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Major Gifts Manager

Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies
New York, United States
$85,000.00 - $110,000.00
Closing date
Mar 8, 2023

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Position Type
Fundraising, Major Gifts
Environment, Research
Employment Type
Full Time

Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies is an independent nonprofit center for ecosystem research where we investigate the complex interactions that govern the natural world and the impacts of human driven changes (e.g. climate, pollution, land conversion and land use) on these systems and the services they provide. Our findings lead to more effective management and policy actions and increased environmental literacy through a diverse and dynamic K-12 education program. Our scientists are global experts in ecology, studying issues like the ecological basis of sustainability, justice and equity in urban landscapes; the source, and ecology, of pandemic and endemic disease, the changing role of forests in natural and human dominated ecosystems and the persistence, and health, of freshwater ecosystems critical to life on Earth.

Cary Institute seeks candidates for the position of Manager of Major Gifts. The Manager of Major Gifts will oversee the major donor cultivation, solicitation, and management, working with the Development and Communications Team, the Office of the President, and the Board of Trustees, to help achieve the Institution’s fundraising and outreach goals.

The Manager of Major Gifts will possess at least 5 years of relevant experience, with demonstrated ability to raise five figure and higher donations consistently. They will:

● Identify, research, cultivate, solicit, and steward individual donors making major gifts. The position will manage a portfolio of donors with capacity to make gifts over $25,000.

● Develop a plan to cultivate, solicit, and steward major gifts donors at a national level, initially building from specific markets in California, Florida, and the East Coast. Some travel is required and while most will involve day trips, some will require overnight stays.

● Be an exceptional communicator able to express complex asks in simple, clear language, both in person and in writing. They will be able to translate and align strategic goals and scientific research with the interests of individual donors;

● Stay informed on current and proposed research by Cary Institute scientists to guide cultivation efforts;

● Implement and manage an effective, comprehensive engagement plan for donors, including: gift acknowledgement, cultivation and recognition of existing donors, ensuring follow up meetings, and moves management; scheduling and attending introductory meetings and visits among Cary Institute management, scientists, and individual donors;

● Manage acquisition strategies for potential donors at $25,000 and up. Such strategies will include, but are not limited to, research, discussion with Trustees (past and present), discussions with senior staff, and outreach to existing donors with capacity who have not yet made major gifts to the Institute

● Assist with event planning, execution, and follow up communications

● Monitor and track progress toward institutional goals, including follow-up on meetings and events, and provide required internal statistical reports as requested;

● Assist with managing the CRM database (currently NeonCRM) and improving data quality and management.

This position joins our staff soon after we concluded a capital campaign that far exceeded our goals, raising $7.2M to support the $14M reinvention of our headquarters, the Tozer Ecosystem Science Building. We are poised to grow our programs, staff, and impact, and are in the early stages of development of our next strategic planning that, no doubt, will lead to a future capital campaign that focuses on the science, and the impact of our science. We seek someone who can help us build and amplify strong, long-term relationships with our existing donors, and build on the momentum of our fundraising program to find new supporters nationwide.

In summary, the successful candidate will possess excellent interpersonal skills, strong written and oral communication abilities, and an understanding of major gifts and capital campaigns. A passion for science and the environment is required. The candidate must be able to work independently and as part of a team, possess a strong knowledge of fundraising principles, be able to conduct prospect research, and have proficiency with programs such as: Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook); donor research tools; and constituent record management databases. The ideal candidate will also have excellent organizational skills, a professional demeanor, an eye for detail, and the ability to oversee and track multiple tasks simultaneously. Cary Institute values kindness, and collaborative approaches, that lead to greater success and a better working environment.

The Manager of Major Gifts will report to the Senior Director of Advancement with a dotted line report to the President.

This is a salaried, non-exempt, benefitted, full time position of 35 weekly hours. The salary range is $85,000 to $110,000. The Institute is based in Millbrook, NY and there is an option for remote work. The ability to travel to Millbrook, attend our two major lunches, and spend time at the Institute is important, particularly in the first year of the position. Flexibility to work some evenings or weekends required. Following our HR hiring protocols, we conduct a background check on all finalist candidates.

Candidates must be authorized to work in the U.S. Proof of full COVID-19 vaccination is required for employment.

This position is open until filled.

To apply, complete our online job application at

Include a cover letter, resume and the names and contact information of three professional references in one document.

The Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies is an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) and Affirmative Action (AA) employer. It is the policy of the Institute to provide equal employment opportunities to all qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, familial status, protected veteran or disabled status, genetic information or any other protected class.

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