Director of Philanthropy (Major Gifts)

Austin Pets Alive!
Texas, United States
$85,000.00 - $85,000.00
Closing date
Jun 3, 2023

Director of Philanthropy, Major Gifts

APA! BACKGROUND: Austin Pets Alive! (APA!) is one of Austin’s most dynamic and best-loved nonprofits. The organization is the leader in the no-kill movement nationally and is considered a national thought leader in animal welfare. APA! locally rescues, treats, and adopts out 10,000 homeless dogs and cats each year, providing the safety net for Austin’s most at-risk shelter pets, which helps Austin to be a no-kill city, while also assisting other communities in saving homeless animals. The organization is distinguished by the scrappiness of its grassroots, non-traditional community-based animal rescue work. The organization continues to innovate best practices to save sheltered lives and teaches its renowned no-kill lifesaving model across the country. 

BRIEF POSITION SUMMARY/OVERVIEW: The Director of Philanthropy is a skilled people-person with a passion for animal welfare who works to build engagement around APA!’s lifesaving cause and draw support from our highest-level individual donors that will ensure our mission can continue to flourish and grow. While always keeping in mind that meeting fundraising goals is imperative for APA!’s lifesaving mission, the focus for APA!’s Philanthropy team is on creating great, inspiring relationships with supporters.  


Portfolio Work 

  • Actively manage a substantial portfolio of VIP donors and prospective donors 
  • Meet existing expectations for major gifts in the annual revenue budget
  • Quickly building the means for ambitious growth from this important class of gifts, both for operations and the capital campaign
  • Develop and implement robust strategies for retaining and upgrading existing donors, as well as prospecting for new potential major donors
  • Build meaningful one-on-one relationships with APA!’s high-level supporters, focusing on creating engagement and a deep sense of community around our mission
  • Create funding proposals and other written and visual collateral necessary for the stewardship and cultivation of major gifts
  • Maintain timely contact reports, stewardship tracking, and forecasting
  • Work collaboratively with Philanthropy staff on building the major donor pipeline
  • Attend networking events in the community (when possible) to cast the net wider for prospective donors
  • Provide support to the CEO, Chief of Philanthropy, and board members in working with major donors, as needed

Planning and Process Management

  • Maintain plans and create tools for organizing work around the overall monthly and annual goals for mid- and major gifts, leading the team members responsible for working with these donor segments in coordinating this work
  • Lead on prospect planning to bring in new high-level donors, and on maintaining a higher-level donor pipeline aimed steadily improving revenues from existing donors
  • Work with the Deputy Chief of Philanthropy to plan and maintain a comprehensive stewardship plan 
  • Track and report on high-level gifts and donors; create monthly reports on progress in relationship-building, gifts, and pledges to share with the Chief of Philanthropy and Deputy Chief of Philanthropy
  • Oversee planning of major donor engagement gatherings and attend these events, along with attending fundraising events planned by our events team 

People Management

  • Manage four staff with primary responsibility for stewarding and cultivating higher-level donors and support them in their work with donor portfolios
  • Create and manage KPIs while ensuring staff who report to you are meeting monthly activity and financial goals
  • Maintain a great team dynamic on our highly collaborative team
  • Manage up to the Deputy Chief of Philanthropy, maintaining close contact and ensuring they they receive regular reports on progress 


  • An authentic passion for animals and animal welfare
  • An extrovert, who enjoys working with people; a networker, with a flair for meeting people, building relationships, and inspiring engagement
  • Five or more years of fundraising experience, with previous responsibility for stewarding and cultivating substantial individual gifts
  • At least two years of experience successfully soliciting major gifts, including those at the $100,000+ level, and meeting aggressive revenue goals
  • Experience in the management of complex gifts and donor prospecting
  • Familiarity with recurring giving, influencer, and peer-to-peer giving programs strongly preferred
  • Strong evidence of strategic ability in increasing revenues
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Organized and adept at managing projects and processes well
  • Proven ability to manage people well and work collaboratively
  • Willing and able to take initiative and be proactive in independently managing projects
  • Creative in managing projects on limited resources
  • Working proficiency in Google Suite
  • Experience in working with technology for managing philanthropy, such as wealth assessment software, donor management systems, and CRMs
  • Must embody APA!'s core values of innovation, respect, drive, resourcefulness, and inclusion
  • Commitment to APA!'s customer experience expectations
  • Willing and committed to working well with volunteers and staff in all roles


When onsite, standard office environment with exposure to environmental conditions that include working with and near sick and injured animals


This is a full-time, exempt position of 40+ hours weekly. May include evenings and weekends as required


  • This position reports directly to the Deputy Chief of Philanthropy and with direction from the Chief of Philanthropy 
  • This position oversees two Senior Philanthropy Officers who work with major donors, one Philanthropy Officer who works with mid-level donors, and one Influencer Relations Officer who works with influencers and peer-to-peer fundraisers


  • Offsite/remote (must live in Austin area)
  • Occasional work at Austin Pets Alive!’s main location at 1156 West Cesar Chavez St., Austin, TX 78703
  • May travel to offsite locations as needed


Austin Pets Alive! is proud to offer a competitive benefits package for full-time employees, including up to 95% subsidy on employer-sponsored medical coverage, up to 2% match on 401(K) retirement plan, subsidized and voluntary life insurance, voluntary dental, vision and short term disability options, all effective the first day of employment. We also offer voluntary wellness and emergency sick plans, supplemental benefits, subsidized pet insurance, flexible spending accounts and additional life coverage. Full-time employees receive 6 paid holidays and accrue 10 days paid time off during the first year of employment, with a third week of  PTO accrual upon completion of 12 months of employment.  Employee’s will also receive professional development opportunities through APA!’s ongoing mission to advance our animal welfare professionals in our life saving work.


Austin Pets Alive! is an equal employment opportunity employer and we value having staff who come from communities that are most impacted by the issues we engage on. We especially encourage people of color, LGBTQ people, women, transgender and gender non-conforming people, and people with disabilities to apply. 

Austin Pets Alive! does not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law. Austin Pets Alive! is committed to creating a dynamic work environment that values diversity and inclusion, respect and integrity, community focus, and innovation.

Pay Range: $85,000 per year  

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