Manager of Leadership & Major Gifts

Chicago Theological Seminary | Chicago, Illinois
Date posted: October 5, 2021

Chicago Theological Seminary (CTS) is currently looking for a Manager of Leadership and Major Gifts. The Manager of Leadership and Major Gifts is a professional gift officer position and will be expected to strategically engage and cultivate a portfolio of 50 to 100 leadership and major gift level donors and prospects to ultimately solicit for a gift. They will be expected to strategically engage others in this process including the President, Dean, faculty, trustees, outside volunteers, and colleagues within the Office of Advancement, as CTS operates within a highly collaborative culture. The Manager of Leadership and Major Gifts is responsible for developing strategies for the cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of donors to support restricted and unrestricted initiatives. The Manager reports to the Vice President for Advancement & Philanthropic Giving.


The responsibilities of the Manager of Leadership and Major Gifts include but are not limited to:

  • Utilizing a “moves management” system, identify, cultivate, solicit, and steward leadership level and major gift donors and prospects including individuals, religious congregations, and/or foundations, through visits and other forms of direct personal contact in accordance with performance targets set and reviewed in collaboration with the Vice President for Advancement & Philanthropic Giving.
  • Establish relationships with assigned donors and prospects through various cultivation calls, letters, and handwritten notes, with an emphasis on successful face-to-face meetings.
  • Develop strategies to upgrade annual donors to the leadership ($1000-$5000) and major gift ($5000+) levels.
  • Develop solicitation plans for new and current planned gift donors and prospects.
  • Coordinate fundraising at special events in collaboration with colleagues within the Offices of Advancement and Office of Strategic Initiatives.
  • Work with the Vice President for Advancement & Philanthropic Giving on developing and implementing institutional fundraising initiatives.
  • Actively seek input when developing and shaping ideas and strategies; have the confidence and ability to bring ideas and strategies to fruition.
  • Establish and maintain collaborative working relationships with colleagues within CTS to maximize the total gift revenue, plan solicitation strategies, and leverage solicitation efforts.
  • Assist and/or lead in short- and long-range strategic planning activities to create and implement fund-raising goals and objectives.
  • Make effective use of prospect databases and other resources to ensure appropriate management of donors, prospects, alumni, community groups, and organizations in coordination with CTS objectives.


  • Have knowledge and experience in fundraising techniques, particularly major gift fundraising.
  • Trustworthy with unquestioned professional and personal integrity and ethics.
  • Unqualified concurrence with all of CTS’s Vision, Mission, and Statement of Commitment.
  • Approachable with strong interpersonal abilities who listens intentionally and helps find solutions.
  • Committed to consultative and collaborative processes, building trust and spirit de corps among constituencies.
  • Exceptional and persuasive oral and written communication skills.
  • Maturity, care, and good judgment in controlling and conveying key information.
  • Ability to develop and maintain positive relationships with all constituencies, engaging and uniting around common goals and across workgroups.
  • Knowledge of and appreciation for the history and work of faith communities in general, and the United Church of Christ in particular, will be helpful.
  • Experience in diverse contexts, social justice, and inter-religious.


  • Bachelor’s degree required and 3-years minimum experience in professional fundraising, specific to higher education, religious, or nonprofit organizations.
  • Ability to work in a goal-oriented environment and contribute to a team effort.
  • High energy, initiative, flexibility, and a commitment to CTS’s mission are required.
  • Critical thinker with strong analytical skills; ability to draw insight from complex data.
  • Effective oral and written communication skills. Clarity and succinctness in writing andspeaking; ability to communicate clear vision and process.Click Here to ApplyNOTE: This position description is not intended to be all-inclusive. Employees may perform other related duties as required to meet the ongoing needs of the organization.Chicago Theological Seminary is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex/gender, age, religion, disability, pregnancy, veteran status, marital status, sexual orientation, or any other status protected by applicable federal, state, or local law in matters of employment.
Follow our alumni Facebook page