Philanthropy Officer for Major Gifts at The University of Chicago

Posted in Other 11 days ago.

Location: Chicago, Illinois

Job Description:


Lab School Alumni Relations & Development

About the Department

At the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools, students in Nursery through Grade 12 experience a world-class educational journey. Founded in 1896 by John Dewey as a place for educators to develop and explore novel approaches to pedagogy and curriculum, Lab continues to provide excitement and imagination in learning to this day. Academic rigor, experiential learning, and intellectual discourse are hallmarks of a Lab education. Lab educators are recognized for excellence in teaching and pride themselves on innovation in the classroom. Students in every grade have access to unparalleled resources, and all members of the Lab community benefit by partnerships and connections with the University of Chicago. Families who choose Lab care deeply about curiosity, inquiry, and creativity.

No less than scholarship, Lab's mission prioritizes honoring diversity and exhibiting kindness. We are committed to building and supporting a teaching and learning community where young people see aspects of their backgrounds and identities reflected around them, where they feel a deep sense of belonging, and where they discover and use their voices to full effect. Today, 53-59 percent of Lab's student body are students of color. Families report speaking nearly 40 different languages in their homes. Approximately 60 percent of Lab families are also affiliated with the University of Chicago. Half of our families live in Hyde Park, and the rest come from across Chicago, the suburbs, and northwestern Indiana. Inclusion is a fundamental value at Lab, such that we celebrate every facet of community members' identities, and even where we disagree, we emphasize respect, civility, and maintaining a spirit of community.

Lab seeks the finest employees to join our vibrant learning community. We employ people with a wide range of skills and training in many different disciplines, who have in common a love of learning and the wish to inspire that same love of learning in young people. We seek candidates for employment who thrive in an educational environment. We provide a great professional home for those committed to collaboration, ongoing personal and professional growth, and cultivating positive relationships. We strongly encourage applications from candidates of color, LGBTQ+ identified candidates, candidates from historically marginalized or underrepresented backgrounds, and candidates with a demonstrated commitment to a deepening diversity, equity, and inclusion practice. In turn, we strive to ensure that Lab is a joyful, welcoming, and inspiring place to work. Through our connection to the University, faculty, staff, and administrators enjoy benefits and opportunities that would be nearly impossible to match in any other environment.

Job Summary

The Alumni Relations & Development department at the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools (Lab) is recruiting a talented and energetic advancement professional in preparation for the schools' next campaign. During the University's Inquiry & Impact campaign and through its Lab+ initiative, the Schools secured more than $97 million in charitable contributions. The Philanthropy Officer for Major Gifts (MGO) will play an important revenue-generating role for annual giving and for priorities in the next comprehensive capital and endowment campaign.

Reporting to the Director of Development/Campaign Manager (DOD), the MGO will be a part of a fundraising team's efforts to seek Leadership Family five-figure annual gifts and major gifts of $100,000 or more for capital, endowment, operational (Fund for Fund) or special projects. The MGO will collaborate with the Director of Development and the Associate Director of Schools for ARD to establish ambitious but achievable annual fundraising, proposal/solicitation and visit goals.


  • Identify, cultivate, solicit, and maintain a portfolio of current Lab parents who have the capacity to contribute $10,000, $25,000, and more to the Fund for Lab or other budget-relieving priorities.

  • Identify, cultivate, solicit, and maintain a portfolio of parents, alumni, alumni parents, grandparents, and others who have the capacity to contribute $100,000 or more to Lab.

  • Create a robust schedule of qualification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship visits (in-person and virtual) with donors and donor prospects. A key component of this role is the qualification, via discovery visits, with individuals to expand Lab's major gift pool, particularly among Chicagoland alumni.

  • Develop and implement compelling engagement strategies to inspire high net worth individuals to maximize their philanthropic engagement with Lab.

  • Raise donor sights, articulate aspirational goals and ideas, present philanthropic opportunities in a compelling manner and close gifts.

