Director of Major Gifts

Posted Date: January 29, 2018
Location: Multiple Locations, New York
The Director of Major Gifts is responsible for cultivating, soliciting, and closing major philanthropic gifts, and for the overall management of the Major Gifts Team. The Major Gifts Team is charged with managing relationships that support all aspects of the organization, particularly national programs and priorities, at the $500,000+ level.

This individual will manage a personal portfolio of approximately 50 prospects, as well as manage 3-5 major gift staff across the country. This individual will be responsible for developing and implementing a plan for major gift fundraising for The Trust for Public Land. The Director of Major Gifts will work closely with staff nationally to promote the acquisition of major gifts, as well as to ensure coordination among philanthropic giving programs.

The ideal candidate will be an individual with a rich fundraising background, including progressive and successful experience in soliciting and closing major gifts from individuals, and a strong track record of successful management. The ideal candidate will serve as a mentor to his/her team and colleagues and has a passion for conservation and equity.

Principal Duties:
  • Design and implement a written comprehensive major gifts program with customized donor- specific cultivation and solicitation strategies for identifying, qualifying, cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding individual donors capable of giving $500,000 or more. This person may also be involved in strategies related to corporate, institutional, and family foundation prospects.
  • Responsible for developing both long and short-range operational plans to support and track the major gifts team, including its efforts to secure support for the organization’s programmatic thought leadership.
  • Qualify new prospects and make at least 5 substantive contacts per month (i.e. significant moves that advance a relationship), including in-person visits. Work with CEO, board of directors, and volunteer leadership in soliciting and closing gifts.
  • Manage 3-5 staff members. The Director will lead, mentor and guide the major gifts team to ensure that they are pursuing best practices in their field. The Director is also responsible for fostering an environment of achievement and accountability for excellence through clearly defined and measurable goals. He/She will celebrate current achievements and set clear expectations for future success.
  • Work closely with Vice President of Philanthropy Programs, Division Philanthropy Directors and other Philanthropy staff to insure effective coordination of effort with their programs and to reinforce the prospect relationship continuum.
  • Participate, as required, in Philanthropy team efforts including solicitation strategy teams for key prospects and internal planning efforts.
  • Keep current on programs and initiatives across the organization; network with State Directors, Program Directors, and Philanthropy staff.
  • Working with the Donor Stewardship Team, coordinate an effective program for recognition, involvement and stewardship of major gifts donors. Model and foster excellent customer service standards for the Philanthropy function.
  • Respond to strategic institutional needs by planning and monitoring annual goals aimed at supporting organizational priorities. Ensure that fundraising goals, as set forth by leadership, are met and/or exceeded.
  • Serve as a member of the Senior Philanthropy Operating Team.
Knowledge and Experience:
  • Five or more years of individual major gift fundraising, preferably in the environmental or equity fields and two or more years of management experience.
  • Successful experience researching prospects, acquiring and cultivating donors, and closing complex commitments including planned gifts, pledges, campaign and endowment gifts, and investment options.
  • Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent combination of training and experience.
  • Master’s degree in business or public administration and management preferred.
  • Experience and comfort working in a complex national organization preferred. 
Skills and Abilities:
  • Interest in all aspects of the mission of The Trust for Public Land and a dedication to promoting fundraising priorities through developing excellent working relationships with staff, donors, volunteer leaders, and the Philanthropy team.
  • Ability to see and understand the objectives of the Philanthropy program, and to integrate the major gifts program with those objectives.
  • Ability to oversee multiple national and large-scale projects and quickly discern complex and competing interests. Ability to multitask and meet multiple deadlines required. Attention to detail a must.
  • Ability to initiate, analyze, monitor, evaluate and alter strategic advancement plans.
  • Superior ability to articulate the case for support so that donors embrace the vision/mission/goals of the organization and understand with sufficient effectiveness to secure gifts and pledges of $500,000 or more.
  • Excellent oral, written, interpersonal, analytical, and organization skills required.
  • Thorough knowledge of all aspects of fundraising, donor relations, and public relations required.
  • Knowledge of tax laws that impact charitable giving, personal assets and estates.
  • In addition to these general skills, the position requires the ability to participate in all aspects of the gift cycle:(1) to initiate contacts with potential major donors; (2) to develop appropriate cultivation strategies for them; (3) to move potential donors in an appropriate and timely fashion toward solicitation and closure; (4) to make solicitations when appropriate; (5) to maintain stewardship contacts with donors.
  • Demonstrated ability to maintain strict confidentiality.
  • Must be able to travel– this position requires up to 25% travel. Must have a driver’s license.