Major Gifts Director, Eastern Region

  • American Rivers, Inc.
  • Washington, DC, United States
  • Nov 17, 2017
Full time Advocacy and Policy Communication - Public Outreach Environmental & Energy Law Management Sustainability Water Quality Watershed/Stormwater Wildlife - Endangered Species - Biodiversity

Job Description


Reporting to the Senior Director of Major Gifts, the Major Gifts Director will be responsible for soliciting gifts of $10,000 and above for the assigned region. This position is instrumental in promoting the goals of American Rivers, creating strong and solid relationships with individual prospects and donors, qualifying prospects identified through screenings and referrals, and raising funds to meet annual revenue goals. The Major Gifts Officer will work from our Washington, D.C. headquarters and travel throughout the Eastern U.S. to meet with donors up to 60 percent of the time.

We are seeking a dedicated, energetic, and passionate Major Gifts Director to grow philanthropic support for American Rivers. The ideal candidate will have a history of cultivating, soliciting, and closing major gifts from individuals; a track record of identifying and developing a portfolio of individual donors with major gift giving potential; success in building sustainable donor engagement and relationships; knowledge of best practices in major gift philanthropy; and ability to see the big picture and translate strategy into targeted goals and actions.

The position interacts with the President/CEO as well as board members and other leadership. This is an exciting opportunity to work with a talented, high-energy team of professionals who are making a difference in the environmental field.


  • Develop and execute personalized solicitation strategies for each donor/prospect in assigned portfolio with information about specific initiatives, persons involved in each task, and target dates for each purposeful action; track activities and information in CRM.
  • Conduct a significant number of qualified contacts per month with donors and prospects to form and strengthen relationships for long-term support and engagement.
  • Prepare and conduct donor briefings for President/CEO’s assigned visits or solicitations.
  • Prepare personalized materials, including correspondence, solicitation materials, briefing materials, and other items for face-to-face meetings and other donor interactions.
  • Solicit assigned prospects to meet or exceed annual fundraising targets, as specified in annual budget and work plan.
  • Build a robust portfolio through prospect discovery and qualification; contacting and qualifying high-capacity prospects identified through screenings.
  • In conjunction with Senior Director of Major Gifts, explore creation of a River Council (Eastern location TBD) that would include recruiting and managing high profile volunteers who contribute a personally significant gift to form the core group to cultivate and solicit others within their network.
  • Work closely with the major gifts team on strategy for the overall major donor program as well as for individual prospects.
  • Prepare fund-raising reports, budgets, and analyses for assigned region.
  • Develop and execute an annual work plan for identifying, cultivating, and soliciting prospects for major and planned gifts in assigned region; assist Senior Director of Major Gifts in developing the major gift division’s overall plan and procedures.
  • Ensure that donor contact reports are compiled and maintained; maintain up-to-date CRM reports and contact log.


  • Stay current with major gift trends and best practices.
  • Enthusiastically participate in department meetings, organization-wide meetings and activities, and staff committees.
  • Organize or participate in other initiatives to promote the organization and build a culture of philanthropy amongst the American Rivers community.
  • Complete administrative requirements such as timesheets, performance evaluations, and expense reports in an accurate and timely manner.
  • Perform other fundraising duties and special projects in support of the Advancement Department, as needed.


  • An advanced degree and a minimum of 7 years of significant fundraising experience working with individuals. Or an appropriate combination of education and at least 9 years of relevant experience in sales or business development or other related fields, in a confidential environment to a sophisticated audience, will be considered.
  • History of closing five, six and seven-figure gifts or sales/ marketing accounts, including the ability to evaluate, qualify, and move prospects through the identification, cultivation and solicitation cycle.
  • Understanding of planned giving principles and vehicles; and ability to coordinate interactions with donors to facilitate a deferred gift.
  • Experience interacting with high-net worth individuals and the ability to maintain a high level of confidentiality.
  • Excellent communication skills coupled with strong writing and presentation skills.
  • Proficiency with donor database/CRM applications (ROI preferred).
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint).
  • Excellent planning and organizational skills, ability to prioritize, and manage time efficiently.
  • Ability to travel frequently, outside of normal work hours, to meet donors and attend functions; amount varies depending on portfolio.
  • Prefer candidate with knowledge of and interest in conservation and environmental issues.
  • Personal commitment to American Rivers’ mission.


Salary is commensurate with experience. Full-time and full-time equivalent employee benefits include health, dental and life insurance, retirement plan, and generous leave time. 

Washington, DC is the preferred location for this position, however, the successful candidate may be considered from another geographic location where American Rivers already has a presence.


Applications will be considered immediately. Applicants should submit a resume, cover letter and salary requirements to: with “Major Gift Director, Eastern Region” in the subject line. No phone calls please.

American Rivers is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Candidates of all backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

Job Level

Mid-level, Senior-level


Nonprofit- NGO