Canisius Employment Opportunities

Leadership Giving Officer

Apply now Job no: 494567
Work type: Full-time Staff
Location: Buffalo
Categories: Advancement/Alumni Relations

Leadership Giving Officer

Canisius Fund 

The Leadership Giving Officer is a full-time, professional fundraising position responsible for soliciting leadership-level annual gifts ($1,000+; lower levels for young alumni) for the Canisius Fund. The successful candidate will develop and manage relationships with donors and prospects and will be expected to qualify, cultivate, solicit and steward the college’s most generous annual donors.

The Leadership Giving Officer will concentrate on renewals, upgrades and acquisition within the leadership giving prospect pool with the primary objective to increase the number of donors who give to the Canisius Fund at the $1,000+ level annually, ultimately increasing the amount of private, unrestricted support raised each year for Canisius.

In addition, the Leadership Giving Officer will be responsible for actively managing a pool of potential and current annual leadership donors. This includes ensuring individuals whose capacity and inclination to support Canisius are not well established are contacted and appropriate next steps for engagement, involvement and solicitation are documented. This Leadership Giving Officer will serve as the “point person” for individuals in the leadership giving pool to provide appropriate cultivation, solicitation and stewardship to strengthen and deepen their relations with and ties to Canisius. 

This position reports to the Director of the Canisius Fund and works collaboratively and strategically with the Advancement team, faculty, campus leaders and volunteers.  Candidates must be goal-oriented professionals with a track record of building relationships and achieving revenue goals or similar targets. Travel and evening/weekend work is required.

Duties and Responsibilities
In addition to the duties and responsibilities below, other duties as assigned to support the mission of Canisius College.

Solicitation of Canisius Fund Leadership Gifts: 80%

  • Develop and implement processes and solicitation strategies for the annual solicitation of donors and prospective donors of $1,000 or more, with an emphasis on securing unrestricted support for Canisius. Solicitation activities are primarily focused on personal visits as well as phone solicitations.  The Leadership Giving Office will be responsible for meeting established goals for 1.) Number of monthly in-person visits. 2) Number of monthly in-person solicitations. In addition, 3.) Number of recommendations of prospects to the major gifts program.
  • The majority of personal visits will include a solicitation, with less emphasis spent on individualized cultivation and stewardship. Prospect pool to include all constituencies (alumni, parents, friends and faculty/staff).
  • Personal visits will provide the Leadership Giving Officer with the opportunity to qualify prospects for possible management by the major gifts program. The Leadership Giving Officer should provide regular updates on leadership-level donors giving to the Canisius Fund that may have additional interest in college programs.
  • Document, record and distribute contact reports from all personal visits and appropriate phone contacts in the database.  Ensure all next steps, pledges, and recommended actions are recorded and followed up on.

Donor Recognition and Stewardship 10%

  • Consults with the Director of Stewardship on developing ways to recognize annual leadership donors to encourage continued support and membership at Leadership Society and Magis Giving Circle levels. 
  • Provides as required, appropriate personal donor stewardship and recognition for donors within the leadership giving pool.

Communications:  5%

  • Works with the Canisius Fund staff to develop effective messages and materials relating to leadership-level giving.
  • Assists development colleagues in constructing prospect strategies related to annual giving by major donor prospects.

Budget 5%

  • Assists with the development and monitoring of the Canisius Fund budget related to travel and other leadership-level giving program expenses.


Required Skills and Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree is required; advanced degree is preferred.
  • 2 to 4 years successful experience as a front-line fundraiser, 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.
  • Valid New York State Driver’s License with a good driving record.
  • A deep appreciation for and commitment to the Catholic and Jesuit mission and intellectual tradition of the college is a must.


The Office of Human Resources at Canisius College utilizes an online recruitment management system.

Individuals who need reasonable accommodations under the ADA in order to participate in the search process should contact the office of human resources at (716) 888-2240.

To apply, go to Review of applications begins immediately and will continue until the position is filled.  Please include your cover letter and resume with your application. 

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.              

Compensation and Benefits:

This is a full-time, 12-month position. Benefits are available the first of the month after the full-time employee’s date of hire and include – health, dental and vision insurance, life and long term disability insurance, and retirement plan enrollment is available to full-time employees with contribution from College after one year. Tuition benefits are also available for full-time employees and their qualified dependents.


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