This job has expired

Director, Major Gifts

District of Columbia, United States
Competitive Salary
Closing date
Jun 2, 2022

View more

Position: Director, Major Gifts

Department: Development

FLSA Status: Full-Time, Exempt

Reports to: Chief Development Officer

Direct Reports: Development Officer and Development Operations Specialist

Date Issued: May 2022

Location: Washington, DC



The Mission

Polaris is leading a data-driven social justice movement to fight sex and labor trafficking at the massive scale of the problem – 25 million people worldwide deprived of the freedom to choose how they live and work. 


For more than a decade, Polaris has assisted thousands of victims and survivors through the U.S. National Human Trafficking Hotline, helped ensure countless traffickers were held accountable and built the largest known U.S. data set on actual trafficking experiences. With the guidance of survivors, we use that data to improve the way trafficking is identified, how victims and survivors are assisted, and how communities, businesses and governments can prevent human trafficking by transforming the underlying inequities and oppressions that make it possible.



About Opportunity

Polaris is seeking an experienced, energetic, and polished Director, Major Gifts to join the Development team. S/he will be responsible for developing and implementing strategies to increase revenue from individuals and family foundations. Reporting to the Chief Development Officer, the Director is a member of the Senior Leadership Team and is responsible for leading and managing all day-to-day (and potential campaign-related) activities needed to build and grow a successful individual giving program that includes small, middle and major donors. S/he has the opportunity to shape, execute and enhance initiatives designed to achieve both short and long-range outcomes, particularly with growing middle and major donors. With the CDO, CEO and other Executive Team members, the Director is a dynamic member of Polaris who will play a key role in helping to scale and sustain revenue from this important source.  




Strategy and Leadership

  • In collaboration with the Chief Development Officer, conceptualizes, develops and leads an overarching and integrated individual giving strategy that includes major gift fundraising, digital and direct mail campaigns, sustainers, and events;
  • Directly manages a portfolio of major donors through frequent in person, email and phone engagement, solicitation, and stewardship;
  • Oversee online and offline platforms, systems, and processes that enable individual gift fundraising, including reporting and analysis to measure ROI and program effectiveness; and
  • Responsible for meeting revenue targets for individual donors.




  • Supervises and supports the efforts of the Manager, Development Officer and Development Operations Specialist with regard to cultivating, soliciting and stewarding major donors, mid-level and general donors as well as special audiences such as new, consecutive-year and sustainer donors;
  • Ensures coordination and collaboration among the Director, CDO, CEO and Development Officer;
  • Oversees the relationship with consultants to implement multi-channel direct response and marketing programs relative to data needs, copy and creative development, print production and performance analysis; and
  • Engages the Communications team to integrate content into marketing and fundraising activities including advocacy, cultivation, and solicitation.


Donor Engagement

  • Independently identifies, cultivates, and solicits an active portfolio of 50+ individual donors and prospects and deepen their investment in mission;
  • Travels to meet face-to-face with individuals, family foundations and/or their representatives;
  • Creates and executes appropriate stewardship opportunities for the full spectrum of donors throughout the year; and
  • Maximize individual giving, matching funds, and in-kind contributions.



Relationship Management

  • Manages a discrete portfolio and has significant knowledge of and input on the portfolios of others who engage with individual donors;
  • Oversees research on potential new donors and proposes strategies to engage them;
  • Strategically moves donors through the pipeline in a systematic, scalable way; and
  • Supports the cultivation, solicitation and stewardship efforts of the CDO and CEO so that they are properly prepared for each donor interaction that are not directly executed by the Director her/himself. This includes donor profiles, briefing materials, talking points and follow up.
  • Commitment to the National Human Trafficking Hotline mission and Polaris values;
  • Other duties as assigned by supervisor.


This job description provides a summary of the major duties and responsibilities performed by individuals in this position.  Incumbents may be asked to perform other tasks not specifically written in this job.


Required Qualifications

  • Deep passion! Mad skills! Low ego!
  • Bachelor's Degree or equivalent combination of education and/or experience;
  • 10+ years of progressive forward facing fundraising experience;
  • Experience developing and implementing a strategy that moves donors of all sizes through the pipeline;
  • Ability to solicit and steward donors who make five figure gifts and higher;
  • Experience with building a small dollar donor file through direct and digital marketing, acquisition and ads;
  • A proven track record of success developing, managing, building, and sustaining complex donor relationships;
  • Strong experience implementing digital fundraising and marketing strategies;
  • Experience effectively engaging and supporting a CEO, CDO or similar executive level staff;
  • Experience in a supervisory capacity leading and leading and supporting a team;
  • Ability to flourish in a high paced environment with multiple priorities without compromising attention to detail or deadlines;
  • Extensive understanding of how development operations, systems and processes support individual giving;
  • Willingness to travel nationally and occasionally work outside of normal business hours; and
  • Ability to work both independently and collaboratively, including effectively engaging and managing executive leadership.


Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience using Salesforce NPSP, Pardot & Accounting Subledger, Jackson River’s Springboard, iWave, or similar platforms;
  • Knowledge of prospect research, wealth enhancement, and planned giving tools;
  • Experience working with a third party fundraising agency; and
  • Commitment to and interest in social justice and human rights; specific interest in human trafficking.




  • Internal: Ability to communicate with supervisor, the Executive Team, direct reports and peers
  • External: Frequent contact with individual donors, family foundations, financial advisors and philanthropic advisors



Working Conditions

  • Typical office setting


Physical Requirements 

  • Prolonged sitting, chiefly at a computer terminal;
  • Occasional bending, stooping and stretching;
  • Requires eye-hand coordination and manual dexterity sufficient to operate a computer, telephone, calculator, and other office equipment;
  • Requires normal range of hearing and eyesight to record, prepare, and communicate in writing, in person and by phone;



Organization Background

VALUES: Polaris is grounded in a set of values and organizational beliefs and strives to model and embody these values in all that it does.


We work with humility and a spirit of service. We serve a mission that is bigger than ourselves, and we recognize that we cannot do this work alone. We foster a caring community of mutual support, and we actively pursue collaborations and partnerships to expand our reach.

Victims’ and survivors’ experiences ground our efforts. We honor the dignity, agency, and resilience of victims and survivors of slavery, both past and present. We serve, work alongside, and stand in solidarity with those who have been most affected by modern slavery.

We strive for inclusion and equity. We engage different perspectives to inform our decisions, actions, and positions. We create opportunities that empower individuals of diverse backgrounds and circumstances. We acknowledge the structural inequities that lead to human trafficking and modern slavery, which drives us to create just and equitable solutions.

We approach our work with courage. We promote a culture of inquiry, innovation, risk-taking, and continuous learning. We are resilient and evolve when faced with obstacles or failure. We recognize that what is typical or traditional is not always optimal.

We create positive impact and achieve results. We leverage and cultivate the strengths of our staff, and we work with discipline, integrity, and a commitment to excellence. We embrace a measurement culture to track our progress. We view impact holistically, considering multiple sectors and the effects on individuals’ lives, as we pursue systemic and social change to eradicate modern slavery




Polaris designs and implements data-driven strategies to prevent and disrupt human trafficking, and restore freedom to survivors.  Achieving this ambitious goal requires both trafficking-specific systemic interventions and broader cultural and structural shifts that reduce the inequities that lead to human trafficking. While Polaris alone cannot build a more diverse, just, equitable, and inclusive society, both the success of our work and our organizational values require modeling in the workplace the change we want to see in the world.

This means cultivating a workforce, organizational culture, and priorities that respect and celebrate a dynamic, multi-disciplinary team made up of individuals with different identities, lived experiences, and backgrounds. Within both our team and across every part of our work, we strive to integrate and elevate the full range of survivor voices.

This is a living commitment.  Diversity, equity, and inclusion are values to be manifested daily, in the work we do, the decisions we make, and the way that we treat each other and the people we seek to serve.  This means creating space where staff can be included, heard, valued, and set up for success, and where everyone feels empowered to bring their full, best selves to work. We will not check boxes and consider it done. We will push new innovations and different ways of thinking, and treasure the community built and strengthened by each of our contributions.

Get job alerts

Create a job alert and receive personalized job recommendations straight to your inbox.

Create alert