Major Gifts Officer

Diabetes Research Institute Foundation



Title: Major Gifts Officer

Reporting to: National Director, Philanthropy

Position Overview:

The Major Gifts Officer serves as a leader in philanthropic giving at the Diabetes Research Institute and Diabetes Research Institute Foundation, advancing three strategic objectives: (1) growing sustainable, predictable revenue for the mission to cure diabetes, (2) increasing the number of $10,000 philanthropic donors who invest in that mission, and (3) cultivating a culture of philanthropy across the organization.

The Major Gifts Officer develops and implements strategies to secure critical mission funding from a targeted portfolio of individuals, foundations, and/or companies with the capacity for $10,000+ philanthropic giving year. Through personalized relationship management, the Major Gifts Officer grows the revenue potential from the portfolio annually.

The Major Gifts Officer provides each portfolio donor a meaningful, fulfilling giving experience, proactively learning about personal philanthropic passions and soliciting support for mission areas of interest. The Officer engages each prospective donor in the mission through personalized conversations, leadership/research engagement, and other experiences.

The Major Gifts Officer leads the cultivation of a culture of philanthropy among supporters, volunteers, and staff through strategic communication and collaboration.

Responsibilities and Functions:

This position will be responsible for, but not limited to, the following:

  • Manage a portfolio of 120-160 prospective donors with the capacity to make 5-7-figure outright gifts annually, producing philanthropic dollars of at least $400,000 annually, with increasing revenue goals upon portfolio maturity
  • Achieve activity metrics that serve as a roadmap to the revenue goal: number of meaningful touchpoints, number of solicitations, and number of gifts
  • Engage each portfolio donor personally to qualify capacity, build rapport, and identify philanthropic passions and interests
  • Create and execute quarterly and annual individual engagement and solicitation plans for each qualified philanthropist in the portfolio
  • Participate in regular portfolio reviews, which will include progress versus moves management plan and financial projections
  • Collaborate with leadership, volunteers, philanthropy team, events team, and researchers to engage portfolio donors in a personally meaningful way serving as the quarterback who ensures a seamless donor experience and maximizes every opportunity
  • Articulate the case for support for the DRI, as well as the scientific research strategy and the various initiatives
  • Demonstrate to each portfolio donor the impact of their philanthropy on a year-round basis
  • Draw on all available resources and support staff to secure prospect research, proposals, and stewardship assets at minimal to maintain focus on donor-facing activity
  • Track all plans, interactions, and solicitations in Raiser s Edge within 24 hours and review monthly reporting to ensure accurate portfolio data
  • Participate in meetings with donors in colleagues portfolios
  • Participate in team strategy sessions
  • Attend DRIF local signature and cultivation events and proactively leverage opportunity to deepen relationships and secure follow-up meetings
  • Serve as a subject-matter expert on philanthropy and industry best practices


This position will be responsible for, but not limited to, the following:

  • At least five years experience in relationship-based fundraising
  • Bachelor s degree preferred
  • Track record of achieving growing revenue goals
  • Experience soliciting $10,000+ outright donations
  • Experience building a portfolio and increasing value over time through donor-centric relationships management approaches
  • Ability to distill complex information into coherent, compelling stories that build a case for support
  • Ability to communicate and interact effectively with internal and external constituencies
  • Expertise in philanthropic trends and best practices
  • Ability to establish priorities, handle overlapping timelines, and meet deadlines effectively and efficiently
  • Flexible, resourceful, and able to learn quickly
  • Professional and positive attitude
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and web browsers
  • High attention to detail and ability to interpret qualitative and quantitative data
  • Experience with Raiser s Edge preferred
  • Ability to thrive in a fast-paced, dynamic team environment
  • Ability to work occasional evening and weekend hours, as needed


Salary is commensurate with experience within the guidelines of a midsize not-for-profit. Competitive benefits package is provided, including medical, dental, life and long-term disability insurance, employer contributions to retirement account, and substantial vacation.


This position is open until filled. Please send a resume and cover letter in PDF format to the email on file and include the words Major Gifts Officer - FL in the subject line of your email.

About the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation (DRIF)

Founded in 1971 by a group of parents of children with diabetes, the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation (DRIF) is the organization of choice for those who are serious, passionate, and committed to curing diabetes. Its mission to provide the Diabetes Research Institute with the funding necessary to cure diabetes now is a testament to the belief that tomorrow is not soon enough to cure those living with diabetes.

The Diabetes Research Institute is one of the largest and most comprehensive research center dedicated to developing a biological cure for type 1 diabetes by restoring natural insulin production and normalizing blood sugar levels without imposing other risks. The Institute has become the world leader it is today through the substantial funding provided by the DRI Foundation. Since 1971, the Foundation has provided nearly $250M in philanthropic resources to support the critical research of the DRI and is recognized as one of the world's most respected diabetes organizations. Garnering the attention of influential people who are personally affected by diabetes, the Foundation has grown into an international coalition of business leaders, celebrities, scientists, clinicians, families and other concerned individuals who have elevated the importance of cure-focused research and provided meaningful support for the DRI's multidisciplinary research program. This funding is provided through individual and corporate donations, special events, sponsorships, cause marketing relationships, and planned giving.

A 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, the DRI Foundation has thousands of supporters in the United States and worldwide, and, in addition to its headquarters in Florida, operates a regional development office in New York. The Diabetes Research Institute Foundation was created for one reason - to cure diabetes - which is and will continue to be its singular focus until that goal is reached. For the millions of individuals and families affected by diabetes, the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation is the best hope for a cure.

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