Scope and Responsibilities
Vera’s goal is to fund its ambitious three-year strategic plan
and to successfully shift from relying on project-specific public
funds to unrestricted philanthropic support. This new funding model
emphasizes gifts at the six-figure, seven-figure, and eight-figure
levels from high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) and
ultra-high-net-worth individuals (UHNWIs) and their related
entities (family foundations, corporations, etc.). Vera’s inaugural
SPO will work collaboratively with leadership to support the
development and roll out of this model.
The SPO is responsible for building and managing an emerging
portfolio with the potential to make five to eight figure
investments in the work of Vera Institute, with a specific focus on
philanthropic communities in the western United States. The ideal
candidate will be an experienced, entrepreneurial, and adaptive
fundraiser with the maturity and insight to both operate as a
satellite to the primary Vera Development team and regularly
connect with the core team for support and alignment. The SPO
should have experience in and a deep knowledge of high net worth
funding communities within the western US.
The SPO will develop and manage a portfolio of prospects and
donors and partner with Vera’s Director, Principal Gifts, program
leaders, and Development staff to identify, engage and solicit
prospects and donors.
- Elevate and expand a portfolio of donors with the ability to
make significant philanthropic investments in the mission of Vera
- Create a major gift plan centered on the western US and develop
the west coast donor pipeline in partnership with the Director,
- Partner with Vera principals and trustees to develop and expand
- Facilitate and coordinate all communication with an assigned
portfolio and among Vera principals.
- Execute a robust discovery process to upgrade contributions
from individuals and their related entities.
- Execute donor meetings in partnership with Vera program
- Work with program staff to support donor engagement
- Staff cultivation events within the western US.
- Develop an extensive understanding of Vera’s programs and
- Collaborate on the strategy for and creation of persuasive
written communications relevant and appropriate to programmatic
priorities and donor interests.
- Collaborate with development colleagues on the creation of
major gifts departmental infrastructure, development event
creation, and prospect research.
- Maintain best fundraising and operational practices, utilizing
clearly defined goals, objectives, and transparent methods.
- Contribute to an organizational environment where teamwork,
collaboration, passion for the mission, and dedication are expected
Skills & Qualifications
The SPO will possess a demonstrated ability to meet and exceed
the responsibilities listed in the preceding section, in addition
to the following experience and qualities:
- Bachelor’s degree, or 5 years of relevant experience.
- 3 years of portfolio management experience and/or direct donor
relationship management experience.
- Experience developing and executing sound donor strategies to
secure five and six figure gifts (seven figure gifts a plus) and
experience securing gifts from prospects.
- Demonstrated track record of successful solicitations,
including the skill to proactively identify, build, and manage a
portfolio of major gift prospects where the donor constituency is
not immediately obvious.
- Competency creating donor strategies using best practices in
donor moves management.
- Experience planning and executing donor visit trips and events
- Outstanding oral, written, communication, and presentation
skills – including ability to listen and target communication to
specific interests of varied audiences.
- Comfort in online fundraising toolsets and databases.
- Strong organizational and project management skills.
- Experience qualifying and disqualifying prospects using
research and instincts.
- Proven ability to build deep and lasting relationships with a
variety of partners – both internal and external.
- Gravitas paired with the professional integrity and ambition to
effectively represent and promote Vera externally at the highest
- A motivated team player with exceptional communications skills
along with interpersonal savvy.
- Strong passion for and demonstrated commitment to Vera’s
- Demonstrated ability to manage daily fundraising efforts
resulting in significantly improved performance.
- Driver’s license preferable.
- Ability to travel 25-40% of the time.
Personal / Professional Attributes
- Intellectual curiosity and dexterity, and the ability to
translate various priorities into compelling cases for
- Self-motivation, energy, flexibility, and solutions
- An ability to maintain accountability while working
- An ability to balance short- and long-term requirements with
long range plans.
- An ability to foster a culture of collaboration and teamwork
across boundaries and differences; an ability to lead and inspires
others to excellence in work and action.
- Commitment to the highest standards of professionalism,
integrity, excellence, and diversity.
- An understanding of core concepts such as structural racism,
equity, justice, white privilege, etc. within one’s area of
- An ability to convey Vera’s work thoughtfully and compellingly
to others, in a way that facilitates and ensures
- A collaborative mindset as well as ability to work thoughtfully
across an organization and with its Board.
- Goal orientation and an ability to thoughtfully develop and
deliver donor engagement strategies.
- An ability to be self-reflective and respond thoughtfully to
- A deep commitment to Vera’s work.
- Impeccable discretion; humility and a sense of humor.
Inquiries & Applications
Interested candidates may email a resume and cover letter to