Major Gifts Officer

Carlow University

Pittsburgh, PA



Jun 15

Carlow University invites applicants for the position of Major Gifts Officer. This position is responsible for identifying, qualifying, cultivating, soliciting, closing and providing stewardship to individuals capable of making major gifts to further the mission of Carlow University. Major gift prospects are individuals who have been determined to have the ability to make gifts that generally range from $10,000 and higher. This gift officer will develop and implement strategies for securing financial support from this group and will manage a portfolio of prospects. Travel within the Pittsburgh region and nationally is required.

Reporting directly to the Vice President of University Advancement and Alumni Engagement, the Major Gifts Officer will be responsible for significantly contributing to the overall major gifts program. The incumbent is expected to achieve his/her individual fundraising goals while contributing to the overall team goals and expectations in support of the University.


  • Identify, qualify, cultivate, solicit, and steward an assigned portfolio of 125-150 major gifts prospects annually. Donor prospects are alumni and friends of the University
  • Achieves annual fundraising and prospect activity goals via minimum 10 proposals, minimum 100 prospect moves (substantive interactions such as personal visits, phone calls, emails, campus visits and other events) and financial commitments by donors to the University on an annual basis
  • Assure stewardship of gifts received and timely, appropriate recognition of donors
  • Regularly evaluate major gift prospect portfolio, advance prospects through gift cycles and solicit when appropriate; culminating in gifts in the five and six figure range, or higher
  • Work collaboratively with other University departments and constituent groups, as assigned, to create optimal cultivation and solicitation strategies matching the interests and objectives of prospects
  • Prepare timely written visit reports, proposals, gift illustrations, informational materials and other materials to advance the cultivation and solicitation process
  • Attend Advancement and University events to build and maintain relationships with donors, prospects and other possible philanthropic stakeholders
  • Demonstrate and reflect an understanding of and commitment to the mission and core values of Carlow University and the Sisters of Mercy on campus and to the larger community.
  • Other duties based on the needs of the Advancement Office may be assigned.

We seek an innovative leader with the following qualifications: 

  • Bachelor’s Degree required, Master’s preferred.
  • 5-7 years of professional work experience; non-profit and higher education preferred
  • Progressive track record of responsibility and gift closure
  • Ability to travel is required; evenings and weekends may be needed
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Strong organizational skills, including the ability to manage multiple projects concurrently and manage priorities
  • Ability and motivation to work in a team-based, goal-oriented environment.
  • Technical knowledge and use of donor database management systems. Experience with Raiser’s Edge database is a plus.
  • Proven experience (minimum 5 years) in individual giving, preferable in higher education and in cultivating, soliciting and closing five-figure gifts or more; Transferable work experience may be taken into consideration
  • Knowledge and experience in working in a non-profit environment
  • Ability to effectively build, sustain and leverage relationships in a strategic manner, both towards internal and external stakeholders, to advance the objectives of the institution
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills; exceptional interpersonal communication is a must
  • Knowledge of IRS, FASB laws, strong alignment with the Donor Bill of Rights and deep understanding of fundraising and solicitation policies, procedures and methodologies
  • Able to work independently and as part of a team
  • Demonstrated skill at time management, multi-tasking and project management
  • Goal and mission oriented
  • Entrepreneurial spirit to approach problem solving, meeting and exceeding goals

Founded in 1929 by the Sisters of Mercy, Carlow University is a Catholic, master’s comprehensive institution grounded in the liberal arts with strong professional programs, committed to engaging its diverse community in a process of life-long learning, scholarship, research and service. Degrees are offered at the baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral levels to 2,000 undergraduate and graduate students. Academic degree programs are housed within two colleges: The College of Health and Wellness and the College of Arts and Sciences. Carlow University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. It is proud to be a College of Distinction and a Catholic College of Distinction. Carlow is regionally ranked by US News & World Report. The University is affiliated with the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and the United States Collegiate Athletics Association (USCAA) and is a member of the NAIA’s River States Conference.  

Carlow University, located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is situated in the vibrant Oakland neighborhood -- the “Eds, Meds, and Tech” heart of the city. Consistently voted one of America’s most livable cities, Pittsburgh is home to Uber, Intel, and Apple offices and offers multiple educational, recreational, and cultural opportunities. The Atlantic has called it “a haven for edgy, innovative startups that share the city’s tech oxygen with internationally known tech companies, such as Google and Disney Research.” 

Carlow University employees commit themselves to the highest standards of ethical conduct. They commit to act with integrity, treat others with respect and dignity, carefully steward the University's resources, avoid conflicts of interest or commitment, maintain confidentiality, and to comply with legal and professional obligations.

Carlow University is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employer by choice. We value diversity and we are committed to the recruitment of underrepresented groups.

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Carlow University

Carlow University