Senior Director, Major Gifts

Washington D.C.
Aug 01, 2017
Sep 05, 2017
Executive, Director, Other
Full Time

Position Title:                          Senior Director, Major Gifts

Level:                                       Senior Director            

Location:                                 Washington, DC

Department:                           Strategic Gifts; Development

Reports to (supervisor):         Vice President, Strategic Gifts


2018 will mark Special Olympics 50th Anniversary, and in celebration the movement is launching a $100MM fundraising campaign to end the discrimination against people with intellectual disabilities.  This five year campaign will run from 2017-2021. 

Primary Responsibilities:

  1. In partnership with the VP, Strategic Gifts develop and execute Campaign solicitation strategies to promote the acquisition of new major donors in support of the movement and the campaign fundraising goals.
  2. Develop the process and strategy in identifying high net worth prospects from a variety of sources (direct response donation data, existing relationships and knowledge held at the local level, etc.) in order to establish a prioritized pool of new individuals capable of making a significant gift to the Special Olympics movement and specifically the 50thAnniversary Campaign.
  3. Develop close working relationships with Program leadership in those states where opportunities exist to develop collaborative strategies to deepen relationships with potential donors.
  4. Play a lead role in creating opportunities to more deeply engage / educate potential donors in the work of Special Olympics and the campaign goals and objectives. Conduct regular outreach, in cooperation with Program leadership, in the form of phone calls, meetings, invitations to local events and competitions, etc.
  5. Lead the relationship building responsibility of Special Olympics ‘centers of influence’ network in order to maximize their support and that of their contacts.
  6. Pitch and execute cultivation events in key donor markets to attract new prospects further engage individuals within the movement.
  7. Provide regular reporting on outreach efforts to assigned donors / prospects to continually monitor progress, adjust plans, and capitalize on new stewardship/cultivation opportunities.
  8. Make a minimum of 15 substantive contacts per month with an emphasis on quality personal visits. (e.g. significant moves that advance a relationship).

Qualification Requirements

  • A./B.S. degree
  • 10+ years of experience as a frontline fundraiser with proven track record in securing gifts of $50k+, managing capital campaigns, and knowledge of fundraising in national philanthropic communities.
  • Demonstrated ability to think strategically about relationships with donors / prospects, and to communicate organizational mission in ways that are exciting and enticing to donors.
  • Superior communication and interpersonal skills. Ability to forge strong working relationships with Program staff and work collaboratively with that staff to pursue gifts that follow the donor’s lead and support the mission. 
  • Demonstrated ability to understand and clearly articulate programmatic areas of the organization – both at the Program level and the headquarters level -- and to synthesize these concisely and persuasively (orally and in writing).
  • Demonstrated ability to multi-task, prioritize and thrive in a fast-paced environment.
  • Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively with board members, leadership, across departments and with counterparts in the movement around the country to effectively cultivate donors / prospects.
  • An exceptionally high level of comfort in reaching out to colleagues and prospects alike to establish contact and develop relationships.
  • Computer fluency in MS Office and SalesForce and knowledgeable about the role technology and electronic communication play in fundraising.


  • Self-motivated, flexible and adaptable with a sense of humor and positive attitude
  • Experience working in an affiliated non-profit structure, or similarly structured organization, is a strong plus.


  • Frequent travel required.

Note: Position is contingent on campaign funding.


Special Olympics is an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) employer committed to maintaining a non-discriminatory, diverse work environment. Special Olympics does not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetic information, or on any other basis prohibited by applicable law in any of its programs or activities.

Employment with Special Olympics is ‘at-will.’

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