Job Board
Trent University

Development Officer – Major Gifts

Posted On: May 20, 2022
Closing On: May 31, 2022

Location: Peterborough, Ontario / Hybrid for the right candidate
Effective: As soon as possible
Employment Type: fulltime
Level: intermediate
Salary Range: $67,769 - $90,358 per annum i.e. $2,606.48 - $3,475.30 bi-weekly

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Job Purpose:

Reporting to the Campaign Director, the Development Officer is responsible for fundraising efforts related to priority philanthropic opportunities of the University and other strategic funding objectives as established by the President and Vice-President’s team (PVP).

The incumbent manages a portfolio of 100-125 major donors and prospects, each with the capacity to give between $25,000 and $100,000.  Areas of responsibility include research and prospect identification, cultivation, proposal development, solicitation, stewardship and volunteer management.  The Development Officer will assume responsibility for volunteer leadership, faculty and staff relationships, and achieving fundraising objectives for priority requirements in their assigned program area, as well as general university needs.  As both a technical and subject matter expert, this position maintains current knowledge in areas related to major gifts, individual, corporate and foundation philanthropy. General knowledge of planned giving is needed for this role. The Development Officer plays a critical role in developing relationships on behalf of the University and in fostering a philanthropic culture at the University.

Key Activities:

Major Gifts Portfolio Management and Program Development

  1. In close collaboration with the Campaign Director, the Development Officer assists in the development and implementation of a sustainable major gifts program in order to meet fundraising goals, moves management objectives, key performance indicators and other measures.
  2. Develops and implements strategies and plans for a rolling portfolio of 100-125 prospects each with the ability to leverage the impact of philanthropy at the university and with the capacity to give between $25,000 and $100,000. Prospects include individuals, corporations (philanthropy, partnership, or sponsorship) and foundations in addition to alumni, volunteers, friends and parents of students or alumni. The Development Officer – Major Gifts must meet an annual fundraising target of at least $250,000.
  3. The Development Officer will manage specialized appeals as needed and will participate in prospect clearance and qualification with the Campaign Director and the Key Relationship Managers’ (KRM) team. Proactively secures meetings with prospects to discuss their links, interests, and opportunities to give. Carries out targeted project and prospect research, and prepares appropriate briefing materials, profiles and meeting notes including clear direction on specific next steps with each prospect. Develops proposals and financial illustrations for prospects and their advisors.  Acts as a lead or co-solicitor with volunteers or staff as assigned or required.
  4. In collaboration with the Campaign Director, assists in shaping the university’s fundraising goal and other priority objectives. Participates in cross-portfolio working groups.
  5. Builds relationships with university faculty, staff, alumni, and community friends to engage them in the university’s philanthropic efforts. This includes donor identification and research, cultivation, proposal development, solicitation, and stewardship.
  6. Maintains in-depth knowledge of the university as well as the faculty, program initiatives, and strategic directions within their assigned program areas, and acts as a key information source.
  7. Identifies marketing needs for assigned funding priorities and collaborates with the Senior Integrated Engagement Manager to produce materials or other supports.

Volunteer Management

  1. Assist the Campaign Director with identification, recruitment, training, management, motivation, leadership and accompaniment of assigned volunteers through their involvement in the donor cycle.

Stewardship & Special Events

  1. Collaborates with the Manager of Stewardship to ensure stewardship of donors within your portfolio.
  2. Assists in providing effective stewardship for assigned donors, including relevant university-wide or ER&D activities, events, and team projects. Attends ER&D events and University events as needed.

Administration & Managerial Responsibilities

  1. In collaboration with the Campaign Director actively participates in the development, implementation, and evaluation of the annual operating plan, strategies, policies and procedures.
  2. Ensures regular reports on progress within the program area and portfolio of prospects under management, and reports on relevant key performance indicators.
  3. Responsible for documenting all key development activity using the fundraising database and other electronic and central filing systems as appropriate, with particular emphasis on call reports and related cultivation and solicitation activity.
  4. Maintains up-to-date knowledge of major gift fundraising, including effective solicitation techniques, giving incentives and relevant tax issues.

Collaborate on Other Assignments

  1. Provides support on special projects as determined by the Campaign Director.

Education Required:

Honours University Degree (4 year) in a related discipline; a Trent University degree would be beneficial. CFRE designation would be an asset.

