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Major Gifts Officer

Full Time, Benefits Eligible

The Major Gifts Officer will be responsible for designing and implementing an innovative program to identify prospective major gift donors with special emphasis on capital campaign prospects.

The Major Gifts Officer Will:

  • Be responsible for a major gift fundraising goal to be determined in consultation with the Director of Development and Vice President of Development.
  • Develop and implement plans to identify, cultivate, solicit and steward potential donors to the Aquarium with an emphasis on the capital campaign.
  • Utilize a recent predictive giving screening along with an analysis of current support groups such as the Pacific Circle, Steward level members, general membership, and lapsed members to identify potential major gift and campaign donors.
  • Analytically narrow extensive prospect lists to a manageable portfolio; directly cultivate or recommend prospect additions to the portfolios of the Vice President of Development or Director of Development.
  • Strategically leverage the connections of the Board of Directors, Trustees of the Pacific, and other key volunteers to advance prospect relationships. Include these volunteers in the cultivation and solicitation process whenever possible.
  • Creatively capitalize on existing Aquarium educational programs, husbandry staff, exhibit encounters, special events, personal networks, and more to create and engage an expanded pool of major gift prospects.
  • Prepare lists, reviewing research profiles, and producing documents for internal staff meetings and for the capital campaign committee.
  • Effectively use Raisers Edge database to track and manage prospects, to develop reports, and to monitor program progress and results.
  • Supervise and coach volunteers as needed.
  • Evaluate Major Gift Officer activities such as number of prospects identified, calls initiated, site visits and appointments, events, solicitations, and gifts received to determine measurable success metrics for this position.
  • Perform other duties as requested.


  • BS/BA required; advanced degree preferred
  • 3 - 5 years of related experience required
  • Proven experience working with computers, particularly with database programs such as Raisers Edge
  • While much of the work initially will be in the Los Angeles region, occasional regional travel may be expected

Knowledge and Skills

  • Excellent people skills
  • Excellent organizational skills
  • Excellent communication skills both oral and written
  • Excellent ability to work in a fast-paced environment
  • Excellent ability to handle multiple assignments and changing priorities
  • Excellent computer skills with all Microsoft Office programs and knowledge of Blackbaud Raisers Edge 7 database preferred

Interested & Qualified?

If you meet the requirements of this position, please click on the link below to “APPLY NOW.” You will be directed to our web application process, the successful completion of which is required for all applicants. There are THREE simple steps to this process, which is administered by Wonderlic, Inc.:

  1. You will complete a brief web application;
  2. You will attach or build your resume;
  3. You will complete the online assessment(s).

    Upon completion of all THREE steps, your submission will be forwarded to our hiring team for consideration. Thank you so much for your interest in the Aquarium of the Pacific! The Aquarium of the Pacific is an Equal Opportunity Employer.


Once you have been contacted by the Aquarium and a date and time have been scheduled for your job interview, you are welcome to prepare:

Job Application – complete this document and bring it with you to the interview. By completing this paperwork in advance, at your leisure, you will have an opportunity to be completely thorough and accurate.

Release and Disclosure Form – complete this document and bring it with you to the interview. The Release and Disclosure form grants permission to the Aquarium to proceed with a background check, which is an important step in our hiring process.

References – be sure to include references who are familiar with your work, and ideally have supervised you in past jobs. If your work experience is limited, teachers, advisers, coaches, and other youth leaders are often strong references – just be sure to provide accurate numbers at which they may be contacted.

Summary of Rights Notice – keep this notice for your records.

Note: To review and/or print the downloadable items, you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader. If you do not have Acrobat Reader, you may click on the icon to obtain your FREE copy.

Have you ever wanted to work among the fishes?

We truly appreciate your interest in employment at the Aquarium of the Pacific!

On this page, you will find postings of our currently available positions. For your convenience, we have made every effort to describe these openings thoroughly. If you are interested in and qualified for a particular opportunity, we invite you to apply for the position by following the instructions at the end of the posting.

If you are interested in volunteering, please call (562) 951-1659 or visit our volunteer opportunities page. We are looking forward to working with you.

Thank you again for your interest!