Open Position: MGO 2020-02-03T14:47:04-08:00

Open Position

Major Gifts Officer – Eastern or Western Region

POSITION: Major Gifts Officer (Eastern Region / and / Western Region)

ORGANIZATION: Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center (“NEC” or The Center)

HEADQUARTERS: San Francisco, California

LOCATION: Flexible, Work from Home.  (Company laptop and printer will be provided to active employees during their service.  Internet stipend will also be provided).


REPORTING RELATIONSHIP: The MGO will report to the Executive Director.


The Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center (NEC) is the leading nonprofit committed to advancing inclusive entrepreneurial education worldwide. The Center has supported over 15,000 founders in the last three years, almost half of whom are female and more than 62% minority founders – and are just getting started. In 2019, they aim to provide even more pathways for this high talent underserved population of entrepreneurs to gain much needed access to founder education and capital while bringing new industry benchmarking to light.

Headquartered in San Francisco, the NEC works domestically and internationally to transform entrepreneurship by fostering innovative leaders and proven skills to advance their ideas into robust businesses. We deliver high-impact and collaborative programs that serve communities in need that are often overlooked. Through our global work, NEC and our partners empower people to achieve their full potential.

In 2020, for the first time, we are adding two Major Gifts Officer roles (Eastern Region and one in the Western Region) that shall constitute a National Development Team.  The Development Team’s core purpose is to build high-quality, mission-driven relationships with current donors and new major giving prospects in their key markets.  They will work together to offer leadership, and vision on the fundraising strategy and stewardship models that lead to sustainable revenue sources that attract an ever-increasing level of private support from individuals, corporations, foundations and volunteers.


We are seeking a highly motivated, skilled relationship-builder (more of a “hunter” and less of a “gatherer”) who can help us grow the newly established Major Gifts and Leadership Giving Program at the Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center.  As this giving channel is in its nascent stages, the ideal candidate would be one that possesses the skills to grow existing donors into major donors, and to a great extent, recruit new prospects who are capable of giving gifts of $10K+ or more to the cause.

The best candidate is someone who lives outside the state of California and who is a self-starter, able to demonstrate their outcomes as part of a “work-from-home,” remote team.  We will be hiring two MGOs, one to support relationship building efforts in the Eastern Region, and another for the Central / Western Region. While we are open to other geographies, our ideal candidate would come from a community that has a growing and thriving entrepreneurial vibe and associated funders. Candidates located in (or those who have strong relationships with high net-worth individuals in) Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Michigan, Nevada, Ohio, Oregon, Texas and Virginia will be given priority.

The Major Gifts Officer (MGO) is charged with the responsibility of creating, implementing and managing the activities related to fundraising for The Center. The position will drive revenues through strategic business relationships with major companies and foundations to help retain and secure funding for their strategic account objectives. The MGO works with the Executive Director and the Board on all fundraising programs designed to enhance and support the mission of The Center. He or she will be responsible for the identification, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship of major gifts from corporate and foundation relationships and grants. The position will develop, manage and steward a portfolio of donors and prospects to advance the mission of The Center. Key metrics for success will include donor engagement (number of personal meetings with prospects; and portfolio development) and revenue (value of unrestricted and restricted gifts; number of solicitations; and success rate of solicitations). Such metrics will be developed in concert with the Executive Director. This position is responsible for meeting an initial annual fundraising goal of $500K in 2020 and working up to $750K by the end of 2021. The ideal candidate must have a successful track record developing and implementing fundraising strategies and maintaining relationships with various types of donors, including local and national foundations and corporate decision-makers. The role will require a substantial level of knowledge and customer management as it will act as the senior point of contact with C-suite of global and national companies. Often, this position will be expected to collaborate with cross functional teams in planning initiatives, and successfully managing the business success (both creatively and financially) to their generous under-writers.


The team is small but mighty and is inspired by the entrepreneurs they serve to be bigger and bolder in all ways:

  • They always ask themselves “what if.”
  • They believe in the need to learn by doing and ask for a lot of help along the way.
  • They are ambitious, action-oriented, and doggedly optimistic that the collective wisdom of their growing community can make a measurable difference to changemakers of all backgrounds in their calls to action throughout all aspects of their work.


This development staff position is responsible for contributing to the overall growth of the Major Gifts and Planned Giving program within the Center.  This position works collaboratively and strategically with external professional fundraising / marketing consultants, program staff and board level campaign leaders and volunteers.