Experience/Qualifications Required:

  1. Minimum five years’ experience in major gift fundraising with a proven track record involving face-to-face cultivation, solicitation and donor relations. Experience in higher education fundraising desirable. Equivalent experience in a related field such as sales and marketing, communications, financial services or other may be considered.
  2. Basic knowledge of major gift fundraising practices and considerations, including moves management and pertinent tax planning considerations. Endowment funding, major gifts, and capital campaign experience would be an asset. General knowledge of planned giving would also be an asset.
  3. Excellent interpersonal and communication skills. Demonstrated ability to interact comfortably, tactfully, professionally, and effectively with a wide range of internal and external constituencies and stakeholders, including volunteers, donors, faculty and staff, and community members.
  4. Superior written communication and proposal writing skills, and experience in prospect research.
  5. Demonstrated ability to lead and motivate volunteers and donors; previous experience with senior volunteers and committees is essential.
  6. Demonstrated ability to develop strategic and tactical plans, establish goals and accomplish them as part of an organizational plan.
  7. Excellent organizational, planning and time management skills, with demonstrated ability to manage multiple tasks and flexibility in meeting shifting demands and priorities.
  8. An entrepreneurial spirit and ability to think creatively to solve problems.
  9. Demonstrated ability to work independently and as part of a team.
  10. Proficiency with MS Office (Word, Excel), internet research, fundraising databases. Experience in Raisers’ Edge is considered an asset.
  11. Flexibility to work on occasional weekends.
  12. Must be willing and able to travel locally, regionally, and occasionally nationally.
  13. Must have a valid class ‘G’ driver’s licence to meet the travel requirements of the job.


  • No formal supervision of others is required.

Job Evaluation Factors:

Responsibility for the Work of Others

Indirect Responsibility for the Work of Others:

  • ER&D team members – ensure maximum effort is made to successfully implement moves management within the donor pool and that stewardship plans are implemented with leadership giving donors
  • Alumni relations – ensure targeted outreach is implemented
  • Volunteers – ensure appropriate recruitment, orientation, and deployment in philanthropic initiatives



  • Engage administrators and academic community (chairs, faculty, researchers, staff) to develop content for proposals and to assist with the cultivation and stewardship of donors and prospects
  • With advancement team members: prospect clearance & strategy, development of donor lists and research support
  • With select alumni, volunteers, and board members: to engage as donors, assist with cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship


  • Donors and prospects (corporate, individual, foundations) for the purpose of seeking support for Trent’s priorities (i.e., capital, scholarships, research, etc.)
  • Targeted individuals who can assist in expanding the pool of potential supporters and key contacts for Trent

Motor/ Sensory Skills

  • Keyboarding & mouse manipulation – Computer usage impacts upon majority of responsibilities
  • Driving – To attend internal and external meetings
  • Dexterity/Coordination – Interaction at special events
  • Hearing, speech and visual – complex remote and face to face communication, negotiation, and presentations



  • Sustained concentration & focus – Research, strategy development – for content and prospects, and proposal writing. Interacting and negotiating with prospects, alumni, volunteers, etc. Prospect identification and qualification. Expand giving from existing donors, develop new prospects.


  • Long periods of time spent keyboarding, in meetings
  • Frequent driving and travel requiring more than one hour

Working Conditions


  • Long periods of time spent keyboarding, in meetings
  • Frequent driving and travel requiring more than one hour
  • Prolonged standing at special events


  • Demonstrated flexibility in meeting shifting demands and priorities and managing multiple tasks
  • Flexibility to work occasional weekends
  • Local, regional, and occasional national travel expected
  • Some evening work will be required, especially during peak fundraising months
  • Frequently deal with donor sensitivities and occasionally stakeholder complaints
  • Stress imposed by quarterly and annual fundraising and program objectives

To Apply: Those interested in applying are asked to submit a cover letter, resume and application form (if applicable), by email to (Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF) no later than the closing date at 4:00 p.m. Please note your full name and the job title in the subject line of your email (i.e. First and Last Name – Job Title). Applications from external candidates will be considered only when accompanied by a completed Employment Application Form.

Trent University is actively committed to creating a diverse and inclusive campus community and encourages applications from all qualified candidates. Trent University offers accommodation for applicants with disabilities in its recruitment processes. If you require accommodation during the recruitment process or require an accessible version of a document/publication, please contact

While the University appreciates all applications, please note that only candidates selected for an interview will be contacted.