Major Gifts Officer Job Description

The Organization: With a 50-year legacy of engaging the hiking community, Washington Trails Association enhances hiking experiences in Washington state by empowering a diverse and growing community of hikers to explore, steward and protect trails and public lands. WTA is the nation’s largest state-based hiking and trail maintenance organization, with 15,000 member households, thousands of volunteers each year, and an online community of more than 100,000. WTA’s annual budget is approximately $5 million, of which $2.6 million is contributions from individuals.

The Position: Washington Trails Association seeks an experienced fundraising professional to launch a new Major Gifts program at WTA. This person will be responsible for building on WTA’s successful fundraising program to develop and execute a Major Gifts strategy that results in significant donor investment in WTA’s strategic initiatives and programs. It is a full-time exempt position that reports to the Development Director.

This is a unique opportunity for an experienced professional who wants to create a Major Gifts program from the ground up, working closely with WTA’s dynamic fundraising team. The ideal candidate is a strategic, selfmotivated, creative and tech-savvy professional who loves connecting with people and is passionate about WTA’s mission. As someone who will spend more than half of their time connecting with current and prospective donors, the successful candidate must excel at building relationships with people across diverse backgrounds. The ideal candidate will have at least five years of fundraising experience with a proven trackrecord of donor cultivation, stewardship, and Major Gift solicitation. Responsibilities will include the following:

Strategy and Program Development:  In consultation with Executive Director and Development Director, build a comprehensive three-year Major Gifts plan that includes goals and expectations; begin implementing the strategy  Inform the development of relationship tracking protocols and metrics  Actively participate in department and organization-wide planning  Work with program staff to connect organizational plans with the Major Gifts strategy

Relationship Management:  Develop donor-centric philanthropic relationships that lead to gifts of $5,000 and up  Meet or exceed fundraising goals through cultivating, soliciting and stewarding a portfolio comprised of at least 120 research-rated prospects. Build engagement strategies to meet portfolio fundraising goals  Conduct prospect research and proactively qualify leads through cold calls and other communications, within one year making 10-15 substantial contacts per month and an average of 1 -3 face-to-face visits per week  Analyze fundraising data; collect and analyze metrics and prepare reports for internal and external use  Encourage existing donors to make stretch gifts to meet the organization’s priorities and support donor philanthropic goals  Work with Development Director and Executive Director to track donor relationships and emerging opportunities, identifying new lead gifts ($25,000 and up)

Assist the Executive Director, board and other staff in their cultivation and solicitation of major donors, including help with portfolio development, strategy, and donor communications  Track activities in WTA’s Salesforce database

Donor Communications:  Maintain up-to-date knowledge of WTA programs and organizational priorities  Connect donors to WTA’s mission, programs and impact through strong relationships and a clear understanding of WTA’s case for support  Create donor-centric solicitation and stewardship pieces  Represent WTA at evening and weekend events as needed

You would be a good fit for this position if you have the following skills or experiences:
 Prior in-person solicitation of major gifts of $5,000 and up  Proven track record developing fundraising strategies and building lasting donor relationships that lead to significant philanthropic investment  Strong oral and written communication skills, with unique ability to inspire others to take action  Ability to understand donor interests and connect them to meaningful opportunities to invest in the organization  High ethical standards and ability to maintain confidential donor information  Cultural competency and demonstrated ability to work with people of diverse races, ages, genders, abilities  Effective planning and implementing skills, demonstrated ability to prioritize activities and comfortable dealing with ambiguity  Strong organizational skills, including attention to detail, and ability to create efficiencies and build investment in systems  Demonstrated ability in using donor database, prospect research, and wealth screening tools to identify top donor prospects  Ability to work well in a fast-paced, ever-changing environment, and manage multiple projects with competing demands while maintaining a commitment to excellence  Ability to work with multiple stakeholders at all organizational levels, internally and externally  Ability to work a flexible schedule for evening and weekend events and meetings  A strong commitment to WTA’s mission

Compensation: The compensation range for this position is $75,000 – $85,000 annually depending on experience. Benefits include medical, dental, vision and long-term disability insurance; retirement plan; transit pass; and holiday, vacation and sick leave.

To Apply: Email a resume and a brief cover letter describing how your experience and qualifications translate to the requirements of the role by March 15 to Please reference the job title “Major Gifts Officer” in the subject line.

Washington Trails Association is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of age, ancestry, color, creed, gender identity, marital status, military status, national origin, parental status, political ideology, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, the presence of any sensory, mental or physical disability, or any other characteristic protected by law.