Reporting to the Vice President for Institutional Advancement, the Major Gift Officer is responsible for identification, cultivation, and solicitation of individual major and planned gifts. This position works in close collaboration with members of the Advancement staff, board members, executive staff, and outside key contacts to develop prospects.
- Develop a portfolio of qualified prospects and formal plans to cultivate, solicit, and steward major and planned gifts.
- Identify donors who have potential to have significant philanthropic or volunteer leadership contributions. Profile these individuals and produce written strategies to engage these individuals. Must have knowledge and skill in using wealth indicator software to analyze the prospect database and donor database.
- Plan and execute donor cultivation meetings for alumni and friends of the school. Identify the fundraising goal and conduct evaluation including a return of investment (ROI).
- Plan tours of Williamson for high-net-worth individuals. Provide follow up solicitation strategies for all attendees and invitees.
- Research and write stewardship reports, correspondence, and proposals.
- Organize and implement systematic review and evaluation of major gift prospects.
- Recommend assignments of prospects to the Annual Gift Officer to best fit the needs of the donor and institution.
- Meet the goals and objectives for professional performance that include but not limited to carrying a portfolio of 300 prospects, executing 125 face to face visits a year, soliciting 80 major gifts, and raising $1M in revenue.
- Produce reports as requested including a monthly report of fundraising activities detailing funds raised, outstanding requests, and contingency plans for declined requests.
- As part of future capital campaigns, assume additional responsibilities that will include campaign division leadership and solicitation.
- Develop and execute financial development strategies to meet the strategic plans of Williamson. Produce a written plan to meet individual financial targets including strategies to meet those goals.
- Work with staff to produce funding opportunities to meet specific needs of Williamson.
- Maintain regular contact with faculty and staff to exchange information, coordinate activities, and further the fundraising goal for specific areas.
- Work to identify and train faculty and staff who can contribute to the growth of philanthropy at Williamson.
- Coordinate work with data management and research staff to accomplish professional goals.
- Record all actions in Raisers Edge.
- Maintain current knowledge of best practices.
- Other duties as assigned.
- Appreciation and passion for the mission of the Williamson College of the Trades.
- Minimum of five (5) years of experience in development with proven experience and success in major gift fundraising.
- Proven success in achieving fundraising goals and a successful track record of cultivating, soliciting, and securing major gifts.
- Demonstrated understanding of prospect screening software and experience with systematic, database-driven donor targeting, solicitation, and recognition.
- Strong interpersonal skills with demonstrated ability to build, foster, and maintain positive relationships with both internal and external constituencies including administrators, faculty, trustees, volunteer leaders, students, donors, and prospects.
- Superior communication skills to express, orally and in writing, Williamson’s mission, vision, and goals with clarity, passion, and persuasion.
- Demonstrated ability to lead, take initiative, and work collaboratively as a member of a team.
- Attention to detail combined with the ability to prioritize and manage multiple tasks simultaneously in a deadline-driven environment.
- Proficiency with Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access).
- High degree of proficiency in Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software, familiarity with Raiser’s Edge preferred.
- Bachelor’s degree required; Master’s degree and CFRE preferred.
- Must be willing and able to travel and work some evenings and weekends when required.
Mission, Vision, and Values
Williamson College of the Trades prepares deserving young men to be respected leaders and productive members of society. To accomplish the mission, Williamson gratuitously provides students with academic, trade, technical, moral, and religious education, and a living environment based on the Judeo-Christian perspective that fosters the values of faith, integrity, diligence, excellence, and service.
Williamson’s ideals upon which Isaiah V. Williamson founded the College are as valid and relevant today as when the College was founded in 1888. In its beliefs, Williamson remains committed to these ideals:
Commitment to Our Heritage – We believe that young men who have learned a good mechanical trade, and who are intellectually and emotionally prepared, honest, frugal, entrepreneurial, temperate, and industrious, are certain to succeed in life, and to become useful and respected members of society. We believe that Judeo-Christian ethics and values help to prepare graduates to be dependable, honest, and productive workers.
Commitment to Craftsmanship – We believe that work should be done to the best of one’s ability, out of personal integrity. High expectations of achievement must never be compromised. We believe that work done to the best of one’s ability is honorable. Through work well done we are better able to serve one another.
