Major Gifts Officer

about 1 month ago
Full time role


The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is a non-profit environmental advocacy organization. We use law, science, and the support of ...

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Job Description


NRDC is a non-profit environmental advocacy organization. We use law, science, and the support of 3.1 million members and online activists to protect the planet's wildlife and wild places and to ensure the rights of all people to clean air, clean water, and healthy communities. NRDC was founded in 1970 and our people helped write some of America's bedrock environmental laws, including the Clean Water Act and many of the implementing regulations. Today, our team of more than 700 lawyers, scientists, economists, policy advocates, communications experts, and others work across the United States and the globe from our offices in Bozeman, Montana; Chicago; New York; San Francisco; Santa Monica; Washington, D.C.; and Beijing.  NRDC is seeking a Major Gift Officer to work with the Development team in our San Francisco office. 


Position Summary NRDC is seeking a Major Gifts Officer to join its Major Gifts Western Regional Team, which comprises the state of California and the entire West Coast. This position will be based at our San Francisco office. The Western regional team is comprised of six seasoned fundraisers to cover NRDC’s western philanthropic market representing approximately $20M annually. This is an exciting opportunity for creative fundraising professionals with experience in and appetite for prospecting and cultivating new funding relationships and encouraging higher levels of commitment from existing contributors.   This MGO will specifically be responsible for managing a balanced portfolio comprised of existing donors and high-potential prospects.  In addition to stewarding existing donors, s/he will enjoy the challenge of pursuing new and lapsed donors, and understand the nuance of developing these important relationships over time. The MGO will take the lead on the relationships s/he is able to cultivate and bring to solicitation. This portfolio consists of existing donors and potential supporters who are capable of giving at the major gifts level defined at $25K – $1M.   This MGO will work side-by-side with a diverse range of development and program staff, including advocates, scientists and litigators, who work to fulfill NRDC’s mission. The team embraces a highly collaborative culture and takes both a strategic and opportunistic approach to reaching its ambitious fundraising targets.  


  • Manage a portfolio of 100-150 individuals in accordance with established team goals on meetings, solicitations, donor retention, salesforce management, and events. Understand both the quantitative and qualitative elements of your portfolio’s performance and growth over time.  
  • Implement a robust communications system leveraging all available resources to communicate regularly with your full portfolio including once a month donor “newsletter” 
  • Develop strategies in consultation with the Membership team and drive relationship cultivation to upgrade members from direct mail solicitation to personal solicitation. Set strategy and personally cultivate and solicit high-level gifts from current and prospective donors via email and face to face meetings. 
  • Approach work with creativity and persistence, including but not limited to pursuing specific donor networks and interest groups where you might reach a diverse range of prospective donors. 
  • Provide comprehensive, timely and innovative stewardship opportunities for existing donors in consultation with the Donor Relations team and other Development colleagues. Elevate the importance of stewarding all gifts and programs in ways that strengthen donor interest in, satisfaction with and commitment to NRDC. 
  • Collaborate with and support NRDC’s executive leadership with respect to cultivation, solicitation and stewardship efforts, use their time and talents appropriately, and ensure their effectiveness as spokespersons and fundraisers for NRDC. This work includes authoring donor briefings and correspondence, event scripts, talking points and the like. 
  • Produce and partner with the NRDC’s Events team to plan events in the region that maximize major donor and prospect cultivation opportunities. 
  • Effectively navigate institutional resources to enhance your efficacy as an NRDC representative with donors. This includes staying informed of institutional priorities, regional work and achievements, and current events on key environmental issues. 
  • Adeptly manage Salesforce and other processes such as tracking donor gift projections and list management for your portfolio. 
  • Lead on team projects from time to time as needed. 
  • Other duties as needed 


 The Major Gifts Officer must have: 

  • A track record of successfully and strategically identifying, cultivating and stewarding major gift donors.   
  • Strong writing ability to communicate quickly, consistently and in a compelling manner with prospective donors. 
  • Inclination for being highly organized, self-driven and persistent in his/her approach to donor prospecting. This MGO should not be discouraged by a portfolio of prospective donors. 
  • Eagerness to pursue new potential high net worth supporters with significant capacity 
  • Ability to interface effectively in person and in writing with high-level NRDC donors and senior staff members 
  • Demonstrated ability to handle multiple, complex fundraising activities simultaneously in a fast-paced environment 
  • Passion for the mission and goals of NRDC 
  • Experience with advocacy or environmental groups (preferred) 
  • Experience with fundraising campaigns (a plus) 
  • Experience with donor databases 
  • 5+ years of fundraising experience with a focus on major gifts or senior level annual fund gifts is preferred; other related experience in sales or similar, is welcomed 
  • Bachelor of arts or science degree 

NRDC is committed to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion, both in our work and in our workplace. We believe that celebrating and actively welcoming diverse voices and perspectives is essential to solving the planet's most pressing environmental problems, and we encourage applications from candidates whose identities have been historically under-represented in the environmental movement. 


We are an equal opportunity employer and do not discriminate in hiring or employment on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, marital status, sexual orientation, national origin, citizenship, age, disability, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local law. Pursuant to the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance, we will consider for employment qualified applicants with arrest and conviction records.  


We offer competitive salaries, excellent benefits, and a supportive working environment. Salary is based on a nonprofit scale and is commensurate with skills and experience. For this position, the salary is $130,000 to $150,000. Internal equity considerations will be reviewed before making a final offer.  


Since March 2020, NRDC’s offices have been closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. You will be associated with one of our offices, but until circumstances allow us to re-open, we will continue to support NRDCers with remote working arrangements. 


As a science-based organization, NRDC aims to do our part to help contain the COVID-19 public health crisis. For the sake of health, safety, and equity, we ask that people be vaccinated unless they have an approved medical or religious accommodation or other exemption in accordance with state and local law. We consider a person to be vaccinated two weeks after receiving one full course of a CDC-approved vaccine. In accordance with state or local law, new hires will be asked to attest to vaccination, those wishing to do so may request medical or religious accommodations or other exemptions via NRDC Employee Relations. NRDC treats all vaccine-related data confidentially, in keeping with local, state, and federal laws. 


To apply, visit and upload your résumé and cover letter. Please mention where you saw this posting and upload any additional materials that showcase your abilities. Due to the high volume of applications, we will contact only those candidates we would like to interview. Please no phone calls, emails, or in-person résumé drop-offs. 


If you experience technical problems while applying or if you are a person with a disability and need assistance applying online, please reach out to iCIMS Customer Care at 1-800-889-4422. 


For more about NRDC, visit 

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is a non-profit environmental advocacy organization. We use law, science, and the support of ...

View Company Profile