Director of Major Gifts

Website Center of Science and Industry (COSI)


·         Bachelor’s degree and 5+ years of progressive experience in a fundraising environment

·         Donor-centric fundraiser with experience soliciting and closing gifts from a managed portfolio

·         Exemplary oral and written communication skills

·         Highly motivated self-starter, determined, and target-driven

·         Ability to form creative collaborations, build sustainable partnerships, and cultivate diverse relationships

·         Exceptional problem solving, strategic thinking, diplomacy skills, and professionalism

·         Ability to track, analyze, and share financial data in an accurate and comprehensive way

·         Organized yet flexible and adaptable, with the ability to thrive in a fast-paced, dynamic environment

·         Experience leading teams and activating volunteers/leadership committees a plus


The Director Major Gifts is responsible for developing and implementing the fundraising strategy for individual giving programs at COSI, including current and planned giving. This position will work to expand COSI’s existing donor base, develop and enhance relationships with individual donors and volunteer leaders, deliver exceptional customer service, and generate new ideas and strategies to enhance and grow a dynamic, compelling fundraising program. The Director of Major Gifts will maintain an active portfolio of donors and prospects, and will work closely with internal and external stakeholders to generate and sustain philanthropic support for COSI.

ESSENTIAL JOB FUNCTIONS include, but are not limited to:

A. Provide overall leadership for COSI’s individual giving program. Responsible for developing the fundraising strategy and giving opportunities for continued growth of revenue and participation from individual and major gift prospects and donors, both planned and annual. Develop creative and appealing engagement, recognition, and activation opportunities for donors.

B. Solicit support from a portfolio of 80-100 individuals with capacity for major gifts in order to achieve an assigned annual contributed revenue goal. Identify and qualify prospects, thoughtfully cultivate managed relationships, undertake strategic solicitations and/or prepare customized proposals, and provide excellent stewardship to assigned donors. Provide relationship coordination and support as needed for Philanthropy leadership, the COSI Executive Leadership Team, and Board development activity.

C. Serve as staff support and primary point of contact for the COSI Community Board, a leadership-level volunteer board comprised of approximately 50 community leaders. Lead agenda planning for board meetings, working cross-organizationally to authentically inform, engage, and seek input from Community Board Members. Oversee recruitment and new member orientation. Ensure participation in established Community Board giving program, and seek additional support from Community Board members and their networks as opportunities arise.

D. Actively engage volunteer leaders in cultivating individual giving prospects and stewarding donor relationships on behalf of COSI.

E. Advance planned giving activities to establish COSI’s Pendulum Society and develop strategy to grow and sustain the program.

F. Supervise the Senior Manager of Individual Giving. Oversee the cultivation, solicitation, stewardship, prospecting, and project work of this direct report, including monitoring financial accountabilities and evaluating performance. Provide coaching and support in the area of relationship building, leveraging COSI experiences, and engaging internal stakeholders with the goal of successful fund development.

G. Develop a rich understanding of COSI’s mission, vision, strategic plan, and portfolio of giving opportunities including giving programs, priority programs and initiatives, recognition levels, and benefits to ensure consistency among COSI’s donor programs.

H. Work collaboratively with stakeholders focused on COSI’s strategic initiative around Diversity and Equity. Identify opportunities to increase the diversity of COSI’s donor base and to further the organization’s commitment to expand COSI’s brand to engage more diverse audiences.

I. Maintain a high standard for management of data in COSI’s institutional CRM to allow for tracking financial accountabilities, advancing progress to goals, and recording relationship moves management.

J. Support general COSI operations through participation in meetings as appropriate.

K. Serve as an example to other COSI Team Members and Volunteers in matters of appearance, attitude, and performance in a manner best serving COSI paid and volunteer Team Members and Guests.

L. In accordance with COSI’s Guest Services Strategy and as opportunities present themselves, provide excellence in Guest Services by assuring Guest safety, using courtesy to drive each Guest interaction, by delivering the COSI show, and by keeping operations efficient.

M. Perform other duties as assigned by the Senior Director of Development.

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