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Ithaca College
Ithaca, New York, United States
Salary Not Specified
Date posted
Feb 1, 2024

Job Details

Job Summary:

The Director of Major Gifts is a front-line fundraising professional responsible for the management of a portfolio of prospects comprising alumni, parents, and friends with capacity and inclination to make gifts to Ithaca College. Prospect management includes discovery and qualification of new prospects, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of donors. Prospect relationships are developed around donor interests and college priorities. The Director of Major Gifts communicates and travels extensively to develop and strengthen prospect relationships. Responsibilities also include development of written annual work plans, visit and solicitation goals, in conjunction with the Associate Vice President of Philanthropy, and preparation of reports on activities. Participate in a broad range of events on and off campus having a strategic impact on the success of the major gifts program and individual prospect relationships. The Director of major Gifts works collaboratively with other staff in the Philanthropy & Engagement division, as well as college administrators, faculty, and staff.


This position reports to the Associate Vice President of Philanthropy. This position provides guidance, direction to the administrative assistants as part of a team and may provide supervision to student assistants or temporary staff as assigned.

Job Responsibilities:

  1. Manage a portfolio of major gift prospects.
  2. Responsibilities include discovery and qualification of identified prospects to build portfolio, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship.
  3. In conjunction with the Associate Vice President of Philanthropy, establish prospect management goals for visits and solicitations.
  4. Connect via video call, phone call, email, letter, or face-to-face visit regularly to develop and strengthen prospect relationships.
  5. Solicit and close gifts payable over five-year period. Responsibilities include development of strategy, preparation of proposals and materials, solicitation, closing and stewardship, including written documentation for accurate gift recording and use, acknowledgements, and reporting.
  6. Discuss planned giving with prospects and document estate gifts.
  7. Serve as staff liaison (working with the associate director of reunion and homecoming) for milestone reunion committees to recruit, train, and manage volunteers to establish a class gift (scholarship or fund).
  8. Secure and steward lead gifts for mini campaigns including Giving Day and others which will benefit the students at Ithaca College and Ithaca College.
  9. Work with Donor Relations to identify and confirm individuals, families and foundations to create the Impact Report and other opportunities to highlight donors as appropriate.
  10. Develop and demonstrate a multicultural awareness and contribute to cultivating an inclusive, diverse, and respectful college community.
  11. Demonstrate civil and inclusive behavior when interacting with staff, faculty, students, and visitors to the college.
  12. Promote a flexible, collaborative, and inclusive work and living environment.
  13. Engage in educational opportunities to increase awareness and understanding of diversity and inclusion.
  14. Work with college partners, including division co-workers, academic leaders, faculty, and senior executives to develop meaningful engagement opportunities for major gift prospects.
  15. Engage with trustees and other college leaders to strengthen prospect involvement in the life of students at the college.
  16. Maintain active management strategies for all prospects and ensure thorough and accurate recoding of reports on all visits and other prospect activity.
  17. Update biographic, employment, and relationship information, along with honors and awards for prospects in the database.
  18. Participate in a wide range of events on and off campus and effectively engage prospects with events in strategic ways, including Alumni Weekend, campus visits, webinars, commencement, dedications, recognition events, regional programs, and more.
  19. Assist in the recruitment, training, and management of volunteers for the major gifts program with the intent to identify key leadership positions on boards and councils.
  20. Work with volunteers on special initiatives.
  21. Perform other duties as they arise and/or are assigned by the Philanthropy team; Philanthropy & Engagement Division; college administration, faculty, and staff; for the future of Ithaca College.


Bachelor’s degree and four years extensive experience in educational fund raising or related field or an equivalent combination of related education and experience; strong commitment to higher education and specifically to Ithaca College's mission; demonstrated ability to cultivate relationships, including gift solicitation; experience working with volunteers and a proven track record of collaboration in a team environment; superior communication skills; the ability to speak credibly about higher education and IC's mission and vision; exceptional interpersonal skills, the ability to effectively work and interact respectfully within a diverse and inclusive environment, and ability to develop relationships with high net worth individuals in a broad range of professions; ability to travel extensively and attend college functions during and after normal business hours; deep personal integrity and strong work ethic are required. An understanding of major gifts fund raising and campaign fund raising are preferred.

