Director of Major Gifts

Washington D.C.
Mar 14, 2017
Apr 14, 2017
Full Time

The Director of Major Gifts is responsible for planning, coordinating, and implementing the individual major donor program (called the Sequoia Circle) to meet the organization’s major gifts fundraising goal and build the individual major donor base. The Director of Major Gifts is responsible for direct solicitation of gifts as well as for coordination of other staff and board members in additional cultivation and solicitation.

REQUISITE EDUCATION OR CERTIFICATIONS: Bachelor’s degree required. Business and/or non-profit management focus preferred.

REQUIRED EXPERIENCE: Three to five years successful experience in major gift fundraising preferably in environmental conservation for gifts larger than $1,000. Ability to understand the needs and interests of major gift donors and develop long-term relationships that result in philanthropic giving to American Forests. Interest in environmental conservation and a dedication to promoting American Forests’ fundraising priorities through developing excellent relationships with members, volunteers and staff. Successful experience in making cold calls/outreach as well as developing cultivation and solicitation strategies for existing major donors and prospects. Must have excellent interpersonal skills, be highly organized, and have a demonstrated ability to successfully execute a plan. Must be willing to travel regularly.

WORKING CONDITIONS: Travel and public speaking will be required.

General office work environment.

SPECIFIC RESPONSIBILITIES: Responsible for soliciting gifts of $1,000 and higher from current Sequoia Circle members and prospects. Manage relationships with 100+ prospective donors. Identify, qualify, cultivate, solicit and steward these very important supporters of American Forests. Work collaboratively with and in support of the Vice President of Development, the CEO, volunteer leaders and other departments to cultivate and solicit donors to meet organizational goals. Monitor all prospect contacts to ensure positive and purposeful prospect and donor relations.Recommends and assists with programming involving the president & CEO and vice presidents. Must be a highly personable and energetic professional with a track record of building donor relationships and closing gifts in the four to six-figure range.

Reports to the Vice President of Development and works collaboratively and strategically with others such as President & am, CEO, board members and other volunteers when directed. Regular interface with finance team on budgeting, reporting and reconciliation of gifts. Manage the logisitics of the proposal process for individuals, family foundations and some corporate donors and prospects. This includes leading a proposal kick off meeting, gathering information from other departments, writing a first proposal draft and sharing with other department for input before finalization and submission.


Manage a portfolio of primary Sequoia Circle members and prospects. Participate in all aspects of the gift cycle, including: Create a challenging yet achievable donor and prospect long range cultivation plan and track progress in an organized and methodical manner; Initiate contacts with potential leadership and major gift donors; Develop appropriate cultivation strategies for them, including working with volunteers; Move potential donors in an appropriate and timely fashion toward solicitation and closure; Manage the Sequoia Circle membership list and solicit renewals and upgrades monthly; Maintain excellent relationships with Sequoia Circle members  for productive stewardship; and Adhere to the highest ethical standards; demonstrate an empathetic disposition, and perseverance; possess an optimistic and positive attitude, and convey sensitivity to needs of the donors. Work collaboratively with American Forests’ development staff. Offer prospect strategy counsel to the president & CEO, vice presidents and other development staff who are managing other prospects. Be a resource for program and development staff, from identifying potential volunteer connections to knowing about meeting and event spaces in key locations. Manage proposal process and reporting requirements for individuals, family foundations and some corporate foundations. American Forests is an equal opportunity employer.

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