Major Gifts Officer
Southern Methodist University Inc

Dallas, Texas

Posted in Education and Training

This job has expired.

Job Info


Salary Range:

Salary commensurate with experience and qualifications

About SMU

SMU's more than 12,000 diverse, high-achieving students come from all 50 states and over 80 countries to take advantage of the University's small classes, meaningful research opportunities, leadership development, community service, international study and innovative programs.

SMU serves approximately 7,000 undergraduates and 5,000 graduate students through eight degree-granting schools: Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Cox School of Business, Lyle School of Engineering, Meadows School of the Arts, Simmons School of Education and Human Development, Dedman School of Law, Perkins School of Theology and Moody School of Graduate and Advanced Studies.

SMU is data driven, and its powerful supercomputing ecosystem - paired with entrepreneurial drive - creates an unrivaled environment for the University to deliver research excellence.

Now in its second century of achievement, SMU is recognized for the ways it supports students, faculty and alumni as they become ethical, enterprising leaders in their professions and communities. SMU's relationship with Dallas - the dynamic center of one of the nation's fastest-growing regions - offers unique learning, research, social and career opportunities that provide a launch pad for global impact.

SMU is nonsectarian in its teaching and committed to academic freedom and open inquiry.

About the Department:

Development and External Affairs (DEA) supports SMU by securing funding for University priorities; by promoting meaningful involvement in the life and work of the University; by heightening international, national, state and local awareness of SMU; and by supporting the enrollment of a diverse and able student body.

DEA comprises the offices of Office of the Vice President, Annual Giving and Alumni Relations, Development Services, Program Services and Donor Relations, Marketing and Communications, Principal and Major Gifts, and School and Project Development.

SMU continues to leverage the benefits from the largest fund-raising campaign in its history to achieve dramatic increases in academic quality and impact.

About the Position:

This role is an on-campus, in-person position.

Major Gifts Officer is a fundraising, portfolio-driven position with prospect management responsibilities including qualification, cultivation, solicitation & stewardship of prospective & current donors for major gifts in excess of $100,000.

The portfolio will be broad-based to solicit gifts for any fundraising priority, but may also focus on a U.S. geographic region, constituency and/or funding initiative. Frequent travel with overnight stays.

The position serves as primary point of contact for the portfolio, including prospect management & strategy development, personal visits, fundraising proposals, correspondence & volunteer involvement.

The position also works closely with the director & other colleagues to develop & execute a strategic fundraising plan. Collaborate and coordinate with Asst. VP of Principal & Major Gifts & other DEA departments including Office of the Vice President, and other administrative units across campus.

The role reports to the Director of Major Gifts.

Essential Functions:

  • Cultivation and Solicitation: Work with School and Athletics fundraisers, Gift Planning, Corporate and Foundation Relations teams, Annual Giving & Alumni Relations colleagues and other SMU central development staff to develop cultivation and proposal strategies for the major gift portfolio of approx. 150 prospective households.
  • Direct accountability for prospect cultivation, solicitation & stewardship. Maintain a vigorous schedule of personal visits to cultivate & solicit prospects and steward donors; strategic guidance regarding the involvement of other fundraising colleagues, volunteers, faculty, Deans, Vice President for Development & External Affairs, Provost and President of SMU
  • Plan and document strategy, specific prospect activity and constituent updates for each assigned prospect, using DEA systems including but not limited to BBEC, FileMaker Pro and WebNow Imaging
  • Coordinate with DEA colleagues to draft proposals, correspondence, and other material for prospect/donor information, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship
  • Prepare regular activity reports and provide consistent and timely communication to DEA leadership, colleagues and constituents on next steps, strategies, and proposals for all Major and Principal-gift-level prospects.
  • Comply with SMU prospect assignment, management and clearance process. Participate in DEA fundraiser meetings and training sessions. Attend SMU events for development purposes in working with donors, as determined by Director of Major Gifts.

  • Related Development Functions: Work with DEA staff to reach objectives set for operational, endowment and capital initiatives. Responsibilities include close coordination with fundraising colleagues, Development Research and Prospect Management, Donor Relations, and Records and Gift Administration to share important biographical and relevant philanthropic information regarding alumni, parents and friends in the portfolio.


Education and Experience:

Bachelor's degree is required.

A minimum of five years of professional work experience is required. Proven major gift ($100,000+) fundraising or sales results also required.

Professional work experience in an academic/higher education setting, working with alumni, parents and volunteers, preferred.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

Candidate must demonstrate strong interpersonal and verbal communication skills, with the ability to communicate broadly across the University and develop and maintain effective relationships with a wide range of constituencies. Must also demonstrate strong written communication skills.

Candidate must be an insightful, articulate, and persuasive communicator who is committed to the support of advancement. The candidate will be called on to think collaboratively, strategically, and creatively while participating in decision-making.

Candidate must possess a high level of initiative and comfort working with teams or as an independent practitioner. Must also be an individual who balances a sense of urgency in addressing needs with the patience required of a team-oriented environment. The ability to work well in a team environment, and with related external constituencies is essential.

Candidate must possess strong problem-solving skills with the ability to identify and analyze problems, as well as devise solutions. Must also have strong organizational, planning, and time management skills.

Candidate must be able to articulate the ability to use web-based technology and system tools to keep in touch from remote locations as this position may require travel, communication, and reporting while out of the office. Knowledge of MS Office (Word, Excel).

Knowledge of sales or fundraising management principles required.

Physical and Environmental Demands:
  • Sit for long periods of time
Deadline to Apply:

The position is open until filled.

EEO Statement:

SMU will not discriminate in any program or activity on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, genetic information, veteran status, sexual orientation, or gender identity and expression. The Executive Director for Access and Equity/Title IX Coordinator is designated to handle inquiries regarding nondiscrimination policies and may be reached at the Perkins Administration Building, Room 204, 6425 Boaz Lane, Dallas, TX 75205, 214-768-3601,


SMU offers staff a broad, competitive array of health and related benefits. In addition to traditional benefits such as health, dental, and vision plans, SMU offers a wide range of wellness programs to help attract, support, and retain our employees whose work continues to make SMU an outstanding education and research institution.

SMU is committed to providing an array of retirement programs that benefit and protect you and your family throughout your working years at SMU and, if you meet SMU's retirement eligibility criteria, during your retirement years after you leave SMU.

The value of learning at SMU isn't just about preparing our students for the future. Employees have access to a wide variety of professional and personal development opportunities, including tuition benefits.

This job has expired.

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