Director of Major Gifts

  • The Nature Conservancy
  • Houston, TX, USA
  • Sep 18, 2018
Full time Enviromental

Job Description


The Director of Major Gifts develops, implements, and manages effective multi-year strategies and plans for the cultivation and solicitation of gift prospects, including corporate, foundation, institutions, and/or individual donors.


  • Understands and applies complex principles of developing donor strategies and builds strong relationships with a portfolio of new and current donors and prospects.
  • Cultivates donors from annual giving to major or planned gifts.
  • Responsible for direct asks to both global and local priorities to meet funding needs.
  • Discusses assets proficiently and listen for opportunities for gifts of assets or other non-cash gifts, such as planned gifts and trade lands.
  • Incorporates blended gifts and gifts of assets in proposals to donors.
  • Capably discusses the priorities of the Conservancy.
  • Understands organizational budgets and proficient in utilizing this knowledge to build proposal budgets.
  • Knowledge of charitable giving, particularly private foundations, operating foundations, and Donor Advised Funds.
  • Promotes collaboration among and across the philanthropy team within Texas with other chapters and Philanthropy staff at the World Office.
  • Works across chapters and programs to manage a referral network.
  • Manages the Houston Advisory Board, trustee relationships and will engage other volunteers.
  • Required to use the Conservancy’s donor database.


  • Decisions may have program-wide impact, affect staff in non-program areas, and bind the organization financially or legally.
  • Direct or participate in negotiations for complex, high profile or sensitive agreements.
  • Ensure compliance with TNC policies and procedures and external (donor/legal/IRS) requirements; be alert to ethical compliance issues.
  • Financial responsibility for setting and meeting fundraising objectives, evaluating results, and developing corrective strategies.
  • Implement and lead multiple collaborative and complex projects, directing work of staff, managing budget, setting deadlines, and ensuring accountability.
  • Maintain confidentiality of frequently sensitive and emotionally charged information.
  • Maximum opportunity to act independently, resolves complex issues within scope.
  • May supervise support or administrative staff.
  • Persuasively convey the mission of TNC to diverse groups important to the organization’s overall prosperity.
  • Travel frequently and on short notice, work long and weekends as needed.
  • Work environment involves only infrequent exposure to disagreeable elements and minor physical exertion and/or strain.
  • Manage a portfolio of 40 – 75 donors, including donors with the capacity to give over $750,000 once the portfolio is developed. Responsible for 50– 75 visits and 120 – 225 moves annually.
  • Annual fundraising goal of $2,000,000 or more, along with a goal for bequest notifications.
  • Accountable for $10,000,000 - $20,000,000 team fundraising goal per year



  • Bachelor’s degree and 7 years related experience or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Experience building and maintaining long-term relationships with constituents such as major donors and corporations.
  • Experience in asking for and closing gifts of $100,000 – $250,000 or more, including planned gifts.
  • Experience in managing and tracking multiple prospects and donors.
  • Experience working with fundraising principles and practices.
  • Experience, coursework, or other training in current and evolving trends in charitable giving, particularly in the areas of capital campaigns, major gifts and planned giving.


  • Bachelor’s degree and 10 years related experience.
  • Multi-lingual skills and multi-cultural or cross-cultural experience appreciated.
  • Ability to design and implement fundraising strategies, including cultivation, solicitation and recognition strategies.
  • Ability to determine an individual’s interests, capacity and potential for helping the Conservancy meet its goals, and act appropriately to tie those interests with the Conservancy’s work.
  • Ability to educate and inform prospective and existing donors about appropriate giving vehicles.
  • Advanced knowledge of complex charitable gift planning.
  • Demonstrated experience using listening, diplomacy, and tact to build strong relationships and motivate donors and volunteers.
  • Proven ability to negotiate complex, high profile or sensitive agreements.