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Major Gifts Officer

U.S. Dream Academy, Inc.
Maryland, United States
$90,000.00 - $135,000.00
Closing date
Feb 22, 2023

About U. S Dream Academy

The U.S. Dream Academy (Dream) was founded by Wintley Phipps in 1998 to connect young people living in high-risk communities to positive youth development and high-quality mentoring relationships to empower young people to achieve their potential with a special focus on children of incarcerated parents.

Dream co-locates our programs inside Title 1 schools to provide daily afterschool positive youth development activities in Learning Centers in Baltimore, Houston, Orlando, Salt Lake City, and San Bernardino, along with virtual mentor programs in partnership with schools, faith-based and community organizations in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Chicago and Atlanta.  Our two primary virtual programs include DreamJourney and DreamCommunity.

Dream has served over 10,000 students to date in high-risk neighborhoods with high crime rates, high levels of poverty, and often little access to high-quality academic resources and support during the out of school time hours.

Basic Function

The Major Gifts Officer for the U.S. Dream Academy (Dream) will design, develop and implement our major gift program. Responsible for managing and cultivating existing relationships and identifying new prospects to help our donors accomplish their philanthropic goals and ambitions through a relationship with Dream. This role reports directly to the Chief Strategy Officer/Executive Vice President and will work closely with the CEO, the Development Committee of the Board, and the 25th Anniversary Campaign Committee.

The Major Gifts Officer should be an experienced, high-performing fundraiser with the ability to inspire and bring people in line with a vision that motivates them to engage. The successful candidate will love building relationships and find joy in keeping people connected and updated and creating a sense of belonging for all donors. The candidate will have a record of building trusting relationships with executive leaders and trustees, being a respected and dependable representative to constituents and stakeholders, and being a supportive and knowledgeable guide to staff. The Major Gifts Officer will embrace and support Dream's vision, mission, strategy, culture, objectives, and priorities.

While this position is virtual, the U.S. Dream Academy seeks candidates that are located in preferred areas, including the Baltimore/Washington DC Metro Area, Philadelphia, Orlando, Houston, or San Bernardino/LA County, CA.


Principle Duties and Responsibilities

  • Secure major gifts ($10,000 and up) and maintain a portfolio of major gift prospects that have the capacity to give six and seven-figure gifts.
  • Develop and implement major gifts initiative with definitive objectives and strategies.
  • Grow and manage a major gifts program to include identification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of individual prospects and institutional and corporate prospects.
  • Oversee implementation of stewardship and recognition for all major donors, including acknowledgment of major donors through public and private recognition.
  • Make face-to-face solicitations, and assist the board and executive leadership with their solicitations (i.e., providing portfolio development support, strategic counsel, and help with donor communications).
  • Serve as an integral part of the team that designs the 25th-anniversary campaign, coordinating the development of campaign materials, activities, and events.
  • Maintain accurate and timely records utilizing our donor database and other software to track and cultivate donors and wealth screening tools.
  • Track and report progress using specific metrics monthly.
  • Travel, as necessary, to meet with donors, related events, and activities at national, state, and regional levels. This position requires 30% - 40% travel.
  • Ensure the integrity and confidentiality of all donor and financial data critical to the execution of all external relations and fundraising streams.
  • Work in partnership with other members of the development team on outreach, communications, and grant strategies to ensure alignment of goals and messaging across all fundraising activities.

Job Requirements

  • Demonstrated ability to set and monitor the strategic direction of the major gifts program and ensure its alignment with organizational goals
  • Successful experience building long-term relationships with donors and soliciting and closing five and six-figure gifts
  • Demonstrated ability to design and execute a moves management process that expands a donor base and builds a major donor pipeline
  • Experience establishing strong relationships with executive leaders, volunteer Boards/committees and leveraging them effectively in the fundraising process
  • Ability to effectively utilize database systems within a data-driven and evidence-based organization
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, including the ability to articulate complex messages to diverse audiences
  • Polished, professional personal presentation with superior interpersonal skills
  • Exhibits joy in building relationships; and can effectively create a sense of belonging and inclusion for all stakeholders
  • Stature and confidence to work as a peer alongside widely recognized individuals
  • Organized, prepared, and detail-oriented with excellent follow-through on promises
  • Passion for youth development and working with youth and their families in high-risk communities
  • Ability to work nights and weekends as dictated by development activities and travel up to 40% of the time


Education and Experience

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration, Marketing & Communications, or a related field required
  • Master’s Degree to include non-profit leadership preferred
  • CFRE Certification is a plus but not required 
  • At least seven (7) years of leadership experience in fundraising for a nonprofit entity (national organization preferred) with a demonstrated record of successfully growing revenue
  • Demonstrated commitment to the U.S. Dream Academy’s vision, mission, goals, and culture, including a commitment to strive toward racial equity; a strong desire to exponentially increase the impact of the U.S. Dream Academy’s work globally


Work Environment and Physical Demands

The work environment and physical demands described here represent those that an employee must meet to perform the essential functions of this position successfully. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions of the job. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is occasionally required to stand, walk, sit, lift, use hands to finger dexterity, talk, and hear.

  • Required to sit for long periods of time.
  • Intermittent physical activity, including bending, reaching, standing, climbing stairs, kneeling, and/or stooping.
  • Able to work remotely.

Specific vision abilities required by the job include close vision, distance vision, color vision, peripheral vision, depth perception, and the ability to adjust focus.

Supervisory Responsibilities


Salary Range

$90,000 - $135,000 with opportunities for bonuses.


Equal Employment Opportunity

As an equal-opportunity employer, the U.S. Dream Academy values having a diverse workforce and continuously strives to maintain an inclusive and equitable workplace. We encourage people with a diverse range of backgrounds to apply. We do not discriminate against any person based upon their race, traits historically associated with race, religion, color, national origin, sex, pregnancy or related medical conditions, parental status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, status as a protected veteran, status as an individual with a disability, genetic information, or any other legally protected characteristics.

If you are a qualified applicant requiring assistance or accommodation to complete any step of the application process due to a disability, please contact our HR Coordinator, Samantha Shepherd Chappell, at or (410) 772-7143.

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