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Alford Group Executive Search

Major Gifts Officer, The Salvation Army Empire State Division

Alford Group Executive Search
Albany, New York, United States

Date Posted: 08/06/2012
Categories: Fundraising
Job Type: Full-Time

Job Description:
Major Gifts Officer
The Salvation Army Empire State Division

The Salvation Army (The Army) is an International, Evangelical Christian Church dedicated to providing individuals worldwide with spiritual, physical, social and emotional support. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination. Its message is based on the Bible and its ministry is motivated by the love of God. William Booth, and his wife Catherine, founded The Salvation Army in 1865 to serve London’s worst poverty-stricken districts. Today the Salvation Army focuses on mission-driven programs and service delivery designed to meet the needs of each local community. These programs include human service programs including, homeless projects, feeding programs, pre-school and after school care programs, shelters, disaster relief, senior programs, as well as The Salvation Army ministerial activities.

The Empire State Division is in the Eastern Territory, one of the four U.S. geographic service areas. The Empire State Division Headquarters (DHQ) is located in Syracuse, New York and is the administrative unit that directs 42 corps and three Area Services in metropolitan areas (Buffalo, Rochester, and Syracuse) that provide programs and services to thousands of people annually throughout 48 Upstate New York counties, plus Sayre, Pennsylvania. The Major Gifts Officer will be based in Albany and will focus on donors primarily in the Capital Region.

The Empire State Division’s operating budget exceeds $44 million. Funding sources include government contracts, grants (foundations and other), and donations from businesses, individuals and churches, as well as other fund raising efforts that contribute to the individual budgets for each area. The Empire Division began a Major Gifts Program five years ago and hired its first Major Gifts Officer (MGO) in 2010. This will be the second MGO in the Division, created to help the Division exceed $1M in philanthropy by 2013 year-end. The current Divisional MGO's goal for this fiscal year is $786,000 while the newly created MGO of the Capital Region position's goal will be $500,000. Based on donor history and some electronic wealth screening, leadership is confident there is tremendous opportunity for growth, both in terms of donors and gift sizes. There are approximately 54,931 current donors in the Capital Area/Region and 24 have been indicated as “high potential” by recent wealth screening.

The Position: Major Gifts Officer

The Major Gifts Officer (MGO) will play an integral role in the success of the Empire State Division’s fund development efforts, specifically leading in all major gift strategies for the Capital Region. The MGO will report to the Divisional Development Director, who is based at the Divisional Headquarters in Syracuse and have regular interaction with the Capital Region’s Director of Advancement and Program Development. The Divisional Commander will provide oversight in the Capital Region re-alignment.

S/he will bear the primary responsibility for managing major donor qualified caseloads for Divisional fundraising in Albany and the greater Capital Region. S/he will develop a caseload of 150 qualified major donors from the pool of existing supporters, working with previously identified major gift donors and prospects within a specified geographic area. In this role, the MGO will qualify, cultivate, solicit, steward, and upgrade major gift prospects and donors, acting as the primary contact between The Army and major donors. The MGO will work with program and command staff in order to serve the complete needs of the Division’s fundraising. The MGO will work closely with the Division’s other MGO (whose focus is Rochester/Syracuse) and serve as an integral part of the Division’s Community Relations and Development team. The new MGO office will be located in the Albany Corps building.

The Qualified Candidate

The Salvation Army Empire State Division seeks a dynamic, entrepreneurial and professional leader with a minimum of three years of experience in a highly productive and progressive development and communications program within the nonprofit sector. Preference is given to those who have served in a faith-based organization and possess a working knowledge of the Capital Region philanthropic community. It is imperative that this individual fully embrace the mission of The Salvation Army. The Major Gifts Officer will be creative, energetic and aggressive, with the ability to identify and develop opportunities for donors and The Salvation Army to come together.

The successful candidate will also have:
• A Bachelor’s Degree with relevant advanced training or degree desired.
• Career track record that shows stability with an organization and a demonstrated ability to develop, nurture and build relationships with diverse individuals.
• Demonstrated ability to set and achieve or exceed goals and meet deadlines.
• A high level of comfort with direct donor interaction, including discussions of personal and family finances and asking for money is a must.
• Demonstrated ability to work independently in a complex environment, managing multiple projects and conflicting priorities.
• Strong decision-maker with skillful approach that evaluates options, resources and outcomes in light of the strategic plan of the Division.
• A communications and management style that exhibits the principles and values of The Army, as well as fosters team relationships and effectively communicates information.
• Advanced understanding of resource development and communications systems and programs and the professional knowledge to achieve department objectives.
• Effective interpersonal, written and oral communications skills.
• Advanced understanding of resource development systems and the professional knowledge necessary to achieve department objectives.
• Willingness to travel regularly. Donor and daily focus will be Albany/Capital area, with overall responsibility for the Eastern part of the State. Administrative and management meetings will be held at the Empire State Division Headquarters in Syracuse.
• A proficiency in Word and Excel, as well as experience with donor tracking and/or database software is preferred.
• A strong commitment to know and understand The Army’s history, mission, and structure, as well as its services, policies and procedures.

The Salvation Army offers a competitive salary and an excellent benefits package.

To Apply

This search is being managed by Heather Eddy, CFRE, President and COO, Alford Group Executive Search. Interested candidates should apply online at No applications will be accepted via email. Questions may be addressed to Whitney Wade at All inquiries will be held in strict confidence.