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Major Gift Officer

California Western School of Law
California, United States
Salary Not specified
Closing date
Jul 12, 2022

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Position Type
Fundraising, Major Gifts
Employment Type
Full Time
California Western School of Law (CWSL), San Diego seeks applicants for a Major Gift Officer. Under the direction of the Vice President of Philanthropy and Alumni Engagement, the Major Gift Officer develops, initiates, and implements strategies for the identification, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship of major, planned and leadership gifts from current and prospective donors. The incumbent is responsible for identifying prospective donors as well as maintaining a portfolio of existing donor prospects. The incumbent will work collaboratively to optimize donor cultivation and support. In addition, the incumbent will provide strategic and tactical support for overall Philanthropy and Alumni Engagement programs and operations. This position plays a critical role in building the pipeline of donors for key campus fundraising priorities, including the Centennial Campaign for California Western.

The primary responsibilities (include but are not limited to):

  • Fundraising/ Portfolio Management
  • Develop, manage and steward dynamic donor portfolio of existing and newly identified prospects for all categories of campus fundraising to include, but not limited to major and planned gifts.
  • Responsible for conducting the fundamentals of fundraising (e.g., identification, qualification, cultivation, solicitation, stewardship and recognition of existing and prospective donors).
  • Responsible for developing a “moves management” and engagement strategy for existing and prospective donors.
  • Responsible for the management, coordination and implementation of existing and prospective donor meetings, programs and special events, locally, nationally and internationally. Must be able to collaborate with other law school departments to optimize fundraising support (e.g., Alumni Engagement and Annual Giving, Community Relations, Career and Professional Development Office, Business Office, law school Clinics, Student and Diversity Services, and Admissions).
  • Manage an active portfolio of between 150-200 existing and prospective donors by engaging, cultivating, soliciting and stewarding gifts with an emphasis from $5,000 - $1,000,000.
  • Qualify major and planned gift prospects and solicit gifts. Continue to implement a broad range of methods of prospect identification in an effort to build a robust portfolio of new donors to the law school.
  • Write proposals for the solicitation of individual, corporate, and foundation prospects. Strengthen the donor pipeline by working with fellow gift officers and the Alumni Engagement and Annual Giving Department to develop strategies for fundraising efforts. This may include arranging visits, programs and events by or in conjunction with other gift officers and law school personnel. Develop persuasive written and oral presentations and proposals for existing and potential donors, adhering to campus policies and procedures governing fundraising.
  • Analyze and evaluate prospect and donor data to generate targeted lists and recommend strategic next steps.
  • Ensure that predetermined fundraising goals are met and implement program activities to achieve these goals. Evaluate and recommend appropriate next steps for newly qualified potential donors.
  • This requires assessment of prospect's interests and knowledge of law school programs to recommend most effective ways to optimize near-term and longer-term philanthropy to California Western.
  • Implement annual fundraising plan and budget in conjunction with team members.
  • Communicate effectively with all Development, Alumni Engagement and Annual Giving, Student and Diversity Services, Career and Professional Development Office, Community Relations, Admissions, Business Office, and Dean’s office staff at the law school to enable effective coordination that supports Development’s fundraising priorities.
  • Prospect Identification/Cultivation and Donor Relations/Stewardship
  • Identify, cultivate, solicit and steward major gift prospects and donors. In collaboration with various departments, develop and implement stewardship strategies, events and activities that promote continued involvement of donors and encourage donors to make additional contributions. These activities will include gifts, cards, telephone calls, visits, tours, letters and special events.
  • Develop and implement prospect research and cultivation strategies and activities.
  • Support the preparation of reports, summaries, briefings, donor rosters and donor reports relevant to stewardship activities and develop strategic opportunities to share the message of philanthropic impact with prospects and donors. Audit and cross-reference donor rosters and other donor reports with the incumbent’s portfolio.
  • Contribute to planning and execution of prospect cultivation and donor relations programs and events.
  • Participate in campus-wide activities and events as appropriate.
  • Coordinate all donor appointment and travel arrangements.
  • Coordinate responses to donor requests.
  • Program Management/Planning
  • Attend law school functions as the representative of the department.
  • Self-monitor to ensure that all work is in compliance with California Western policies and procedures as they pertain to all aspects of fundraising in support of the law school.
  • Plan, organize, and direct large-scale fundraising campaigns. Participate in prospect management system; file timely and accurate online contact reports.
  • Evaluate programs using financial feasibility studies and market research, including planning and evaluating annual solicitation programs and make recommendations for improvements. Compile gift projections and giving-level data, summarize in report format and make recommendations to leadership.
  • Recruit, train, and support key volunteers who assist in advancement efforts. Staff support groups and volunteer committees created to focus on donor relations and stewardship activity.
  • Work with the appropriate level of assistance, instruction, and supervision.
  • Proactively advise the Vice President of Philanthropy and Alumni Engagement on project status, potential issues and overall departmental progress.
  • Responsible for the reconciliation of travel expenses.
  • Perform, with team approach.
  • Other duties as assigned.


