Rensselaer – Advancement Officer, Principal Gifts

Share This:

Rensselaer GraduationAdvancement Officer, Principal Gifts

Rensselaer seeks a highly accomplished leader for the position of Advancement Officer, Principal Gifts to join a team of more than 75 professionals who specialize in major and principal gifts, alumni relations, communications, donor relations and advancement strategies, services and campaign operations.

The Advancement Officer, Principal Gifts is responsible for cultivating and soliciting prospects capable of making gifts to Rensselaer of $100,000 and greater. The Advancement Officer will work in an assigned region and support campus leaders to develop and implement strategies to close gift commitments.

Duties and Responsibilitiesstudents at Rensselaer

  1. Raise new commitments from prospects capable of gifts of $100,000 and greater as identified in Goals/Objectives.
  2. Prepare and submit proposals as specified in Goals/Objectives.
  3. Conduct pre-planned face-to-face prospecting and cultivation visits as specified in Goals/Objectives.
  4. Conduct major moves as specified in Goals/Objectives.
  5. Development Story as specified in Goals/Objectives.
  6. Interdepartmental teamwork:
    • Work closely with specific campus leadership determined by Vice President of IA (including briefing materials and prospect strategies).
    • Collaborate with counterparts in Alumni Relations.
    • Collaborate with Annual Giving team.
    • Work in partnership with Major Gift officers and Principal Gift officers on strategic donor activities and solicitations.
    • Work in partnership with Corporate & Foundation officers on solicitations and cultivations.
  7. Maintain up to date prospect information in Advance by utilizing and maintaining prospect tracking system.
  8. Participate and present in prospect strategy sessions.
  9. Perform other duties as assigned by Vice President or designee.
  10. Maintain strict confidentiality as outlined in the Institute’s Policy on Confidentiality of Constituent Information (signed copy on file)

Job Requirements

The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Position Relationships

Reports to: Director of Individual, Major and Principal Gifts or designated staff by the Vice President
Positions Supervised: Administrative Staff as assigned

Qualifications (Education/Experience)


  • Bachelor’s degree and 5 years of experience in fundraising or a related field, or a Master’s degree and 3 years of fundraising experience.
  • Demonstrated record of cultivation and closing significant major gifts.


  • Experience in higher education.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Proven ability to establish and maintain relationships with major gift prospects and to close major gifts ($50,000+).
  • Ability to set priorities while also contributing to team effort in Institute Advancement.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Strong organizational skills.
  • Ability to deal with very technical information and to translate this information into a product salable to non-technical internal and external people.
  • Flexibility in dealing with a wide variety of people; ability to process information quickly and accurately.
  • Ability to work effectively under pressure and meet established goals and objectives.
  • Ability to demonstrate an understanding of Rensselaer and the major initiatives.
  • Ability to multi-task, handle multiple projects and deadlines.
  • Ability to work in a team environment.

How to Apply

Interested candidates should send a cover letter describing their interest in and qualifications for the position and a resume electronically to The subject line in the email should be PGO. Confidential inquiries may be made by contacting Cynthia Woolbright by email to or by telephone at 585-787-0325.

To review all open positions, click here.

Confidentiality will be maintained, and references will not be contacted without prior knowledge or approval of the candidate.

Rensselaer has a strong institutional commitment to diversity and is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. As such, the Institute welcomes applicants who will bring a diverse intellectual, geographical, gender, and ethnic perspectives to the Rensselaer community.