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Development Officer (Major Gifts)

Apply now Job no: 494936
Work type: Full-time Staff
Location: Buffalo
Categories: Advancement/Alumni Relations


Development Officer (Major Gifts)

Institutional Advancement

The Development 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 important supporters of the college. The Development Officer focuses on securing support for campus-wide fundraising priorities as determined by the President of the College and the Board of Trustees.

This position reports to the 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 in building relationships with donors and prospects to secure gifts of $25,000 or more in support of Canisius College.

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


  • 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
  • Participate in regular division meetings and present updates on prospects and donors
  • Other duties as assigned to support the mission of Canisius College

 Required Skills and Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree is required; advanced degree is preferred
  • A minimum of 3 to 5  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 and relationship data base – Ellucian CRM Advance a plus
  • 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 

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. Paid holidays, vacation, personal leave and sick leave.  Tuition benefits are also available for full-time employees and their qualified dependents.

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