Job Listings

Major Gifts Officer

Cornell University
Job Location:
New York City, New York
Development and Fundraising

Cornell University embraces diversity and seeks candidates who will contribute to a climate that supports students, faculty and staff of all identities and backgrounds. We strongly encourage individuals from underrepresented and/or marginalized identities to apply.

Cornell requires that all faculty and staff members, regardless of their work location, disclose their vaccination status, and provide proof of vaccination if vaccinated, immediately upon hire.

Cornell University is looking for two Major Gifts Officer's to join the Alumni Affairs & Development division's NYC office. These Major Gifts Officers (MGO) will be front-line fundraising professionals responsible for strategically driving gifts of $250K+ from 100-120 prospect households comprised of alumni, parents and friends.

The NYC office is a diverse and welcoming environment where development and alumni affairs professionals collaborate, learn, and accomplish our goals together.

Cornell provides exceptional benefits that include professional development, wellness programs, great health care options, 12 holidays, employee education options, a retirement program, and Children's Tuition Assistance. Cornell receives national recognition, as an award-winning workplace for our health, wellbeing, sustainability, and diversity initiatives.

Key Responsibilities

  • Manages relationships with 100-120 prospect households comprised of alumni, parents and friends, who have a giving potential of $250K or more
  • Solicits major, planned, and annual fund gifts
  • Works with established prospects in addition to discovering and qualifying new major gift prospects
  • Is a trusted partner who works collaboratively with Alumni Affairs and Development colleagues and College and Unit partners, the Cornell Annual Fund, Donor Relations, Trusts, Estates and Gift Planning, Principal Gifts and Advancement Services, and inspires the confidence of executive, academic, trustee and volunteer leaders.
  • Aligns prospect affinities and interests with university and College and Unit priorities, drives philanthropic conversations, and undertakes high-level cultivation and stewardship.
  • Is results-oriented and knowledgeable about his or her assigned portfolio, and develops and executes an annual plan of strategic engagement for each prospect, including qualification, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship.
  • Is well informed about the university's academic programs and fundraising goals and aligns his or her prospect work with identified institutional and College and Unit priorities and campaign goals.

The MGO must share the Division's commitment to creating an inclusive culture that values each staff members' unique perspective, skills, and experience and in doing so, creates a culture of belonging; will reinforce a respectful and non-discriminatory workplace, and support the team in committing to our DEI goals.

The MGO is an individual with personal integrity and knowledge of and commitment to higher education. Evening and weekend work required, along with the ability to work remotely as needed.


  • Bachelor's degree and 5-7 years of fundraising or related experience, or the equivalent
  • Willingness to travel 45+ days per year, both in NYS and within the Boston - DC corridor
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Good judgement
  • Strong listening and relationship building skills
  • Results oriented, proactive
  • Proven organizational skills
  • Comfort and facility with building remote relationships using virtual platforms
  • Access to internet service and ability to work remotely as needed
  • Computer competency and ability to learn new systems applicable in the Cornell Alumni Affairs and Development Environment

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience working in complex organizations
  • Experience in higher education
  • Driver's license

University Job Title:

Major Gifts Ofcr III

Job Family:

Alumni Affairs Development



Pay Rate Type:



Contact Name:

Seraphinah Qureshi

Number of Openings:


Job Titles and Pay Ranges:

To learn more about Cornell's non-union staff job titles and pay ranges, see Career Navigator. The final rate of pay for the successful candidate will be determined considering the following criteria:

  • Prior relevant work or industry experience.

  • Education level to the extent education is relevant to the position.

  • Unique applicable skills.

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Employment Assistance:

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For general questions about the position or the application process, please contact the Recruiter listed in the job posting.

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EEO Statement:

Diversity and Inclusion are a part of Cornell University's heritage. We are a recognized employer and educator valuing AA/EEO, Protected Veterans and Individuals with Disabilities. We also recognize a lawful preference in employment practices for Native Americans living on or near Indian reservations. Cornell University is an innovative Ivy League university and a great place to work. Our inclusive community of scholars, students, and staff impart an uncommon sense of larger purpose, and contribute creative ideas to further the university's mission of teaching, discovery, and engagement.

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