Commitment to Community – We believe all those associated with Williamson should be disciplined, honest, fair, confident, frugal, committed to excellence, and professionally skilled. We believe our work should manifest a spirit of unity and harmony, and that everyone should be treated with fairness, dignity, and respect. We believe that a culturally diverse campus setting enhances the quality of training, education, and campus life.
A Williamson Education
Williamson takes a unique approach to occupational education. Over the course of three years at the college, students receive a broad education that includes study of trade and technical theory in the classroom and realistic work projects. Students also receive academic instruction that is designed to contribute to their career success. This well-rounded training is intended to provide graduates with the skills necessary for success in a wide variety of career options, from positions in the trade and technical fields to employment as small business owners.
But training at Williamson goes far beyond the classroom, as students live in a carefully structured environment that includes daily chapel, work details, a dress code, and clearly defined rules and responsibilities. A Williamson education emphasizes the importance of moral values, industry, and quality workmanship. The goal is to foster in students the proper attitudes for success in life and on the job, including self-discipline, personal integrity, and reliability.
An independent, post-secondary, vocational-technical college, Williamson provides all students with full scholarships that cover tuition, room, and board, making Williamson the only college of its kind in the nation. In exchange for their education, students follow the College’s rules and help with the food service and maintenance of buildings and grounds.
For over 130 years Williamson has been using its unique approach to vocational education to prepare high-quality tradesmen and technicians. In the process it has gained a national reputation for producing graduates who have become expert craftsmen, successful businessmen, respected citizens, and recognized leaders in their fields.
Building for the Future Comprehensive Capital Campaign
Through generous, significant gifts from donors, the college exceeded the goal of $60 million, officially reaching $82.4 million during the 2016-2021 Building for the Future Comprehensive Capital Campaign. Two leadership gifts bookended the campaign: an $11M gift that supported the doubling of capacity for our dining hall, investment in the Power Plant Program as well as the endowment, and a $21.2M gift to build a Student Center on campus. These leaders in philanthropy were joined by a host of other generous friends, family, and alumni who made the campaign a success. A total of 43% of the Williamson Alumni contributed to the campaign.
Expanding Opportunities: The 2026 Vision for Williamson
As the leadership of Williamson collaborated with alumni, faculty, staff, friends, and stakeholders of the College, it became clear that there are opportunities for expansion of the Williamson education model for the first time in its history. The result were five strategic goals to implement in the coming years:
- Increase Enrollment – Williamson has attracted and enrolled the same number of students for decades but is on the precipice of seeing new numbers of students gain the opportunity for a Williamson education with the introduction of new educational programs. Our desire to extend Isaiah Williamson’s vision to a greater number of deserving young men will require a collaborative and layered outreach strategy that illustrates a pathway towards a rewarding career.
- Enhance Retention – While retention rates at Williamson are among the best in the nation, we will continue to pursue improvement without sacrificing our high standards. Driven by careful research, the college must harness initiatives to further increase retention and assess the effectiveness of those initiatives.
- Provide a Transformative Experience – To keep pace with an ever-changing industry, Williamson will continue to explore innovative technologies, practices, facilities, and equipment. Williamson will seek new partnerships in offering expanded opportunities for our students and graduates as they boldly face the challenges ahead.
- Champion the Williamson Story – In an increasingly diverse and rapidly changing environment, and particularly as the college grows, it will be critically important to forge impactful partnerships across higher education and the community to promote the Williamson mission and the student experience.
- Strengthen Resources – The Williamson business model depends on funding to support longevity and sustain growth. We must continue to cultivate relationships within our community, potential donors, and supporting institutions to enhance public awareness of the college’s unique mission. As the nature of philanthropy changes over time, Williamson must continue to diversify its revenue streams to while broadening its supportive partnership base.
In the coming months, the Office of Institutional Advancement at Williamson College of the Trades will be working with the Board of Trustees to develop and implement a strategy for raising the awareness and financial support necessary to make these goals a reality.
For additional information about Williamson College of the Trades, please visit their website, www.williamson.edu.