Manager of Major Gifts

New York, United States
Salary Not specified
Mar 19, 2021
Apr 17, 2021
Employment Type
Full Time

Department:              Development

Reports to:                 Director, Individual Giving and Special Events

FLSA Status:               Exempt

Position Description:

The manager of Major Gifts is part of a 15-person department at Brooklyn Botanic Garden (BBG) that is responsible for raising $6 million+ in annual operating support from a variety of funding sources. This position works in partnership with the director of Individual Giving and Special Events to raise $1.5 million+ in annual support from individuals, primarily through gifts of $1,000 and above, with a focus on President’s Circle and Chairman’s Circle members, major gift and trustee appeals, dedications, and planned gifts.

The manager will bring a high degree of integrity, creativity, and accountability; strong communication, management, and organizational skills; and excellent interpersonal skills to help grow the Major Gifts donor base and overall support.


  • In partnership with the director of Individual Giving and Special Events and the managing director of Donor Engagement, assist with the identification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of Major Gifts donors and prospects. The manager of Major Gifts provides direct supervision of the Major Gifts associate and seasonal volunteers and interns as available.

  • Management and oversight of Major Gifts associate’s workflow including:
    • Project and time management
    • Ensure high degree of accountability and accuracy in gift processing, donor records, and financial reports. Supervise gift tracking, renewal, appeal and acquisition initiatives, acknowledgements, correspondence, preparation of materials, and all other activities of the Major Gifts associate.
    • Train Major Gifts associate, interns, and volunteers.
  • Manage the donor cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship process:
    • Serve as an exemplary representative for BBG to major donors, helping to engage, inspire, build confidence, share impact of support, and maintain ongoing communications and donor records.
    • Communicate with donors/prospects as well as trustees in person, on the phone and in writing.
  • Write donor appeal and acknowledgment letters.
  • Write and prepare proposals as well as narrative and financial reports for major donors and President’s Circle members who have provided support of general operating and specific programs, in conjunction with the manager of Research and Stewardship.
  • Help develop a strong donor digital communications plan, including maintaining updates to the President’s Circle, Major Gifts, Dedications, and Planned Giving sections of the BBG website.
  • Liaise with Education, Horticulture, Community Greening, and other divisions to stay abreast of funding needs and cultivation opportunities.
  • Refine, update, and monitor prospect trackers and fundraising reports drawn from Raiser’s Edge database.
  • Brainstorm cultivation-events content and strategies in conjunction with the Major Gifts team to effectively engage, steward, and inspire donors.

  • Provide direct oversight and management of Tributes and Dedications program with the goal of raising $80,000 or more in annual donations from this program.
    • Includes all front-line donor and prospect contact, providing information and tours, closing the sale, ensuring the dedication plaques are designed and approved by donors, and executing contracts.
    • Actively cultivate and solicit prospects from dedication program for other major gifts as appropriate.


  • Work with the director on budget development and income/expense monitoring. Ensure efficient use of resources by staff, volunteers, and vendors/consultants, and that income and expense goals are met. Develop cost-efficient, creative, and effective ways of increasing net revenue. Monitor progress toward projected goals; provide regular assessment/analysis and troubleshooting as needed. Ensure a high degree of accuracy and accountability.
  • Support annual trustee solicitation outreach, prepare giving plans, and track trustee giving and pledges.
  • Prepare and provide information for winter and spring Board reports on major and planned giving fundraising results.
  • Engage in ongoing donor research as part of a group of staff researchers. Using LexisNexis and other software, conduct background research and prepare profiles and blurbs on prospects.

  • Assist with the administration of the Planned Giving program including tracking bequests and annuities, and direct management of yearly event for Forsythia Society members.

  • Maintain confidentiality of donor information and further BBG’s efforts to establish strong, long-term donor relationships.
  • Play an active role as part of the larger Development and Membership team on project development and long-range planning; strategize on new ways to increase revenue and support donor cultivation, special events, membership on-site-sales, and other major BBG events. In partnership with Special Events team, assist with logistics and attendee seating for major annual BBG fundraising events, including cultivation events and the Spring Gala.
  • Perform other related duties or special projects as directed.


  • Bachelor’s degree preferred
  • 2–4 years nonprofit development experience; prior major gifts experience highly desired
  • Excellent organizational and donor relations skills, professional writing ability, supervisory experience, and attention to details while meeting multiple deadlines
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Raiser’s Edge software or similar database system required, plus an affinity for technological advances and the creation and maintenance of systems
  • Background or strong interest in cultural institutions, environment, education, and/or science preferred
  • Enthusiastic, energetic team player, able to interact closely with trustees, donors, staff, and guests at all levels, as well as multiple vendors and consultants, and represent the institution well; a creative writer and strategic thinker
  • Ability to work evenings and occasional weekends to help meet pressing deadlines and support events during the Garden’s peak season (September–October; March–June)
  • Ability to lift and carry event materials as needed

How to Apply:

Apply online at

No telephone calls for position inquiries, please. Applicants with disabilities who need assistance with the online system may contact

Brooklyn Botanic Garden is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer.

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