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Principal Gifts Officer

Salk Institute for Biological Studies
California, United States
$120,000.00 - $155,000.00
Posted Date
Jun 12, 2024

Job location is at 10240 Science Center Dr, San Diego, CA 92121

Reporting to the Senior Principal Gifts Officer, the Principal Gifts Officer is a critically important role, primarily responsible as a member of the External Relations (ER) team for identifying and closing major gifts to advance the mission of scientific discovery at the Salk Institute.  The Principal Gifts Officer will have primary responsibility of raising funds for the Healthy Aging, Cancer Center, Neuroscience, Plant Biology, Immunobiology and Computational Biology areas of research, capital needs and supporting faculty at the Salk Institute. 

Who We Are

The Salk Institute is an internationally renowned research institution that values diversity, equity, and inclusion. We seek bold and interactive leaders passionate about exploring new frontiers in science. Our collaborative community embraces diverse perspectives and unique life experiences, fostering innovation, and a sense of belonging. Together, we strive to improve the wellbeing of humanity through groundbreaking research.

Founded by Jonas Salk, developer of the first safe and effective polio vaccine, the Institute is an independent, nonprofit research organization and architectural landmark: small by choice, intimate by nature, and fearless in the face of any challenge. Salk's vibrant community comprises a diverse and talented group of individuals, each playing a crucial role in driving our mission forward. From visionary leaders to dedicated administrators and brilliant faculty members, the Institute is united by a shared passion for scientific exploration and innovation.

What Your Key Responsibilities Will Be

  1. Manage a portfolio of principal gift prospects/donors for the purposes of qualification, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship.
  2. Work in a collaborative way with the fundraising team and other External Relations Departments to identify and steward major gift prospects/donors.
  3. Expected to identify, cultivate, close and steward gifts a principal gift level based on an annual system of metrics.
  4. Establish positive and strategic working relationhships with Faculty.
  5. Demonstrate core values of integrity, community, accountability, respect and empowerment to donors, colleagues, faculty and volunteers; and provides quality service in the performance of work assignments and duties.
  6. As part of the Development Fundraising Team, participate in planning and implementing effective fund-raising strategies that considers the unique mission of Salk and the special needs of donors and potential donors.
    1. Effectively communicate the impact and outcomes of principal gifts to donors.
    2. Conduct thorough research on potential principal donors to understand their interests, giving capacity, and philanthropic history. 
    3. Develop individualized donor/prospect profiles and strategies for cultivation and stewardship. 
    4. Analyze data to segment donors and tailor fundraising strategies accordingly. 
  7. Willingness to work on special assignments and/or projects as directed by the Senior Principal Gifts Officer or the Senior Director for Development.


  • This job has no supervisory responsibilities.

What we Require

  • Bachelor's Degree (BA) from a four-year college or university; or equivalent combination of education and experience
  • Minimum of eight to ten years of related experience and/or training
  • Computer skills required: Development Software; Microsoft Office

What We Can Offer

The expected pay range for this position is $120,000 to $155,000 per annum. Salk Institute provides pay ranges representing its good faith estimate of what the institute reasonably expects to pay for a position. The pay offered to a selected candidate will be determined based on factors such as (but not limited to) the scope and responsibilities of the position, the qualifications of the selected candidate, department budget availability, internal equity, geographic location, and external market pay for comparable jobs.  


Salk Institute offers competitive benefits, including medical, dental, vision, retirement, paid time off, tuition reimbursement, patient advocacy services, and transit/parking program.

Salk Values

The Salk Community, both scientists and administrators, worked together to define values that we believe support Salk’s pursuit of excellence. To be truly the best scientific institution requires not only incredible discoveries, but a common understanding of how we should work together to enable those discoveries.

The acronym “I CARE” provides a simple way to remember each of the values and reminds each of us of the importance of what we do each day.

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement

The Salk Institute for Biological Studies is an Equal Opportunity Employer and is committed to providing equal access to opportunities for students, employees, applicants for employment and other visitors. Salk has also adopted and maintains a policy to encourage professional and respectful workplace behavior and prevent discriminatory and harassing conduct in our workplace.

Accordingly, the Institute prohibits harassment and discrimination in employment on the basis of, and considers all qualified applicants for employment without regard to, actual or perceived race, color, religion, religious creed (including religious dress and grooming practices), national origin, ancestry, citizenship, physical or mental disability, medical condition (including cancer and genetic characteristics), genetic information, marital status, age, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, or related medical conditions), gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, veteran and/or military status (disabled veteran, veteran of the Vietnam era, other covered veteran status), political affiliation, and any other status protected by state or federal law.

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