Director of Major Gifts - CPS

Updated: 2 months ago
Location: Boston, MASSACHUSETTS
Job Type: FullTime

About the Opportunity

Northeastern’s extraordinary momentum has been fueled by experience as the lifeblood of learning and discovery ... the deep well of energy, talent, and spirit within our global community inspires us to celebrate and amplify the power of experience worldwide. – President Joseph E. Aoun


The College of Professional Studies (CPS) at Northeastern University seeks a self-motivated, entrepreneurial, and mission-driven development professional to serve as its new Director of Major Gifts. The Director will cultivate and steward philanthropic relationships with individuals including alumni and friends, while identifying new champions to support the College in recognition of the unique role it has played in providing access to post-traditional, professionally meaningful education.

This newly created role will be responsible for raising major gifts for a range of community partnerships and pathway education initiatives with an emphasis upon the Associates-to-Masters program (A2M) which promotes academic diversity and increases access to STEM careers, across our Northeastern campuses, particularly in Boston, Miami, Oakland, and Seattle.


Recognizing the impact a high quality education has upon the growth and prosperity of local, national and international communities, CPS was created in 1960 (and initially called University College) with the intent to provide access to education for part-time students and working adults. In addition to delivering a range of degree programs and certificates, the College today serves as an incubator for new initiatives and educational entrepreneurship at Northeastern. Serving students from the undergraduate through the doctoral level, CPS is a leader in the provision of innovative degree programs.

CPS serves as the educational leader for several Boston-area community partnerships including Balfour Academy, a multi-year summer experience that prepares Boston Public School students for the college experience; Foundation Year, a rigorous first-year college program for graduates of Boston high schools; Boston Ballet program which educates dancers for careers after performing ends; and the Lowell Institute where adult learners can launch or advance a successful career in high-demand, industry aligned fields without stopping everything else in their lives.

In addition to these initiatives, CPS has a central role in the development and execution of the University’s Associate to Master’s program in Boston, Miami, Oakland, and Seattle. A2M seeks to close the wealth gap and empower career trajectories of underrepresented populations by providing an accelerated pathway for students from their associates to their master’s degree in a career field. A2M is among the pillars of the University’s academic plan and commitment to delivering broad societal impact.

Reporting to the Director of Development for CPS, the Director of Major Gifts will be committed to raising major philanthropic support to sustain and augment the above programs. More broadly, this major gift fundraiser will support the Dean’s vision of developing a global network for experiential professional learning, accelerating the speed of learning to match industry pace, expanding online and multi-disciplinary offerings, and finding programmatic synergies with Northeastern’s regional campuses and its Schools and Colleges.

The Director of Major Gifts will collaboratively examine CPS’s past and current fundraising structure and success and help chart a fundraising roadmap for the future. While caring for existing relationships, the Director will give attention to building a prospect pipeline that ensures the long-term sustainability of CPS. This will require personally developing and managing a portfolio of high-net worth prospects with direct involvement in the identification, qualification, cultivation, and solicitation of donors with the capacity to make a major, principal, or planned gift.

Demonstrating the humility and empathy needed to absorb the history of the College while fully embracing Northeastern’s emphasis on the power of transferrable skills and lifelong learning, the ideal candidate will bring expertise in frontline fundraising, preferably within a nonprofit setting. Further, the strategic ability to devise focused and systematic fundraising plans that take into consideration donor interests and an entrepreneurial mindset that is willing to explore new pathways are necessary. A track record of planning, executing, and closing 5- and 6-figure gifts is essential, as is a background of effectively identifying new donors. Above all, the candidate will bring a passion for the people, programs, and impact that CPS seeks to create in an increasingly interconnected and complex world.


  • Develop and manage a portfolio of 100+ major gift prospects, including alumni and friends, with a focus on raising gifts at the $100,000 plus level.
  • Identify new prospects, make discovery and qualification calls, establish cultivation and solicitation strategies, and solicit gifts.
  • Join the CPS Director of Development, and University Advancement colleagues in developing a strategic fundraising plan to enable individual as well as corporate and foundation support for A2M programs.
  • Coordinate donor cultivation efforts with other central Development staff, such as the Planned Giving Office, to successfully meet donor interests and leverage their full philanthropic potential.
  • Partner with directors and department heads across CPS to identify fundraising opportunities and new initiatives that would resonate with donors.
  • Collaborate with the Annual Giving team on Northeastern's University-wide Giving Day.  Develop strategies to ensure CPS is represented and to increase CPS alumni participation. 
  • Work closely with Alumni Relations team on quarterly engagement opportunities including the newsletter and other organic engagement opportunities. 
  • Utilize Salesforce to log activity, create call reports and progress reports, and maintain data integrity of prospect portfolio.
  • Travel as needed to qualify new prospects and to build relationships with existing prospects and donors.


