Getting a major gifts officer job.

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How did you get your start doing major gifts officer work, and what career moves did you make to get to your current position?

Do you need a particular educational background?

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cynthia in Saint Louis, Missouri

54 months ago

I'm wondering the same exact thing. No one has responded to your post and i'm very interested.

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Padraig in Laramie, Wyoming

51 months ago

It's an evolutionary thing. Most people don't have specific college training for this work and MGOs tend to have every college degree one can imagine. There are a number of entry points such as Assistant Director of Annual Fund, Development Assistant or a development role in a small nonprofit organization. I matriculated through a number of positions including corporation/foundation relations and the generalist head of a very small development shop in a social services organization. My break into major gifts work can be attributed to networking and luck. A higher ed organization hired me with no exclusive major gifts experience. Once inside that outfit I kept my focus in major gifts and I've been at that about 12 years now. I am a great believer in the informational interview for people of all ages. Development managers are always on the lookout for new talent as there usually is a shortage. If you take the initiative to ask for the interview I will be surprised if you don't quickly land one. This is the beginning of your networking effort. If you have real interest in this field and can cultivate your talent you probably will find your way into the biz.

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