to donors in a prescribed way, create individual cultivation plans, and establish two-way communication with donors.

The DRD/MGO is responsible for ongoing and proactive relationship management, strategic communications plans, gift cultivation, and solicitation activity with an assigned caseload of qualified and potential major donors. In this role, the DRD/MGO will identify, qualify, be assigned, cultivate, solicit, and steward major gift donors and prospects, acting as the primary contact between the Army and the assigned caseload. The emphasis will be on securing gifts of $5,000 and much higher in their respective portfolio. Goals will be determined based on caseload structure and location. The projected average goal for the territory in Year 1 for the DRD/MGO position is $396,000, with a projected average goal of $1 million by Year 5.


Primary Performance Objectives


  • Establishes, manages and fulfills a caseload communications plan, including individual fundraising goals and personalized strategies, to effectively steward, educate, cultivate and solicit gifts from major donors each fiscal year, with an emphasis on gifts of $5000 and higher.
  • Works with prospect research manager at THQ and local staff who are trained to do research to develop donor profiles to inform “moves management” strategies and planning conversations.
  • Meets regularly with supervisory and territorial major gifts management (by phone) to discuss and refine caseload plans and donor strategies, track progress, receive coaching, and keep open lines of communication.
  • Works in close conjunction with other fund development officers, pursuing and contributing to harmonious collaboration between direct marketing, social media, foundation, corporation, and planned giving staff for optimal integrated strategies in regard to major donor communications as well as overall department initiatives.
  • Supports and contributes to, as requested, overall territorial policies, business practices and strategies to continually increase major gifts revenue and program growth.


Leadership and Fundraising Management

  • Leads in one-to-one solicitation, gift acknowledgement and stewardship communication, traveling as necessary, establishing and maintaining excellent donor relations, providing written proposals to major gift prospects as needed, and including Army and/or volunteer leadership as appropriate.
  • Works in collaboration with program, finance, development, graphic design / communications, and administrative support staff to develop a portfolio of giving opportunities (cases for support) that documents funding needs in terms of real program costs, how dollars impact people, outcomes that are and could be achieved, shortfalls, and exciting mission advancement opportunities. Presents these opportunities to donors to effectively match donor interests with Army service delivery advancement needs.
  • Keeps management apprised of all significant interactions, inputting contact reports to the donor database system as required, sharing a continually updated itinerary, fulfilling all monthly and other reporting requirements, and consulting with leadership when needed to understand organizational priorities, develop strategies that benefit both donor and the Army, and troubleshoot challenging situations.
  • Stays driven toward goals and focused on caseload, but makes effective use of volunteerism opportunities, events and other initiatives to engage with assigned donors, bring them closer to the Army, and deepen their awareness of the impact of the Army’s work, especially in areas of interest to them. Participates in such opportunities alongside caseload constituents. Works with other staff and leadership (including leadership volunteers) to develop new major donor / prospect cultivation events (private receptions, dinners in homes, seminars, etc.) targeted toward those with high philanthropic capacity.


Donor and Volunteer Relations

  • Manages a caseload of 150 assigned and qualified major donors, and maintains and seeks to engage with a small additional prospective donor “watch list” as assigned, following the prescribed communications plan that is specific to each donor and prospect and working, as appropriate, with donor leadership volunteers to secure visits with those in their peer networks who are assigned.
  • Works in close collaboration with local officers, program, finance and fundraising staff to present local Army resource development needs that correspond to where donors and prospects reside, while always being responsive to each donor’s interests (even if elsewhere) and attentive to fiduciary responsibilities (donor intent with gifts).
  • Makes it a priority to take donors on site visits to tour Army programs and facilitate face-to-face briefings of donors by Army leaders.
  • Manages all office systems related to DRD/MGO duties, including maintaining updated donor files, tracking spreadsheets, correspondence and gift acknowledgments in keeping with department policies and procedures. Documents all donor interactions through system contact reports and according to established business practices. Carries out any office and computer-related tasks important to fulfilling the goals of the position.
  • Ensures excellent customer service is provided to donors through accessibility to staff and leadership (as granted), timely responsiveness, quality in all interactions and personalized communications.
  • Works 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.”
  • Participates in recommended professional trainings as budget allows, conference calls with other major gifts staff, conference kindred sessions and other professional development opportunities.