  • 7-10 years of progressive fundraising experience, with a proven ability to solicit and close major gifts at the 5- and 6-figure levels.
  • An appreciation for lifelong learning and the value of skills gained through a structured education as well as through hands-on work experience.
  • Demonstrated ability in strategic planning for a comprehensive, sustained operation necessary to carry out the vision, goals and fundraising aspirations of the University.
  • Tested ability to work closely with high-level decision makers, trustees and other top-level volunteers.
  • Strong interpersonal skills necessary for building relationships with external (donors, prospects, trustees) and internal (deans, faculty, staff, colleagues) constituents.
  • Maturity to navigate complex relationships.
  • Highly entrepreneurial, energetic, and collaborative style.
  • A proactive approach that takes initiative and actively seeks to deepen current donor relationships and forge new ones.
  • Ability to work independently to achieve both engagement and revenue goals.
  • Ability to manage multiple priority projects at once with ease and efficiency.
  • Resourceful and collaborates with colleagues and external constituents at all levels.
  • Superior verbal and written communication and presentation skills.
  • Excellent attention to detail; strong organizational skills.
  • Partners closely and diplomatically with all constituencies.
  • Proficient in SalesForce, or a similar relationship management solution, Microsoft Outlook, Word, PowerPoint, and Excel.
  • Ability to travel (including nights and weekends).
  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent work experience.


Northeastern’s College of Professional Studies connects learners with the knowledge, tools, and expertise to pursue their highest aspirations. Founded in 1960 as University College, our mission has always been to provide access to education for a diverse community of part-time, working and returning students—without requiring them to pause their professional lives.

Our faculty of respected scholar practitioners and industry leaders offer academic programs grounded in theory and applied in practice, pushing through the traditional barriers between work and education and providing a rich academic program that reflects the expectations of ambitious learners and the demands of a rapidly evolving professional landscape. Studying part-time, full-time, in-person or online, you’ll join networks of peers and professionals committed to a hands-on, interdisciplinary approach to build your expertise and unleash your potential. Learn more at .


Northeastern University, a global, experiential, research university built on a tradition of engagement with the world and creating a distinctive approach to education and research, is forming the world’s first true global university system. Under the leadership of President Joseph Aoun, Northeastern has redefined the global university by expanding its hallmark co-op program and other experiential learning opportunities to 128+ countries and creating new educational and research partnerships that align with the increasingly global nature of higher education.

Classified as a top-tier research institution and listed at #44 according to the U.S. News & World Report 2022-2023 Best National Universities Rankings and one of the top universities for international students, Northeastern has elevated itself to a powerhouse on par with the nation’s elite research colleges and universities. These achievements build upon Northeastern’s unprecedented momentum, which includes continued investments in research and faculty recruitment, record-high student applications, and momentous fundraising success.

The university’s global network of campuses includes the Boston flagship campus, which offers a comprehensive range of undergraduate and graduate programs leading to degrees through the doctorate in nine colleges and schools, as well as regional campuses in Arlington, Burlington, Charlotte, Miami, Nahant, Portland, Oakland, San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle, Toronto, Vancouver, and London.

The Office of University Advancement plays an integral role in furthering Northeastern’s game-changing vision of transforming the University into diverse networks of learners and innovators, empowering members of its global community to succeed in an era of extraordinary technological and cultural change. Maintaining a staff of approximately 200, the Office of University Advancement is a thriving environment with an engaged, dedicated, and generous donor universe assuring a sustainable future for Northeastern.

In October 2022, Northeastern launched its major fundraising campaign, Experience Powered by Northeastern , as excitement builds for the next stage of the university’s evolution as a global, experiential research institution. With emphasis on empowering a global network of students, parents, faculty and alumni changemakers, Experience Powered by Northeastern will support the vision set out in the academic plan, Experience Unleashed . The Campaign’s six fundraising priorities (Student Opportunities, Faculty Excellence, Research, Diversity Across Communities, Entrepreneurship, Global Exploration) are designed to continue building on the university’s strengths while launching it into the future.

All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply and will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, disability status, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law.

Northeastern University is an equal opportunity employer seeking to recruit and support a broadly diverse community of faculty and staff. Northeastern values and celebrates diversity in all its forms and strives to foster an inclusive culture built on respect that affirms inter-group relations and builds cohesion. To learn more about Northeastern University’s commitment and support of diversity and inclusion, please see .

Position Type


Additional Information

Northeastern University considers factors such as candidate work experience, education and skills when extending an offer.  

Northeastern has a comprehensive benefits package for benefit eligible employees. This includes medical, vision, dental, paid time off, tuition assistance, wellness & life, retirement- as well as commuting & transportation. Visit for more information.  

Northeastern University is an equal opportunity employer, seeking to recruit and support a broadly diverse community of faculty and staff.  Northeastern values and celebrates diversity in all its forms and strives to foster an inclusive culture built on respect that affirms inter-group relations and builds cohesion. 

All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply and will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, disability status, or any other  characteristic protected by applicable law.

To learn more about Northeastern University’s commitment and support of diversity and inclusion, please see .

View or Apply

Similar Positions