Senior Major Gifts Officer, West Coast

The Wilderness Society (TWS), a national non-profit organization whose mission is to protect wilderness and inspire Americans to care for our wild places, is seeking an experienced full-time Senior Major Gifts Officer to join its Membership & Development team in Seattle, Washington.    

The Senior Major Gifts Officer will play a key role in advancing the organization’s mission and strategic plan.  The major gifts program has placed major gift staff in strategic locations across the country in order to better align with both major markets for fundraising and priority programs in the field.  This position will be directly responsible for oversight, planning and implementation of a comprehensive development program for the West Coast conservation regions, as well as connecting west coast donors with broader TWS programs and unrestricted funding needs.  The incumbent will focus on securing significant financial resources to achieve regional and organization wide revenue goals, lead and manage a growing west coast team and integrate fundraising goals into program work plans. The Senior Major Gifts Officer plays a key role in supporting the President, Vice President Development and Senior Director, Major Gifts in all phases of resource development – identification, cultivation, solicitation, stewarding - of current and prospective donors in the region and beyond of significant gifts to TWS.  Responsibility includes management of a portfolio of donors at major gift through principal gift level ($1M+) with the longer term goal of playing an integral role in the development of campaigns and other major institutional strategic planning and resource development initiatives.

Expectations and Responsibilities

  1. Strategic Initiative and Goal-setting: Formulates annual and three year strategic plans for the west coast region which integrates administrative objectives, member activity, and all levels of philanthropic activity. Evaluates strategies regularly and adjusts as needed to achieve goals. 
  2. Stewardship, Cultivation, and Solicitation: Makes recommendations (and directs staff to do same)  to President, Key Volunteers, Vice President for Development and Senior Director, Major Gifts and other staff for cultivation and solicitation visits to major donors and prospects and accompanies them, as needed.  Makes regular visits principal, major, and planned giving donors/prospects to cultivate their interest in TWS and solicit gifts.  Manages a personal portfolio of 75+ donors and prospects for solicitation. 
  3. Volunteer and Event Coordination: Directs and oversees formal volunteer committees and activities to maximize fundraising effectiveness in priority regions.  Creates and coordinates with strategic event plan for region. Works with VP Development, Senior Director Major Gifts and Volunteer Engagement Manager to develop an engagement plan for Governing and President Council members in the West Coast Region.
  4. Reporting, Budget Management, and Program Engagement and Evaluation: In tandem with Senior Director, Major Gifts, prepares progress reports on status of major gifts and activity of west coast regional offices. Provides analysis of progress to date, performance measures for major gifts staff, suggested strategy for ongoing success, and projections for completion of revenue goals. With DC leadership, ensures that management systems are established and that technical oversight, administrative and financial management functions are performed. Directs and oversees the annual income and expense budget for the region (West Coast Region).
  5. Engagement of Program Staff in Fundraising: Directs and oversees programs and processes to effectively engage a broad range of program staff in fundraising with individual prospects. Creates meeting structures and communications tools to engage program staff in all major program areas in the cultivation, solicitation and stewardship of major gifts. Works with senior program staff to ascertain needs and revenue goals. In concert with SF office, sets fundraising goals and plans supporting them, within the context of a major gifts campaign for North Cascades, Sierra Nevada and national campaign efforts.
  6. Campaign Planning and Execution: Plays an integral role in departmental planning and strategy development for eventual capital campaign. Sets goals and objectives to secure outright and planned commitments to achieve campaign fundraising goals for the region.   Oversees and directs execution of strategies to identify prospects, develop strategies for cultivation and solicitation of new prospects and donors for the campaign, and provides strategic stewardship to ensure continued philanthropic advancement in the region, post-campaign.
  7. Achieve competence using Team Approach to track relationships and contacts in support of the fundraising strategies within his/her portfolio.
  8. Performs other duties as assigned.

TWS Working Relationships

  • Internal:  Works closely with management and staff to develop solicitation strategies and cultivate prospects for major gifts throughout the West Coast Region. 
  • External:  Develops and maintains regular contact with select Governing Council and President’s Council members, principal and major gift donors and prospects, and key volunteers; with professional peers, and other experts in the field of philanthropy and institutional advancement.


  • Bachelor’s degree required.
  • Proven track record in closing major gifts and ability to close six (and ideally seven) figure gifts
  • Seven years of major gifts fundraising required
  • Familiarity with planned giving vehicles and methods highly desirable
  • Extensive experience in working with volunteer leaders required
  • Conservation/environmental knowledge preferred
  • Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal
  • Demonstrated successful supervisory experience
  • Proven ability to be a collaborative team member; ability to work well within the development department, a regional office, with the leadership of the organization, and with donors.


  • Excellent interpersonal skills required to relate to donors, volunteers, and colleagues.
  • Self-motivated with strong work ethic and able to work with considerable independence within the context of a team environment and network of relationships.
  • Exceptional oral and written communications skills
  • Ability to mentor and support other staff on team
  • Strong organizational skills, attentive to detail, results-oriented and ability to handle deadlines and shifting priorities with good judgment
  • Respect for confidentiality
  • Must be able to travel frequently
  • Ability to communicate with staff and volunteers at all levels of the organization
  • Significant senior management experience in a not for profit environment.
  • Excellent computer skills, Word, Excel and Outlook.   Familiarity with donor databases.

The Wilderness Society offers a very competitive salary and benefits package, including: health, dental, vision, life and disability insurance; sick and vacation leave; and a pension plan.  TWS is an equal opportunity employer and actively works to ensure fair and equal treatment of its employees and constituents regardless of culture, socioeconomic status, race, marital or family situation, gender, age, ethnicity, religious beliefs, physical ability, or sexual orientation.

For consideration, please submit cover letter and resume to: