February 6, 2020 – For non-profit organizations, major gift officers are among the most vital of roles. The position involves identifying potential donors, cultivating relationships and, above all, garnering much-needed contributions from key supporters. Recruitment firms that can find the right person for this top-level fundraising position are much-valued partners of not-for-profit everywhere. And for recruiters, the business of finding major gift officers is booming.
Recently, New York City-headquartered ACEUM Advisors & Search was retained by GLAAD to lead its search for a major gifts officer. CEO Ira Machowsky is leading the assignment along with senior search associate Heather Bivens.
The major gifts officer is a key member of the national team responsible for raising in excess of $2.65 million annually in major gifts and membership, with plans to significantly increase this amount in coming years. ACEUM Advisors & Search said that this is an exceptional opportunity for a strategic and entrepreneurial fundraising professional driven to increase major gift revenue and effectively manage the GLAAD Shareholder’s Circle and GLAAD’s major donor program.
As a donor-centered relationship manager responsible for fulfillment of benefits, donor communication and connection to the organization, the major gifts officer will engage in stewarding, identifying, cultivating and soliciting donors, often with its active and involved local leadership councils and board of directors. The position is based in New York City and Los Angeles with some domestic travel for each role.
As the world’s largest LGBTQ media advocacy organization, GLAAD is at the forefront of accelerating acceptance to ensure fair, accurate and inclusive representation that leads to cultural change. For over 30 years, GLAAD has been a media force rewriting the script for LGBTQ acceptance. Its work tackles tough issues that shape the narrative and provoke dialogue that leads to cultural change.
ACEUM ADVISORS & SEARCH provides executive search/staffing, HR consulting, infrastructure support and project management services to non-profit, healthcare, education and social impact organizations and companies in New York and around the country .
Mr. Machowsky has a diverse leadership career spanning almost 40 years in the social impact sector, executive search, HR and management consulting fields. He has knowledge in the areas of workforce development, human resources, healthcare and human services. Through his firm, in addition to working on numerous C-suite and executive leadership searches for a diverse array of social impact organizations, Mr. Machowsky has been called upon to assume several interim C-suite HR and operations roles.
Ms. Bivens is an accomplished non-profit administrator with over 20 years experience holding senior positions for several major non-profit organizations in diverse settings in city and state government in Boston, Washington, D.C. and New York. She has collaborated with many social impact organizations and has been instrumental in assessing HR talent strategy and building effective recruitment programs to attract superior leadership and skilled professionals to fill a diverse range of roles.
Unique Role, Growing In Prominence
Major gifts are the largest donations an organization receives. Major gift officers lead all major giving areas for non-profits and fundraising organizations. From identification to cultivation to solicitation to stewardship, they build relationships with prospective donors.
Major gift officers at a large non-profit are likely to be part of a team of officers, whereas a smaller organization might have an existing staff member take on the responsibilities.
Here is a sampling of a few search firms that have been tapped to find new major gift officers for organizations from the Hunt Scanlon Media archives:
Paschal•Murray was retained by Stony Brook University, part of the State University of New York (SUNY) system, to lead its search for a major gifts officer. Qualities and experiences that ideal candidates should have include four years of full-time fundraising experience in a higher education…
Development Guild DDI recruited Peter Trainor as the major gifts officer for the Pine Street Inn in Boston. Pine Street was looking for an executive with four to seven years of progressively responsible experience in a successful individual giving program as well as a proven track record in managing individual relationships and securing five-six figure gifts.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media