Jun 03, 2022

Senior Major Gifts Officer

$95,000 - $110,000 yearly
  • Clover Search Works
  • Seattle, WA, USA
Full-Time Fundraising/Development

Job Description

Washington State Opportunity Scholarship (WSOS) is seeking a Senior Major Gifts Officer to help us refine, shape and grow the major gifts program for this thriving public-private partnership. Our goal is to build on the success of our generous founding funders to develop a more robust and diversified funding pipeline. 

The Senior Major Gifts Officer will be a highly skilled, experienced, results-oriented professional who can plan fundraising strategy, manage a portfolio and lead a high-performing major gifts team. They will serve as a strategic thought partner to the Senior Development Director and the Executive Director on campaign planning and the cultivation and stewardship of corporate, foundation and individual funders. The successful candidate will bring an understanding of the complexities of philanthropy and will be excited to help build and grow the WSOS major gift strategy and team. 

This position is a rare opportunity for you, a talented fundraising professional, to work on a smaller, close-knit and mission-driven development team while still focusing your energies on planning for and securing large-scale gifts that lead to measurable impact that you would typically only encounter in a much larger organization. As the first person to hold this role, you will have the opportunity to help shape the job and the major gifts program, including helping to hire another MGO to work on your team early in your tenure. You will be a key leader in a successful nonprofit that is innovative, collaborative and equity-focused, and your work will make a real difference in the lives of the thousands of under-resourced and underrepresented students WSOS serves. Come join us!


Across the state, Washington has more science, technology, engineering, math (STEM) and health care jobs than it can fill, yet our higher education system cannot keep up with the demand for skilled employees. The Washington State Opportunity Scholarship (WSOS) is a unique public-private partnership designed to address our talent shortage as well as the opportunity gap in higher education. We connect our state’s leading industries to top students from diverse backgrounds by reducing barriers to education and providing a supportive pathway for academic progression and career development. This powerful public-private partnership is the first of its kind in the country, and is a “win-win-win” for Washington students, Washington industry, and Washington state residents.

Bipartisan support launched WSOS in 2011, with the state legislature pledging to match private contributions dollar-for-dollar. Industry leaders, including founding partners Microsoft and Boeing, provided cornerstone support to unlock state match funds to develop a robust pipeline of Washington students for Washington jobs. This model has resulted in tremendous fundraising success: to date, WSOS has raised more than $280 million to support our mission and sustain our scholarship model through 2025, with $31 million raised in private funds the last calendar year alone.

As we look to the next ten years, we have begun the process of transitioning from reliance on a small group of founding funders to a longer-term, sustainable funding model that includes ongoing support from a wider network of corporations and foundations. Our goal is to build a robust funding pipeline made up of committed businesses, foundations and philanthropists who share our vision and goals. Planning for and implementing this forward-looking and inclusive major gift strategy will be the crux of the work of the Senior Major Gifts Officer.

Key responsibilities of the position:

The Senior Major Gifts Officer reports to and works closely with the Senior Development Director in the strategy and management of WSOS’s major donor portfolios (individuals, corporate and foundation prospects.) In collaboration with the Executive Director, Senior Development Director, and the other members of the development team the SMGO will: 

  • Oversee the major gifts program: plan for and manage each step of the major donor pipeline including discovery, qualification, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship 
  • Manage relationships and secure investments from a portfolio of 50-75 opportunities (proposals/prospects) that are $250,000+
  • Lead and supervise a high performing major gifts team that will include a MGO and the Development Operations Coordinator, as well as oversee the WSOS contract grant writer’s work. This will include hiring and onboarding the new MGO early in the Senior MGO’s tenure.
  • Support key board members and volunteers in their fundraising efforts, and be one of the lead staff members on the Campaign Steering Committee

Working at WSOS: 

The workplace culture at WSOS is mission-driven and equity-focused, and it is our goal to create a working environment where people are inspired to do their best work. We create a space built on trust where people can think creatively, voice their opinions and iterate to great. We have built a collaborative team, and we spend time investing in relationships. We acknowledge the humanity of our Scholars, staff and partners. We believe we are powerful because of the diverse perspectives staff bring, and we seek to understand and offer one another grace and acceptance. We commit to giving and receiving feedback honestly and often. We set bold goals centered around impact and have high expectations for ourselves, and we hold ourselves and others accountable to them. 

