Major Gifts Officer - DuPage Children's Museum

Major Gifts Officer

Position Title:  Major Gifts Officer
Status: Full-time, Exempt
Job Classification: Development

Job Summary: The vision of the DuPage Children’s Museum (DCM) is that all children reach their full unique learning potential through hands-on play and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) based experiences. The Major Gifts Officer serves a critical role in advancing towards the vision by engaging individuals, businesses, and organizations in the work of DCM and eliciting financial support from those constituents to support museum operations and other priorities.  The Major Gifts Officer is an integral member of DuPage Children’s Museum’s (DCM) Development team who serves a critical role as an ambassador for the museum, building strong and sustainable relationships with individuals and corporations and their representatives. The focus is on securing major gifts for the Museum ($25,000 and up), as well as one-time and/or ongoing gifts.

Distinguishing Characteristics: The successful candidate will work with a portfolio of donors to obtain major gifts and cultivate major gift prospects for eventual gifts. This candidate will also identify, research, and qualify new prospects. This candidate should cultivate, negotiate, close, and finalize the terms of new gifts and/or recurring gifts, with the advice and input of development and leadership staff at DCM. They should work with DCM representatives including members of the education and programs team, building and making team, marketing team, and finance team to move prospects toward a major gift through individual meetings, phone calls, and written correspondence.

The Major Gifts Officer will have project management responsibility in executing specific fundraising projects including: active participation and management of assigned tasks relating to the Museum’s funding priorities; growing and implementing additional giving efforts; develop, organize, manage, and implement short and long-range fundraising plans, goals, and strategies, all aimed at increasing giving, participation, and involvement from current and prospective donors.  The Major Gifts Officer will work collaboratively with members of the Development Team to develop written materials and proposals for appropriate prospects and coordinate strategies for current annual donors who are considered major gift prospects.

Essential Responsibilities:

  • Build and manage a portfolio of 75-100 donors and prospects for qualification, cultivation, solicitation, gift closure, and stewardship purposes that result in annual gifts, major gifts, and multiyear pledge commitments of $25,000 or more to the Museum.
  • Work with Chief of Development, President & CEO, Leadership Staff, and Development Team to create a 12 to 24-month strategic plan for each donor/prospect that will serve as a foundational communication plan for each person in the portfolio and execute such plan for effective moves management.
  • Collaborate with Chief of Development, President & CEO, Leadership Staff, and Development Team to create annual and multi-year revenue projections and budgets.
  • Collaborate with Individual and Family Philanthropy Officer on efforts to identify, cultivate, and solicit prospects on an annual basis with particular focus on major gift donors and prospects using moves management strategy to maximize financial support to DCM.
  • Utilize existing and supporting resources as well as technology and wealth screening data to maximize time spent in donor-facing cultivation and solicitation activities that lead to secure major gifts, including the donor database and other reporting tools.
  • Complete and file timely reports of donor/prospect contacts. Responsible for maintaining individual donor/prospect records in the donor database.
  • Work with staff, advisory teams and committees, DCM’s Board of Directors, and the community to develop relationships leading to gifts and commitments for annual and special campaigns.

Secondary Responsibilities:

  • Other duties as assigned.

Required Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

Must possess the knowledge, skills, and abilities described below or be able to explain and demonstrate that they can perform the essential functions of the job using some other combination of skills and abilities.

  • The successful candidate must be steeped in a strong donor-centric and guest centric approach to fundraising, stewardship, and leadership. This person must possess the proficiency, wherewithal, and knowledge of principles and processes for providing high-quality support and services to internal and external constituents of the Museum.  The successful candidate will possess the following:
  • Proven history of soliciting and closing major gifts
  • Strong interpersonal communication skills 
  • Ability to work independently and in collaborative team settings 
  • Knowledge of the elements of building a compelling case for support 
  • Strong writing and presentation skills 
  • Must be confident and comfortable asking for monetary donations 
  • Employ timely follow through with donors and donor prospects
  • Ability to work outside “normal” business hours, which will include evening and weekends
  • Strong computer and software skills, including familiarity with donor management databases such as Blackbaud/Altru, Google Workplace, Internet Searches, PowerPoint, Word, Excel spreadsheets/Windows etc.  Strong organizational skills with the ability to manage multiple tasks and projects under tight time constraints and adjust easily to redirecting priorities should that be necessary
  • Ability to take on a variety of new tasks as directed with minimal support when circumstances necessitate Perform basic mathematical calculations, perform analysis on data to form reasonable conclusions, and demonstrate findings to others
  • Experience working directly with members, guests, and donors to promote organization brand/messages, events and programs 
  • Ability to make cold calls (via phone, in-person, email, letter) as introduction to prospective  donors  Demonstrate the ability to actively, responsibly, and positively represent the Museum with  the general public, peers, and to the professional community. 

Job Relationships:

The Major Gifts Officer position reports directly to the Chief of Development. This position works closely with all members of the development department, as well as the CEO and other departments within the organization, to meet short and long term fundraising goals. Must maintain positive relationships with all Museum staff, vendors, guests, and other DCM related constituencies. 

Education and Experience:

College degree with an emphasis in sales, communications, marketing, or nonprofit management. Minimum 5 years’ experience in fundraising and major gift solicitation, and/or non-profit or corporate communications. Experience with fundraising databases, specifically Altru or Raiser’s Edge, is preferred. Experience in membership driven philanthropy preferred. Previous experience with wealth screening services and data preferred.

Additional Requirements:

  • Operate office equipment in order to send and receive information with necessary optical, auditory, and manual dexterity. 
  • Must have access to reliable transportation; a valid driver’s license and appropriate liability insurance are preferred.
  • Must be able to attend meetings, events, and conferences away from the Museum whenever necessary.

Must dress appropriately as defined by the interactions required in a given day making sure to present as professional and approachable.


Download an Application
Please include a cover letter and your resume.

Submit to:
DuPage Children’s Museum
301 N. Washington St.
Naperville, IL 60540
Attn: Human Resources