The Major Gifts Officer will grow Shedd Aquarium’s major gifts
pipeline, including targeted solicitation of 5- and 6- figure
gifts, through Shedd’s current comprehensive fundraising campaign
in support of Shedd mission and Centennial Commitment fundraising
priorities. The Major Gifts Officer will be an
enthusiastic, results-oriented, and entrepreneurial relationship
builder who thrives on fast-paced teams. Must demonstrate
exceptional work ethic and high-caliber writing skills. Must
have the ability to manage various efforts at once while
maintaining a clear view of how those efforts support Shedd’s
mission and advance the Centennial Commitment campaign.
Duties and Responsibilities:
- Demonstrate commitment to Shedd's vision, mission, and
- Cultivate, solicit, and thoughtfully steward a portfolio of
approximately 70 donors capable of making leading annual financial
commitments of 5-figures or more and designated commitments of
6-figures or more.
- Plan and execute a minimum of 140 visits per year with
prospects, including a significant focus on discovery and
- Deliver a minimum of 12 comprehensive major gift solicitations
annually that effectively match donor interests with Aquarium
- Work closely with members of the Prospect Research, Annual
Giving, and Membership teams to ensure consistent flow of prospects
up and down the pipeline.
- Leverage close working relationships with the Board of
Trustees, President’s Council, and event committees to identify new
prospects and convert event donors into annual supporters.
- Support President’s Council leadership in their work to host
targeted semi-annual identification and cultivation events.
- Collaborate with internal Shedd colleagues to implement unique
donor cultivation and stewardship opportunities.
- Maintain timely contact records in the database and analysis of
donors managed. Deliver timely and effective follow-up to
prospects and donors.
- Participate in coordination and execution of appropriate donor
cultivation events, including small group engagement and marquee
fundraiser (Gala and Immersion). This will require occasional
evening and weekend availability.
- Other duties as assigned in support of other areas of
development when needed.
- To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to
perform each essential duty satisfactorily. 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
- Minimum of a Bachelors' degree required
We strongly encourage people of color, LGBTQ+ community,
veterans and active duty military, parents, individuals with
disabilities, and individuals from all cultural backgrounds to
apply. Shedd Aquarium is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes
everyone to our team.
- A minimum of 6 years of progressive, professional experience in
development, alumni relations, or similar professional work
experience. Experience managing and moving a portfolio of
- Quantifiable success in delivering personal solicitations
If you need a reasonable accommodation at any point in the
application or interview process, please let us know. In your
application, please feel free to select which pronouns you use (For
example – she/her/hers, he/him/his, they/them/theirs).