Major Gift Officer, School of Professional Studies

Job Type

Full Time


Details: Commensurate with experience




622 West 113th Street
MC4520 7th Floor
New York
United States


Reporting to the Executive Director of Alumni Affairs and Development, the Major Gift Officer (MGO) identifies, cultivates, and solicits (degree and non-degree) alumni and friends of the School of Professional Studies with the capacity to make gifts of $50,000 or more. SPS is expanding its development program, and the MGO will help qualify new prospects and develop a pipeline. The MGO is responsible for developing a portfolio of 150 prospects and moving them through the complete giving cycle: validation, engagement, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship, and serves as a key member of a dynamic External Affairs team.

Responsibilities include but are not limited to the following:

·        Conducts a minimum of 150 personal visits annually to validate, cultivate and solicit prospects and close gifts. Completes a minimum of 25 major gifts and 25 leadership annual fund asks annually. There is also an expectation of 2 planned giving conversations for this position each year;

·        Works in a highly collaborative fashion, and in conjunction with colleagues, to engage faculty, staff, deans, gift officers and senior leadership;

·        Conducts regular validation meetings with prospects and alumni who have not been visited previously to help determine giving potential and opportunities for engagement.

·        Designs and develops solicitation strategies;

·        Manages prospect relationships to enhance continued and increased support and attend events which facilitate contact with prospects;

·        Facilitate and oversee the participation of a variety of SPS stakeholders (alumni, students, faculty, and staff) in the Alumni Fund, including Giving Day, as well as other university-wide development initiatives.

·        Work closely with the University Office of Alumni and Development in implementing best practices and partnering in development and alumni engagement efforts;

·        Ensures maintenance of all records and call reports in the Advance database in a timely fashion;

·        Manage SPS Annual fund;

·        Prepares solicitation materials, including proposals and executive summaries and briefings;

·        Meets with administrators and faculty to understand SPS's priorities and attend regularly-scheduled team meetings to track and discuss major gift prospects.

·        Partners with the Executive Director of Alumni Affairs and Development to develop strategies to engage alumni and prospects.

·        Performs other related tasks and special projects as required.


Bachelor's degree required. A minimum of 5 years of fundraising or related development experience is required. Computer proficiency (Word, Excel, Power Point) required. Some evenings required.

Must have a demonstrated success in achieving fundraising goals and managing high-level donor relationships. Possess a proven ability to present complex information in a clear and compelling manner is essential. The capacity to clearly comprehend and communicate SPS's mission and ongoing initiatives is required.

Demonstrated ability to work in a high pressure, fast-paced environment. Demonstrated excellence in a variety of competencies including: project management, teamwork, analytical thinking, and client/customer awareness. Must possess the ability work with changing priorities and multiple projects.

Excellent analytical, organizational, interpersonal, oral and written communication skills, including a high level of attention to detail and active listening skills. Must be able to problem-solve and troubleshoot, in addition to the ability to work independently in a dynamic team environment. Demonstrated ability to effectively partner with a diverse group of administrators and academic leaders. Must be able to negotiate issues, resolve problems and have strong influencing skills. The successful candidate must be a strategic thinker, effective in moving strategic agendas, politically savvy, ensure the utmost discretion in all matters, as well as possess an ability to work well with all levels of management, both internally and externally, be flexible in nature, have a sound judgment with a collaborative style that fosters teamwork and cooperation beyond the immediate team to the broader organization. Must have a passion for excellent customer service and commitment to exceptional quality. 

Columbia University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.


Medical and dental coverage, tuition exemption, retirement contributions and more.

Professional Level


Minimum Education Required

4-year degree