The Qualified Candidate

The Salvation Army seeks compassionate, dynamic and entrepreneurial fundraising professionals with a minimum of five years of individual giving/major gifts experience in a highly productive and progressive development and communications program within the nonprofit sector. Preference is given to those who have served in a faith-based organization, and specific to this search for the Donor Relations Director/Major Gifts Officer (DRD/MGO) in the Midland Division, possess a strong working knowledge of the Columbia, MO area philanthropic communities. It is imperative that the person who assumes this important role fully embrace, support and reflect well on The Salvation Army’s mission and values through one’s professional responsibilities and behavior at all times. The DRD/MGO will be creative, energetic and determined, with a talent for identifying and developing opportunities for donors and The Salvation Army to come together.

Specific Requirements Include:

  • Passion for The Salvation Army’s mission coupled with a strong commitment to know and understand the Army’s history, mission and structure, as well as its services, policies and procedures.
  • Bachelor’s Degree; advanced degree and/or CFRE credential preferred.
  • Minimum of five years of experience in a nonprofit fundraising role, with a proven track record of major gifts success and a strong working knowledge of strategy development and 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.
  • Team player, able to check ego at the door, with a capacity to collaborate effectively with officers, staff and volunteers for successful achievement of position and department goals.
  • Communications and management style that exhibits the principles and culture of the Army, as well as fosters team relationships and effectively communicates information.
  • Willingness and ability to travel on a regular basis. Valid Driver’s License required. Area residence is important.
  • Ability to work remotely – on the road, from home and/or at various Army locations. It is anticipated that 80% of the donors are local to a position or within a 50-mile radius, but some travel related to donor management and/or organizational training is required.
  • Experience in working independently in a fast-paced environment without extensive administrative support, and exceptional organizational abilities with fluency in managing multiple projects and competing priorities with professionalism and grace.
  • 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, and savvy in the maintenance of current contact and activity tracking reports, with adherence to the Army’s database protocols.

This position offers a competitive benefits package. The finalist for this role will be required to submit to a full background and reference check.

The Salvation Army is an equal opportunity employer and it is the policy of the Salvation Army to prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, age, national origin, disability, genetic information or any other consideration made unlawful by applicable law. As a religious organization, the Salvation Army reserves the right to make employment decisions based on its religious and moral principles.


To Apply

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

This search is being managed by Sue Bultman, Consultant of Kistner Eddy Executive Services (KEES), in counsel with Heather Eddy, President and CEO. Questions may be addressed to

KEES is a retained search firm that builds transformative teams and leaders in the nonprofit and public sectors. For more information, visit


More about the Army’s Midland Division

The Midland Division, under the leadership of Divisional Commander Lt. Colonel Dan Jennings, employs almost 1000 people. The division currently has 198 donors who are members of the William Booth Society ($5,000+), and 1,460 donors who give at the $1,000-$4,999 level.

The Midland Division has recently undertaken a five-phase, $60 million development project in St. Louis known as the Midtown project. The project includes a $9 million, three story veteran residence with 48 apartments, as well as a $12 million restoration of the former Harbor Light Center to the now 3010 Apartments that provide affordable housing and a chance at a successful life. Other phases of the project include the Midtown Service and Treatment Center, a state of the art medical and substance abuse treatment facility, and a Red Shield Center that will serve as a community hub, offering fitness, after school, counseling programs and other activities. The final phase of the project will include a mixed-use commercial and residential development.


The Salvation Army – Central USA Territory
Comprised of 10 Divisions and serving communities in Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota, Territorial Headquarters (THQ) is situated in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, 35 miles west of Chicago. Under the leadership of Territorial Commander, Commissioner Paul Seiler, J. Douglas McDaniel is the Territorial Executive Director of Development and Robert Dalton is the Territorial Director of Major Giving Programs.

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