Regional Major Gifts Officer (Williams Bay, WI)

Aurora University is an independent, comprehensive institution founded in 1893 offering bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees. Our two campuses are located in Aurora, Illinois and on the shores of Geneva Lake in Wisconsin. Additionally, we have an Educational Center in Woodstock, Illinois. We seek people passionately involved in the educational process who will help us realize our vision.

Position Overview: The person assuming the responsibilities of Regional Major Gifts Officer must be comfortable working in a highly independent and self-directed manner. He/She must be confident, poised, articulate, and skilled in building and nurturing relationships with sophisticated donors. This position is the primary giving officer representing the George Williams College campus and the Music by the Lake festival and is supported by a gift processing staff member on the GWC campus and by other Development support operations located on the Aurora campus. This position will confer regularly, usually by phone, with the Vice President for Development and is part of the larger AU major gifts team. This position offers the opportunity to negotiate flexible work arrangements that benefit both the incumbent, GWC, and AU. There is no requirement to reside near the George Williams College campus; however, as mentioned below, the regional major gifts officer is expected to be on campus periodically and during festival events. Candidates may find residing throughout southeastern Wisconsin, northern Illinois, or the suburban and metropolitan areas of Chicago and Milwaukee to be desirable.

Position Purpose: The Regional Major Gifts Officer supports learning by being responsible for securing major gifts and sponsorships for Aurora University (AU), for the University’s George Williams College (GWC), and for Music by the Lake, a premier summer festival located on the shores of Geneva Lake in Williams Bay, Wisconsin. The strategic focus of this position is to enhance major gift support, expand corporate major gift support and sponsorships, and build endowment primarily through planning giving. The present fundraising goal is $600,000 per year with a goal of reaching $1,000,000 annually over the next three to five years. Donors and prospective donors include individuals, foundations, and businesses principally located in southern Wisconsin, northern Illinois, and the Chicago metropolitan area with ties to the Lake Geneva region. Some individual donors and prospects are alumni of Aurora University and George Williams College.

Core Competencies:

  1. Represents Aurora University in the most positive manner with prospective, former and current students, clients, suppliers and the community we serve. Interacts effectively with a diverse group of faculty, staff, students and other customers of our service, learns and uses operating practices of the department and Aurora University.
  2. Upholds the Mission Statement: Aurora University an inclusive community dedicated to the transformative power of learning.
  3. Handle confidential information with tact and discretion.
  4. Supports learning through performance of essential job functions and performing other duties and functions as necessary or as assigned.

Essential Job Functions:

  1. Develop and implement a comprehensive fundraising plan for increasing major gift support from individual, foundation, and corporate donors for programmatic, capital and endowment priorities for GWC.
  2. Collaborate with the Vice President of Development and other members of AU’s major gifts team to develop comprehensive fundraising strategies.
  3. Effectively manage a major gifts portfolio including identifying, cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding existing donors and new prospects.
  4. Travel, especially during winter months, to visit donors and prospects in Arizona, Florida, and California.
  5. Attend GWC evening and weekend activities as appropriate especially during Music by the Lake in the summer.
  6. Spend approximately one week each month at the GWC campus and surrounding community, meeting with donors and prospective donors and conferring, as needed, with GWC staff.

Essential Job Requirements:


  • Bachelor's Degree required


  • At least seven years’ experience in fundraising, three to five of which include successful fundraising directly with individual and/or corporate donors.


  • Proven track record in fundraising.
  • Knowledge of major and planned gift best practices.
  • Commitment to ethical fundraising practice.

Special Requirements:

  • Ability to attend evening and weekend activities

Physical Requirements:

  • Ability to move about at those locations.
  • Ability to move about campus.
  • Ability to interact via telephone, in person and via electronic media.

Benefit-eligible positions offer excellent benefits including health, dental, life, vision, long term disability, a 403(b) retirement plan through TIAA, and tuition remission. Please send resume with cover letter and contact information for three references including name, telephone and email address.

Apply to:

Aurora University
Human Resources
347 South Gladstone Ave
Aurora, IL 60506
630-844-5650 - fax - email

Aurora University is an Equal Opportunity Employer.