Major Gifts Officer: UCC Office of Philanthropy, Technology, Identity, and Communication (OPTIC)

Reports to: Development Strategist


Assist the Development Strategist, OPTIC team leaders, and volunteers in carrying out the major gift program of the national setting of the United Church of Christ; holds primary responsibility for the solicitation of individual gifts of $10k or more for the UCC. This position will be charged to identify, cultivate, solicit, and steward 75-100 prospects and donors, concentrating on the eastern half of the U.S., partnering with other staff and conference offices as appropriate. This position will require both electronic and direct face-to-face solicitation and stewardship, with an expectation of some travel. 


  • Prepare and implement a strategic plan for the cultivation and solicitation of an assigned portfolio. 
  • Work collaboratively with staff of the national setting, conferences and congregations to acquire knowledge needed to feed prospect pipeline, build donor relationships, and solicit gifts.
  • Participate actively in weekly prospect review meetings to share and request ideas for cultivation and solicitation strategies for campaign, restricted and unrestricted gifts.
  • Collaborate with the Development team to ensure timely and accurate acknowledgements, solicitation and cultivation mailings, event invitations and database entries.
  • Track, evaluate, and analyze planned giving and major gifts activities through donor database and provide reports as requested.
  • Participate actively in staff meetings and retreats as needed.
  • Serve as thought leader in professional development and provide training where necessary.
  • Willingness to update donor information within donor database.
  • Research donor prospects using Internet and other prospect research tools.
  • Review articles and attend webinars about donor cultivation, retention, and stewardship.

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS: The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skills and/or abilities required to perform successfully in this position.

  • A college degree in a related field or equivalent experience, or a combination of academic study and experience.
  • Experience in the philosophy and practice of philanthropy in the non-profit sector and demonstrated ability to work in the area of leadership gifts
  • Demonstrated ability to secure major gifts of $10K+.
  • Demonstrated credibility necessary to influence and tactfully manage relationships with internal and external constituencies.
  • Experience in gaining access to and establishing connections with national business, foundation, and industry leaders; philanthropists; and other high-level individuals.
  • Demonstrated excellent communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Ability to manage multiple priorities and relate to a variety of diverse stakeholders.
  • Commitment to and theological understanding of mission, stewardship and philanthropy.
  • Understanding of the polity and structures of the United Church of Christ.  
  • Desire and sensitivity to work in diverse racial, ethnic, cultural and religious settings with commitment to diversity in the workplace as well as in one’s understanding of mission.
  • Ability to maintain and properly handle confidential or sensitive information.
  • Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively and collegially as well as independently.
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office applications and Raiser’s Edge.
  • Limited travel within the United States.


  • Minimum of 5 years’ experience in direct personal major donor solicitation of individuals, corporations and/or foundations at the $10K+ level.

This job description is not intended to be a complete list of all duties and responsibilities required for the position and is subject to review and change at any time in accordance with the needs of the ministry. Since no job description can detail all duties and responsibilities that may be required from time to time in the performance of a position, duties and responsibilities that may be inherent in a position shall also be considered part of the position holder’s responsibility.

It is expected that the person who holds this position will conduct themselves in a manner consistent with the policies of the UCC and in a manner that will reflect positively on the organization. All staff are encouraged to nurture safety within the work performed on behalf of the UCC by being attentive to self-care, education, maintaining appropriate boundaries, and the importance of referring those in need to supportive and helpful resources.

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