Position Description & Responsibilities

The Major Gift Officer, under the supervision of the Senior Associate Vice President for Development and with strong coordination across Development and Alumni Relations, is charged with raising unrestricted, endowed, capital and programmatic gifts for Merrimack College. The Major Gift Officer will manage a portfolio of at least 200 major gift prospects, driving the cultivation, solicitation and, in collaboration with the stewardship team, the stewardship of a 3-tiered donor strategy aimed at securing $100,000+ major gifts, planned gifts, and $5,000+ annual gifts. In addition, this position will be responsible for identifying and qualifying prospective major gift donors. This position will be a critical contributor to the success of Merrimack’s next comprehensive $100M fundraising campaign in support of the College’s 5-year strategic plan, The Agenda for the Future.

  • Manage a portfolio of 200+ parents and alumni, with the majority located in New England, with the capacity of closing 6-figure major gifts in support of The Agenda for the Future, raising between $1M-$1.5M annually with 3-tiered solicitation strategies: major gifts, planned gifts, annual gifts.
  • Move prospects through the giving pipeline, including setting strategy, proposal development, qualification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship.
  • Help donors articulate their philanthropic goals and connect them with key funding priorities within the Agenda for the Future.
  • Meet or exceed goals for prospect visits, solicitations, gifts closed, and dollars raised.
  • Successfully leverage campus leaders to solicit and close 6-figure 3-tiered gifts.
  • Solicit entire portfolio for unrestricted leadership annual gifts.
  • Responsible for timely entry of contact reports and upkeep of accurate prospect stage, solicitation records, and biographical data in alumni database.
  • Identify, qualify and develop relationships with new major gifts prospects.
  • Build a fluid target list of yet-to-be engaged alumni and parents based on high capacity rating or peer recommendations.
  • Secure discovery visits to qualify prospects for portfolio assignments.
  • Work closely with the annual giving team to identify prospects through demonstrated annual giving.
  • Assign a minimum of 10 new major gift prospects to your portfolio annually.
  • Perform other responsibilities as needed.


  • Bachelors degree required.
  • 3-5 years of direct frontline fundraising experience, preferably in leadership or major gifts within higher education. Experience building thoughtful, productive relationships is critical.
  • Experience securing planned and annual gifts.
  • Ability and willingness to travel, and work some evenings and weekends as needed.
  • Ability to form and leverage relationships with major prospects, effectively secure significant gifts through effective prospect management.
  • Highly professional and able to productively collaborate with colleagues in Development & Alumni Relations as well as campus partners.
  • Effective communication and interpersonal skills to motivate, engage and work with staff, donors, and campus leaders.
  • Strong motivation to succeed in a fast-paced and goal-oriented environment. Self starter as well as a team player.
  • Demonstrates a strong commitment to Diversity, Inclusion and Equity

Statement on Our Mission

Merrimack College is a Catholic Augustinian institution of higher education committed to building a culturally and racially diverse community. Our mission is to enlighten minds, engage hearts and empower lives and is inspired by our Catholic faith and the Augustinian tradition of seeking truth through inquiry and dialogue.

Merrimack College seeks candidates who understand, respect and can contribute to Merrimack’s Augustinian mission and values and advance our work in the area of diversity, equity and inclusion. We strongly encourage applications from members of underrepresented groups. All candidates should describe in their application previous experience related to equity, diversity, and inclusion, as well as how they will engage in fostering a culture that supports our Augustinian mission, our Catholic faith and our values of diversity, equity and inclusion.

Application materials should include:

  • Cover letter stating motivation and interest in the position, citing experience relevant to the qualifications and including experience with, and commitment to, our Catholic Augustinian mission, our values, and our desire to be a more diverse, equitable and inclusive institution of higher learning.
  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae
  • This position is subject to the successful completion of a criminal background check.

Required Vaccinations & Remote Work:

Unless otherwise stated above, this is an on-campus position. This is not a remote or hybrid position as employees are essential in order to provide a fully on-campus, residential college experience for our students and the community.

Merrimack College currently has a COVID-19 Vaccination Policy. Students, faculty and staff are required to be vaccinated for COVID-19.

About Merrimack College:

The only Catholic, Augustinian institution of higher education in New England, Merrimack College is a private, independent, coeducational institution with more than 5,000 undergraduates and graduate students from 32 states and 37 countries, and comprises schools of liberal arts, science and engineering, health sciences, education and social policy, and business. The college’s 260- acre campus is approximately 25 miles north of Boston in North Andover and Andover, Massachusetts. Merrimack is a Master’s Colleges & Universities/Medium Programs institution in the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. Merrimack is one of the fastest growing educational institutions in the country and has steadily climbed up U.S. News & World Report’s ranking of Best Colleges, coming in 46th out of 170 schools ranked in the Regional Universities North category in 2020. Merrimack is also listed as one of the top 10 most innovative schools and placed 35th for best undergraduate teaching programs among schools in the U.S. News category.

Merrimack College is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

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Posted: 6/23/21

Position Code: 406