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Director of Major Gifts

United Way of the Battle Creek and Kalamazoo Region
Kalamazoo, MI

Relocation expenses: Not paid

Full time
3 - 5 years of experience
Bachelor's Degree

Published on 11 Nov 2021

Expires on

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Director of Major Gifts

Group/Team: Resource Development

Reports To: Senior Director of Resource Development

Status: Full Time

FLSA Classification: Exempt

Minimum Salary: $66,000



The Director of Major Gifts raises support for and advances United Way of Battle Creek and Kalamazoo's mission by sustaining and growing relationships, leading to leadership level and major gifts, through innovative relationship fundraising best practices. This role is responsible for implementing creative, cutting-edge tactics to financially engage individuals in the work of United Way. The Director works with the Senior Director of Resource Development to plan and execute the cultivation, stewardship and personal solicitation of individual donors and prospects, including major and planned gifts.



An individual must be able to perform each essential duty listed below at a satisfactory level:

  • Manage and maintain a portfolio of high-net-worth individuals and secure their annual gifts of $10,000 and above.

  • Develop and execute strategies to identify, research, cultivate and solicit qualified prospects for major and planned gifts in collaboration with the Senior Director of Resource Development and the Associate Director of Major Gifts.

  • Cultivate relationships with individual donors and prospects, through personal visits and other forms of direct personal contact in accordance with performance targets. 

  • Recruits, engages, and manages volunteers and provides them with leadership and direction in support of the cultivation and solicitation of major donors and prospects; coordinates volunteers' activities to ensure their integration into the organization's mission.

  • Develops, and implements year-round engagement strategies for all donors above $5,000, including loyal donors and legacy Society donors, involving events, as necessary.

  • Take advantage of educational opportunities to enhance knowledge of major gifts and planned giving trends, best practices and tools that lead to creative and innovative tactics for growth.

  • Expands and grows donor base beyond traditional United Way participants. 

  • Responsible for establishing UWBCKR Legacy Society program to grow revenue from planned gifts as well develop relationships with the Planned Giving community.

  • Research, identify, cultivate and solicit new Planned Giving prospects while managing and prioritizing the current Planned Giving Legacy Society members.

  • Manage ongoing donor relationships through regular contact, personal visits, communication and follow up.

  • Consistently document key conversations and other pertinent donor information in donor management database.

  • Work with Marketing/Communications department in the design of Leadership, Tocqueville Society & Planned Giving promotional materials (i.e., website, newsletter, newspaper ads, directories, social media, letters, and brochures).



  • Associate Director of Major Gifts

  • Volunteers as assigned.

Minimum requirements include:

  • Ability to work independently and within a team environment, excellent problem solver.

  • Moderate level of creativity skills.

  • High degree of confidentiality.

  • Demonstrated independent thinking and judgment.

  • Displays high level of critical thinking skills.

  • Adherence to deadlines, timelines and fast turn-around.

  • Moderate level of decision making.




  • Bachelor's degree: and 3-5 years of documented professional experience related to the duties and responsibilities specified.

  • Minimum of 1 to 3 years major gifts and/or planned giving experience preferred.

  • Demonstrated sales/marketing experience with applied emphasis on customer relationship building.

  • Proficient in Microsoft Office computer applications.

  • Extremely effective oral and written communication skills with an ability to relate with a diverse group of individuals.

  • Demonstrated ability to manage a portfolio of major donor accounts.

  • Demonstrated ability to secure major gifts from individuals, and other private funding sources.

  • Strong ability to define and execute on action plans.

  • Proven ability to take initiative, be creative in thinking and solutions.

  • Manage and develop high performing, effective volunteers and committees.

  • High level of prioritization and organization skills.

  • Ability to build and maintain relationships with a diverse population.

  • Experience with donor databases preferred.

  • Communication skills and protocol suitable for interfacing with major gift donors.

  • Experience in the Development profession preferred.



The United Way of the Battle Creek and Kalamazoo Region partners across all sectors year-round to achieve measurable progress towards specific community level goals in Education, Income, Health and Basic Needs. Our organization stands in the top five percent of United Way organizations nationwide in overall resource development results. Our impact locally is over $10M with more than 4,000 volunteers engaged to help fuel the ongoing movement to change the story in communities throughout our region…one life at a time.


Vision Statement

A community in which every person is equitably supported and thriving.


Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Statement

UWBCKR is dedicated to building capacity and accountability into our policies, practices, and partnerships through collective collaboration with communities most affected by inequities. UWBCKR is committed to dismantling systemic inequities that continue to cause harm for Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color (BIPOC), Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ+) people, women, and people with disabilities.