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Handel + Haydn Society

Senior Major Gifts Officer

Job Description:

Title: Senior Major Gifts Officer Department: Development Reports to: Vice President of Development

Job Summary/Purpose:

The Handel and Haydn Society (H+H) seeks a senior, experienced fundraiser with a deep understanding of fundraising and the building of a culture of philanthropy. The Senior Major Gifts Officer develops and manages strategies to solicit a personal portfolio of approximately 100 major gift prospects. This full-time staff member plays a key role in the implementation of the major gifts program, which supports general operations, special projects, and the endowment. This position joins a team of seven full-time fundraising professionals, and directly collaborates with three colleagues in the Major Gifts team, including a full-time Coordinator. In its current fiscal year (2020), the overall H+H fundraising program will generate $3.6 million, including $1.7 million from major gifts.

The Senior Major Gifts Officer focuses on identifying, qualifying, and growing the pipeline of major gift donors, as well as prospecting and cultivating new donors with interests in various aspects of H+H's programming. The successful individual will be an experienced giving officer, comfortable working independently to craft individualized strategies, while also frequently working in collaboration with other members of the major gifts team and volunteers. This position will fill a vital role in a collaborative, nimble, supportive team, and will advance H+H's goals of creating an inclusive and diverse organizational culture. The Senior Major Gifts Officer joins H+H during a time of unprecedented growth, leading toward a significant capital campaign in the coming years. This position will have the flexibility to work regularly from a home office, with the expectation of frequent local and regional travel.

Primary Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Manage a portfolio of approximately 100 major donors and prospects, while assisting with strategy for high-level portfolios held by the President/CEO and Vice President of Development.
  • Help identify and qualify leadership ($100,000+) and major gift ($10,000-$99,999) prospects, including qualifying prospects recognized by wealth screening.
  • Qualify donors who currently give $500-$9,999 annually to determine if they have long-term major gifts potential.
  • Support trustee recruitment efforts, recommending appropriate candidates to Vice President of Development on an ongoing basis.
  • Conduct minimum of 80 personal visits with prospects and donors per year, in conjunction with other staff and/or volunteers as appropriate. Distribute contact reports in a timely manner.
  • Provide high level strategy and communications support, including drafting annual major gifts plan, Board reports, CEO and trustee communications, and solicitation strategies, as well as ongoing forecasting and creation of gift tables.
  • Gather, record, and properly store information about prospects and donors utilizing the Tessitura database and internal share drives to document meaningful touch points as well as becoming familiar with basic list, dashboard, and report creation to track progress to goals.
  • Work closely with Major Gifts Officer to deepen awareness of planned giving vehicles within personal portfolio, and expand membership of planned giving society.
  • Manage a major gifts task force of board volunteers, with support from the Major Gifts Coordinator. Support Major Gifts Officer with strategy for the planned giving volunteer committees.
  • Working with Major Gifts Coordinator, devise appropriate recognition and stewardship strategy for major donors.
  • Support Vice President of Development in working with major gifts and campaign consultant(s).
  • Staff all relevant cultivation events and concerts and act as an ambassador of the organization, reflecting the values of teamwork, collaboration, and inclusivity.
  • Collaborate with the development team, providing support on various projects and programs, and execute other major gifts and related duties as may be required.


  • Position requires a Bachelor of Arts degree with 10 or more years of Development experience, with at least five years of major gifts experience. Planned giving experience a plus. However, H+H respects every individual's unique journey through life and will welcome personal statements which can deepen our understanding of any candidate's qualifying experiences. An equivalent combination of education and experience may satisfy these minimum qualifications. We appreciate all interest in this opportunity and look forward to responding to candidates whose experience most closely aligns with this position description.
  • Demonstrated experience closing five- and six-figure outright gifts and significant planned gifts. Capital campaign experience is preferred.
  • Solid track record of working with board members and volunteers. Experience coaching new fundraising volunteers is preferred.
  • Broad knowledge of best practices, principles, and ethics of fundraising, including working knowledge of planned giving vehicles; ability to participate in all aspects of the giving cycle. Deep understanding of moves management strategies.
  • Strong writing, verbal communication, and organizational skills.
  • Ease with technology, familiarity with Tessitura or similar donor database program, and high comfort level with spreadsheets and major gifts moves/data management processes is desired.
  • Independent and proactive fundraiser, self-motivated, goal oriented, flexible, collaborative, and creative.
  • Energy, willingness to take initiative, and enthusiasm for fundraising.
  • Must be able to communicate with key program and executive staff, and possess the capability of motivating volunteers, professional staff, and donors.
  • Passion for the arts and arts education is essential. Commitment to and ability to advocate for H+H's mission with an appreciation for Baroque and Classical performances, music education, and community engagement are considered a plus.
  • Ability to perform in a fast-paced, dynamic work environment, meeting multiple deadlines and managing multiple projects, is essential.
  • Requires regular office hours (Mon-Fri, 9-5 with flexibility to work regularly from home office), local travel, attendance at morning, evening, and weekend meetings and events. Expected to staff all subscription concerts.

To Apply:

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