Major Gifts Officer

Website World Forestry Center

World Forestry Center, a non-profit organization located in Portland’s Washington Park, seeks a Major Gifts Officer to build a strong base of individual and institutional donors to support the ambitious and strategic growth of the organization.

For over half a century, World Forestry Center has been at the intersection of people and forestry. Our mission – to create and inspire champions of sustainable forestry – is centered on people. Our focus is not on forests alone, but rather on how people think, act, and relate to them. We are working to calibrate all our programs and exhibits to inspire the broad social action needed to drive sustainable forestry solutions at a meaningful scale. We aim to change how society understands and interacts with our forests. This work will require engagement and trust, built through in-person programs and immersive, emotionally compelling exhibits that move the public from understanding to action.

We are in the early stages of implementing our long-term strategy to transform our organization, our programs, and our campus. A comprehensive capital campaign will support this transformation. Due to the scale of the campaign, we are increasing the capacity of our fundraising team to ensure its success. Learn more about the organization on our website

Position Summary
World Forestry Center is looking for an experienced fundraiser with a proven track record of effectively translating an organization’s mission into major gifts and multi-year gifts from individual and institutional donors.

The Major Gifts Officer is integral in identifying, cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding annual fund and campaign prospects. They are responsible for identifying and building relationships with new prospects and strengthening relationships with existing donors to maximize philanthropic support. This position will oversee a portfolio of prospects and donors and conduct regular communication to build relationships with current and prospective donors through mail, email, phone, virtual meetings, in-person meetings, and events.

Key Responsibilities
The Major Gifts Officer is responsible for a portfolio of major donors and prospects with an estimated giving capacity of $25,000 to $1 million. Primary responsibilities include:
• Collaborate with the Development Director to conceptualize, develop, and implement a comprehensive, integrated major gifts program that is integrated to support the campaign and annual fund priorities.
• Manage an active portfolio of approximately 75 major gift prospects and donors.
• Grow their portfolio by identifying and qualifying new major gift prospects from the existing pipeline of annual fund donors, and create a comprehensive strategy for donor cultivation, solicitation, and retention based on the donor’s giving history and capacity.
• Directly solicit major gifts for the campaign and annual fund.
• Partner with senior staff and/or campaign volunteers on legacy-level solicitations by providing prospect briefings, strategic guidance, and assistance with donor communications.
• Work with the Campaign Manager on portfolio qualifications and moves management, donor engagement and stewardship events and opportunities, and donor talking points.
• Support and participate in strategic donor engagement opportunities, such as small events for select prospects in the portfolio and larger donor stewardship events.
• Develop a high-quality donor experience through regular correspondence, professional proposals, and timely acknowledgments.
• Track prospect activity by maintaining regular reports that accurately reflect progress toward building relationships and increasing donor support.
• Represent World Forestry Center at external functions and events.
• Coordinate with World Forestry Center’s finance department regarding pledge payments, reporting, and other financial matters.
• Other duties are assigned as required to meet organizational and fundraising goals.

Qualifications and Experience
• Five or more years of experience with direct, individual face-to-face solicitations, managing donor relationships, and a proven track record of successfully closing major gifts and multi-year gifts.
• Comfort in asking individuals to commit their money, time, and talents to support the mission of an organization.
• Strong interpersonal and relationship-building skills and a proven ability to create and foster relationships between donors and an organization. Experience with the moves management method or similar methods.
• Ties in the local community. (Ties to philanthropists in the natural resource sector is a plus.)
• Strategic mindset with the ability to align fundraising strategies with the organization’s mission and goals.
• Experience in identifying and qualifying prospects.
• Effective communicator in-person, on the phone, and via email and text with donors, board members, volunteers, and colleagues.
• Comfortable speaking to a large audience and giving presentations.
• Demonstrated ability to anticipate project needs, discern work priorities, meet concurrent deadlines, and organize time and priorities.
• Always maintain the highest standards of confidentiality and integrity.
• Demonstrated commitment to advancing equity. Self-aware and comfortable working with varying gender, racial, socio-economic, ability, sexual orientation, and cultural identities.
• Proficiency with office technology and donor information systems (experience with Raiser’s Edge NXT is a plus).
• Ability to travel 25% of the time.
• Passion for the mission of World Forestry Center with a commitment to its core values

Position Requirements
• This hybrid position requires in-person availability but allows for remote work opportunities.
• Frequent computer and phone usage and occasional extended periods of standing and sitting.
• Attend occasional meetings and external and staff events that may take place in the evening or on weekends.
• Applicants must hold a valid driver’s license.
• For the safety of our staff and visitors, World Forestry Center employees are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

World Forestry Center offers a generous benefits package, including comprehensive medical, vision, and dental insurance. Employees start with 20 paid vacation days and 12 paid sick days in their first year, with the addition of 13 paid holidays. World Forestry Center offers a matched 401k plan. Employees have access to professional development and education opportunities and a Reciprocal Employee Attractions Pass – valid for unlimited free general admission for two at 25 Oregon cultural attractions

Application Instructions
Please submit your application via email to Merrit Thompson at [email protected]. Your application should include a cover letter and resume in PDF format. Please reference the job title in the subject line of the submission email.

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