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Major Gifts Officer

Island Conservation
Santa Cruz, California, US
Closing date
Jan 25, 2022

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Consultancy/Private Sector
Conservation science
Project Management
Salary Type
Employment Type
Full time
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14 January 2022 Job Recruitment Notice

Fully remote, US-based full-time position

Island Conservation (IC) seeks a Major Gifts Officer (MGO) with experience raising significant gifts from existing private funding sources to help IC scale our work and impact. Your experience should include effectively implementing short- and long-term fundraising strategies prospecting, qualifying, cultivating, and soliciting major gifts from corporations, foundations, and high-net-worth individuals.

The MGO's responsibilities include building IC's community of supporters in target geographies. The MGO will work across the organization to identify and advance new private philanthropic opportunities. They will help develop and offer strategies for fundraising breakthroughs and innovations. The ideal candidate has a flexible and creative approach to friend-raising and fundraising, is an independent self-starter that highly values teamwork, embraces a multi-cultural work environment, has a strategic mindset, embraces an entrepreneurial work culture, works well with remotely located colleagues (including the supervisor), and is driven to achieve outcomes. The MGO will report to the Chief Philanthropy Officer or the Major Gifts Officer, depending on experience level.

  • Develop and maintain a portfolio of new and existing private donors-identify, qualify, cultivate new donor prospects and close a significant suite of significant gifts in the first 18-24 months
  • Represent IC with funders and persuasively articulate the organization's mission, values, and impact
  • Work closely with staff to write proposals, reports, budgets, and other donor-focused materials.
  • Project management and concept development; coordinating and supporting the work of peers you do not manage.
  • Plan, execute and support donor cultivation events and donor trips
  • Support board and committee meetings and events, as well as board member annual engagement plans
  • Support board and advisory council cultivation and recruitment
  • Maintain donor records in Salesforce and comply with record-keeping standards/protocols
  • Ensure compliance with IC policies and procedures and external (donor/legal/IRS) requirements
  • Manage/participate in complex/sensitive/confidential negotiations
  • Travel frequently, occasionally on short notice, occasional long but flexible hours

PROVEN EXPERIENCE-The ideal candidate will demonstrate knowledge of and experience with:
  • Building and maintaining long-term relationships with donors and foundation staff
  • Asking for and closing gifts of at least $25,000
  • Managing and tracking multiple prospects and donors
  • Working with cross-functional teams
  • Training/coursework or on-the-job training in donor-centered fundraising principles/practices
  • Developing relationship management strategies according to philanthropic best practices (e.g., identification, qualification, cultivation, solicitation, stewardship)
  • Utilizing donor-centric donor portfolio management (individuals, foundations, corporations)
  • Current trends in charitable giving include capital campaigns, major gifts, accepting non-cash assets, and planned giving.

  • Passionate about conservation and mitigating biodiversity, climate, island, and ocean health crises
  • Proven team player and leader (not a 'boss') able to motivate and inspire teamwork
  • Cultural solid fit: Able to work with self-motivated, mission-driven staff inflexible workplace
  • Exceptional analytical, strategic, and tactical abilities
  • High emotional intelligence, interpersonal skills, diplomacy; intellectual curiosity, and ambition
  • Impeccable integrity
  • Ability to work through peak periods of heavy activity and travel as required

  • Bachelor's degree and five or more years of relevant experience
  • Five years of experience in nonprofit fundraising or related, relevant, and adaptable experience
  • Excellent writing, speaking, presenting, and persuasion skills (English)
  • Demonstrated aptitude to use/learn new systems like Salesforce (or other CRM systems)
  • Willingness to travel at least 25% of the time

  • Fluency (written/verbal) in Spanish; fluency in French or other vital languages
  • Standing relationships, and fundraising experience with key philanthropic sectors including marine/ocean, climate change mitigation/adaptation, local communities/Indigenous peoples; conservation innovation; genetics; and corporate and social responsibility
  • Demonstrated experience in developing entrepreneurial fundraising breakthroughs or innovations in areas including impact investing, conservation finance, crypto-currencies and non-fungible tokens, and business and venture capital investment
  • Demonstrated experience raising six or seven-figure principal gifts
  • Experience building and maintaining planned giving or giving circle/club programs
  • Marketing, communications, and campaign experience
  • Existing donor networks and proximity to vital philanthropic regions including SF Bay Area, Los Angeles/San Diego, New York City region, Texas, Atlanta, Chicago, Seattle/Pacific Northwest

  • Island Conservation is an equal opportunity employer and offers a salary and benefits package competitive with other international not-for-profit conservation organizations.

  • Only principals should apply; recruiters, please do not contact; Please, no phone calls about this job; Please do not contact job posters about other services, products, or commercial interests.
  • Qualified candidates should apply to; applications should include 1) a cover letter (including desired compensation, remote office location(s), and 2) a resume.
  • Applications will be screened on a rolling basis commencing one week from the posting date.
  • Candidates advancing past initial screening and interviews may be asked to complete an LOI-writing exercise and submit writing samples.
  • The position will remain open and posted here until filled.

ISLAND CONSERVATION is our world's only international nonprofit conservation organization dedicated solely to preventing extinctions on islands through community-based island restoration and rewilding partnerships. To date, Island Conservation has completed 65 restoration projects on 51 islands and, in doing so, has protected at least 338 plant and animal species and 338 seabird colonies. Island Conservation is the United States-based 501(c)3 charitable organization that works globally, with strategic international and local partnerships in all regions to help achieve conservation goals.

Island Conservation is committed to a holistic island-marine ecosystem restoration method that combines efforts to improve community livelihoods, manage invasive species, and reintroduce native species. As such, our unique and ambitious approaches have evolved to focus first on community-based conservation, empowering local partners, and supporting overall sustainable development. For more information, visit

Ability to work in the US for any employer required. Equal opportunity employer.
YourMembership. Keywords: Fundraising Manager, Location: Santa Cruz, CA - 95060
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