Duties and responsibilities include:

  • As the NEC is a newer organization, the ideal candidate should demonstrate their ability to “hunt for” and “close” major gifts with new prospects, not simply “gather” and “renew” existing major donors.
  • Must be a highly energetic professional with a track record of building donor relationships with both new and existing prospects and have demonstrated success in closing gifts in the six-figure range.
  • Serves as a member of the Development Team which is responsible for helping NEC achieve its mission through private philanthropic support.
  • Develops, prioritizes and implements individual and group cultivation and solicitation strategies, and stewardship activities for donors and for new and existing prospects.
  • Manages a portfolio of 150 primary prospects giving $5,000+ as the primary territory to fulfill a revenue target of $500K in the first year. Completes a minimum of 20 “major moves” each month. Cultivates new relationships with prospects capable of giving 5, 6 or 7-figure gifts. The MGO is expected to identify, qualify, cultivate, solicit and steward these very important friends and prospective new friends of the organization.
  • Manages prospect activity in the primary territory. Travels throughout the primary territory for donor cultivation purposes. Manage prospects in distant markets as a secondary territory.
  • Design and implement customized cultivation strategies for each donor that will serve as a foundational communication and marketing plan for individuals within the portfolio.
  • Participate in all aspects of the gift cycle:
    • Conducts Prospect Research to strategically pursue prospect leads
    • Meets with donors and prospects in discovery calls
    • Initiate contacts with potential leadership and major gift donors, and follows up on fresh leads
    • Develops appropriate cultivation strategies for them, including working with volunteers
    • Move potential donors in an appropriate and timely fashion toward solicitation and closure
    • Make solicitations when appropriate, and or “sets the table” for other natural partners to solicit/close.
  • Faithfully and, in a timely manner, execute the plan so that individuals in the portfolio are retained and upgraded.
  • Work together with a highly engaged Executive Director to ensure the excellence in the cultivation and stewardship of major donors. Work closely with key staff and Board to meet, if not surpass, revenue expectations.
  • Focus on securing support for a set of NEC-wide priorities that include entrepreneurship and training programs such as the milestone makers, community colleges program, entrepreneurial health score pilot, bootcamps, new other new programs as needed as well as campaign initiatives, and unrestricted support. Provide counsel to the Executive Director on outreach programming in the Major Gift Officer’s primary territory.
  • Adheres to the highest ethical standards; demonstrates empathetic disposition, and perseverance; reflects optimistic and positive attitude, and conveys sensitivity to needs of the donors.
  • Works collaboratively with NEC’s headquarters team. Offers prospect strategy counsel to executive leadership, and development volunteers who play a role with top prospects.
  • Be a resource for staff, from identifying potential volunteer connections to knowing about meeting and event spaces in key locations.
  • Work closely with other program partners on the development of the annual fund and fundraising events. Participates in and provides support for development events. Represents NEC at community events, including after-hours activities in their primary territory.
  • Monitors all prospect contacts to ensure positive and purposeful prospect and donor relations.
  • Ensures a cycle of communications if fulfilled at key points in the year, such as the end of year campaign, etc.
  • Collaborates with program staff to complete reports for any donors who have given restricted gifts.
  • Proactively lead joint company strategic account planning process that develops mutual goals and objectives, revenue targets and critical milestones on a multi-year basis.
  • Prepare and support the Executive Director with effective communication with all development stakeholders. Prepare monthly, quarterly, and annual reporting on pipeline, successes, failures and major initiatives.
  • Develop a deep understanding of all Center projects and initiatives and coordinate the work of Development with the work of these projects.
  • Oversee the stewardship of donors in your portfolio ensuring that they are engaged, appreciated, recognized and valued, resulting in increased philanthropic support and enthusiasm for The Center.
  • Provide frequent updates to the Executive Director to ensure effective cultivation resulting in closure of major gifts, including developing cultivation strategies and plans.
  • Serve as an articulate, enthusiastic, and visible spokesperson for the organization to effectively communicate The Center’s fundraising goals.
  • Research data on potential corporate and foundation donors identified by Board members and staff or by virtue of their gift history to similar organizations/activities.
  • Work with the Board, volunteers and The Center staff to coordinate events and other cultivation activities for donors/prospective donors. Participate in the design and execution of special events.
  • Any other related duties as required or requested.


  • Four to six years successfully cultivating major gifts (and/or transferrable experience).
  • Experience must include multi-functional, well-rounded fundraising experience in developing major gifts from corporations, foundations and primarily high net-worth individuals (HNIs).
  • Interest in all aspects of entrepreneurship and a dedication to promoting the organization’s fundraising priorities through the development of excellent relationships with program staff, senior leadership, board and development committee members, volunteers, and the general office team.
  • Ability to understand the needs and interests of leadership and major gift donors in order to strengthen relationships between the gift prospect and the organization.
  • Successful experience in making cold calls as well as developing cultivation and solicitation strategies.
  • Ability to work effectively in a team environment as well as demonstrated success in working on one’s own.
  • Strong proficiency in both written and oral communications.
  • Excellent interpersonal and social skills and ability to work with a diverse community.
  • Competence and proficiency in the use of computers including knowledge of databases, spreadsheets, word processing, PowerPoint presentations, the internet and email.
  • Excellent organizational and problem-solving skills, and proficiency in meeting deadlines.
  • Commitment to the mission of the NEC and the institution’s Core Values.
  • Willingness and ability to travel.
  • Visits to San Francisco for team on-boarding and strategy meetings as needed (approximately quarterly).


  • Experience in contract negotiation and non-profit deal executions.
  • A proven track record of maintaining effective relationships with major donors and determining the optimal scenario for successful gift solicitation.
  • Ability to build successful strategies to engage foundation and corporate support and to write winning grant proposals.
  • Proven track record of consistent sustainable revenue growth from corporate and foundation donations, as well as major donor campaigns.
  • Significant experience working with Boards.
  • The stature, credibility, and poise to interact and work effectively with high-powered, prominent political, business, and academic executives.
  • Outstanding stewardship and relationship management skills with meticulous follow-through and excellent presentation skills while exercising creativity. Demonstrated donor recognition strategies.
  • Familiarity with, and utilization of, donor-centered philanthropy and a Moves Management approach.
  • Strong commitment to teamwork and to developing and maintaining collaborative, team relationships in a fast-paced work environment.
  • Successful experience in making cold calls as well as developing cultivation and solicitation strategies.
  • Works well under pressure in a demanding, and sometimes unpredictable work environment. Ability to operate with purpose, urgency and accuracy.
  • Adept at crafting compelling and high-quality proposals, reports, solicitation letters and donor correspondence.
  • Proven experience in telling the story of an organization and its effectiveness. Excels at articulating organization goals, outcomes, objectives, and evaluation strategies to donors.
  • Strong strategic thinking, analytical and prospect research skills, and goal orientation are essential.
  • Demonstrated proficiency with donor tracking systems and databases.
  • Ability to work flexible hours including some evenings and weekends.
  • Strong professional ethics, discretion and judgment.


The Major Gifts Officer should embody the following personal characteristics:

  • Sensitivity to and a strong commitment to the mission of The Center.
  • Proactive, idealism, integrity, positive attitude, mission-driven and self-directed. Believe in having a “yes…and” attitude.
  • Ability to connect with diverse audiences. Superb interpersonal skills.
  • A passion for team success mixed with the right amount of personal drive. A self-starter with the ability to work independently in a fast-paced environment and manage competing tasks, deadlines, requirements, and decisions.
  • Excellent communicator with all people at every level.
  • Ability to work well under pressure and adapt easily to changing situations and priorities. Solid judgment and consensus building skills. Flexibility.
  • Ability to take leadership of projects and move them forward in the absence of specific direction from others. Excellent follow through.
  • Charisma as a leader and spokesperson. Visionary and inspiring
  • Very effective decision maker
  • Strong facilitator and consulting skills
  • Initiative, creativity, drive and energy
  • Attention to detail. Ability to think analytically
  • Self-confidence
  • Diplomacy and tact
  • Tolerance for ambiguity
  • Ability to be both strategic and hands-on when necessary
  • High ethical standards. Serve the organization over personal ambition
  • Exemplary character
  • Values diversity


Bachelor’s (B.A. or B.S.) degree from an accredited four-year college or university, as well as at least 4-6 years of demonstrated successful fundraising experience/campaign experience in a diversity of fundraising environments.

Diversified experience with small start-up nonprofits in the entrepreneurship / business creation and social entrepreneurship field is desirable, as is an advanced degree.


A competitive compensation package will be offered based upon background and experience.


The Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center is committed to providing equal employment opportunity to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to their race, color, religious creed, sex, gender identity, gender expression, age, national origin, ancestry, citizenship status, physical or mental disability, medical condition, pregnancy, marital or veteran status, sexual orientation, height and weight, or other personal characteristics as may be protected by applicable law. All inquiries are held in strict confidence.


  1. Email your resume and cover letter outlining your interest in and qualifications for the position to
  2. Please state “MGO APPLICANT – NEC” in the subject line. (State interest in either Eastern or Western Region).

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