Work Environment:

Most of the work of the incumbent is carried out within a generally accessible, safe, indoor environment. The incumbent will be required to operate a personal computer and associated equipment such as computer printers and other office equipment used in day-to-day operations. The incumbent will be required to travel extensively and may need to make alternative arrangements for transportation.

Application Instructions:

Interested applicants must apply online and attach a resume, cover letter, and list of three professional references. Questions about online applications should be directed to the Office of Human Resources at (607) 274-8000 or

Ithaca College is committed to building a diverse academic community and encourages members of underrepresented groups to apply. Experience that contributes to the diversity of the college is appreciated.

Visa sponsorship is not provided for this position.

Hiring Range:

$87,000 - $90,000, commensurate with qualifications and experience. We pride ourselves on providing our benefit-eligible employees with comprehensive benefits, including work/life balance, generous paid time off policies, career-enhancing trainings, educational benefits, and opportunities to give back to the community. Beyond benefits, you’ll enjoy the kind of uniquely rewarding work environment that can only be found in a vibrant college community. For an overview of our benefit offerings, please visit

About Us
At Ithaca College, a comprehensive residential campus community of approximately 5,000 students, we strive to be at the forefront of the higher education landscape. We offer a distinct integrative learning experience that makes students ready for the personal, professional, and global challenges of our age.

We seek candidates who embrace integrative learning and want to be a part of this exciting time in Ithaca College history. We encourage creative collaboration and innovation in our faculty and staff, providing support and resources for them to grow in their fields and lead students to their own innovative ideas and achievements.

We welcome different ways of thinking and look for candidates with unique points of view and life experiences. We are inclusive of individuals with a wide range of cultural, personal, and professional backgrounds, talents, and skills. Our campus is a vibrant and rewarding community where diverse minds can learn, succeed, and excel.

When reviewing candidates, we are looking for indicators of a number of core competencies. Prospective candidates must be adaptable, collaborative, inclusive, respectful, responsive, results driven, and sustainable. They must communicate effectively, demonstrate leadership, exhibit professional integrity and ethics, take initiative, value personal and professional development, and show that they will engage in the college.

Nestled in the heart of New York State’s scenic Finger Lakes region, Ithaca College sits atop South Hill overlooking picturesque Cayuga Lake and is just minutes away from the city center. Combining small town warmth and charm with the vibrancy of a college community, the thriving and culturally diverse city of Ithaca has been rated by Kiplinger’s as one of the top 10 places to live in the United States.

To learn more about Ithaca College, visit us at


Ithaca College

Ithaca College is a private residential campus where students find life-changing academic pathways, powerful career networks, and lifelong community.

Founded by a homesick violinist with a big vision, Ithaca College started out as the Ithaca Conservatory of Music — combining theory, practice, and performance from its inception. By the 1920s, academic programs expanded to include business, speech therapy, physical education, and the dramatic arts. IC was originally located in downtown Ithaca and moved to the present campus on South Hill overlooking Cayuga Lake in the 1960s.

Situated near 150 majestic waterfalls in the Finger Lakes region of New York State, the city of Ithaca, New York, has been ranked as the best college town in the United States — hosting tech startups, a “killer music scene,” Broadway-caliber theatre, and world-class restaurants as well as alumni-owned ice cream shops.  

Ithaca College offers more than 140 majors and minors through its five schools. Whether our alumni are winning Pulitzers, launching nonprofits, anchoring broadcast news, leading multibillion-dollar companies, or revolutionizing patient care (among many other pursuits and accomplishments), students at Ithaca College learn different and leave different. 

Join an innovative educational community, where faculty and staff learn, thrive, and collaborate. IC will make you ready to take your career to new heights, giving you the chance to create your own path to success while you contribute to growing the minds of future generations.

As an employee at Ithaca College, you’ll get much more than a competitive salary and the traditional advantages. We pride ourselves on providing our employees with the most comprehensive benefits possible.

Beyond benefits, you’ll enjoy the kind of uniquely rewarding work environment that can only be found in a vibrant college community. We encourage and contribute to the personal and professional development of our faculty and staff. We understand that it’s the people who work here that make Ithaca College special, and we strive to be an employer of choice in our region.

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