Working as a member of the Development Office and reporting to the Associate Director of Development, the Senior Development Officer (SDO) maximizes giving to the School by establishing long-term relationships with a group of assigned major gifts prospects. The SDO helps prospects fulfill their passions and interests through their giving to Shipley and in doing so, assures that the School achieves its strategic goals and priorities. The SDO works independently while creating strategy for each assigned individual through collaboration with development colleagues, school administration, and volunteer leadership. The SDO is expected to travel locally and long distance to meet with prospects.
Develop personalized strategies for and maintain a portfolio of 150+/- major gifts prospects ($25,000+)—alumni, parents, past parents, and grandparents. Spend 90% of time meeting with constituents one-on-one—locally, regionally, and nationally.
Ensure that appropriate and timely steps are taken to move prospects through cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship cycles.
Initiate contacts with potential leadership and major gift donors.
Develop appropriate cultivation strategies for them, including working with volunteers.
Build relationships with donors with the goals of strengthening their affiliation with and support of Shipley.
Make solicitations when appropriate.
Maintain stewardship contacts with donors; adhere to the highest ethical standards; demonstrate empathetic disposition, and perseverance; reflect optimistic and positive attitude, and convey sensitivity to needs of the donors.
Record moves through use of Call Reports.
Document all prospect activity in the database.
Maintain robust prospect files and notes.
Work collaboratively with and in support of volunteers, development colleagues, and other Shipley colleagues to cultivate and solicit donors for School-wide priorities.
Monitor all prospect contacts to ensure positive and purposeful prospect and donor relations.
Recommend and assist with programming involving the Head of School, Director of Development, other Central Administration Team members, and volunteer leaders.
Travel through key territories at least two times a year.
Work collaboratively with development colleagues. Offer prospect strategy counsel to others who are managing other prospects. Be a resource for development colleagues, from identifying potential volunteer connections to knowing about meeting and event spaces in key locations.
Focus on securing support for a set of School-wide priorities. Provide counsel to the Director of Constituent Engagement on outreach programming in the Senior Development Officer’s key territories.
Educate constituents about the importance of supporting the School.
Manage annual travel budget.
Support and staff events run by the Development Office, including but not limited to Shipley Shops, Spring Auction, Secret Gardens, and Alumni Weekend.
In order to embrace the mission of the School and be successful in the position, the Senior Development Officer must possess and exhibit the following skills:
Familiarity with and endorsement of Shipley’s mission, culture, and values
Ability to understand the needs and interests of major gift donors in order to develop relationships between them and the School
Cooperation, collegiality, and commitment to teamwork
Interest in all aspects of education and a dedication to promoting the School’s fundraising priorities through developing excellent relationships with colleagues, Division Heads, Trustees, volunteers, and the Development Office
Successful experience in making cold calls as well as developing cultivation and solicitation strategies
Knowledge of planned giving vehicles
Personal and professional integrity as well as respect for the confidentiality of colleagues and constituents
Self-motivation, flexibility, problem-solving, and commitment to innovation
Excellent interpersonal, oral, and written communication skills
Excellent quantity, quality, accuracy, and timeliness of work produced
Excellent planning, prioritization, organization, multitasking, efficiency, and follow-through in execution of responsibilities
Dependability, punctuality, and attendance at all required and some optional meetings and events
Professional appearance and demeanor
Commitment to professional development and self-improvement
Proficiency in use of technology: Raiser’s Edge database and Microsoft Office (Outlook, Word, Excel, and Power Point)
Ability to work occasional evenings and weekends
Ability and willingness to travel locally, regionally, and nationally
Qualifications and Expectations
S/He will have had at least five years of experience in successfully cultivating and personally soliciting leadership or major gifts. Proven record of accomplishment in solicitations and cultivation of prospective donors is key. Equivalent experience in business, sales and marketing, or finance will also be considered. Knowledge of independent school fundraising culture is an asset. Experience using Raiser’s Edge or another similar customer relationship management software is preferred. Must be able to work collaboratively and cooperatively as a member of a professional team, while maintaining a positive attitude. A Bachelor’s degree is a requirement. Significant travel is required.
This is a 12-month position with exempt status.
Salary and Benefits
Salary will be commensurate with experience. Shipley offers a generous benefits package that includes school contributions to employees’ TIAA-CREF retirement plan, medical benefits and life insurance, professional development opportunities, generous vacation, and complimentary lunch.
The position is available immediately. Successful completion of state and federal clearances is a condition of employment.
Candidates should send a cover letter and résumé by post or email (no phone calls, please) to: