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Principal Gift Officer for leading animal advocacy organizations

A national animal wellness consortium
District of Columbia, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Closing date
Aug 10, 2021

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Position Type
Fundraising, Fundraising Administration, Major Gifts, Planned Giving, Other Fundraising
Animal Protection
Employment Type
Full Time
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A leading consortium of newly formed animal wellness and advocacy organizations is seeking a Principal Gift Officer (PGO) to lead development operations and secure new philanthropic revenue to support their mission-based work to address institutionalized animal cruelty by working to influence government and business and to assist with some targeted animal care programs.

Comprised of three partner organizations [two 501(c)(3)s and one 501(c)(4)], these organizations lobby Congress and state legislatures, work with major businesses to effect reforms for animals, and conduct life-saving direct care programs. Their shared goals are for transformational change, creating legal standards against individual acts of cruelty, but also confronting institutionalized cruelty, as conducted in the domains of agriculture, pharmaceutical testing, wildlife management, textile, and other major sector of the economy.

This position offers exciting opportunities for the successful candidate to make a significant impact on the future and protection of animals, improving the climate, and creating a more civil society where people, animals, and nature live in balance.  The new hire will work with some of the most experienced leaders within the animal protection movement.

The selected candidate will be a charismatic and accomplished Principal Gift Officer with proven fundraising experience who can help grow a high-performing fundraising legacy to serve the philanthropy needs of the partner organizations. The Principal Gift Officer will maintain an active portfolio of donors and prospects who are capable of gifts of $10K+, with a concentration on gifts of $50K+. He or she will develop appropriate cultivation and solicitation strategies for donors and prospects, moving constituents in an appropriate and timely fashion toward solicitation and closure. Reporting directly to the founder and president of the organization, the selected candidate will work closely with board members, volunteers, senior leadership and the entire team to most effectively engage donors to achieve annual fundraising goals and to build and maintain a robust advancement function to fund the organizations priorities. The PGO will balance gifts between the 501(c)(4) and the 501(c)(3) organizations, as appropriate, given the wants of the donors.


  • Serve as a key member of the leadership team responsible for raising a substantial portion of major gifts for the organization.
  • Create, coordinate, and implement a detailed fundraising plan in partnership with key members the partner organizations.
  • Actively build, manage, and maintain a high-value portfolio of approximately 100 individual and family foundation donor prospects with capacity to make major gifts, including six- and seven-figure gifts.
  • Make at least 15-20 prospect/donor visit monthly (virtual or in person), with an additional 40-50 other contacts monthly.
  • As the team grows, the PGO will be expected to assist the founder and/or Director of Development, and supervise junior-level gift officers.
  • Work closely with the Founder and the leadership team to identify, cultivate, solicit and steward donors to achieve annual fundraising targets according to agreed upon metrics, milestone, and deliverables.
  • Travel as needed to conduct meaningful donor meetings and encounters, with a focus on West Coast prospects for in-person visits.
  • When appropriate, liaise with the Founder, Board of Directors, Councils and other volunteer leadership councils to engage others in the broader animal welfare community and form connections with prospects and donors.
  • Build the principal and major giving pipeline, identify innovative fundraising opportunities, and create engagement strategies that increase donor giving, upgrades, and retention. Participate and contribute to regular and ad hoc meetings and discussions focused on disposition of donors related to their individual giving life cycle.
  • Be a strong and proactive communicator for the mission by preparing written correspondence; designing and writing proposals and solicitations; preparing strategy, briefing, and talking points documents; and creating presentations describing campaigns and advocacy.
  • Adhere to established best practices for management of donors, as well as share knowledgeable experiences from other organizations for management of donors.
  • Utilize current and future CRM tools to track and document information about prospects and donors and to enable periodic analysis of performance, metrics, and goals.
  • Form a collaborative relationship with the organization’s strategic partners to assist with support services such as research, analysis, cultivation, and stewardship.

Qualification and Preferences

  • The ideal candidate will possess a strong affinity for animals and people with the ability to serve as a compelling ambassador for the organization. Proficiency and natural ability to articulate complex subject matter and inspire funding.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, including the ability to communicate effectively and concisely (both in writing and orally) with multiple audiences; listens as well as gives advice; and respects others.
  • Strong planning and organizational skills.
  • A positive, enthusiastic attitude and proven success as a strong, diplomatic and collegial colleague.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage multiple projects and deadlines.
  • Experience in and commitment to using computer-based donor relationship management systems (e.g., EveryAction) in support of fundraising efforts.
  • A broad knowledge of industry best practices, standard operating procedures, and new approaches to philanthropic giving.
  • Bachelor's degree required.
  • 8- 10 years of progressive development experience, or a proven track record in all phases of cultivating, soliciting and stewarding major and principal gifts.
  • Willingness and ability and travel substantially, using her or his best judgment on the need for one-on-one visits.
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