  • Promote gift planning techniques via major gift visits and other outreach.

  • Build knowledge and ability to communicate effectively, both in writing and in meetings, about a range of Lab programs, priorities, and initiatives.

  • Serve on Lab's Major Gifts team

  • Assist the Associate Director of Schools for ARD, the DOD and other University ARD gift officers with strategy and solicitation partnerships when necessary.

  • Participate in Lab ARD events and assist with the recruitment of participants in and sponsors of those events. Examples include Dewey Dance, Connections, new Family receptions, alumni events, etc.

  • Seek out professional development opportunities to bring best practices in major gifts to Lab. Seek opportunities that will enhance job performance including attending webinars, seminars, building networks within the University and with colleagues at peer institutions.

  • Establishes fundraising goals and priorities based on department objectives, designs strategies to meet those goals, and monitors progress against goals.

  • Identifies, analyzes, and qualifies donor interest to maximize giving. Helps with overall planning efforts for the University's most important prospects. Works independently to develop communication strategies for projects, including publications and public presentations.

  • Performs other related work as needed.

Minimum Qualifications


Minimum requirements include a college or university degree in related field.

Work Experience:

Minimum requirements include knowledge and skills developed through 5-7 years of work experience in a related job discipline.



Preferred Qualifications


  • Bachelor's degree


  • A minimum of five years or more of fundraising experience and/or relevant sales/marketing experience.

  • Major gift experience at independent schools, higher education or not-for-profit organizations.

Technical Skills or Knowledge:

  • Experience with fundraising databases and reporting tools such as Blackbaud products or Salesforce preferred.

Preferred Competencies

  • Manage confidential information with discretion and tact

  • Act with integrity, professionalism, and confidentiality

  • Prioritize multiple projects and independently follow through with detail

  • Self-motivation and the ability to take initiative.

  • Superior written and verbal communication skills required.

  • Outstanding interpersonal and organizational skills required.

  • Ability to work on own initiative, develop rapport, and work well with others required.

  • Ability to manage multiple tasks simultaneously and accurately under strict deadlines required.

  • Ability to thrive in a fast-paced office environment.

  • Willingness and ability to travel to campus for Lab Schools business required.

  • Willingness and ability to work evenings and weekends on occasion.

Working Conditions

  • Standard office environment

Application Documents

  • Resume (required)

  • Cover Letter (required)

When applying, the document(s) MUSTbe uploaded via the My Experience page, in the section titled Application Documents of the application.

Job Family

Alumni Relations & Development

Role Impact

Individual Contributor

FLSA Status


Pay Frequency


Weekly Hours


Benefits Eligible


Drug Test Required


Health Screen Required


Motor Vehicle Record Inquiry Required


Posting Statement

The University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity/Disabled/Veterans and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, status as an individual with a disability, military or veteran status, genetic information, or other protected classes under the law. For additional information please see the University's Notice of Nondiscrimination.

Staff Job seekers in need of a reasonable accommodation to complete the application process should call 773-702-5800 or submit a request via Applicant Inquiry Form.

We seek a diverse pool of applicants who wish to join an academic community that places the highest value on rigorous inquiry and encourages a diversity of perspectives, experiences, groups of individuals, and ideas to inform and stimulate intellectual challenge, engagement, and exchange.

All offers of employment are contingent upon a background check that includes a review of conviction history. A conviction does not automatically preclude University employment. Rather, the University considers conviction information on a case-by-case basis and assesses the nature of the offense, the circumstances surrounding it, the proximity in time of the conviction, and its relevance to the position.

The University of Chicago's Annual Security & Fire Safety Report (Report) provides information about University offices and programs that provide safety support, crime and fire statistics, emergency response and communications plans, and other policies and information. The Report can be accessed online at: copies of the Report are available, upon request, from the University of Chicago Police Department, 850 E. 61st Street, Chicago, IL 60637.
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