Major Gift Officer

Position Title: Major Gift Officer
Reports to: Director of Development
Status: FT75 Full-Time
Salary Range: $85,000 - $125,000


Position Summary
 The Development Team at the SETI Institute is seeking a Major Gift Officer to engage, cultivate, solicit, and retain our expanding number of supporters, and to raise philanthropic support from individuals, private foundations, and corporations.  General responsibilities will be focused on individual giving at the leadership annual and major gift level, volunteer board management, event planning and execution. Responsibilities also include independently managing giving societies, conducting prospect research, preparing, and guiding volunteers and staff in donor engagement activities, and the measurement and documentation of progress. 

This position will report to the Director of Development who leads the philanthropic efforts at the Institute. The Major Gift Officer will collaborate closely with colleagues within the communications, finance, accounting, education and outreach teams, and the CEO’s office, and will independently manage and supervise key development processes and projects.

The salary range for this position is $85,000 to $125,000.


  • Implement key projects and programs – giving circles, volunteer boards, key events – including leadership role managing and expanding the Institutes primary advisory board.
  • Manage major gifts portfolio of 50-75 qualified prospects and build through identification, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship to 100-125 over time.
  • Build a network of relationships with volunteers and donors, guiding their involvement and deepening their connection to the Institute mission and its team members.
  • Keep abreast of current and future initiatives and activities across the Institute.
  • Research prospects and donors, preparing key Institute leadership and volunteers for engagement moves.
  • Advise on the design, publication and production of fundraising materials.
  • Develop strategies for nurturing and expanding the impact of giving societies – currently including recurring monthly donors, leadership annual donors, and planned giving prospects.


  • Bachelor's degree and two or more years of relevant experience.
  • A commitment to promoting and supporting an environment of diversity and inclusion.
  • Demonstrated technical expertise  -- in Microsoft Office suite, and knowledge of database systems, such as Salesforce NPSP, and marketing automation platform tools and techniques.        Ability to work efficiently, juggle tasks simultaneously, meet deadlines, and achieve goals.
  • Ability to collaborate extensively but also own key projects and initiatives independently.
  • Professional and personable written and verbal communication combined with excellent time management.
  • Exceptional attention to detail and follow-through.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to interact with a wide range of people.

Salary/Benefits: The SETI Institute provides competitive salary, excellent benefits including health/dental/vision insurance, a flexible spending account for medical and dependent care, vacation, and sick leave. The Institute sponsors a retirement plan option upon fulfillment of eligibility.

Diversity and Equity

  • At SETI Institute, we believe that diversity is key to innovation and creativity.  We are a proud Affirmative Action Employer and members of underrepresented communities and demographics are particularly encouraged to apply, including women, people of color, LGBTQ and people with disabilities. 
  • All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or national origin.
  • EO/AA/Disability/Veteran Employer
  • Note:  The Institute will not sponsor applicants for work visas

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