Website University of Chicago Laboratory Schools

Job Summary
The Alumni Relations & Development department at the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools (Lab) is recruiting a talented and energetic advancement professional in preparation for the schools’ next campaign. During the University’s Inquiry & Impact campaign and through its Lab+ initiative, the Schools secured more than $97 million in charitable contributions. The Philanthropy Officer for Major Gifts (MGO) will play an important revenue-generating role for annual giving and for priorities in the next comprehensive capital and endowment campaign.

Reporting to the Director of Development/Campaign Manager (DOD), the MGO will be a part of a fundraising team’s efforts to seek Leadership Family five-figure annual gifts and major gifts of $100,000 or more for capital, endowment, operational (Fund for Fund) or special projects. The MGO will collaborate with the Director of Development and the Associate Director of Schools for ARD to establish ambitious but achievable annual fundraising, proposal/solicitation and visit goals.


  • Identify, cultivate, solicit, and maintain a portfolio of current Lab parents who have the capacity to contribute $10,000, $25,000, and more to the Fund for Lab or other budget-relieving priorities.
  • Identify, cultivate, solicit, and maintain a portfolio of parents, alumni, alumni parents, grandparents, and others who have the capacity to contribute $100,000 or more to Lab.
  • Create a robust schedule of qualification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship visits (in-person and virtual) with donors and donor prospects. A key component of this role is the qualification, via discovery visits, with individuals to expand Lab’s major gift pool, particularly among Chicagoland alumni.
  • Develop and implement compelling engagement strategies to inspire high net worth individuals to maximize their philanthropic engagement with Lab.
  • Raise donor sights, articulate aspirational goals and ideas, present philanthropic opportunities in a compelling manner and close gifts.
  • Promote gift planning techniques via major gift visits and other outreach.
    Build knowledge and ability to communicate effectively, both in writing and in meetings, about a range of Lab programs, priorities, and initiatives.
  • Serve on Lab’s Major Gifts team
  • Assist the Associate Director of Schools for ARD, the DOD and other University ARD gift officers with strategy and solicitation partnerships when necessary.
  • Participate in Lab ARD events and assist with the recruitment of participants in and sponsors of those events. Examples include Dewey Dance, Connections, new Family receptions, alumni events, etc.
  • Seek out professional development opportunities to bring best practices in major gifts to Lab. Seek opportunities that will enhance job performance including attending webinars, seminars, building networks within the
  • University and with colleagues at peer institutions.
  • Establishes fundraising goals and priorities based on department objectives, designs strategies to meet those goals, and monitors progress against goals.
  • Identifies, analyzes, and qualifies donor interest to maximize giving. Helps with overall planning efforts for the University’s most important prospects.
  • Works independently to develop communication strategies for projects, including publications and public presentations.
  • Performs other related work as needed.

Minimum Qualifications

Minimum requirements include a college or university degree in related field

Work Experience:

Minimum requirements include knowledge and skills developed through 5-7 years of work experience in a related job discipline.


Preferred Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree


  • A minimum of five years or more of fundraising experience and/or relevant sales/marketing experience.
  • Major gift experience at independent schools, higher education or not-for-profit organizations.

Technical Skills or Knowledge:

  • Experience with fundraising databases and reporting tools such as Blackbaud products or Salesforce preferred.

​Preferred Competencies

  • Manage confidential information with discretion and tact
  • Act with integrity, professionalism, and confidentiality
  • Prioritize multiple projects and independently follow through with detail
  • Self-motivation and the ability to take initiative.
  • Superior written and verbal communication skills required.
  • Outstanding interpersonal and organizational skills required.
  • Ability to work on own initiative, develop rapport, and work well with others required.
  • Ability to manage multiple tasks simultaneously and accurately under strict deadlines required.
  • Ability to thrive in a fast-paced office environment.
  • Willingness and ability to travel to campus for Lab Schools business required.
  • Willingness and ability to work evenings and weekends on occasion.

Working Conditions

  • Standard office environment

Application Documents

  • Resume (required)
  • Cover Letter (required)

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