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Associate Director of Development, Planned and Major Gifts

Folger Shakespeare Library
District of Columbia, United States
$90,000.00 - $105,000.00
Closing date
Feb 17, 2024

The Folger Shakespeare Library knows that an exceptional staff is the backbone of any great organization. We hire exceptionally qualified individuals who are committed to the mission, vision, and values of our organization. Our recruitment process strives to be interactive, accessible, and responsive. Once employed, the Folger provides a generous compensation, leave, and benefits package, as well as many opportunities for personal and professional growth.



Job Description:



The Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC is seeking an experienced development professional to join our team as the Associate Director of Development, Major and Planned Gifts (AD-MPG). This role, reporting to the Director of Development, will build, manage, and provide strategic direction for the Folger’s major gift fundraising programs. They will identify prospects, steward current donors and solicit major gifts, in face-to-face meetings, and in writing, sometimes accompanied by Senior Directors.  The Associate Director of Major and Planned Gifts will support the Director of Development with board development and high-level major donor strategy including cultivating and providing stewardship for individual major donors.  


The ideal candidate will be a strategic leader with the ability to envision, implement, and steward a thoughtful approach to prospect development and process improvement to support the growth of the Development team at the Folger. They will have a proven record as an experienced fundraising specialist and must be an initiative-taker with superior written and oral communication skills, the ability to solve complex problems, and have a passion for philanthropy. This individual will be a part of the Development department’s senior team supporting other leaders by fostering a culture of philanthropy to ensure that fund development is executed in keeping with the values, mission, and strategic directions of the Folger Shakespeare Library, working with the Director of Development to establish a balanced mix of donor sources and fundraising programs to attract and retain donors and fundraising volunteers.  


The standard schedule for this role is Monday-Friday, 8:45am-4:45pm, which is a 35-hour workweek. Frequent evening and weekend hours will be required for special programs. This position is currently hybrid with ~3 days on-site per week. The selected candidate will need to be within a commutable distance to the D.C. office (DC, MD, VA) by their start date. 


Health & safety: The health and well-being of all staff, contractors, and visitors is our top priority. While the Folger no longer requires masks or vaccinations (except for AEA spaces), we support and encourage individuals to take the safety precautions they are most comfortable with, and we ask that individual choices are respected. Folger offers organization-funded healthcare plans for full-time staff and extensive leave options to all staff in case of any health issues that arise.  



  • This is a monthly-paid salary position, with an annual rate of $90,000-105,000.  

  • Total compensation includes an extensive benefits plan, including a generous 403(b) contribution and match, outlined at" href="" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">


 Supervisory Duties: The Associate Director of Development, Major and Planned Gifts will supervise the Development Specialist for Major and Planned Gifts. They will periodically supervise the work of other development staff members on projects.  


Summary of Duties:   

The Associate Director of Development, Major and Planned Gifts (AD-MPG) will play a key role in the execution of Folger’s short and long-range strategic plans for financial sustainability. They are responsible for leading and executing the organization's major gifts program, focusing on securing substantial donations from high-net-worth individuals. The role involves strategic planning, relationship building, and effective communication to engage and solicit support from potential major donors. As a member of the department’s management, this individual will lead a team of advancing development professionals and will interface with both internal and external constituents with a focus on providing leadership and training in best practices 


Major Gifts:   

  • Builds, manages, and provides strategic direction for Folger’s major gift fundraising, an area of significant growth in the short and long term. Works with the Director of Development in establishing annual and long-range fundraising goals. 

  • Assists the Director of Development in increasing individual Board gifts and identifies high-potential among current Board members.  Works with the Director of Development in developing a strategy to increase Board membership by determining nominating criteria, and researching, identifying, and submitting lists of prospective Board nominees to the Board’s Nominating Committee.     

  • Plays a central role in major donor prospect meetings. With the Director of Development Operations, identifies, research, and plans paths for engagement of new prospects for leadership and major gifts, board prospects, and current major donors and board members.  Works with the Director of Development Operations to track and regularly provides analysis of the progress and performance of major giving and planned giving.   

  • Manages a portfolio of 100-150 donors and prospects at the $15,000+ level. Identifies, researches, cultivates, solicits, and stewards gifts at this level and above. Regularly communicates with all donors/prospects in portfolio, focusing on discovery and cultivation of individuals with the capacity and affinity to give at this level and above.   

  • Coordinates with other development team members to ensure relationships with these donors/prospects are advancing and that we have fully identified their potential to give.  

  • Portfolio may include specific giving initiatives or membership groups.  

  • Oversees and improves endowed fund reporting.  

  • With the Director of Development, Director of Development Operations, and special events staff, serves as a staff liaison for the Folger’s annual gala and its volunteer fundraising committee.  

  • Identifies prospective table sponsors and ticket buyers for solicitation by staff or committee members.   

  • Oversees development specialists and associated in drafting and sending requests to individual prospects for gala sponsorships and tickets. Maintaining the gala website, and sending gift acknowledgement.  

