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Position: National Director of Major Gifts
Salary Grade/Level/Family/Range: $110,000-$120,000 Classification: EXEMPT
Reports to: Vice President of Development Date: March 1, 2022
Location: Washington, DC (base)




Common Cause Education Fund (CCEF) seeks an experienced, creative, and entrepreneurial Director of Major Gifts. The Director of Major Gifts executes and manages cultivation and stewardship strategies in support of fundraising campaigns, gift planning and major gift procurement, donor relations, and annual giving. Reporting directly to the Vice President of Development (VPD) and working closely with other senior staff, including Common Cause’s CEO, the Director of Major Gifts is an integral part of a professional team with a mission to increase effective engagement with the philanthropic community.

The National Director of Major Gifts will help bolster Common Cause’s mission to defend of voting rights, to end partisan gerrymandering, to restore ethics and accountability to all levels of government, and to pursue many other critical democracy reforms.

In this role, the National Director will oversee the major giving program and a team of front-line fundraising staff in coordination with the development team. Through directly working with donors and through supervising others, this person will manage the stewardship of Common Cause’s donors and identify and pursue new donors and funding opportunities. The Director will also manage their own portfolio, soliciting major gifts ($50,000-$1,000,000+) and event sponsorships. Finally, the Director will work closely with senior leadership, including the CEO, to help them manage and steward their own portfolios of donors, and will complete creative assignments as they arise.


Summary of Position

Working directly with the Vice President of Development, management team, and the National Governing Board, the National Director of Major Gifts will develop and implement a fundraising and donor strategy that effectively moves existing and prospective individual donors, families, and family foundations from identification to solicitation. He/She/They will be capable of cultivating and managing relationships with high value donors that lead to increased and consistent diverse revenue for the organization. The ideal candidate will have a full understanding of the trends impacting the fundraising industry. They will be a strategic thinker and able to leverage internal and external resources to maximize fiscal and relationship building outcomes. This includes, but is not limited to, developing a world-class major gifts program/society, developing a differentiated donor experience, creating business process standards for relationship management at Common Cause, leading a team of major gifts officers, and developing data management and reporting standards.

The National Direction of Major Gifts will provide critical support and staffing for the CEO, and for the National Governing Board and its Development Committee. The National Director of Major Gifts is a member of the Senior Leadership Team for Development and will provide critical support to the VPD and CEO.


Major Duties & Responsibilities

  • Create and oversee a world-class major gifts program to ensure consistent growth of Common Cause’s $10K+ giving community.
  • Secure leadership level contributions of $50,000 or more in support of Common Cause. The National Director of Major Gifts will inherit a portfolio of major gifts donors, will be charged with consistently adding prospects to their portfolio, and will support the CEO on her major gifts strategy.
  • Lead, manage, and mentor a group of major gifts officers throughout the country. Ensure alignment to goals and KPIs, standards of practice, team culture, and learning and development.
  • Develop, plan, and implement a comprehensive prospect strategy to achieve successful cultivation, engagement, and solicitations, including but not limited to moving prospects from one giving level to the next. This will include oversight of pipeline meetings with other Common Cause major gifts professionals.
  • Identify, create, and implement cultivation/volunteer opportunities, visits, and tours – as needed – to increase involvement for current and prospective donors.
  • Create small-scale engagement and event opportunities to educate, inspire, and uplift major gifts donors and prospects.
  • Build relationships through email, phone, Zoom, and face-to-face meetings.
  • In partnership with VPD, oversee budget development and monitoring for any and all major gifts fundraising activities and produce internal and external reports regarding projected and achieved goals.
  • Develop the necessary systems, processes, and tools to better communicate the role of major gifts fundraising across Common Cause and ensure an integrated fundraising strategy.
  • Ensure information related to fundraising strategies and activities, as well as other appropriate information related to donors/potential donors, are entered into the organization’s Constituent Relationship Management system.
  • Attend, as necessary or requested, senior level internal meetings to discuss and implement organizational strategy.
  • Commit to promoting and supporting an environment of equity, diversity, and inclusion.


Strategic & Administrative Responsibilities

  • Working with the VPD, establish annual and monthly revenue major gifts and legacy goals; provides reporting to VPD on major gift program performance.
  • Alongside major gifts officers, design and execute major donor fundraising campaigns, with the goal of increasing engagement and multi-year annual support.
  • Supports senior leadership in the preparation of prospect communications, research, collateral, and funding proposals.
  • Constructs, oversees, and executes vision for Major Giving program alongside the VPD.
    Mentors and provides major gifts training for staff outside of the development department.


Donor Relations with Individual Donors, Family Foundations & Donor Advised Funds

  • Designs and executes annual plans to identify, cultivate, solicit, and steward donors that will meet or exceed donor engagement and revenue goals.
  • Manages a portfolio of prospects and current donors with the capacity to contribute significant support toward the priorities of Common Cause.


Knowledge, Skills & Abilities

  • Experience cultivating and closing five- and six-figure major gifts, developing donor strategies, and effectively cultivating and stewarding major donors.
  • Ability to work with and communicate with a wide range of internal constituents including Board Members, senior management, program staff, finance, and volunteers.
  • Outstanding written and verbal skills to persuasively convey the mission of Common Cause to diverse constituencies.
  • Ability to function in a fast-paced, high volume, multifaceted, results-oriented work environment.
  •  Must have the flexibility to travel frequently, and work evenings and weekends. Must be able to work independently and as part of a team.
  • Must be committed to authentic diversity, equity, and inclusion.
    Must be proficient in research and relevant analysis, including navigation of databases and online resources.
  • Strong working knowledge of the broad philanthropic landscape, prospect research methodology, best practices, and evolving trends in philanthropy highly preferred.
  • Experience managing a multi-state portfolio highly preferred.
    Ability to analyze issues, identify priorities, manage projects, and make decisions expeditiously.
  • Ability to lead a dynamic team for optimal results.
    Working knowledge of CRM software (Common Cause uses ROI Solutions and Action Network).


Other duties

This job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties, or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job; rather, this is intended to provide an overview. Duties, responsibilities, and activities may change in accordance with departmental and organizational needs.

Physical Demands: The physical demands here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.


Supervisory responsibilities

Direct reports.

Work environment

Washington, D.C. office and virtual environments.

Travel required

Travel required.

Required education & experience

Minimum 7-10 years of demonstrated years in development, major gifts fundraising, and constituent engagement responsibility. Experience in frontline fundraising and supervision a plus, but relevant other experiences valued.

Preferred education & experience

Higher education and/or advanced certification is preferred.

Work authorization/security clearance requirements

Must be authorized to work in the United States.

Affirmative Action/EEO statement

Common Cause is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages applicants of any race, creed, color, religion, ethnicity, national origin, income class, political affiliation, size, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability, veteran status, or marital status, as well as applicants who have been previously incarcerated, to apply.

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