Critical Elements of a Major-Gifts Officer Job Description
We are often asked for a sample job description for a major-gifts officer (MGO).
I have read enough of job descriptions out there in the marketplace to wonder if anyone knows how to write one assures the MGO is on point and effective. I know that sounds a bit elitist, but honestly, when you read a job description that has everything in it you could imagine, it's no wonder that the MGO is walking around with his or her head spinning in circles asking: "What should I do first? What are my priorities?"
There are job descriptions that run the range of doing administration work, PR work, organizing events, communications work and a host of other informational/marketing tasks where you can barely find anything about fundraising let alone managing a caseload of donors.
When writing a MGO job description, I like to think about the values that should be represented in each section of the job description. So that is how I have organized this post. Stick with me, and see if you agree. Here are the sections:
There should be two titles. An inside one (that's for HR, etc.) and an outside one — the one that really matters and relates to donors. The inside one is the functional, organizational position title, like major-gifts officer. The outside one should NEVER mention money or fundraising. I suggest donor relations director because it has to do with donors and the relationship with the donors.
Who the position reports to
Please only have ONE person. No splits.
Who relates closely with the position
This is mostly other MGOs, program people and finance. Don't put PR, marketing or communications in here — we are talking fundraising.
Purpose of position
Here is where it gets dicey. I like to state this very simply as follows: "To secure funds for the organization by managing a group of assigned, qualified donors (caseload) assuring that as many as possible are retained as continuing donors to the organization and are upgraded in their giving and involvement."