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Major Gift Officer

Company: SBCC Foundation
Date Posted: December 21, 2017

Job Classification: Full-time Exempt                                                                                                     

Position Reports to: Chief Development Officer                                                                                                                 

Works closely with: Chief Development Officer, Chief Executive Officer, the Development Team, and Foundation Board Members




Reporting to and in close partnership with the Chief Development Officer (CDO) and the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), the Major Gift Officer (MGO) is responsible for establishing and stewarding relationships with major gift and planned giving prospects determined to have the ability to make gifts (both restricted and unrestricted) at or above $10,000, with an emphasis on gifts of $250,000 or more.


The MGO position demands initiative and a sense of entrepreneurship in setting and accomplishing goals. It requires an individual eager to develop and implement strategies for securing financial support from a caseload of established and prospective donors including identifying, cultivating, soliciting, closing and stewarding major and planned gifts. Working collaboratively with the CDO and CEO, the MGO shares responsibility for expanding and diversifying SBCC Foundation’s private donor base and prospect pipeline.


This position is responsible for using technology systems in place to maintain accessible and coordinated moves management data input and reporting. Likewise, with appreciation for ever-improving technological tools, the MGO works with the CDO to review current and available systems, and make recommendations for upgrade.


The MGO is facile with SBCC’s mission and operations, and with the details of its major disciplines, instructional and support programs, and student services. The MGO establishes and maintains close working relationships with SBCC administration and faculty, department chairs, program directors, and administrators associated with college programs.



       1. Leadership

    1. Work with the CEO and CDO to establish and realize short- and long-term development goals for the Foundation as they pertain to private donor support.
    2. Proactively prospect (through association- and relationship-building, augmented by available technology) and pursue individual donor connections to encourage on-going, active major gift support.
  2. Management
    1. Maintain complete, accessible moves management records in the Raiser’s Edge database. Produce intermittent (or as needed) reports reflecting pipeline activity.
    2. Ensure the highest standard in matching donor interests to college needs and fulfilling donor intent.
  3. Financial
    1. Include gift size and probability information in all reporting activities.
    2. Work with the CDO, CEO, and CFO to establish annual and long-range major gift fundraising goals.
  4. Relationship-Building
    1. Expand and diversify Foundation’s individual donor base and pipeline through outreach and stewardship.
    2. Establish and maintain close working relationships with SBCC faculty and program directors.
    3. Establish and maintain close professional relationships with individuals and with organization and corporate representatives.
    4. Connect individual sources of philanthropic support with SBCC.
    5. Ensure complete intermittent major gift reports are provided to donors in a timely fashion.
  5. Fundraising
    1. Coordinate all activities with CDO.
    2. Develop pipelines to strengthen SBCC Foundation’s overall fundraising capacity.
  6. Operations
    1. Work with Gifts Processor to ensure that all prospect lists, invitation lists, pledge forms, and new donor input into Raiser’s Edge are accurate and consistent with donor intent.
    2. Communicate to CDO any additional needs for research, administrative support, technology, training, and materials.
    3. Maintain records in clear, concise fashion, making certain that all are available to Foundation staff on the shared computer drive and/or in Raiser’s Edge.



  • Maintain an active schedule of prospect meetings to cultivate, solicit, and close major and planned gifts
  • Provide leadership for research and identification of new prospects and funding opportunities for College programs, student support, and the Foundation
  • Coordinate opportunities to bring prospects to campus
  • Conceptualize, prioritize and plan initiatives to cultivate prospective donors
  • Create solicitation strategies
  • Actively maintain donor information on Foundation database
  • Help plan and/or staff Foundation-related events (e.g. for Legacy , Visionaries, and/or Founders Circles, Professional Advisors, SBCC retirees) and Estate Planning seminars for the purpose of establishing on-going relationships with attendees
  • Assist in implementing planned giving programs and provide leadership to establish the SBCC Foundation as a recognized resource for estate planning
  • Provide leadership to move individuals into the ranks of major gift donors



  • Five to seven years successful experience in major or planned gift fundraising preferably in higher education
  • Ability to understand the needs and interests of lead and major gift donors in developing relationships between them and the college
  • Excellent relationship-building skills
  • Display an assertive curiosity in learning about and engaging donors and prospects
  • Interest and understanding of the place and importance of community colleges in the higher education landscape
    • Dedication to promoting the college’s fundraising needs
    • Ability to initiate, analyze, monitor, evaluate and advance fundraising plans and articulate the case for giving
    • Demonstrated leadership and ability to successfully manage multi-functional or diverse assignments
    • Successful experience in making cold calls as well as developing cultivation and solicitation strategies
    • Demonstrated record of timely completion of assignments
    • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
    • Broad knowledge of the principles of fundraising. Ability to participate in all aspects of a gift cycle: 1) initiate contacts with potential donors; 2) develop appropriate personalized cultivation strategies for each; 3) move potential donors in an appropriate and timely fashion toward solicitation and closure; 4) make solicitations alone or in collaboration with Foundation staff and Board, and/or college personnel; 5) provide on-going stewardship contacts with donors
    • Knowledge of local and regional fundraising trends and climate as well as federal and state tax laws that impact charitable giving, personal assets, and estates
    • Willingness to work evenings and weekends as needed
    • Must have a driver's license and insurance


This job description does not list all the duties of the position. Other duties, as assigned or deemed necessary by management, may be required.  Performance evaluations will use the contents of this job description as a basis for appraisal.


To Apply

Send a cover letter and resume to:

SBCC Foundation

Attn: Gretchen Hewlett

721 Cliff Drive

Santa Barbara, CA 93109


Alternatively, send by email to  


No phone calls, please.  

Open until filled

Competitive Salary and Benefits Package

References and writing samples will be required later.


The SBCC Foundation was established in 1976 to provide Santa Barbara City College with private philanthropic support. The foundation acts in partnership with the college and bridges the gap between available public funding and institutional need, as determined by the college leadership. Serving as the vehicle through which individuals and organizations may invest in the college, the foundation fuels the educational excellence that has long been the hallmark of SBCC. The SBCC Foundation provides more than $4 million annually for student success programs, scholarships, book grants, and other critical needs of the college in order to support SBCC students as they prepare for careers, transfer to four-year universities, and pursue lifelong learning goals. The SBCC Foundation was honored to be named 2017 Nonprofit of the Year by the Chamber of Commerce of the Santa Barbara Region.