How to Draft a Major Gifts Committee Job Description

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I’ve written in the past about how to recruit dynamite volunteers to help with your major gifts fundraising. There is no doubt that the right volunteers can help catapult your fundraising program to the next level!

But once you have these key volunteers on board, what should your Major Gifts Committee actually be doing? Below is a template for creating a Major Gifts Committee job description to help your organization raise more money.

Major Gifts Committee Job Description

Part 1: Overview

Here you want to simply describe the committee and its function, in general terms. For example:

The Major Gifts Committee is responsible for spearheading fundraising efforts focused on major gifts. The Committee works in partnership with staff to execute the fundraising initiatives of the (major gifts) campaign by identifying, cultivating, soliciting and stewarding potential donors.

Each committee member is responsible to reach out to his/her own network of colleagues on behalf of the organization as well as build relationships with community members in order to engage them with the campaign.

The committee comprises Board and non-Board members with fundraising and development experience.

Part 2: Committee Responsibilities

Here is where you get into details. Draft a bulleted list of how the committee can best support your nonprofit’s development work. Major gift volunteer responsibilities might include:

  • Demonstrate passionate commitment for the nonprofit organization
  • Believe that your organization makes a significant difference in the community
  • Make a leadership level gift, or personally meaningful financial contribution, to your organization
  • Be an advocate in the community for the nonprofit organization and the campaign
  • Review the progress of the major gift campaign and recommend strategies to optimize results
  • Enlist help for the campaign as required for its success
  • Regularly attend Major Gifts Committee meetings
  • Regularly review donor and prospect lists and assist in developing strategies to solicit prospective donors
  • Participate in identifying prospective lead and major donors from personal and business contacts
  • Be willing to ask others for gifts and make solicitations in person
  • Attend trainings as needed for effective solicitations
  • Report on and/or discuss the results of personal solicitations
  • Participate in development and campaign related activities with prospective donors, including donor cultivation or recognition receptions
  • Maintain the confidentiality of all information related to fundraising for your organization, including prospects and donors

Part 3: Staff Responsibilities

It’s always a good idea to include how your staff will support the work of volunteers. For example:

  • Provide for the day-to-day activities which sustain fundraising operations
  • Assemble and maintain a list of prospects and donors
  • Where necessary, conduct research to determine donor prospect interests and giving potential
  • Develop a powerful and effective Case for Support
  • Support appropriate campaign training to all volunteers
  • Meet regularly with Major Gift Committee volunteers to ensure fundraising campaign is on course
  • Support Major Gift Committee meetings by providing informative materials, donor lists, and other collateral as needed
  • Create campaign materials for use by volunteers when meeting with donors or other fundraising work, e.g., Case Statement, gift charts, brochures, etc.
  • Produce written proposals and personalized pledge documents for each significant solicitation
  • Ensure a thank-you letter is sent and/or a telephone call is made to donors no more than two days following each successful solicitation
  • Fulfill donor benefits and recognition, such as donor listings in annual reports, thank you receptions, etc.
  • Maintain accurate and timely records of fundraising results and provide these on a regular basis to the Major Gifts Committee
  • Plan, execute and attend donor cultivation and recognition events

Once you’ve drafted your committee Overview plus responsibilities of both your Major Gifts Committee and staff, you can share your job description with prospective committee members. This will help manage expectations for incoming committee members and minimize volunteer turnover.

What advice do you have for putting together a Major Gifts Committee? Does your organization utilize volunteers to help with fundraising? Please share your thoughts or experience in the Comments box below!

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