Reporting to the Director of Special Projects Fundraising, the Gift Officer works closely with the development team to implement fundraising strategies, with a focus on building a strong major gift pipeline and expanding meaningful individual and corporate donor engagement. Primary responsibilities include the active identification/qualification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of individual and corporate donors and prospects. The Gift Officer will build and manage a portfolio of donors and prospects; make direct asks to secure funding for the Walker; listen for opportunities for gifts of assets or other non-cash gifts, including in-kind contributions and planned gifts; create compelling proposals, agreements, and reports; and engage appropriate staff, vendors, partners, and volunteers to advance fundraising strategies. Excellent communication and interpersonal skills are required in order to persuasively convey the Walker’s mission, programs, and impact and serve as a key representative of the Walker with donors and prospects.
COVID Notes: This job currently has the ability to be remote, but will be required to return to office in January.
Responsibilities will include:
- Major Gifts Development
- Build and manage a portfolio of approximately 70-100+ individual and corporate donors and prospects.
- Secure funding to meet ambitious fundraising goals in support of the Walker’s operations, strategic priorities, exhibitions, programs, events, special projects, and initiatives.
- Grow and manage donor relationships through ongoing communication, anticipation of donors’ needs, and full understanding of benefits and opportunities.
- Follow best practices in donor development and moves management.
- Corporate Sponsorship
- Develop creative sponsorship packages that provide corporate partners with distinct brand association, entertainment, employee engagement, and activation opportunities.
- Conduct sponsorship package valuations.
- Draft, negotiate, and execute sponsorship agreements.
- Manage sponsorship activations and ensure benefits are delivered.
- Manage event sponsorship fundraising, including goal setting, progress reports, and revenue projections.
- Serve as the primary liaison to staff, trustees, committees, and partners on event sponsorships for the Walker’s fundraising events, such as Avant Garden and Rock the Garden.
- Donor Identification, Cultivation, and Stewardship
- Actively participate in major gifts fundraising strategy meetings to identify/qualify prospective donors and opportunities for support, align fundraising activities with the Walker’s priorities, and strategize fundraising approaches.
- Maintain an active, current body of knowledge of the Walker, its mission and history, programs and activities, institutional needs, and fundraising priorities.
- Initiate contact with individual and corporate prospects as assigned and assess the viability for support.
- Cultivate and network with donors and prospects and represent the Walker at events, including some evenings and weekends.
- Create opportunities for Walker leaders, curators, and staff to interact with donors and prospects, including participation in events and site visits.
- Partner with the development team to maintain accurate donor records; fulfill benefits, deliverables, and agreements; and ensure accurate tracking, reporting, and financial forecasts.
- Work with the finance team to ensure compliance, accountability, and transparency.
- Participate in trainings and professional development.
- Stay up-to-date on major giving, corporate giving, and sponsorship trends and vehicles.
- Write donor profile articles for WALKER Magazine as assigned.
- Assist with other departmental duties as needed or assigned.
- Full-time (35 hours), Exempt, $65-75k annually, dependent on level of experience; flexibility to work some evenings and weekends required; must be able to adjust schedule as required by development needs.
- Excellent benefits package, Walker membership and museum discount, and the opportunity to work alongside talented individuals and support remarkable artists, events and programming.
Required Skills & Qualifications:
- Minimum of 4 years’ experience in individual major gifts fundraising and/or corporate relations/sponsorship.
- Demonstrated success in personally soliciting and securing five- and six-figure gifts from individual and/or corporate donors.
- Direct experience in managing a donor and prospect portfolio, designing/implementing cultivation and solicitation strategies, and ensuring follow-up activities and stewardship.
- Ability to serve as an enthusiastic and professional representative of the Walker.
- Strong interpersonal and relationship management skills; established ability to clearly communicate with a wide range of individuals with varied talents, backgrounds, and perspectives.
- Excellent storytelling, writing, and verbal communication skills.
- High degree of initiative and attention to detail; ability to manage and prioritize multiple projects and deadlines.
- Thrives in a collaborative, team-oriented environment.
- Ability to work independently and with excellent judgment, discretion, and sensitivity to confidential matters.
- Ability to remain poised, articulate, and calm under pressure.
- Proficiency with computers, Microsoft Office, Adobe, online research resources, and donor databases.
- Availability and willingness to work weekends and evenings as needed.
Preferred Skills & Qualifications:
- Experience working in a museum or arts/non-profit setting.
- Familiarity with Minnesota’s corporate and philanthropic communities.
- Familiarity with national arts and culture funders.
- Tessitura experience.
The Walker is committed to being an inclusive workplace. Our goal is to be a diverse workforce that is representative, at all job levels, of the communities and audiences we serve. We are dedicated to fair and inclusive employment practices for all individuals.