Director of Development – Major Gifts (New York Metro Area)

Director of Major Gifts  –
New York Metro Area

The Director of Major Gifts plays a vital role in securing the support needed to fulfill Farm Sanctuary’s mission by handling the overall management of the major gifts program, managing relationships and securing $2M+ annual support from donors who are capable of making gifts of $10,000 to well over $1M each. This position will develop and implement a plan for major gift fundraising across the country, including working closely with volunteers and staff to promote the acquisition of major gifts. The Director of Major Gifts will also handle a personal prospect portfolio of 80-100 prospects, oversee three staff positions, and manage select administrative projects. This position reports to the Chief Development & Communications Officer.


 – Oversight of Major Gift Program, including but not limited to

  • Develop and propose strategic plan to secure annual major gift funding based on Farm Sanctuary’s organizational priorities and income goals
  • Develop and implement approved strategies for solicitation of major gifts with Major Gift Team, including:
  • Determining ongoing relationships with prospect/donor
  •  Recommending specific purpose and level of gift
    • Identifying those to be involved in cultivation and subsequent solicitation
    • Assuring that solicitations are carried out.
  • Identify and research new individual and foundation prospects.
  • Oversee the extraction and analysis of data from constituent database and wealth screening services to help identify prospective donors and build personalized engagement strategies
  • Co-ordinate an effective program for recognition, involvement and stewardship of major and special gifts donors in coordination with the Senior Donor Relations Manager.
  • Develop and maintain collaborative efforts with Farm Sanctuary’s staff and volunteers to develop meaningful and strategic relationships with current and prospective donors
  • Ensure development of high-quality major gift program communications, such as letters, funding proposals, reports, and other materials.
  • Develop and maintain procedures in coordination with headquarters office to ensure effective record keeping, acknowledgement and follow-up on all major gifts.

– Staff Supervision

  • Manage two Major Gift Officers
  • Maintain and share knowledge and understanding of development techniques and fundraising best practices
  • Develop and implement programs for major and special gifts staff professional development, process documentation and improvement, and progress tracking

– Manage a personal portfolio of 80-100 current and prospective donors, including qualifying, cultivating, soliciting and stewardship of prospects and existing donors

– Oversee Development team efforts including consultation with staff about solicitation strategy for key prospects and internal planning efforts.

– Maintain deep and ongoing understanding of Farm Sanctuary’s mission, values and programs

– Keep current on programs activities within the animal rights/anti-factory farming movement

The ideal candidate will be an individual with a strong and diverse fundraising background, including progressive and successful development experience in major gifts and a strong track record of successful team management. This candidate will care deeply about mentoring gift officers and the development profession.

  • 8-10 years of individual major gift fundraising with demonstrated success engaging and building relationships with key stakeholders
  • 2 or more years of management experience.
  • Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent combination of training and experience; Master’s degree in business or public administration and management, preferred.
  • Ability to understand the needs and interests of major donors in order to develop relationships between them and Farm Sanctuary.
  • Excellent interpersonal, written and verbal communication skills necessary to tailor messages to various audiences and be an effective representative for Farm Sanctuary
  • Ability to clearly articulate Farm Sanctuary’s mission, goals and values to donors and prospects, ensuring “buy in” with sufficient effectiveness to secure gifts and pledges of $10,000 or more.
  • Demonstrated leadership and the ability to successfully manage multi-functional or diverse areas.
  • Ability to see and understand the objectives of the major gifts group and the development team, and to integrate the major gifts program with those objectives.
  • Ability to initiate, analyze, monitor, evaluate and alter strategic advancement plans.
  • Strong project management skills; ability to manage systems and set priorities
  • Ability to develop and maintain excellent working relationships with volunteers, staff, and the senior leadership team.
  • Ability to work independently while also working as a member of Farm Sanctuary’s development team.
  • 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, including working with volunteers; (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.
  • Excellent analytical and organization skills required.
  • General knowledge of tax laws that impact charitable giving, personal assets and estates
  • Interest in all aspects of farm animal rights and plant-based living and a dedication to promoting Farm Sanctuary’s fundraising priorities
  • To represent organizational mission in member relations, candidate must be vegetarian/vegan or aspiring to be vegan by the time of accepting this position.
  • Valid driver’s license with clean driving record
  • Knowledge and experience with animal protection movement and issues preferred
  • Experience working with philanthropic databases preferred


Job Specifications

  • Full time, exempt position
  • Telecommuting position based in the New York city metropolitan area
  • Requires regular travel over a broad geographic range to manage a personal portfolio as well as national program activities
  • Flexibility to work some weekends and evenings consistent with a front-line fundraising role required
  • Salary commensurate with experience
  • Competitive benefits package, including paid holidays; personal days; vacation and sick leave; health, dental, vision, and life insurance; 403(b) plan; flexible spending accounts; and long-term disability insurance

All interested applicants are required to complete Farm Sanctuary’s Employment Application. Instructions for sending supplemental materials, such as a sample proposal, will be provided within the application.

For questions or to request a copy of the employment application by mail, please contact

Position posted May 19, 2016