POSITION TITLE: Development Officer
DEPARTMENT: Development
SUPERVISOR: Director of Strategic Partnerships

Position Summary:

Under direct supervision of the Director of Strategic Partnerships, the Development Officer will participate in fundraising efforts to ensure that Native Forward has the financial resources it needs to fulfill its mission. The Development Officer will spend a significant amount of time in direct interaction with individual donors, tribal leaders, corporate executives, foundation program officers, and other decision-makers as directed by the Director of Strategic Partnerships.

This list of duties and responsibilities is illustrative only of the tasks performed by this position and is not all-inclusive

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

  • Develop and implement strategies to raise support for the financial well-being of Native Forward from individuals, tribes, foundations, and corporate partners to assure the sustainability of Native Forward programs.
  • Manage a portfolio of 60+ major donors and prospects. The portfolio will consist of individuals, corporations, foundations, tribes, and Native organizations. 
  • Identifies, cultivates, solicits, and stewards donors and prospects, through visits and other forms of direct personal contact, in accordance with performance targets set by the Director of Strategic Partnerships.
  • Identifies, cultivates, secures, and stewards major gifts/investments in the form of endowments, estate gifts, annual gifts, internships, and event/program sponsorships.
  • Participates in the development, implementation, and evaluation of the organization’s annual fundraising campaigns, including other general giving and special fundraising activities.
  • Supports initiatives, within annual giving, membership, and alum relation areas, from initial planning and coordination stages to implementation and follow-through. Participates in the success of these activities.
  • Assists in planning and implementation of events, as assigned, including invitation production, mailings, RSVP lists, event coordination, and personal support of the event(s).
  • Writes, proofs, and edits correspondence and materials, for development. Drafts solicitation proposals, reports, letters, and other correspondence.
  • Assists in maintaining contact and donor databases and files.
  • Research major grant opportunities; develop relationships with foundation program officers; write and submit grant proposals and LOIs.
  • Develop outreach strategies to attract and contact potential institutional partners in need of qualified Native interns and graduates to meet their hiring needs.
  • Assists with special events, sponsors, and exhibitor relations. Solicits and organizes silent auction donations and activities.
  • Provide executive-level support to other Native Forward team members in preparation for donor interactions, including briefing materials in advance of meetings with donors and prospects. 
  • Develop and participate in strategic donor engagement opportunities, such as small events for select individual donors/prospects in the portfolio; trade show and conference receptions; public speaking engagements; larger donor recognition events; and service on prominent boards, or committees.
  • Track key relationship activity and progress. Create reports as required by management that accurately reflect progress toward strengthening relationships and increasing donor support.
  • Maintains strict student confidentiality and compliance with the Family Education Right to Privacy Act.
  • Embodies Native Forward Core Values and promotes the Native Forward organization, staff, and programs, in a positive and professional manner.
  • Contributes to a team effort in accomplishing related results.
  • Perform other duties as required.

Minimum Qualifications:

A bachelor’s degree is required but a master’s degree in a related field is preferred plus five years’ experience in fundraising or other experience (e.g., sales or private banking) that demonstrates tenacity, creativity, follow-through, and strong relationship-building skills; or equivalent combination of education and experience.

A valid driver’s license is required and must be able to pass a pre-employment drug/alcohol screen and background investigation.

Knowledge, Abilities, Skills, and Certifications:

  • Knowledge of American Indian History, culture, and tribes.
  • Knowledge of modern office practices, procedures, and equipment
  • A commitment to the mission and goals of Native Forward in providing scholarship funding and support services to Native students.
  • Knowledge of business English, proper spelling, grammar, punctuation, and basic arithmetic.
  • Ability to communicate effectively in the English language, both verbally and in writing.
  • Ability to follow oral and written instructions.
  • Ability to handle multiple tasks and meet deadlines.
  • Ability to establish and maintain professional relationships with individuals of varying social, and cultural backgrounds and with coworkers at all levels.
  • Ability to analyze progress and make necessary adjustments throughout the cultivation process.
  • Ability to make solid decisions and exercise independent judgment.
  • Ability to analyze situations and adopt appropriate courses of action.
  • Ability to demonstrate excellence in everything and continually seek improvement in results.
  • Comfortable and confident engaging at the highest levels, and adept at influencing opinion and securing commitments.
  • Superior skills in building relationships and comfort in asking donors to commit their money, time, and/or energy to a shared vision.
  • Excellent oral and written communication and presentation skills. Demonstrated ability to simplify complex themes and activities into a short, compelling presentation or written piece. Experience in grant writing and business proposals.
  • Ability to discuss the role of education in promoting social justice, and economic opportunity.
  • Ability to communicate effectively and respectfully on the phone, via email/text, and in-person with donors, board members, volunteers, colleagues, and the public.
  • Proficiency with office technology and information systems.
  • High ethical standards, strict adherence to donor confidentiality, and genuine interest in developing authentic relationships.
  • Persuasiveness and perseverance in attaining goals.
  • Skills in operating business computers and office machines, including various software applications, specifically Word, Excel, Access, and presentation software such as PowerPoint.

Physical Demands:

While performing the duties of this job, the employee regularly is required to sit; use hands to finger, handle or feel; reach with hands and arms and talk or hear. The employee frequently is required to walk. The employee, occasionally, is required to stand, stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl and must, occasionally, lift and/or move up to 40 pounds.

Work Environment:

Work is generally performed in an office setting, with a moderate noise level. Extended hours and irregular shifts may be required. Tight time constraints and multiple demands are common. Travel will be required for training, meetings, conferences, presentations, and other events.


Please submit your letter of interest and resume to careers@nativeforward.org

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