Detailed Job Description

Major Gifts Officer

Newark Public Radio, WBGO Jazz88.3FM is a publicly-supported, cultural institution that champions jazz and presents news to a worldwide audience through radio, other technologies, and events. Within public radio, WBGO is regarded as a leader for its ground-breaking work in the presentation of jazz as well as its community and volunteer involvement, special events, and collaboration with local, national, and international artists.


The position of Major Gifts officer (of which there are 2 in the current structure of the organization) requires the development and maintenance of fundraising programs and activities aimed at increasing the number of major donors and major gifts from individuals. This position will be involved in the implementation of an annual strategic plan and a comprehensive major gifts program. He or she will work in conjunction with WBGO senior management to formulate strategies and build relationships inside and outside the organization to maximize the value of WBGO to its listeners and contributors, and to convert that value into financial support. The Major Gift officer will also work closely with The Director of Membership and her staff in the daily routines of database management and maintenance of major donors accounts.

This position requires the ability to work evenings and weekends, as special events and individual donor cultivations are primary responsibilities key to the overall success of the position and the organization.

Specific responsibilities will include:

  • Manage a comprehensive major gifts program
  • Work with WBGO staff and Board to identify prospects
  • Research, accurately prepare, update and maintain accurate donor files
  • Design cultivation events and meetings, establish ongoing contact with prospects
  • Design and coordinate major giving direct mail campaigns
  • Solicit major gifts
  • Use database to effectively code, segment, and track donor activities and gifts in order to
  • generate regular and accurate financial reports
  • Communicate and provide exceptional stewardship to prospects and donors
  • Working closely with the Development Director and Membership Manager to determine fundraising goals and procedures to increase the number of donors at the $1,200 + annual level
  • Other duties as assigned, including assistance with other Development Department and special events activities.

This position will play an active role in the station’s three (February, May & September) major on-air fund-raising campaigns and our 3-day effort at the end of the Calendar year. Flexibility of scheduling during these important blocks of time is essential.


WBGO seeks a visionary, team-oriented professional with a College degree and a minimum of three (3) years of progressively responsible and successful fundraising experience plus marketing and business development skills. Prefer fund-raising experience in the Arts and/or public media.

The successful candidate will also have these qualifications and experiences:

  • Ability to think strategically, and to be creative and flexible
  • Excellent organizational and planning skills
  • Highly-developed oral and written communication, phone and grammar skills
  • Three years prior experience working in a fundraising or development position
  • Knowledge of basic office practices, procedures and protocols
  • Ability to reliably manage a significant work load under pressure and meet
  • tight deadlines as required
  • Professional appearance and demeanor and good interpersonal skills
  • Familiarity with a variety of fundraising techniques, and a solid understanding of
  • the infrastructure, resources and tools necessary to implement fundraising programs
  • Understanding of major donor fundraising techniques
  • Personal experience soliciting large contributions from individuals or businesses
  • A knowledge of jazz and its history is not required but is a plus as the majority of our listeners and supporters are well versed and openly conversant when it comes to this art form

How to apply

Please send resumes and cover letters with salary requirements to:


WBGO is a not for profit organization. WBGO is an Equal Opportunity Employer. WBGO is committed to maintaining a diverse workforce and actively encourages applications from a broad spectrum of applicants.