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Senior Director of Major Giving

Spotlight Preferred Diversity Focus
Olivet College
Olivet, Michigan, United States
10 days ago


About Olivet College: Since its inception in 1844, Olivet College’s founders and leaders have believed an education should be available to anyone regardless of gender, race, or financial means. The basis of Olivet’s guiding principle was established by the founders when they wrote, “We wish simply to do good to our students, by placing in their hands the means of intellectual, moral and spiritual improvement, and to teach them the divine art and science of doing good to others.”

Following the completion of its historic $47.1M comprehensive campaign in support of the College’s strategic plan, Charting the Course for 2020 and Beyond, the College recently launched its new strategic plan Olivet College 2030: Vision for a Prosperous Future. The Senior Director of Major Giving will play a key role in continuing this strong fundraising performance as the college moves forward to fund several essential projects in support of the College’s continued growth. 

Olivet College is located in south central Michigan in the town of Olivet, MI.  Olivet is a close-knit, rural community offering quiet streets and natural surroundings, yet it is not more than 30 minutes from the larger cities of Lansing and Battle Creek.  Both are small enough to be friendly and large enough to boast many of the big city amenities. 

Job Summary

As a key part of Olivet College’s overall efforts to enhance its resources, reputation, and relationships, the Senior Director of Major Giving serves a leading role as a chief principal gift officer in directing and managing a high-performing, frontline, major gift fundraising program and staff. Reporting to the Vice President for Advancement (VPA), the successful candidate will have direct management of a prospect portfolio, be charged with managing relationships and securing philanthropic support from donors capable of making gifts of $10,000 to $1,500,000+, and have responsibility for supervising a major gift officer. The Senior Director of Major Giving, along with the Senior Director of Alumni Engagement and Annual Giving, will work closely with the VPA to provide strategic leadership across all areas of the Office of Advancement and college philanthropy.    

Leadership and Fundraising Responsibilities

  • Personally develop, lead, and manage the fundraising strategy (cultivation, solicitation, stewardship, recognition) of a regional/national portfolio of major gift donors and prospects to secure gifts in the $10,000 to $1,500,000+range
  • Assist in achieving the major gift annual fundraising goal, of typically $750,000 to $1,500,000+ to be determined with, and approved by, the VPA.
  • Provide leadership and direct management for the major gift staff and develop strategy and direct their activities to secure gifts.
  • Develop annual and long-term goals/objectives for the major gift staff and develop and manage the execution of a plan to meet fundraising goals. Lead staff members in the annual planning process and the development of individualized operating and solicitation plans.
  • Establish program and performance metrics for the major giving staff and foster a culture of accountability by regularly reporting outcome (YTD monthly/quarterly/annual) metrics to the VPA.
  • Work with the VPA to contribute to strategic planning, decision-making and goal setting for the Major Giving staff and the Office of Advancement.
  • Use Raiser’s Edge NXT software as the primary management system to review donor/prospect moves management and fundraising performance. Utilize the system for daily interface with staff and campus constituents involved with fundraising for the College.
  • Provide campaign related direction and information to the President, Executive Leadership, Deans, Athletic Director, Faculty, Volunteers and others to foster an environment that promotes strategic coordination for major gift fundraising efforts.
  • Work with the VPA to establish the annual operating budget for the major giving program and assist in the adherence to the Office of Advancement’s annual budget by monitoring direct and indirect staff budget expenditures.
  • Continually enrich professional skills, including the understanding of tax laws related to charitable giving, by attending webinars, workshops, seminars, conferences, and through professional reading.
  • The ability to travel, experience creating effective and efficient travel plans, and comfort engaging in face-to-face meetings a minimum of 50% of your time.
  • Promote and maintain a personal commitment to the mission of Olivet College.


  • Education: Bachelor's degree in related field from accredited college or university required, master’s degree preferred.
  • Required Fundraising Experience: a minimum of six (6) years with particular emphasis on major giving/planned gift solicitation, and effectively managing a portfolio of individual and corporation/business donors/prospects. Understanding of the philanthropic sector and its impact on fundraising. Previous experience in higher education preferred.
  • Leadership Experience: Strong leadership and relationship building skills with proven experience in leading others to achieve advancement goals and objectives while building a positive and productive collegial environment. Demonstrated comfort working with and communicating with college leadership and internal and external constituencies.
  • Initiative: Must be able and willing to work in accordance with high, self-imposed standards and discipline; be a self-starter; devote extra effort to get the job done whenever necessary. Must be able to work in a fast-paced, demanding, and results-oriented environment.
  • Planning and Organizing: Possess the discipline to structure staff activities to maximize productivity and efficiency. Establish objectives and plans for the accomplishment of goals; set priorities; meet deadlines.
  • Analytical Skills: Ability to analyze and interpret data to drive donor strategies with the ability to conceptualize, develop, implement, and assess strategic development activities.
  • Judgment and Decision Making: Proven ability to think on one’s feet; evaluate relevant information, recognize alternatives, and reach logical conclusions based on the information available; handle day-to-day problems in a practical and solutions-oriented way.
  • Communication Skills: Excellent verbal, written and listening skills and the ability to effectively deliver and acquire relevant information. Must be able to present messages in a clear, concise, interesting, and effective manner.
  • Relationship Skills: Ability to relate to diverse constituencies.
  • Flexibility: Ability to adapt and respond appropriately to the demands of a variety of work situations.
  • Technology Skills: Demonstrated proficiency in Microsoft Office/Excel applications and Fundraising CRMs is essential. Experience with Raiser’s Edge NXT preferred.

Working Conditions:  Work is normally performed in an office environment.

Hazards:  Mainly those present in a normal office setting; no known hazards.


Olivet College is a professional liberal arts college offering employees career opportunities built around growth and development, team spirit, work/life balance, competitive salaries, and a comprehensive benefits package.  An attractive and competitive salary/benefits package commensurate with experience will be offered to the right candidate. 

To Apply:  Click on the "Apply URL" link below to go to the Career Center. Once in the Career Center, select the title and then the “Apply” icon to submit a profile and complete the online application process.

 Olivet College is an equal opportunity employer and does take affirmative steps to employ women and minorities. Founded in 1844, Olivet College was the first college by charter in Michigan to admit women and people of color. As part of its commitment to a values-based mission of Education for Individual and Social Responsibility, the College actively seeks diversity in its students, faculty and staff. Women and members of historically underrepresented groups are strongly encouraged to apply.

Job Information

  • Job ID: 59373554
  • Location:
    Olivet, Michigan, United States
  • Position Title: Senior Director of Major Giving
  • Company Name: Olivet College
  • Institution Type: 4-Year College or University/Higher Education Institution
  • Job Function/Discipline: Advancement Services,
  • Job Type: Full-Time
  • Job Duration: Indefinite
  • Min Education: BA/BS/Undergraduate
  • Experience Level: Mid-Career
  • Required Travel: 50-75%

Please refer to the company's website or job descriptions to learn more about them.

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