Lake Superior State University
Lake Superior State University
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FLSA Designation
Date Issued: 2008-10-28
Title: Director of Major Gifts
Function and Responsibility
The Director of Major Gifts (currently defined at LSSU as gifts of $10,000 and higher) provides leadership and direction to a comprehensive program to secure significant new and increased financial resources from individuals, family foundations, and selected corporations and professional foundations to advance the mission of the LSSU.

This position is responsible for seeking out opportunities and developing and implementing initiatives to identify, cultivate and solicit prospects to ensure a strong base of ongoing financial support. The Director of Major Gifts is entrusted with responsibility for the recognition and stewardship of individual and corporate major givers.

The incumbent sets goals, monitors work and evaluates results to ensure that departmental and operating requirements are met and are in line with the needs and mission of the organization.

The Director of Major Gifts works closely with the Executive Director of the LSSU Foundation, the Foundation and University’s management team and the Board of Directors of the Foundation on fund raising strategies to support the strategic plan of the organization.
Duties and Responsibilities
• Oversees and manages all aspects of high-level donor and funder relationships of $10,000 and higher, including donor research, qualification, cultivation, and stewardship to foster sustaining relationships with LSSU.

•Develops and oversees the implementation of a Strategic Plan for Major Gifts including planned giving.

•Provides oversight for the preparation of written materials—letters, proposals, briefing documents—associated with major gift donor/funder relationships.

• Responsible for developing increased levels of involvement and support among donors and prospects through regular correspondence and contacts in person, by telephone, or by mail, alone and in conjunction with the Executive Director, Board of Directors, and other volunteers and staff.

• Responsible for developing budget, goals, and performance measures for expanding the major gifts program, resulting in substantially increased and accelerated major gifts and planned giving.

• Oversees a comprehensive cultivation tracking system for all major and planned gift donors and prospects. Ensures the integrity of donor and prospect files and database as they relate to major gifts.

• Provides leadership and staff support to the Major Gifts Committee of the LSSU Foundation’s Board.

• Oversees the recruitment of volunteers to participate in cultivation, solicitation and stewardship of major gift prospects and donors.

• Works closely with the Executive Director, the President and senior University staff on effective donor cultivation and recognition activities and events.

• Plans for the development of planned and major gifts communications through existing or new publications, brochures, media releases or letter communications.

• Participates in the overall planning and execution of the capital campaign for LSSU.

• Develops gift-related policies and procedures and abides by the standards of ethics and best practices as defined by the Association of Fund Raising Professionals.
Embraces and behaves in a manner consistent with the LSSU institutional mission/vision and values.
Individual must possess a minimum of 5 years combined leadership and major gift fund-raising management experience including experience in a senior management capacity with a complex not-for-profit organization involving a significant number of people and organizations with diverse and varied interests and backgrounds.
Experience working with volunteers in achieving goals. Proven fund-raising, leadership and consensus building skills required. Proven negotiation and mediation skills required.
Has ability to lead and motivate groups and individuals. Has ability to think creatively and strategically to successfully mediate and negotiate with individuals and groups internally and externally. Has ability to overcome obstacles to cooperation and to foster harmonious relations.
Has ability to multi-task and to work as needed to complete the job. Must be goal-focused and results-oriented.
Has ability to work effectively with donors and professional advisors. Proven success in soliciting and closing major gifts with major donors and funders. Ability to listen is essential. Ability to ask leading questions which encourage prospects and donors to talk about themselves and their activities is necessary.
Ability to balance competing priorities, complex situations and tight deadlines.
Excellent written and verbal communications skills required. Excellent interpersonal skills; ability to present self well and articulately to a variety of fund raising prospects, granting agencies, etc. with an ability to engage donors and funders and to build and sustain long term relationships.
Must be a mature and disciplined self starter able to set objectives, activate plans, and manage performance in major gifts fund raising.
Demonstrated ability to work with top level business, civic, and community leaders, and represent the LSSU Foundation and University in meetings and other public forums.
Capital campaign management and experience highly desirable.
Must be a motivated team player who can engage and inspire staff and volunteer leaders on the board and within the organization.
A working knowledge and understanding of major gifts fund-raising, planned giving instruments, estate planning, and tax management strategies for individuals, and the ability to work with professional advisors.
Ability to work evenings and weekends as needed.
Physical and Mental Demands
Typical office environment; travel required.

This is an Administrative Professional (AP) exempt position. Incumbent is expected to exercise judgment and to work hours as needed to get the job done. Evening and weekend work is required as needed to meet deadlines and complete required work.

NOTE: This job description does not create an employment contract, implied or otherwise. Employment is a voluntary “at will” relationship.

Adequate health and physical fitness to travel, keep extended hours, work under pressure, and meet multiple deadlines. Use of fine motor skills in operation of word processing equipment. Ability to read and understand, to hear and see with or without aids, to speak clearly in order to communicate with the media and public. Full use of arms, hands, legs and feet to participate in community activities and required travel.

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