Canisius Employment Opportunities

Major Gift Officer

Apply now Job no: 494490
Work type: Full-time Staff
Location: Buffalo
Categories: Advancement/Alumni Relations


Major Gift Officer

Institutional Advancement

The Major Gift Officer is responsible for cultivating and soliciting major gifts from alumni and friends.  The successful candidate will manage relationships with prospective donors and will be expected to qualify, cultivate, solicit and steward very important supporters of the college. The Major Gift Officer focuses on securing support for campus-wide priorities that include a proposed interdisciplinary science center, academic programs, endowed chairs and professorships, endowed scholarships, unrestricted annual support and reunion giving.

This position reports to the Associate Vice President for Institutional Advancement and works collaboratively and strategically with all areas of the Institutional Advancement team, faculty, and other campus leaders.  Candidates must be goal-oriented professionals with a record of accomplishment of building relationships and achieving major gift or similar targets.

This is a full-time position. The position requires travel and evening/weekend work.


  • [WMC1] Manage a portfolio of primary and secondary prospects in Western New York as well as additional regional territories in the United States
  • Initiate contact with potential major gift donors, develop appropriate donor-centered cultivation strategies, and create and present proposals and move donors toward solicitation and gift closure
  • Maintain effective stewardship contact with donors
  • Accurately record and track prospect activity in the database
  • Assure effective communication and coordination between all members of the advancement team
  • Participate in regular division meetings; present quarterly updates on donors
  • Assist with Board of Trustees, Board of Directors and other meetings/presentations as required
  • Other duties as assigned to support the mission of Canisius College


Required Skills and Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree is required; advanced degree is preferred
  • 1 to 2 [WMC2] years successful experience in major or planned gift fundraising, preferably in higher education, or relevant experience involving relationship building, sales or marketing
  • Ability to successfully manage a multitude of diverse tasks
  • Experience in making cold calls as well as developing cultivation and solicitation strategies
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, listening skills, oral and written communication skills
  • Familiarity with fundraising systems and strong knowledge of MS Office Suite products
  • Self-starter, able to work with minimal supervision and complete tasks independently
  • Strong detail orientation with excellent organization and time-management skills
  • Collaborative style and willingness to be part of a team effort
  • A deep appreciation for and commitment to the Catholic and Jesuit mission and intellectual tradition of the college is a must
  • Must have and maintain a valid driver’s license with a positive driving record per the college’s insurance provider (or upon moving to NYS obtain a NYS driver’s license within NYS DMV residency guidelines after hire). 

Please include your cover letter and resume with your online application.  The review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled.

Canisius College, a Catholic and Jesuit University, has as its foundation the fundamental values of academic excellence, leadership, faith and social justice.  Canisius is committed to educating and preparing men and women to become leaders in their professions and their communities, and in service to humanity.  The college is an equal opportunity employer committed to recruiting, supporting, and fostering a diverse community of outstanding faculty, staff and students.                       

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