Development Officer

Orphan Grain Train
Norfolk, Nebraska

Orphan Grain Train is seeking an experienced professional to serve as a development officer with the potential of moving up to the position of Director of Development.  The development officer should have at least five years of experience working directly with donors.  He/she should be computer literate and able to work with development software.  Extensive nationwide travel would be expected.  The primary objective would be to identify, cultivate and solicit donors to support the ministry of Orphan Grain Train, looking for opportunities for major and planned gift potential. 

Orphan Grain Train is a humanitarian aid organization, a recognized service organization of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.  In the past decade it has grown from providing $12,000,000 of humanitarian aid to $48,000,000 of aid, distributed to 70 countries.  It has 27 locations across the country from which it operates and continues to expand its outreach.  It does so with an extensive volunteer network, enabling it to operate with less than a 2% administrative and fund-raising cost.  It is a four star charity on Charity Navigator. 

Orphan Grain Train offers a salary commensurate with experience as well as an excellent benefit package including health, disability, life insurance and pension benefits through the Concordia Plans.   

The development officer serves as a representative of Orphan Grain Train to its constituency, building long-lasting relationships leading to support of OGT’s mission.  This is done with a view to understanding the donor’s interest, passion and values in the core of activities undertaken by OGT.  The development officer will thus identify, cultivate, solicit and steward donors for annual giving as well as working toward major and planned gifts. 

In order to do this the development officer will:

  • Work in close coordination with the director of donor advising to maximize effectiveness of support both for the national organization and the 27 branches and collection centers of OGT.
  • Identify, cultivate, solicit and steward a portfolio of 100-125 top donor prospects with the potential of at least $10,000 gifts. 
  • Develop strategies for successful solicitation of potential donors.  Maintain an annual timetable for portfolio donor visits, and supplement such visits with visits to other donors for purposes of discovery and identification. 
  • Travel extensively throughout the United States.  40-50% of the time spent should be out of the office.  Large numbers of donors are located in Nebraska, Iowa and Kansas within driving distance of the home office, but OGT has a national constituency requiring frequent air travel. 
  • If not familiar with it, receive training for the Bloomerang data platform.  Enter call reports regularly into the donor files.
  • Visit with branch managers as it works into normal travel to become acquainted with these volunteer leaders and to grasp the national character of OGT. 
  • Be aware of and sensitive to the fact that many donors contribute both to the national organization and to a branch of OGT.  Keep in mind these are not competing purposes, but one organization.
  • Be conversant with new techniques of giving via social media, online giving, etc.  Work with the marketing director to maximize effectiveness of such solicitations.
  • Attend training conferences and workshops to further sharpen development skills.
  • Report directly to the vice president for operations.
  • Adhere to the ALDE Code of Ethics

Education:   Bachelor’s degree minimum.

Experience:   At least 5 years of fulltime experience in development, annual fund, major gifts, planned gifts, etc.  Proven track record in donor cultivation, solicitation and gift closure. 


  • Knowledge of basic development principles.
  • Passion to help people who are hurting due to disaster, extreme poverty, etc. 
  • Ability to articulate the mission of OGT to donors in a manner which leads them to support.
  • Personality that deals with confidence in approaching donors and connecting them more closely with the mission of OGT.
  • Organizational and communication skills.
  • Be a self-starter, taking initiative to get things done. 
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality.
  • Be a professional in all dealings.

Salary:  $60,000-90,000 dependent on experience