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Senior Development Officer, Major Gifts


Reporting to the Associate Director of Individual Giving, the Senior Development Officer for Major Gifts is an integral part of the Individual Giving Team within Institutional Advancement.  This is a dynamic and high-energy team of development professionals working in a collaborative environment to inspire support for its annual giving programs and capital campaign. The Major Gifts Officer works closely with senior leadership and volunteers to identify, cultivate, solicit and steward major gifts in support of the Exploratorium.


  • Responsible for the identification, qualification, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship of individual prospects capable of making multi-year pledges of $10,000 or more in support of the special gifts campaign or annual operating support.
  • Builds and maintains a portfolio of 100-125 prospects.
  • Devises a holistic philanthropic strategy for each prospect in the portfolio with the goal of soliciting each prospect for annual pledges or multi-year special gifts towards the capital campaign.
  • In collaboration with the Associate Director of Individual Giving, devises a legacy gift strategy for each prospect in the portfolio.
  • Supports the work and active engagement of volunteers, committees and senior leadership in the cultivation and solicitation of prospects within portfolio.
  • Conducts 10 - 15 personal visits per month in addition to engaging prospects at special events.
  • In collaboration with other teams within Institutional Advancement, plans and implements cultivation events and special projects in order to engage donors and prospects.
  • Writes targeted solicitation proposals and stewardship material for individual donors and prospects for the capital campaign and other initiatives of the museum.
  • Continually researches, assesses and upgrades assigned portfolio.
  • Maintains accurate and complete records of donor contacts and communications.
  • Attends meetings as needed, to discuss fundraising strategies and make recommendations on cultivation strategies and priorities.


  • Bachelor’s degree and 6 years of development experience with increasing responsibility.
  • Successful and demonstrated history in major gifts.
  • Experience with staff, volunteer, and committee management.
  • Extensive knowledge of fundraising principles, techniques and ethics; including experience in devising strategies for cultivation and solicitation of major donors; knowledge of Bay Area philanthropic community helpful.
  • Experience fundraising in the arts, education or sciences a plus.
  • Exceptional written and verbal communications skills, including public speaking and meeting facilitation.
  • Ability to motivate and interact effectively with trustees, volunteers, donors and museum staff at all levels.
  • Possession of a collegial work style that promotes team work, creativity and open communication.
  • Ability to meet deadlines and manage multiple priorities with grace and humor.
  • Well organized and detail oriented.
  • Ability to use computer software and donor databases (e.g. Microsoft Office and Raiser's Edge).
  • Ability to work independently, prioritize and manage multiple projects.


Open Until Filled

This is a regular, full-time (37.5 hours per week), exempt position that includes benefits.  Please, no phone calls in regards to this job. To apply, please visit the Exploratorium job page.

The Exploratorium is committed to providing equal employment without regard to race, color, religious expression, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, age, disability, ancestry, genetic information, citizenship, marital status, pregnancy, veteran’s status or any other class protected by applicable law.

The Exploratorium will consider for employment qualified applicants with arrest and conviction records pursuant to the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance.

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