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Donor Relations Director

The Salvation Army
New Jersey, United States
$80,000.00 - $85,000.00
Closing date
Jul 26, 2022

Essential Function
The Donor Relations Director is responsible for building a caseload of major gift donors and providing ongoing and proactive relationship management, strategic communications plans, gifts cultivation, and solicitation activity for this group of donors. The DRD will identify, qualify, be assigned, cultivate, solicit, and steward major gift prospects acting as the primary contact between the Army and the assigned caseload, with an emphasis on securing gifts of $10,000 and higher, building toward a portfolio worth $1 million. The emphasis is on increasing major gifts to The Salvation Army while retaining and strengthening existing giving.

Duties and Responsibilities
The duties listed below are the primary duties of this position but are not all the duties that may be required. The Salvation Army reserves the right to change, reduce or expand the duties of this position at any time. Reasonable accommodations may be made for individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions of this role.



  • Establish, manage, and fulfill a caseload communications plan, including individual fundraising goals and personalized strategies, to effectively steward, educate, cultivate, and solicit gifts from major donors each fiscal year, with an emphasis on gifts of $10,000 and higher.
  • Develop research and briefing memos in preparation for team discussions. Work with prospect research manager at THQ and local staff who are trained to do research to develop donor profiles to inform “moves management” strategies and planning conversations.
  • Meet regularly with supervisor and territorial major gifts management (often by phone) to discuss and refine caseload plans, and donor strategies, track progress, receive coaching, and keep open lines of communication.
  • Work in close conjunction with other fund development officers, pursuing and contributing to harmonious collaboration between direct other major gift staff, marketing, social media, foundation, corporation, and planned giving staff for optimal integrated strategies regarding major donor communications as well as overall department initiatives.
  • Support and contribute to overall policies and strategies to continually increase major gifts revenue and program growth.


Leadership and Fundraising Management

  • Lead in one-to-one solicitation for qualified caseload, including gift acknowledgment and stewardship communication, traveling as necessary, establishing and maintaining excellent donor relations, providing written proposals to major gift prospects as needed, and including Army and/or volunteer leadership as appropriate.
  • Work in collaboration with program, finance, development, graphic design/communications, and administrative support staff to develop a portfolio of giving opportunities (cases for support) that documents funding needs in terms of real program costs, how dollars impact people, outcomes being (and which could be) achieved, shortfalls, and exciting mission advancement opportunities. Present these opportunities to donors to effectively match donor interests with Army service delivery advancement needs.
  • Keep management apprised of all significant interactions, inputting contact reports to the data system/donor database system as required, sharing a continually updated itinerary, fulfilling all monthly and other reporting requirements, and consulting with leadership when needed to understand organizational priorities, to develop strategies that benefit both donor and the Army, and to troubleshoot challenging situations.
  • Stay driven toward goals and focused on caseload, but make effective use of volunteerism opportunities, events, and other initiatives to engage with assigned donors, bring them closer to the Army, and deepen their awareness of the impact of its work, especially in areas of interest to them. Participate in such opportunities alongside caseload or prospect constituents.
  • Work with other staff and leadership (including leadership volunteers) to develop new major donor/prospect cultivation events, such as private receptions, dinners in homes, or seminars, targeted toward those with high philanthropic capacity.
  • Play a key role in working with select local Advisory Boards.


Donor Relations

  • Build and manage a caseload of 125-150 assigned and qualified major donors. Maintain and seek to engage prospective donors as assigned, following the prescribed communications plan that is specific to each donor and prospect and working, as appropriate, with donor leadership volunteers to secure visits with those in their peer networks who are assigned.
  • Work in close collaboration with local officers, program, finance, and fundraising staff to present local Army resource development needs that correspond to where donors and prospects reside, while always being responsive to each donor’s interests (even if elsewhere) and attentive to fiduciary responsibilities (donor intent with gifts).
  • Make it a priority to take donors on site visits to tour Army programs and to facilitate face-to-face briefings of donors by Army leaders.
  • Manage all office systems related to MGO/DRD duties, including maintaining updated Insight (CRD database) donor files, tracking spreadsheets, correspondence, gift acknowledgments, etc., in keeping with department policies and procedures.
  • Document all donor interactions through Insight with contact reports and according to established business practices.
  • Carry out any office and computer-related tasks important to fulfilling the goals of the position.
  • Ensure excellent customer service is provided to donors through accessibility to staff and leadership (as granted), timely responsiveness, quality in all interactions, and personalized communications.
  • Work diligently to meet agreed-upon monthly and annual activity and income production goals and be purposeful about every visit and communication and the desired outcome for each “touch.”
  • Participate in recommended professional training as budget allows, conference calls with other major gifts staff, conference kindred sessions, and other professional development opportunities.
  • Other duties within the scope of the role, as assigned by supervisor.



  • Bachelor’s Degree; Advanced degree and/or CFRE credential preferred.
  • Minimum of five years of experience in a nonprofit fundraising role with a proven track record of major gifts success and a strong working knowledge of strategy development and moves management systems in the cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship processes.
  • Passion for The Salvation Army’s mission, coupled with a strong commitment to know and understand the Army’s history, mission, and structure, as well as its services, policies, and procedures.
  • Highly effective interpersonal, conversational, and presentational skills, demonstrating emotional intelligence and situational awareness, in tandem with excellent writing abilities and strong case development and sales pitch skills.
  • Demonstrated expertise in developing and maintaining positive relationships with diverse individuals, including executives, high-level volunteers, and wealthy donors, as well as internal stakeholders and leadership.
  • Prowess in problem-solving, strategic and creative thinking, plus taking initiative with consistent and good follow-through.
  • Proven experience and demonstrated comfort with direct donor interactions are a must, including discussions of personal and family finances and asking for major financial commitments.
  • A reliable motor vehicle is required for this position.
  • Must understand and support the mission of The Salvation Army.

Compensation: $80,000 - $85,000/year

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