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Manager, Major Gifts

Catalina Island Conservancy
California, United States
$81,000.00 - $100,000.00
Closing date
Jul 5, 2023

The Manager, Major Gifts will develop a portfolio of donors through personal visits and regular phone and written contact. This position will work collaboratively with the Conservancy executive leadership and staff to identify and cultivate major gift prospects and solicit and close a range of five-figure plus gifts.

This position is responsible for a full range of major gift fundraising and stewardship activities including the
identification, cultivation, and solicitation of major gifts; tracking and recording fundraising activity and
meaningfully recognizing gifts; and contributing to the overall expansion of the Conservancy's major gifts and
development program. Meet or exceed established visit, portfolio count, and revenue goals.
• Identify, cultivate and solicit donors for Leadership Circle ($2,500-$20,000) and maintain annual participation with a focus on upgrading donors to higher levels of giving. Work closely with Director, Membership and Marketing to identify opportunities and strategies for member and support group advancement to higher levels of giving.
• Develop and implement a comprehensive major gifts program for the Conservancy. Including maintain a personal portfolio of approximately 100-120 individual donors and prospects who are among the Conservancy's most significant supporters, with an average of 5-10 visits or high-contact interactions per month.
• Develop and grow donors for Legacy Society, the Conservancy's planned giving donor group, including qualification, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship of approximately 40 donors and prospects. This position will serve as a resource for all Development staff in preparation of cultivation and solicitation strategies for all planned giving, including any and all cross over with major gifts.
• Use donor analytics, wealth screenings and prospect research tools to develop solicitation strategies and identify current donors that can be advanced, as well as new prospects with a propensity to support the Conservancy's strategic initiatives.
• Work closely with organization's Executive and volunteer leadership to consistently develop new prospects and engagement opportunities; serve as a key contact in support of long-term donor relationship growth.

Support annual fundraising events in achieving financial goals by soliciting individual donors for sponsorship/ticket purchases and use these events as cultivation opportunities. Support the Manager, Institutional Giving with strategy and ask for corporate sponsor support when tied to individual donors in personal pipeline.

  • Develop relationships with donors that help identify areas of interest for future gift proposals and
  • Work with Database Specialist and Development Assistant, Donor Engagement to prepare event attendee briefings for executive leadership and identify, complete, and track post-event follow-up, capturing all activities in database.
  • Develop and transmit written communications to donors targeted to individual interest as both cultivation and stewardship; coordinate with executive leadership for VIP donors.
  • Work with program and development staff to identify giving Write proposals, solicit and follow-up to close gifts. Track all meaningful contacts/activities in donor database.
  • Meet with prospects and donors, provide Island tours, arrange and facilitate meetings with executive leadership, Board of Directors and Benefactor Members, and key research staff, including briefings to staff and volunteer partners and follow-up to all involved.
  • Develop annual budget(s) for Leadership Circle and major gifts. Provide monthly, quarterly, and annual reporting against budget goals. Develop and implement revenue recovery plans, as needed.
  • Support Capital Campaign planning and implementation using donor analytics and knowledge of donor and member base to identify prospects, supporting executive leadership with cultivation and solicitation
  • Increase individual and organizational fundraising knowledge by participating in continuing education opportunities through external trainings and conferences, supplier presentations and team meetings. Provide guidance on best practices to other Conservancy staff and partners.



The successful candidate will be an experienced major gift fundraising professional with a demonstrated track record of success in donor development and stewardship and closing five- and six-figure plus gifts. They will be able to work as part of an integrated fundraising team, and to articulate the Conservancy's vision and strategy clearly and passionately for the fulfillment of its mission as a responsible steward of Catalina Island. They will also be able to quickly develop a strong grasp of current and future conservation, education, recreation, and infrastructure initiatives, as well an understanding and passion for the natural environment. Knowledge of the Southern California and national philanthropic, environmental, and/or conservation communities helpful.


Demonstrated record of working effectively with passionate volunteer leaders and staff and developing personalized relationships with donors to help them accomplish their philanthropic goals. Persuasive writing, presentation, and public speaking skills. Technologically proficient in Microsoft Office 365 and donor database systems.


Extensive interaction with members of the public must demonstrate high level customer service, integrity and confidentiality as well as teamwork with a variety of staff.



Major gifts fundraising; moves-management or advancement; prospect research; budgeting and reporting; familiar with environmental or conservation issues; knowledge of Southern California and national philanthropic, environmental, and/or conservation communities; capital campaigns.



Develop cultivation and solicitation strategies, compile effective proposals; research prospects using web searches and prospect research tools. Address issues and questions from the public with the strategic goal of growing prospect pool and raising annual major giving funding by 7% per year. Demonstrates ability to prioritize work and to perform multiple tasks simultaneously while adhering to deadlines. Understands timelines and project management tools.



High level of personal interaction with donors, including high-level donors, board members and executives; team player with Development, Communications, and program staff. Maintains a high professional standard of the image and reputation of the Catalina Island Conservancy.



Bachelor's degree required; Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) designation or advanced degree a plus with a minimum of 5 years of successful major gift fundraising experience (or an equivalent combination of education and experience).


  • The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions for this job: This role is a hybrid role, with primary office location at 320 Golden Shore, Suite 220, Long Beach, The location has moderate noise levels and is a non-smoking environment.
  • The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job: most of the job duties are performed in an office environment; the employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 25
  • Periodic travel throughout the region and to Catalina Island and leading tours of the Conservancy lands. Must be capable of responsibly and effectively touring with donors on the Island in two-wheel and four-wheel drive vehicles on narrow rural roads, as well as travel by boat on excursions and Island visits. Vehicle training will be provided.


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