Director of Major Gifts

Staff Exempt Boston, Massachusetts



Suffolk University is one of the area’s leading universities and the only one situated in the center of Boston. Founded in 1906, the University is comprised of four esteemed schools-the College of Arts and Sciences, Suffolk University Law School, School of Public Affairs and Global Engagement and the Sawyer Business School.  Suffolk’s 85,000 alumni are professionally successful and civically engaged, and they reside in Massachusetts, across the United States, and in over 150 countries.  Suffolk is beginning an exciting new era and building a comprehensive Advancement program to support the University and its plans for the future.


The Director of Major Gifts will have direct responsibility for building a major gift program encompassing all of Suffolk’s programs and schools.  As a member of a growing and comprehensive major gift fundraising program under the direction of the Associate Vice President, Individual Giving, the Director of Major Gifts will maintain a prospect pool of 125, as well as manage a team of Major Gift Officers, the Director of Corporate Relations and Sponsorship and support staff.  The Director will have an integral role in managing the meetings, events, and trips serving to further major gift cultivation and solicitations.  The successful candidate will work with other fundraisers and alumni engagement professionals in Advancement to develop a culture of philanthropy to achieve new levels of fundraising success. 



Primary Responsibilities: 

50% Personal Fundraising:


Cultivating and soliciting philanthropic gifts that equal or exceed $100,000 will fund the short- and long-term goals established in the Strategic Plan of the University.



  • Identify, cultivate, and solicit alumni, parents and friends who possess the capacity of making commitments of six and seven figures in support of Advancement’s overall short-term and long-term financial goals. Use advanced relationship building skills to identify and cultivate new individual, corporate and institutional/foundation prospects. Establish and effectively manage relationships with critical, high profile prospects. Identify stewardship opportunities for major donors.


  • Design and implement strategic fundraising plans.  Develop activity and visit goals and supporting documentation for managing a portfolio of prospects as part of a coordinated major gift program.  The Director of Major Gifts will manage a portfolio of 125 prospects and make 75 in-person visits per year.


  • Work closely with volunteers, Deans, the faculty, administration, Trustees and the President to engage prospects and donors to cultivate and establish long-term philanthropic partnerships with them and the University.


  • Collaborate with Advancement colleagues in major gifts, annual giving, planned giving, corporate and foundation relations, donor relations, advancement communications, prospect research, and alumni engagement to develop and maintain a coordinated approach supporting overall departmental and university-wide goals. Manage special events to involve and cultivate prospects.



50% Managing Front line Fundraising Staff


Managing a Major Gift team and major gift event planning will improve fundraising coordination and efficiency, and thus lead to greater solicitation and fundraising success.


  • Responsible for implementing the overall major gift fundraising effort.  May serve complex fundraising markets or regions.


  • Coordinate the planning and execution of major gift cultivation/solicitation dinners, visits, and events, with special attention to those involving senior administrative officers.


  • Manage and advise a team of Major Gift Officers with varying degrees of experience regarding their strategies for individual prospects, general portfolio management, and job performance. 


  • Mediate issues involving the overlapping interests of fundraising portfolios. 





  • Bachelor’s degree required


  • Successful candidates will have a keen and authentic interest in making a significant impact at Suffolk in support of the University’s mission through fundraising.


  • The successful candidate will possess demonstrated success soliciting six-figure major gifts and have several years’ experience in the field of Advancement.


  • The successful candidate should have experience managing fundraising staff, organizing meetings, events and trips designed as major gift cultivations/solicitations, and staffing senior administrative officers, including the President. 


  • The successful candidate will be able to present compelling and relevant cases for philanthropy through intellectual engagement and supported by excellent oral and written communication skills.


  • Knowledge of Microsoft Office preferred


To apply for this position, go to


Suffolk University does not discriminate against any person on the basis of race, color, national origin, ancestry, religious creed, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, age, genetic information, or status as a veteran in admission to, access to, treatment in, or employment in its programs, activities, or employment. As an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer, the University is dedicated to the goal of building a diverse and inclusive faculty and staff that reflect the broad range of human experience who contribute to the robust exchange of ideas on campus, and who are committed to teaching and working in a diverse environment. We strongly encourage applications from groups historically marginalized or underrepresented because of race/color, gender, religious creed, disability, national origin, veteran status or LGBTQ status. Suffolk University is especially interested in candidates who, through their training, service and experience, will contribute to the diversity and excellence of the University community.