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Senior Major Gifts Officer

Location: 
Chicago, IL
Department:  Development
Job Type: 
Full Time

The Senior Major Gifts Officer (SMGO) for the Midwest region develops and implements strategies for qualification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of donors capable of making a major gift ($100k over three years). He/she conducts initial exploratory meetings with donors and prospects to determine capacity and interest for major giving, builds a portfolio of major donors, and manages their relationship with Earthjustice accordingly with a minimum fundraising goal of $2 million per year.

The SMGO understands and applies complex principles of developing donor strategies. He/she will be responsible for direct asks for Earthjustice’s priorities to meet funding needs. He/she can discuss assets and listen for opportunities for gifts of assets or other non-cash gifts, and can confidentially discuss planned giving opportunities. The SMGO builds constructive and effective relationships, involves and engages appropriate partners in Development, the field and at Headquarters, keeping them apprised of interactions, issues and/or concerns, and addresses questions as needed. He/she is capable of featuring the organizational priorities in detailed terms, understands project budgets and may build proposals utilizing this knowledge. He/she will be required to use Earthjustice’s donor database and may develop proposals.

This position is based in Chicago.

Opportunity

Ultimately, the Senior Major Gifts Officer will have the opportunity to serve as a leader within Earthjustice’s major gifts team and will be the key contributor in building and establishing a community of philanthropy across the Midwest.  The Senior Major Gifts Officer will be instrumental in helping to grow the base of support in this critical region, which will ensure that Earthjustice’s programmatic body of work thrives.  He or she has the opportunity to leave a lasting footprint on Earthjustice’s collaborative effort to impact the most vital environmental issues of our time and bring about positive change.

Primary Responsibilities

  • Manage an active portfolio of 60-80 donors; develop strategies and implement plans for qualifying, cultivating, stewarding, and soliciting those donors.
  • Build relationships with donors and prospects via phone calls, personal visits, ongoing written contact, and events; responsible for 100-150 visits and 180-240 moves annually.
  • Achieve minimum annual fundraising goal of $2 million, along with goals for bequest intentions.
  • Engage Board and Council members in donor work as appropriate and utilize their networks and influence to build the major donor portfolio in the region.
  • Travel regularly for donor visits, events, field trips, and trainings.
  • Provide program information to donors and prospects and draft personalized correspondence and acknowledgments that demonstrate appreciation, recognition, and engagement of donors.
  • Build and maintain a strong working knowledge of Earthjustice’s work in order to educate and inform prospective and existing donors about the work.
  • Contribute to the creation of the budget, collateral materials, research profiles, and lists for targeted mailings and events.
  • Support planning and execution of donor events and field trips.
  • Use donor databases to keep donor records up to date, track progress, and plan.
  • Pursue opportunities for professional growth.
  • Promote a culture of philanthropy, and foster a respectful and productive working environment.
  • Other duties, as assigned. 

Desired Background and Personal Attributes

The successful candidate will have a minimum of seven years of related development experience or equivalent, with experience using effective interpersonal skills, listening, diplomacy and tact to build strong relations with donors, volunteers and all levels of staff.  He/she will have experience soliciting and closing $100k gifts from individuals.  Management/supervision experience is preferred, but not required.  Capital campaign experience is a plus.

Other desired qualifications and attributes include

  • Ability to absorb and synthesize complex program information and translate into a compelling case for donors.
  • Well-developed written and oral communication, negotiation, and organizational skills.
  • Working knowledge of current trends in charitable giving, particularly in the areas of major gifts and planned giving.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite and some experience with donor databases.
  • Valid driver’s license required.
  • Demonstrated ability to design and implement fundraising initiatives including cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship strategies.
  • Aptitude to determine an individual’s interest, capacity, and inclination to help Earthjustice meet its goals, and act appropriately to tie those interests with Earthjustice’s work.
  • Ability to accurately assess situations with informal or incomplete information and make good decisions based on analysis, experience, and judgment; maintain confidentiality.
  • Ability to skillfully prioritize and manage a portfolio and juggle multiple priorities in a fast-paced environment.
  • Comfort working independently and as a team member with initiative and flexibility.
  • Demonstrates an awareness and sensitivity to the needs and concerns of individuals from diverse cultures, backgrounds and orientations.
  • Contributes to the creation of a diverse, equitable and inclusive work culture that encourages and celebrates differences. 
  • Sense of humor is desired.

Education

Bachelor’s degree preferred, higher degree a plus.

Compensation

We offer a mission and employee-focused work environment and a competitive compensation package including excellent benefits. Earthjustice is an equal opportunity employer and highly values diversity.

To Apply

Earthjustice has retained the services of ThinkingAhead Executive Search.  Please submit your resume, expression of interest and salary history and requirements to Chris Spagnola, Senior Recruiter, at cspagnola@thinkingahead.com and Jonathan McIntosh, Recruiter, at jmcintosh@thinkingahead.com.

Earthjustice is driven by a passion for justice, partnership and excellence. Our core values lead us to seek a broad range of perspectives and backgrounds to achieve our mission and to maintain an inclusive environment where all staff are valued and respected.  As an equal opportunity employer, we are committed to employment practices that ensure that employees and applicants for employment are provided with equal opportunities without regard to race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, age, religion, physical or mental disability, medical condition, veteran status, marital status, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information or any other factor that is not related to the position.

What You Should Know About Earthjustice

A short guide on who we are & what we do. Find out

Accommodation

If you need reasonable accommodation in order to complete the application, interview or some other portion of the selection process for a job at Earthjustice, please contact Human Resources at jobs@earthjustice.org.

Our Values

Earthjustice is driven by a passion for justice, partnership and excellence. Our core values lead us to seek a broad range of perspectives and backgrounds to achieve our mission and to maintain an inclusive environment where all staff are valued and respected.

As an equal opportunity employer, we are committed to employment practices that ensure that employees and applicants for employment are provided with equal opportunities without regard to race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, age, religion, physical or mental disability, medical condition, veteran status, marital status, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information or any other factor that is not related to the position.

About Earthjustice

Founded in 1971, Earthjustice is the premier nonprofit environmental law organization. We take on the biggest, most precedent-setting cases across the country. We wield the power of law and the strength of partnership to protect people’s health; to preserve magnificent places and wildlife; to advance clean energy; and to combat climate change. We partner with thousands of groups, supporters, individuals and communities to engage the critical environmental issues of our time, and bring about positive change. We are here because the earth needs a good lawyer.