Greenville, SC

Major Gifts Officer for Parent Philanthropy, Furman University

The Organization

Furman University is a selective private liberal arts and sciences college committed to helping students develop intellectually, personally, and interpersonally and providing the practical skills necessary to succeed in a rapidly-changing world. Furman professors are exceptional teacher-scholars who mentor undergraduate students within a campus community that values and encourages diverse ideas and perspectives. Our recently-launched strategic vision, The Furman Advantage, promises students an individualized four-year pathway facilitated by team of mentors and infused with a rich and varied set of high impact experiences outside the classroom that include undergraduate research, study away, internships, community-focused learning, and opportunities to engage across differences.

Furman is an Equal Opportunity Employer committed to increasing the diversity of its faculty and staff. The University aspires to create a community of people representing a multiplicity of identities including gender, race, religion, spiritual belief, sexual orientation, geographic origin, socioeconomic background, ideology, world view, and varied abilities.

In keeping with our commitment to equity and inclusion, domestic partners of employees are eligible for comprehensive benefits and faculty/staff affinity groups exist to offer support for faculty/staff that identify as LGBTQIA+ and/or Black/ African-American.

The Furman student experience is supported by a rich network of centers and institutes that includes:

Furman is located on traditional Cherokee land in Greenville, South Carolina, a racially and culturally diverse community that is one of the fastest growing cities in the Southeast. It has been ranked among “America’s Ten Best” by Forbes Magazine. Greenville has a thriving downtown, excellent private and public schools and a vibrant international community. A 20-mile bike and running trail connects the university to Greenville and Travelers Rest, which was named “one of America’s coolest small towns.” It is within a short driving distance of Asheville, Charlotte and Atlanta. The Blue Ridge Mountains and Atlantic Beaches are within easy reach.

Job Summary:

Major Gifts Officers are members of an ambitious Development division and have responsibility for a portfolio of 125-150 prospective major gift donors. Responsibility for identifying, cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding donors within this portfolio. Objective is to raise $700,000+ annually from $40,000+ and $100,000+ solicitations utilizing effective donor engagement and solicitation strategy in working with Furman families.

Job Description:

Portfolio Management

  • Identifies, cultivates and solicits parents who are major gift prospects while maintaining strong ties between prospects and various University programs and departments using effective donor engagement and solicitation strategy
    • Collaborates with front line fundraising teams, the Associate Vice President, Vice President, and Director of Prospect Research in evaluating gift prospects and devising cultivation strategies.
    • Involves approximately 125 prospective donors in the life of the University whenever possible.
    • Keeps prospective donors informed about Furman with personal communications and contact.
    • Involves students, faculty and other staff in the cultivation and solicitation of prospective donors where deemed appropriate
    • Secures $700,000+ per year in total gift commitments, with more than $300,000 in annual operation support.  Annual production goals will be based on assigned portfolio.
  • Utilize dashboard tools in The Raisers Edge to efficiently plan and conduct portfolio work

Ambassador of the University

  • Along with Parent Philanthropy and Engagement team, serves as liaison between parents and the University
  • Maintains and creates relationships with campus partners to ensure knowledge on University happenings
  • Participate in and attend Furman events as required, including but not limited to Family Weekend, Parent and Family Council meetings, Bell Tower Ball, and Homecoming.

Professional Development

  • Pursues professional development to keep pace with demands for services and information; including maintaining up to date information about the department and University

Budget Management

  • Utilize online reporting to manage budget, enter receipts and track expenses
  • Use travel resources efficiently to maximize donor meetings with top prospects


  • Daily contact with members of own work unit and immediate supervisor to plan, coordinate, problem solve, present information and suggestions related to mutual goals
  • Contact with volunteers to plan, coordinate, problem solve, present information and suggestions related to mutual goals
  • Frequent contact with potential donors to influence, motivate or persuade parties to obtain desired results
  • Contact with senior administration, Board of Trustees, Parent and Family Council and Alumni Board

Education/Skill Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s Degree with 4+ years of experience in related field
  • At least 3 years of fundraising or related experience with preference given to one who has worked with volunteers and donors on the college level
  • Proficiency with Blackbaud/Raisers Edge required
  • Proficiency with Plus Delta methodology, Discipline of Front Line Fundraising is strongly preferred
  • Must have strong interpersonal skills for interaction with parents, students and alumni of all ages
  • Must have strong organizational skills, follow-through and effective time management
  • Must maintain attention to detail
  • Must be a skilled communicator, both oral and written
  • Must be willing to work as a member of an energetic team
  • Must be willing to travel, including large volume of day trips and approximately two overnight trips per month
  • Must adhere to the stated principles of Development at Furman and acquire an appreciation for Furman’s history and aspirations as one of the nation’s leading liberal arts institutions
  • Successful track record reflecting the ability to secure broad-based financial support through volunteer network, direct mail, telemarketing and personal solicitation strategies; and to relate with ease to donors, prospective donors, and volunteers in a variety of settings.

Work Conditions:

  • Work is performed under usual office conditions
  • This position is approved for work performed on a hybrid schedule

How To Apply

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