Development Manager-Major Gifts

Job Type

Full Time




United States


The Catalina Island Conservancy was established in 1972 as a 501(3)-non-profit organization dedicated to the protection and restoration of Santa Catalina Island. The Conservancy owns and stewards 42,179 acres or 88 percent of the Island. Its mission is to be a responsible steward of its lands through a balance of conservation, education and recreation.


About the Position

The Development Manager - Major Gifts will develop a portfolio of mid-level donors through personal visits and regular phone and email contact. They will work collaboratively with the Conservancy CEO, CDO, and staff to identify and cultivate major gift prospects, and soliciting and closing a range of five plus-figure gifts.

How to Apply

Please send a cover letter outlining your interest in the position and a resume.


We offer a competitive salary and health benefits, paid vacation, sick leave and retirement.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

This position is responsible for a full range of major gift fundraising and stewardship activities including the identification, cultivation, and solicitation of major gifts using a planned moves management type strategy; 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 to President’s Circle ($2,500-$10,000 plus) and maintain annual participation with a focus on upgrading donors to higher levels of giving. Work closely with Annual Fund/Membership Manager to identify opportunities and strategies for member and support group advancement to higher levels of giving.

·      Use donor analytics, wealth screenings and prospect research tools to develop solicitation strategies.

·      Support annual fundraising events (Conservancy Ball, Wild Side Art Show) in achieving financial goals by soliciting donor/sponsors, and using these events as cultivation opportunities. Develop relationships with members that help identify areas of interest and track for future communications and activities. Work with Database Specialist to prepare event attendee briefings for CEO, CDO and identify, complete and track post-event follow-up, capturing all activities in database.

·      Develop and transmit written communications to donors targeted to donor interest as both cultivation and stewardship; coordinate with CEO and CDO for “high touch donors”.

·      Work with program and development staff to identify giving opportunities. Write proposals/solicit and follow up to close gifts.  Track all meaningful contacts/activities in donor database.

·      Regularly meet with prospects and donors, provide Island tours, arrange and facilitate meetings with CEO, CDO, Board Chair and key research staff, including briefings to staff and volunteer partners as well as follow-up to all involved.

·      Develop budget(s) for Leadership Circle, President’s 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 identifying prospects, supporting CEO and CDO with cultivation and solicitation strategies.


Qualification Requirements

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 andsix-figure gifts. S/he will be able to work as part of an integrated, fundraising team, and to clearly and passionately articulate the Conservancy’s vision and strategy for the fulfillment of its mission as a responsible steward of Catalina Island. S/he 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. Familiarity with the southern California philanthropic, environmental, and/or conservation communities helpful.

Demonstrated track record of working effectively with passionate volunteers 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 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.

Education and Experience:

·      Bachelor’s degree required; CFRE 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).



·      Knowledge of major gifts fundraising; moves-management or advancement; prospect research; budgeting and reporting; familiar with environmental or conservation issues; knowledge of southern California philanthropic community; capital campaigns.

Complexity/Problem Solving:

·      Ability to develop cultivation and solicitation strategies, write effective proposals; research prospects using web searches, Guidestar (family foundations), and prospect research tools.

Communications/Interpersonal Contacts:

·      Proficient in a high level of personal interaction with donors, including high-level donors, board members and executives; team player with Development, Communications, and program staff.


We offer a competitive salary and health benefits, paid vacation, sick leave and retirement.

Professional Level

None specified

Minimum Education Required

4-year degree

How To Apply

How to Apply

Please send a cover letter outlining your interest in the position and a resume.