Major Gifts Officer (2 positions available)

Bennington, Vermont, United States | Full-time | Partially remote

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Bennington College, a private liberal arts college located in southwestern Vermont, seeks an innovative and entrepreneurial Major Gifts Officer. Bennington is in the midst of an immensely exciting and transformative period in its history and is experiencing extraordinary growth. Working in partnership with senior leadership, the Major Gifts Officer will contribute to a high caliber and developing advancement program that reflects Bennington’s culture, mission, and evolving strategic plan. 

Reporting to the Associate Vice President for Development, this highly organized, frontline fundraising professional will focus on the cultivation and solicitation of prospective donors with gift capacities of $50,000 to $1 million over multiple years. The Major Gifts Officer designs and executes cultivation and solicitation strategies that move assigned prospects through the gift cycle and works in collaboration with alumni, parents, Board members and select family foundations. 

General Responsibilities

  1. Manage a prospect portfolio consisting of approximately 100 alumni, parents and friends. Create and execute individualized engagement and solicitation strategies for each donor, tailored to donor interests and institutional priorities. Build and maintain strong personal/professional relationships with alumni, parents and friends of the College.
  2. Maintain a visit/travel schedule both locally and nationally to develop, engage and enhance relationships with donor prospects, resulting in support for College fundraising priorities.
  3. Work closely with other Major Gifts Officers, the Institutional Advancement team, and College partners to plan and staff on and off campus donor cultivation and stewardship events. This includes planning donor cultivation events on campus and throughout the US and internationally (on occasion). 
  4. Work with senior leadership and faculty across the College on behalf of the Office of Institutional Advancement, this includes: following up on prospect interests; serving as the lead for joint travel with the President, Deans, and Faculty; and, managing donor/faculty/administrator expectations; 
  5. Maintain current knowledge of Bennington College academic and other programs through collaboration with key internal faculty, staff, and administrators and articulate effectively to potential donors.
  6. Manage and write required correspondence and proposals as needed. Ensure all information is tracked in Raiser’s Edge.
  7. May assist with staff oversight including supervision, coaching, development of internal talent.

Qualifications

The successful candidate must be a dynamic and highly organized fundraiser who has a passion for liberal arts education and demonstrated success with major gift fundraising. Candidates must enjoy engaging with donors of all levels - authenticity and genuine care for donors, families and friends of the College is critically important; outstanding communication skills are essential.

Bennington serves a diverse student population inclusive of members of ethnically/racially minoritized, international, LGBTQIA+, and disability communities as well as diverse gender identities, socioeconomic backgrounds, religions, and political beliefs. Our staff and faculty also reflect diverse and intersecting backgrounds and identities. All employees are expected to be respectful and responsive to these differences in the service of building community that promotes student and employee success. Each individual (faculty, staff and students) will be accountable for upholding these values.  The College’s approach to pluralism and inclusivity—both as fields of inquiry and practice—is to prioritize flexible thought, and to invite the examination of access, value, power, and privilege through its institutional policies and areas of study. We encourage applicants from diverse realms of interest, backgrounds, experience, and accomplishment to apply. 

  • Bachelor’s degree required and a minimum of five years of progressively responsible/increased fundraising experience.
  • Demonstrated success in the cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of leadership gifts prospects is required.  Demonstrated success and ability to identify/cultivate/solicit/steward prospects with the potential to give at the $50K+ level.  
  • Demonstrated excellence in written and oral communication.  Planning, organizational, problem-solving, and time management skills. 
  • Comfort in dealing with a wide range of College constituencies.
  • Ability to apply good judgment; tact and discretion is required to deal with highly confidential information. 
  • Proficiency using Google Suite required. Experience with MS Office, databases/spreadsheets desired. Experience using donor database software preferably Raiser’s Edge. 
  • Ability to complete tasks independently as well as work well within a team of highly motivated individuals required.
  • Ability to travel as needed to manage a prospect portfolio.

The position requires significant travel (50%+) and includes some evening and weekend work. Bennington College requires the successful completion and acceptable results of a background check and compliance with College COVID policies.

The College

Bennington College is a distinguished residential liberal arts college that has, since its founding in 1932, been a laboratory for new ideas and an intellectual home to countless artists, activists, and thinkers who have shaped contemporary culture. The college was the first to include the visual and performing arts in a liberal arts education, and it is the only college to require that its students spend a term—every year—at work in the world. Today, Bennington is home to a community that is engaged with some of the most critical issues facing our country and the world. Bennington’s students work intensively with faculty and staff to forge individualized and hands-on educational paths around their driving questions and interests, and also devote themselves to a number of community outreach efforts, often tied to the endeavors they are pursuing in their coursework. 

Bennington is investing in choices that support a radical future for the college: to educate the whole person, tell the stories that matter to the world now, and create innovative partnerships for social impact, on campus and in the larger community and beyond. Funders have embraced this vision: the College has recently received generous support from alumni, including one of the largest donations in its history, as well as support from The Ford Foundation, Endeavor Foundation, and several others to support programs in sustainability, mental health, social justice, and storytelling, and is also poised to double its endowment in the next five years.