Manager, Major Gifts

Clarksburg, Maryland
Commensurate with experience.
May 01, 2019
Jun 05, 2019
Full Time

The Manager, Major Gifts is responsible for growing and then managing a major gift portfolio of 120-125 individuals in various stages of the donor giving cycle. The Manager understands how achievement of fundraising goals is a reflection of time and resource allocation, as well as the ability to build relationships with donors. 

The Manager, Major Gifts will participate as a member of the Development team assisting in developing strategic and integrated initiatives to advance the Development program within the overall strategic priorities of the Foundation.


  • Work closely with the Senior Vice President, Development and the other gift officers to create and implement an effective ‘Discovery’ process, leading to the qualification of approximately 100 individuals annually. 
  • Develop a major gift portfolio such that 6-8 personal visits a month are conducted.
  • Develop and implement cultivation, solicitation and stewardship plans for prospects in the portfolio.
  • Develop a major gift portfolio such that 25-30 lead annual gift and major gift solicitations are successfully closed annually. 
  • Follow-up on bequest leads generated by the Planned Giving and the Direct Mail programs. 
  • Complete call reports in a timely manner.
  • Work closely with the Senior Vice President for Development and other members of the Development team to design and implement effective communication instruments and an integrated communications plan.
  • Effectively solicit Annual Fund gifts for everyone in your portfolio.
  • Maintain accurate and timely expense records.
  • Keep the Senior Vice President informed of matters impacting the achievement of individual goals.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.


  • Strong fundraising skills with a track record of securing gifts in the five-and six figure range from individuals. 
  • Confidence and skill to artfully ask prospective donors to make a financial contribution, exhibiting transparency with prospects about the purpose of cultivation visits, and believe that the fastest way to qualify a prospect is to solicit him or her for a gift.  
  • Refrain from taking solicitation rejection personally.                       
  • Probe prospects by asking thoughtful, insightful generating questions about their goals and interests.
  • Possess a relatively deep repository of knowledge to inform donor discussions.
  • Read nonverbal cues, including body language and adapts approach to the prospect accordingly, while also changing tone, inflection, and vocabulary based on the background and experiences of a prospect.
  • Zero-in on relevant details to donor motivations and interest.
  • Explain complicated issues in a comprehensible fashion.
  • Work well with others, demonstrating respect and appreciation.  
  • Maintain a balanced, positive outlook, and demonstrate decorum in public.
  • Receive critique without getting defensive, and exhibits an appropriate sense of humor.
  • Manage time effectively by multi-tasking, setting, and meeting deadlines.
  • Proactive, ambitious, self-starter with a passion for outcomes, goals and competitive performance (professionally and organizationally).
  • Thrive in a collaborative, team-oriented environment.


  • Bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited college or university.
  • 5 years of individual experience in major gift fundraising and/or relational portfolio management.
  • Proven track record of cultivating and closing major gifts.
  • Familiarity with planned giving desirable.
  • Professional, polished demeanor that represents the high-quality standard of BrightFocus.
  • Exceptional communication skills (written and verbal), and interpersonal skills.
  • Solid presentation skills and ability to speak in front of various audiences while representing BrightFocus.
  • Travel required.

HOW TO APPLY: Please submit your resume and cover letter with your salary requirement to with “Manager, Major Gifts” in the Subject line for consideration. For a full position description, visit:

BrightFocus Foundation (BrightFocus) is at the forefront of brain and eye health by promoting awareness and driving innovative research worldwide to help eradicate diseases including Alzheimer’s disease, macular degeneration, and glaucoma. To learn more about BrightFocus, visit

BrightFocus is committed to the full utilization of all human resources and to a policy of equal opportunity. In accordance with applicable laws, it is our policy to recruit, hire, train and promote individuals, as well as administer any and all personnel actions, without regard to any legally-protected characteristic including, but not limited to, race, age, color, religion, sex, marital status, national origin, physical or mental disability, or veteran status.

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