Major Gift Officer, CVPA & Hylton

George Mason University   Fairfax, VA   Full-time     Education
Posted on March 8, 2023
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Major Gift Officer, CVPA & Hylton

The George Mason University Office of Advancement & Alumni Relations invites applications for a Major Gift Officer. George Mason University has a strong institutional commitment to the achievement of excellence and diversity among its faculty and staff, and strongly encourages candidates to apply who will enrich CVPA and Mason’s academic and culturally inclusive environment.

About the Department:

The University Advancement division is a comprehensive development and alumni relations enterprise with a staff complement of approximately 135 FTE. Functional units within Advancement include development/fundraising, alumni relations, stewardship and donor relations, advancement communications, special events, gift processing, research, prospect management, gift planning, corporate and foundation relations, information systems and management, and infrastructure services.

Advancement’s mission is to build strong, lifelong relationships with George Mason University’s constituents, match donors’ interests with the university’s needs and priorities, and secure the financial resources necessary for Mason to achieve excellence in teaching, research, and scholarship.

The College of Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA) is dedicated to advancing the study, creation, performance, and exhibition of the arts, acting on the strong belief in their transformative influence on individuals and societies. The College honors the values of great traditions in the arts while actively engaging in the creation of new works and ideas. This distinctive fusion of the academic and the professional, the campus and the community, the past and the present, defines the college as it engages new art forms, communities, and ways of working to meet the needs of a rapidly changing world.

The George Mason University Office of Advancement and Alumni Relations is charged with generating private philanthropic support for the University as well as engendering strong alumni relationships through creative programming and compelling communications.

About the Position:

The Major Gift Officer works closely with the College of Visual and Performing Arts Advancement and Hylton Advancement team and plays a key role in supporting and achieving the annual and strategic philanthropic goals of the College. This position coordinates with the Dean’s Office, central Advancement Office, and external constituents to help achieve the fundraising goals and priorities of the College and University Campaign. Reporting to the Sr. Director of Development, this position is responsible for identifying and implementing strategies for success in securing significant philanthropic support for priorities. This position is responsible for cultivating meaningful relationships with potential and current Major Gift ($25,000+) level donors to CVPA and the University. The gift officer manages a portfolio of donors and prospective donors, and is responsible for facilitating all phases of the gift cycle, including initiating contact, cultivating and moving potential donors to solicitation and closure, creating solicitations, writing proposals, and stewarding donors. The gift officer works collaboratively with key volunteers, college leadership and faculty, Advancement staff and other college representatives to cultivate and solicit donors for the College.

This position also offers:

  • Potential for flexible telework and hybrid telework scheduling;
  • Competitive salary; and
  • Outstanding benefits including:
  • Health & life insurance, multiple industry-leading retirement plans available including state VRS Hybrid Retirement Plan, accrued paid days off per year, paid holidays, paid winter break, paid sick leave, professional development, tuition reimbursement at Mason, and employee assistance programs.


  • Identifies and cultivates major gift prospects including developing ways to find new prospects and following up on inquiries regarding significant gifts to the University;
  • Personally solicits assigned donor portfolio through face-to-face visits, including preparation of personalized materials;
  • Proactively identifies, develops, and delivers engagement opportunities to donors to ensure the maximization of their financial and non-financial support;
  • Is accountable for meeting or exceeding established fundraising goals and metrics, as determined and set by Central Advancement;
  • Solicits and secures 6 and 7 figure major gifts from assigned donors;
  • Works with prospects to educate them on university priorities and soliciting and closing outright and planned gifts;
  • Effectively manages 90-100 prospects through personal visits, correspondence, electronic and telephone communication;
  • Is accountable for cultivating relationships of individual and organizational fundraising with focus on retention, recapture, and growth;
  • Researches, develops, and writes funding proposals, appeal letters, and reports as required;
  • Builds trusting relationships with advancement colleagues as well as deans, directors, prospects, donors and volunteers;
  • Becomes immersed in the key strategies and initiatives of George Mason University; and
  • Coordinates on College and University-wide solicitations with colleagues in the College of Visual and Performing Arts, other Mason Colleges/Units, and Central Advancement and Alumni Relations.

Required Qualifications:

  • Master’s degree in Arts Management, Higher Education Administration, or other related field and demonstrated successful professional advancement and/or fundraising-related experience, preferably in higher education; or, any equivalent combination of education and/or experience from which comparable knowledge, skill and abilities have been achieved;
  • Prior fundraising experience in successfully cultivating and securing major gifts of $25,000 or more (typically 5+ years);
  • Consistent record of building solid relationships with prospects and donors;
  • Understanding of basic principles and techniques of planned giving and work closely with planned giving colleagues;
  • Ability to manage a mixed portfolio of approximately 125 individual, corporate, and prospective donors involving travel and considerable face to face meetings;
  • Understanding of business processes of advancement operations including prospect management, donor relations, and gift processing;
  • Well-developed interpersonal, verbal, listening, and written communication skills;
  • Ability to juggle multiple priorities; strong organizational skills;
  • Demonstrated aptitude at representing an organization in a professional and highly effective manner;
  • Able to work well with diverse groups of constituents and colleagues;
  • High level of creativity, initiative, and motivation;
  • Ability to maintain a high level of confidentiality with respect to prospects and donors;
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office – Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint;
  • Familiarity with CRM fundraising software;
  • Demonstrated experience working with diverse groups, projects, and communities; and
  • Ability to travel as needed; evenings and weekends may be required.

Special Instructions to Applicants

For full consideration, applicants must apply for position number FA62Jz at; complete and submit the online application; and upload a cover letter, resume, and a list of three professional references with contact information.

George Mason University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer, committed to promoting inclusion and equity in its community. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability or veteran status, or any characteristic protected by law.