Discovery Officer (Major Gifts/Philanthropy)

Apply now Position Number: 987019
Work Type: Staff/Unclassified
Location: Kent Campus - Kent, OH
Category: Full-time
Home Org/Dept: Prospect Mgmt & Research - Kent Campus [100771]

Job Title:

Discovery Officer (Major Gifts/Philanthropy)

Physical Location:

Kent Campus - Kent, OH 


 $45,000 - $55,000

Basic Function:

To assist in the planning and implementation of Kent State University’s discovery program. Engage prospects to determine their level of philanthropic interest in Kent State. Utilizes a donor-centric approach to pre-qualify new prospects, re-engages past donors and identifies individuals with the philanthropic capacity to give $25,000 or more. Reports to designated supervisor in Division of Philanthropy and Alumni Engagement.

Additional Basic Function – if applicable:


Prospect outreach will be accomplished through a personalized approach, utilizing various channels including phone, virtual and local in-person visits. The Discovery Officer will focus on engagement and discovery of philanthropic passions through a donor-centered approach and work with philanthropic advisors across the university who will further develop these relationships through long-term cultivation and solicitation. The Discovery Officer will serve as a strategic partner in supporting all areas of the university and strengthening the future major gift pipeline at Kent State.

Examples of Duties:

Duties/essential functions may include, but not be limited to, the following: 

Aid in the execution of a robust discovery program, helping to establish processes and procedures for the handling of prospects that are willing to take a personal visit or call by a Philanthropic Advisor for further engagement, cultivation and solicitation.

Develop, direct and implement pre-qualification strategies for major gift prospects through discovery calls, personal visits, virtual engagement, and email.

Assist in the strategy and execution of solicitations.

Manage a dynamic portfolio of prospects with interests across the university.

Work closely with the Prospect Management team and Philanthropic Advisors to expand the donor base and build a robust pipeline for major gift support for the university.

Collaborate with communications and outreach, annual giving and philanthropic advisors to ensure consistency of fundraising message and to enhance the impact of the overall university campaign.

Identify opportunities and coordinate strategies to broaden the prospect’s relationship with the university through additional engagement with institutional partners.

Maintain data integrity of prospect records, including entering and updating contact entries, next steps, and strategic donor plans and proposals according to established protocols.

Communicate effectively and work collaboratively with Portfolio Development to align prospects with their level and area of philanthropic passion.

Monitor prospect qualification results to determine progress towards annual goals; provide regular reports as requested.

Perform related duties as assigned.

Additional Examples of Duties – if applicable:


Minimum Qualifications:

Bachelor's degree in a marketing, communications or relevant field and one year of related experience in areas including but not limited to fundraising or sales. Must be able to work a flexible schedule including some evenings and weekends.



Knowledge Of:

Higher education fundraising
Direct mail, email, social media and database applications *
Marketing and communication principles and practices *

Skill In:

Written, verbal, interpersonal communication *
Utilizing Microsoft Office Suite and content management systems *
Organizing information and projects; adhering to deadlines *

Ability To:

Raise funds *
Manage projects *
Work independently and as part of a team *
Multi-task while managing multiple projects and assignments *

Preferred Qualifications – if applicable:

Experience in higher education fundraising. Experience using Banner and Moves Management systems.


Asterisk (*) indicates knowledge, skills, abilities which require assessments

Working Conditions / Physical Requirements:

Light work. Exerting up to 20 pounds of force occasionally, and/or up to 1O pounds of force frequently to move objects. Incumbent must be able to communicate with others. Incumbent required to travel from building to building frequently and off campus regularly.

Working Schedule:


Additional Information:


Must pass a security check.

We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

For official job descriptions, visit

Kent State University is a Smoke-Free, Tobacco-Free University effective July 1, 2017. Smoking and tobacco use are not permitted on any of Kent State’s campuses or other locations and properties that are owned, operated, or leased by Kent State, both domestic and international. For additional details, visit

Diversity Statement

Kent State University is committed to the creation and nurturing of a diverse community of individuals through inclusive excellence. Diversity involves recognizing the value of differences and the inclusion of all members of the community including those that experience discrimination or under representation. This is a core value of the organization as we strive for a culturally diverse student body, faculty and staff that reflect the multicultural nature of Ohio, the nation, and our world.



The intent of this description is to illustrate the types of duties and responsibilities that will be required of positions given this title and should not be interpreted to describe all the specific duties and responsibilities that may be required in any particular position. Directly related experience/education beyond the minimum stated may be substituted where appropriate at the discretion of the Appointing Authority. Kent State University reserves the right to revise or change job duties, job hours, and responsibilities.

Advertised: Eastern Standard Time
Applications close: Eastern Daylight Time

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