  • Ensures benefits are fulfilled.  

  • Supports Board Members with their hosted events on Folger’s behalf as assigned.   

  • Assists Board members with list creation, invitation design, tracking RSVPs coordinating caterers and other vendors, and follow-up tasks, as needed, and manages tasks that may be executed by or assigned to other development team members.   

  • Supports events as needed.  Prepares and briefs Board members and Senior Directors on their tasks at the event.  Creates a follow-up plan for every attendee.  

  • Oversees Development Specialists work, including: conducting research and wealth screenings; gift entry and gift acknowledgement, creation of donor profiles and briefings, and tracking donor moves and relationships.   

  • Guides, trains, and mentors the Development Specialist in planned and major giving activities. Ensures specialist is involved in donor meetings and events, as appropriate, and given opportunities to grow their skills.   

  • Works at major development events, including Acquisitions Night, the Renaissance Circles program and dinner, theater and exhibition openings, Member Appreciation Weekend, and other events as needed.  With Director of Development, assigns donor-cultivation tasks to Senior Directors and Board members before events, and after events, coordinates follow up with these leaders and the donors and prospects they engaged.  


Planned Giving 


  • Collaborates closely with the Director of Development and Director of Development Operations to implement short-and long-term planned giving goals and strategies to build upon existing commitments and expand the current donor base. 

  • Manages the Folger’s planned giving program and serves as the direct liaison with planned giving counsel, as relevant.   Fulfills benefits for First Folio Society members.  Works closely with the Senior Development leadership to identify opportunities with annual giving appeals to market planned giving. Oversees development team members in coordinating the development and maintenance of web page for the planned giving programs. 

  • Provides expertise in structuring complex gifts and collaborating with colleagues to close new planned gift intentions and manage multi-channel marketing and communications efforts to promote planned giving and works closely with Director of Development Operations to create a robust pipeline of donors and prospects.   

  • Oversees effective handling and processing of estate gift administration to ensure appropriate stewardship and closure of realized gifts and respond to donor inquiries with appropriate information on bequests, life income gifts and other gift planning vehicles.   

  • Cultivates relationships with attorneys, trust officers, accountants, financial planners, and other estate planning professionals regarding gift opportunities for clients and provide material for their use, exchange up-to-date information on current best practices, request help in obtaining referrals and discuss donor interests.   


Education and Experience:   

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience required.   

  • Minimum of 8 years of progressively responsible development experience is necessary, preferably in a cultural, academic or non-profit institution.   

  • 4+ years of management experience required. Significant expertise in major gift programs.  

  • Demonstrated record of conceiving and implementing fundraising strategies to successfully raise funds from individuals. 

  • Experience researching and tracking major donor prospects and developing strategies to increase funding. 

  • Temperament suitable for working in what can be a fast-paced, deadline-driven environment.  

  • Exceptional recognition of ethical and legal requirements for confidentiality in handling of sensitive information and situations. 


Skills and Knowledge:     

  • Excellent verbal and written communications skills required.  

  • Must possess excellent organizational and time management skills to manage multiple activities in a fast-paced and deadline-driven environment. 

  • Ability to perform well both with independent initiative and as part of a closely woven development team.   

  • Ability to motivate and nurture growth and foster independence and collaboration as a staff supervisor and mentor.  

  • Has a customer service-oriented mindset with a propensity to work with the public and relate effectively with a diverse donor population. 

  • Knowledge of Microsoft Office Suit-Word, Excel, and Outlook is required  

  • Knowledge of Tessitura, Wealth Engine, Magnet Mail, and HTML is highly desirable. 

  • Must be skilled in facilitating face-to-face solicitation as well as writing persuasive appeals.   

  • Ability to effectively work with volunteer leadership and senior staff, involving them, as appropriate, in the cultivation and solicitation process is essential.  

  • Ability to work under pressure managing multiple priorities and to meet multiple deadlines 

  • A commitment to, and ability to effectively convey the Folger’s mission with genuine passion, and the willingness to continually learn about the programs and mission. 


Working Conditions/Physical Requirements:   


This job operates in a professional office environment. The employee may be exposed to various components of an office environment such as florescent lighting, pollen, dust, recycled air, cooling fans, semi-enclosed areas, central heating, seasonal warmer temperatures, and office noise. 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. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.      

  • The normal work week is Monday-Friday, 8:45 am to 4:45 pm. Ability to work varying and additional hours as project demands arise (including evenings and weekends as necessary).           

  • Ability to work at a computer for an extended period of time, with accuracy.      

  • Willingness and capacity to work in an office environment at a workstation, and to come and go repeatedly throughout the day as is necessary, to perform various responsibilities.      

  • Capacity to communicate, in person, or using video, phone, or electronic communication methods, in a manner which can be understood. 


Interested individuals should submit their cover letter and resume. Incomplete applications cannot be accepted. No phone calls please.


The Folger is an Equal Opportunity Employer.


To learn more about our benefits, please click here.

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