Development Officer


This position is a front-line major gift ($25,000+) fundraising position responsible for identifying and developing a major gift pipeline to support the departments, programs and initiatives at Fairmont State University. The development officer is expected to devote 95% of work time to major gift fundraising activities, including travel, and 5% of work time to administrative responsibilities. The individual may also assist with alumni relations, stewardship, and annual giving activities from time to time, if assigned and approved.  This position will work with the Foundation President and team to secure donations from donors and new prospects and promote a giving culture that will help ensure the Fairmont State Foundation’s (FSF) multi-year revenue targets are realized.


  • Works collectively and collaboratively with the President to develop major gift donors and prospects, with a focus on alumni, corporations, foundations, faculty, emeriti faculty, parents and friends of the University.
  • Understands basic major gift fund raising timelines, the major gift cycle, building committed supporters and developing a major gift portfolio.
  • Specific fundraising goals and metrics will be agreed upon and set annually based on pipeline, portfolio, feeder pool and giving data available. General goals are:
    • Achieves an average of $1 million per year through outright and planned gifts for the Foundation, with solicitations in excess of $1 million.
    • Plans, schedules and completes frequent in and out of state travel, often overnight for multiple nights, to contact donors and prospects.
    • Identifies new prospects annually to build a gift pipeline.
    • Performs related administration duties by recording all contact with donors and prospects into the Foundation’s constituent management system.
  • Provides excellent service to donors, including maintaining correspondence, writing case statements, preparing proposals, drafting gift documents, etc.
  • Identifies engagement opportunities for donors by working with the foundation staff, university and alumni organizations to plan, execute and /or staff prospect cultivation, hospitality, donor stewardship, recognition programs, board meetings, academies, and other special events.
  • Undertakes an aggressive plan to qualify, cultivate and solicit major gift prospects for the Foundation.
  • Develops and maintains a comprehensive knowledge of the University, including its mission, history and current and future priorities, representing all aspects of the university and its opportunities and needs for private support.
  • Manages a portfolio of major gift donors and prospects from initial qualification, cultivation, proposal development, solicitation and through stewardship.
  • Works with the President to develop and implement an annual work plan to fulfill all quantifiable personal work performance goals for contacts, major gift solicitations, closed major gifts, new major gift prospects identified, and revenue goals as set forth by the Foundation.
  • Collaborates with University deans and administrators on gift proposals for major gift prospects and to plan campus visits for alumni and other FSU constituencies.
  • Completes other duties as may be assigned from time to time by the President.
  • Drafts and executes gift agreements, gift acceptance letters, funding proposals, and other presentations associated with development work.


Minimum three to five years’ experience in not-for-profit fundraising.

  • Bachelor’s degree is required, master’s preferred.
  • At least two years of experience in fundraising, soliciting and securing major gifts.
  • At least two years’ experience in comprehensive university setting preferred.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of principles of fundraising and a demonstrated track record of professional success, especially in major gift fund raising.
  • Demonstrated ability to travel extensively by car/air, attend evening/weekend events, comply with travel policy/timelines.
  • Demonstrated excellent oral and written communication skills to interact with all constituencies, including but not limited to, speaking, writing, editing and proofreading.
  • Demonstrated excellent organizational skills required to coordinate and organize a variety of complex projects.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of Microsoft Office, Mac, Windows, Mobile Technology, Adobe Creative Suite, Constituent Management Databases and professional use of social media.
  • Demonstrated ability to work with highly sensitive and confidential information.
  • Entrepreneurial in spirit, while operating as a dedicated team player.
  • Flexibility, able to easily respond to evolving requests.



May be required to use the computer screen for extensive periods of time.

Occasional lifting of 15 to 20 lbs.

Extended working hours and travel may be necessary.

Interested qualified candidates should forward a cover letter outlining how their skills and experiences match the above requirements, a current resume, and information for four professional references via email to:  Please include "DOD" in the subject line.