Idealist logo

Director, Donor Relations/Major Gifts

Posted by
Aceum Advisors & Search, LLC | New York, NY

Aceum Advisors & Search, LLC

Published 22 days ago

March 1, 2020

About Selfhelp Community Services Foundation

The Selfhelp Community Services Foundation is a nonprofit corporation established as the fundraising and philanthropic arm of Selfhelp Community Services, Inc. (“Seflhelp”) to focus on increasing private, foundation and corporate philanthropic resources to support Selfhelp’s core mission and programs focused on maintaining the independence and dignity of seniors and at-risk populations and helping them avoid institutionalization.

Selfhelp, the parent organization, was founded in 1936 to help those fleeing Nazi Germany maintain their independence and dignity as they struggled to forge new lives in America and continues to this day to be the largest provider of comprehensive services to Holocaust survivors in North America. The organization operates an extensive network of housing, home health care, and social service supports to more than 20,000 elderly, frail and vulnerable New Yorkers each year on an operating budget of $90M across 27 sites throughout Manhattan, Queens, the Bronx, Nassau and Westchester counties. Selfhelp is an industry leader and innovator in applying new service methodologies and technologies that address the diverse and emerging needs of seniors and older adults and is a beneficiary agency of UJA- Federation of New York.

The Opportunity

The Selfhelp Community Services Foundation is seeking a proven, strategic and driven fundraising leader to join its Fundraising/Development team as the Director Donor Relations/Major Gifts to help shape the organization’s donor relations/major gifts strategy and deepen its relationships with a broad network of donors and philanthropists.  In this role, you will be a key partner to the Executive Director of the Foundation and play a critical role with the Fundraising/Development team assisting the Foundation to surpass its goal of increasing philanthropic support of Selfhelp’s programs and services in the coming year.

This is an exceptional opportunity for an experienced fundraiser to oversee all individual giving programs and build and manage a portfolio of current and new prospects and donors, working to secure annual, major and planned gifts. You will be expected to work closely with various lay leadership entities including the Selhelp Board of Directors, Foundation Board and the Chinese and Russian Advisory Councils to strengthen and grow Selfhelp’s annual and targeted fundraising campaigns. 

Core Responsibilities

The Director Donor Relations/Major Gifts will assume the following key responsibilities:                                           

Fundraising Leadership & Strategy

  • Develop a high profile, high impact individual giving and major gifts strategy and plan to drive awareness and increased philanthropic support of Selfhelp’s core mission and programs
  • Design plans for the cultivation, solicitation and stewardship of major, annual and legacy gifts prospects and donors to achieve revenue projections
  • Work across the organization to align the Selfhelp Board, Foundation Board Leadership Team and staff relationships to help cultivate a significantly expanded donor base that optimizes fundraising results
  • Serve as a significant ambassador and external relationship builder representing the mission and philanthropic goals of Selfhelp to prospective donors and supporters
  • Maximize fundraising opportunities and achieve revenue targets that both build on existing donor relationships and further grow the organization’s capacity to raise increased revenue from new donors

Donor Cultivation, Solicitation & Stewardship

  • In collaboration with the Executive Director, the Director, Donor Relations/Major Gifts will help strengthen and expand Selfhelp’s fundraising program while creating a pipeline for leadership giving that will help to raise the baseline of total funds raised annually
  • Create and build the infrastructure for, and ongoing oversight of, a comprehensive Individual Giving program, including management of a portfolio of individual donors and prospects through all stages of engagement, including identification, qualification, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship. Move potential donors in an appropriate and timely fashion toward solicitation and closure
  • Prepare prospect research, rank and organize the current list of major donor prospects and prepare strategy and briefing materials for all face to face meetings, site visits and solicitations with potential donors
  • Develop cultivation and solicitation strategies and personally cultivate and deepen relationships with high-potential donor prospects for major gifts and planned legacy gifts
  • Develop a plan for targeting and recognizing multi-tiered donors, including significant anchor donors to help build momentum for attracting an increasingly diverse and deep group of individual supporters
  • Manage a portfolio of estate bequests and trusts as well as gifts of tangible personal property including but not limited to stocks and bonds

Administrative Coordination

  • Work with Fundraising/Development Team to coordinate effective donor cultivation and stewardship methods; and increase donor engagement and solicitation activities
  • Collaborate with the Marketing Team to develop promotional and collateral materials, mailings and on-line resources to support cultivation and presentation activities
  • Utilize a data-driven performance metrics system to actively track interactions and contacts with donors and to both forecast and evaluate success in achieving annual revenue target
  • Meet monthly and quarterly benchmarks and goals based on activity with prospects/donors and dollars raised. Increase annual giving to meet overall philanthropic revenue targets and attract endowment support - including planned giving
  • Develop and maintain prospect lists, write and/or edit final proposals and stewardship reports and ensure that all donor activities are accurately recorded and tracked in the Foundation’s fundraising data

Candidate Profile | Competencies | Personal Qualities

 The ideal candidate should possess the following experience, competencies and personal characteristics:

Education & Experience 

  • Bachelor's Degree from an accredited college or university; Master’s Degree preferred
  • Minimum of 10 years’ fundraising/development experience with increasing levels of responsibility for individual giving and major gift programs supporting nonprofit human service and/or healthcare organizations
  • A track record of proven success managing donor portfolios, meeting and/or exceeding annual fundraising goals and closing five, six and seven figure gifts from high net worth individuals  
  • Mastery level skill of professional fundraising, relationship cultivation and marketing methods, techniques and practices
  • Proficiency with Raiser’s Edge and/or other fundraising software

Competencies | Personal Qualities

  • Highly entrepreneurial in nature with the drive, creativity and initiative to deliver results and impact
  • A natural people person with superior interpersonal and relationship building skills that engenders trust and inspires confidence among a diverse group of philanthropic donors with varying degrees of financial resources
  • Superior verbal and written communications skills that contribute to convincing proposals and presentations to donors
  • Self-starter with the ability to work independently, yet collaboratively, as an effective team member and with diverse organizational leadership
  • Strong project management skills, including superior attention to detail and ability to manage multiple projects
  • Positive, enthusiastic and confident with an engaging sense of humor
  • Passion for and commitment to Selfhelp’s core mission, programs and constituency                                                                                                                                                           

Equal Opportunity Employer

SELFHELP is an equal opportunity employer and committed to building a culturally diverse and inclusive work environment. All qualified candidates will receive equal consideration for employment without regard to race, religious creed, color, gender identity, gender expression, age, national origin, ancestry, citizenship status, physical or mental disability, medical condition, pregnancy, marital or veteran status, sexual orientation, or other personal characteristics as may be protected by applicable law.  

About Selfhelp Community Services Foundation

The Selfhelp Community Services Foundation is a nonprofit corporation established as the fundraising and philanthropic arm of Selfhelp Community Services, Inc. (“Seflhelp”) to focus on…

Details at a glance

  • On-site Location
  • Full Time Schedule
  • Contract
  • 4-Year Degree Required
  • Professional

How to Apply

To Apply

SELFHELP has retained ACEUM Advisors & Search to conduct this search. To express an interest in this opportunity or to make candidate recommendations, please contact: Ira Machowsky, CEO: or  Heather Bivens, Senior Search Consultant: All inquiries and discussions will be kept strictly confidential.


To Apply

SELFHELP has retained ACEUM Advisors & Search to conduct this search. To express an interest in this opportunity or to make candidate recommendations, please…


New York, NY

Join Idealist

Sign up today to save your favorite jobs and get email alerts when new ones are posted.