  • Bachelor’s degree required.
  • Three (3) or more years of demonstrated successful experience in all aspects of major gift fundraising required.
  • In depth knowledge of major gift fundraising, stewardship, donor relations, and public relations concepts, principles, procedures, and techniques preferred.
  • Demonstrated knowledge in written gift proposals and agreements, strategic donor (existing donors and prospects) “moves management” and engagement strategies required.
  • Proven experience in the full spectrum of development, including major and planned giving policies, cultivation, donor recognition, support group management and administration required.
  • Progressive development experience in a complex organization including frontline experience required.
  • Strong portfolio knowledge and experience in donor “moves management” including donor qualification/cultivation/stewardship required.
  • Proven ability to create briefing materials and key talking points that support law school leadership in donor engagement required.
  • An equivalent combination of education and experience may be substituted.
  • Must demonstrate the interest and ability to work with a highly diverse population.
  • A strong commitment to customer service is essential to success in the position.
  • Must be a motivated, highly organized, and self-directed individual with excellent interpersonal skills.
  • Must be able to effectively multitask and handle a variety of matters independently, with minimal supervision, in a professional, polished, and mature manner with tact, diplomacy, and appropriate judgement.
  • Must have excellent written and oral communication skills, effective time management, organizational and project management skills, analytical and problem-solving ability, and flexibility.
  • Professional attire and presentation are required.
  • Experience in higher education a plus.
  • Attendance at evening and weekend events and programs is required.
  • Must be able to travel to local, regional and international events.
  • Must have daily access to a reliable vehicle.
  • Must obtain and maintain a valid California driver’s license and personal vehicle insurance acknowledging the vehicle is used for employee’s work purposes.
  • Must maintain a clean driving record.

Computer Skills:

  • Intermediate level computer skills.
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office Suite, including MS Word, Excel, Outlook, and PowerPoint.
  • Experience with database management systems required.
  • Proficiency with Raiser’s Edge preferred.
  • Familiarity with WealthPoint and ResearchPoint helpful.
  • Experience with website management, electronic communication and database systems, data analysis and interpretation required.
  • Knowledge of effective internet search properties.
  • Ability to learn and use various databases for research, including State Bar websites, Internet search engines, and other public databases to locate alumni.
  • Knowledge and proficiency in social media required including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, and Instagram.
  • Aptitude learning new technology.

CWSL COVID-19 Vaccine Policy

In accordance with the California Western School of Law policy, students, faculty, and staff must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or provide a valid medical or religious exemption to access campus. Individuals are considered fully vaccinated for five months after their final dose of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine or for two months after receiving the only dose of a single-dose vaccine. Afterward a COVID-19 booster is required to continue to be considered fully vaccinated. The individual hired into this role will be required to submit their completed vaccination documentation. Individuals with an approved medical or religious exemption on file with the school will be required to participate in CWSL’s COVID-19 testing program. Further information can be found on our website at target= _blank > target= _blank >APPLY NOW target= _blank >Click here to complete an application through the CWSL Career Center website or visit our website at target= _blank > and search Current Job Openings.

Resume and Cover Letter required.

Application review will begin immediately.

About us:

Established in 1924, CWSL is an ABA accredited and AALS member, non-profit law school located in downtown San Diego, California. CWSL has the distinction of being San Diego’s oldest law school. CWSL is the recipient of numerous community service awards, including the State Bar of California President’s Pro Bono Service Award, and the federal government’s President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. The law school is also home to numerous outstanding programs, including the California Innocence Project, Community Law Project, and New Media Rights Program. The faculty are dedicated to teaching, research, and service to the community. Detailed information is available at target= _blank >

The law school offers competitive benefits for eligible employees, including, but not limited to:

  • Generous employer contribution for Medical, Dental and Vision Insurance (depending on which plan/level the employee elects).
  • 403 (b) Employer Retirement contribution of 8% (up to 8k per year) Fully and immediately vested.
  • Company Paid Life and AD&D Insurance.
  • Paid Long-Term Disability Insurance.
  • Flexible Spending Plan.
  • Reduced Summer Work Schedule (paid).
  • Paid Winter Break (week of x-mas through new year)
  • Additional 10+ Paid Holidays
  • Accrued Paid Time Off
  • Wellness Programs


  • Little Italy/Downtown location for convenient access to great restaurants and after-hour activities.
  • Free on-campus parking facilities provided.
  • Employee engagement events held both virtually and on-campus.
  • On-Campus Convenience Store.
  • Complimentary bottomless Specialty Coffee.
  • Use of on-campus Law Library facilities.

California Western School of Law is committed to using the law to prevent and solve human and societal problems. In conjunction with our mission - to train ethical, competent, and compassionate lawyers, representative of our diverse society and equipped to use the law effectively and creatively on behalf of all members of society - we value a rich diversity among our students, alumni, faculty, and staff, as well as in the larger communities of which we are a part.

The law school is an Equal Opportunity Employer dedicated to affirmative action and to excellence through diversity. The law school provides reasonable accommodations to qualified applicants with disabilities upon request.


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