Staff at WSOS work two days in the office and three days remotely; in-office days occur on a consistent schedule so teams can interact, support each other and collaborate effectively. For this position, it is expected that as much as 40% of the Senior Major Gift Officer’s time would be spent in the field (or virtually) meeting with Puget Sound area funders; these meetings would likely take place throughout the work week (that is, on either in- or out-of-office days). 

Hiring Organization

Washington State Opportunity Scholarship (WSOS)


The Ideal Candidate:

The ideal candidate for this position is an experienced major gifts fundraiser who is inspired by WSOS’s work in supporting under-resourced students to meet their educational and career goals. Specifically, they will demonstrate:

  • Significant experience securing major gifts, ideally from corporations and foundations as well as individuals. A proven track record of building relationships with potential funders and closing gifts ideally in excess of $100,000.
  • Experience formally or informally leading a team for shared success in meeting goals and outcomes. Experience hiring and directly supervising development staff is preferred.
  • Experience and comfort in stewarding relationships with high-profile, high-net-worth individuals as well as corporate and foundation representatives and board members.
  • A nuanced understanding of the current philanthropic landscape, and the ability to strategically plan a major gifts fundraising program that addresses relevant challenges and opportunities.
  • Bachelor’s degree, or equivalent experience.

In addition to these skills, the ideal candidate should be committed to and capable of working successfully as part of WSOS’s inclusive and collaborative workplace and team. Candidates should demonstrate initiative and integrity in their leadership, as well as the ability to give and receive feedback respectfully, to thoughtfully consider and embrace new ideas and different perspectives, and to reflect on challenging situations as opportunities to learn. 

Additional requirements:

  • References and a short personal diversity or equity statement will be required of short-listed candidates later in the process
  • Valid state driver’s license or identification card; access to reliable transportation for business travel, proof of automobile insurance if using a personal vehicle for business travel
  • A criminal background check absent of offenses impacting ability to perform in the role

Industry/Service Area



Mid-Senior level


Compensation and Benefits:

The starting salary range is between $95,000 and $110,000, depending on qualifications and experience.

WSOS offers generous benefits including 21 days of PTO per year plus 14 paid holidays; there is frequently additional time off the week of July 4 at the Executive Director’s discretion. Medical, dental, and vision coverage is fully provided for the employee and partially covered for dependents. Other benefits include life insurance, disability, a 401K including a partial match and more. 

All WSOS employees work both in the office and remotely. The office is located in Seattle’s Mt. Baker neighborhood and has ample free parking. To support this hybrid working environment, all employees receive $65/month for use of a personal cell phone for business purposes, as well as a one-time $500 stipend to set up a comfortable home office plus $100 per quarter in ongoing work-from-elsewhere support.

Application Instructions

How to Apply:

To apply, please send a cover letter and a resume with your name in the title of the document. The cover letter should describe how your skills and experience are a fit with the position goals as outlined in this announcement. Please email your pdf to  jobs@waopportunityscholarship.org

Priority consideration will be given to candidates who apply by June 27, 2022. The position will remain open until filled. Initial screening and interviewing will begin as soon as applications are received. 

Equal employment opportunities and diverse staffing are fundamental principles of WSOS. To learn more about the Washington State Opportunity Scholarship, please visit www.waopportunityscholarship.org.  People who have personal experience as a first-generation, under-resourced or underrepresented student like the majority of those WSOS serves are especially encouraged to apply.

Questions about this position are welcomed, and should be directed to Nick Peyton, Senior Development Director at npeyton@waopportunityscholarship.org  or 206-303-7058

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