Position Announcement

JOB TITLE: Development Officer (US West Coast, Midwest, or Southeast regions)

REPORTS TO: Chief Advancement Officer 

he Development Officer (DO) cultivates, solicits, and stewards a portfolio of major gifts ($100,000+) and leadership annual fund ($2,500+) prospects and donors in support of the school’s mission and goals. The DO manages and leads strategic development donor acquisition efforts for the cultivation and support of newly identified prospects. This position requires understanding and applying key principles to create loyal and generous donors with focused energy on “out-the-door” fundraising work. The DO must be motivated to learn and be able to work collaboratively with colleagues, donors, board members, and other volunteer leaders across the organization. They are experienced in designing and executing strategies to move new or annual fund level donors to a major gift level. They will be responsible for direct solicitations to meet funding needs and will listen for opportunities to secure gifts of assets or other non-cash gifts, such as planned gifts. They have demonstrated success in developing substantive donor relationships and in engaging and supporting natural partners in executing donor strategy.  

The DO provides opportunities for donors to receive recognition and increase future giving. They are a passionate advocate and spokesperson for NOLS and can communicate about the various programs in detail and can confidently discuss legacy giving opportunities. The DO will be required to use the NOLS donor database, participate in the development of proposals, and lead or assist in donor events. The DO understands and complies with all NOLS gift-related policies and procedures and ensures ethical compliance, as defined by the organization and the Association for Fundraising Professionals. 


  • Bachelor’s degree preferred along with a proven fundraising track record, ideally with 3-6 years’ experience and demonstrated success securing major gifts. Consideration may be given for related experience in customer-facing sales, nonprofit programming, financial and estate planning, or marketing. 
  • Ability to energetically and accurately represent NOLS to a variety of constituents including alumni, major and leadership annual donors, board, staff, parents, and other friends of the school. NOLS program experience preferred. 
  • Experience building and maintaining long-term relationships with fundraising constituents to help our donors accomplish their philanthropic goals and ambitions. 
  • Demonstrated experience in developing comprehensive donor strategies that include a variety of ways of giving.  
  • Understanding of major and planned gift fundraising and associated tax laws. Capital and endowment campaign experience preferred.
  • Experience in actively asking for and closing planned giving; a good understanding of different giving vehicles and related laws and tax benefits preferred. 
  • Expert project management skills, initiative, flexibility, discretion, and thoughtful decision-making to achieve ambitious performance objectives for outreach to constituents, including personal and virtual visits, gift solicitations, gift closures, and stewardship. 
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills and ability to build rapport, identify donor interests, and write customized giving proposals that include pertinent materials to donors and prospects. 
  • Experience researching and analyzing large groups of data to uncover prospects. 
  • Ability to thrive in an environment where fundraising metrics play an essential role in annual performance evaluations.
  • Strong interpersonal, organizational, and teamwork skills. 
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office, Google Suite, and advancement CRM software such as Raiser’s Edge. 
  • Ability and willingness to travel across the U.S., and occasionally internationally, approximately 30%-40% of the time. 
  • Ability and willingness to work outside of normal business hours frequently, participating regularly in fundraising dinners, community events, conferences, and after-hours or weekend meetings with high-net-worth individuals. 
  • Ability to act independently and in supervisor’s stead as needed and exercise independent judgment to identify and solve problems. 
  • Ability to sensitively handle confidential information.  

LEADERSHIP OR SUPERVISORY DUTIES: Manages a donor and prospect portfolio, requiring individual visits (in-person and virtually) to cultivate, steward, and solicit support to meet combined department goals for endowed scholarship fundraising, NOLS Fund, and other identified projects. Active leadership regarding campaign planning and execution, managing volunteers, developing and implementing strategies for cultivation, solicitations and stewardship of donors. Establishes cooperative working relationships with development and other staff members to increase understanding and support of development efforts. Stays current on NOLS programs and projects across the world. Limited fieldwork opportunity for NOLS qualified field instructors.

FUNDS AND/OR PROPERTY: Tracks traveling expenses and maintains accurate donor  reports. 


70% Major Giving 

  • Effectively researches, cultivates, solicits, and stewards a large portfolio of prospective donors (initially 250-400 individuals) with the ability to secure major gift commitments ($100,000 over several years) in support of identified philanthropic objectives.  
  • Cultivates major gift prospects, building relationships and understanding the donors’/prospects’ goals with the expressed purpose of building comprehensive donor strategies to align donor interests and organizational goals. Meets outreach and personal visit metrics as established by Chief Advancement Officer. 
  • Moves prospective major donors along the donor pipeline preparing them to receive an appropriate ask based on donor intent and interest. 
  • Solicits major gifts through face-to-face meetings, or when needed, telephone and video conferences. 
  • Employs high-volume email, phone, social media messaging, and personalized mail outreach to secure first-time personal visits with major gifts prospects and increased leadership annual gifts. 
  • Ensures necessary tracking and regular communication with prospects. Tracks fundraising progress and manages relationships to increase donor gift amounts.
  • Designs highly customized donor engagement plans for assigned donors. 
  • Works in concert with Stewardship and Foundation Relations Coordinator to produce and deliver stewardship materials for donors. 

20% Leadership Annual Giving

  • Works with NOLS Fund manager to present a coordinated fundraising effort to all donors.  
  • Solicits annual fund gifts, especially at $2,500 and above, from donors and prospects to help reach annual goal for unrestricted support. Encourages leadership annual fund donors to commit to a five-year NOLS Fund pledge. 
  • Stewards NOLS Fund donors through personal communication and adheres to thank you protocols. 

10% General Advancement Leadership and Support

  • Other duties as assigned to support the organization and changing needs of the Advancement Department. Development Officer will maintain professional affiliations and expand skills by keeping abreast of the latest information and trends in major gift fundraising, including deferred giving techniques, estate planning, and tax laws. 

EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY: NOLS does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, genetics information, disability unrelated to job or admission requirements, or status as a protected veteran. The school’s nondiscrimination policy applies to all phases of its employment process, its admission and financial aid programs, and to all other aspects of its educational programs and activities. Retaliation directed to any person who pursues a discrimination complaint or grievance, participates in a discrimination investigation, or otherwise opposes unlawful discrimination is prohibited.

CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECK: A criminal background check is required from all NOLS employees.

E-VERIFY: NOLS participates in E-verify.

MOTOR VEHICLE RECORD: Applicants must be at least 21 years of age by the position start date and possess a valid driver’s license. Must have a clean driving history and be able to meet the criteria for NOLS vehicle insurance coverage.

WORK LOCATION: Preference for a remote development officer based in California, New  York, Washington, or Colorado. Candidates living in any of the following U.S. States may apply: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Maine, Minnesota, Montana, New Mexico, New  York, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. 

HOW TO APPLY: Submit cover letter and resume to: Gabi Jackson
Email: gabi_jackson@nols.edu


Full-time, benefited position: The starting pay range for this position is between $60K - $65K per year depending on experience. Other benefits include 403 B, 403 B contribution, Health Insurance, Dental Insurance, Vision Insurance, Flexible Spending Account, Life Insurance, Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance, Long Term Disability, Employee Assistance Program, Paid Time off.

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