Major Gifts Officer

Job Type

Full Time




United States


Major Gifts Officer - Oakland, CA

Reading Partners is changing the education landscape. We are a leader in working to solve the literacy crisis in our country by leveraging community volunteers in under-resourced schools. Our diverse and expansive volunteer base provides one-on-one tutoring to students twice weekly, and our program is proven to help children master the reading fundamentals they need to unlock their potential as successful, happy and confident readers in school and in life. Our people are our heartbeat and our greatest resource; we are all passionately rallied around our mission to help children become lifelong learners by empowering communities to provide individualized instruction that works. Join our stellar team leading the charge to deepen our impact and expand our service. Learn more about us at


The High Level:

The Major Gifts Officer (MGO) will play a critical role in fundraising for Reading Partners’ by leading the effort to increase support from individual donors that will ensure long-term funding sustainability. As part of the national development team, the MGO will be charged with developing and executing a strategy to identify, cultivate, solicit and steward high net worth individuals to support Reading Partners’ overarching fundraising strategy. Reporting to the Senior Vice President of Development and working closely with the CEO and regional development staff, the MGO will have the opportunity to leverage a proven literacy program and a committed group of national Board members and champions eager to raise more funds. We are seeking a mission-driven, collaborative, and entrepreneurial individual who brings experience in major donor fundraising for high-growth organizations.


What you’ll do:

Create and drive the major gift strategy to identify, cultivate, solicit and steward new and existing individual donors.

  • Secure $250,000 in new major donor giving and increase fundraising goals each year, with the goal of $800,000 total in FY19 and $1M+ total in FY20.
  • Partner with the Senior Vice President of Development, CEO, National Board members, and regional Development staff to identify a portfolio of 100+ new and current major donor prospects with a capacity to give $10k+.
  • Develop cultivation and stewardship plans by creating a high-quality donor experience that includes correspondence, donor engagement, site and student engagement, professional proposals, mailings, and acknowledgments.
  • Design and implement small-scale cultivation events to ensure conversion of attendees into major donors. Collaborate with regional development staff on engaging donors in local events, as appropriate.
  • Partner with the Marketing and Communications team and the Manager, Individual Giving to create compelling pitches and collateral for major individual donor prospects.

Execute donor solicitation for national fundraising campaigns.

  • Support fundraising efforts toward the $800,000 target for individual giving in the national portfolio for 2018-2019, including renewing and upgrading donors
  • Select, craft, and execute appropriate and purposeful solicitations for major donors.
  • In collaboration with the national development team, leverage the Salesforce database to manage individual giving pipeline, including accurate and timely inputs of donor status throughout the year.
  • Institute protocol for engaging leadership (i.e. CEO, National Board members, Executive Directors, and others) in cultivation and solicitation processes.

Lead the Manager, Annual Giving and the national and regional annual fund with the goal of raising $500,000 in the 2018-2019 fiscal year, increasing annually.

  • Review and support the development of compelling campaigns to encourage giving to Reading Partners by donors <$1,000.
  • Provide oversight and direction for the development and enhancement of the latest digital tools and technology to support individual giving at all levels.
  • Develop and execute standards for individual donor communications and acknowledgment across the network.


How you’ll do it:

Leadership & Management:

Positively collaborate with and lead team members to meet and exceed aggressive fundraising goals. Consistently coach, grow and create stretch assignments to grow future fundraising leaders from within the organization.

Relationship Development:

Externally, demonstrate experience in external relations and relationship development. Regularly deliver convincing messaging and tailored experiences. Demonstrate a genuine joy in connecting with donors and all external stakeholders. Develop deep relationships with champions and donors that result in increased giving and networking.

Internally, establish highly collaborative relationships with all team members, particularly Regional development staff.

Demonstrate a hunger to learn, grow, support, and add great value. Regularly seek to understand all aspects of our program model to convey externally.

Revenue Generation:

Demonstrate a growing ability to conduct research, prospect, and to drive ongoing development efforts in rapidly growing organizations. Demonstrate excitement to steward and leverage relationships to support regional and national growth.

Demonstrate an entrepreneurial spirit and creativity that leads to the integration of new ideas and, ultimately, the strengthening of a relatively new funding stream for Reading Partners.

Demonstrate an ability to close gifts and successfully make asks that advance Reading Partners’ mission.


Serve as an ambassador of Reading Partners. Deliver compelling written and oral communications to promote the organization’s mission. Convey complex ideas through brief, simple, yet striking materials.

Quickly establish credibility when promoting Reading Partners to external audiences. Demonstrate a high degree of comfort and poise with donors and Board members.

Internally, demonstrate the ability to clearly communicate donor strategy, progress and next steps across a team of colleagues and supporters involved in fundraising. Regularly maintain the portfolio management system (SalesForce) with all relevant donor information, specifically action items and historical data.

Strategic Thinking:

Demonstrate an ability to devise innovative major gifts strategic fundraising plans, create action steps, and mobilize many stakeholders to achieve fundraising goals.

Build sustainable plans to maximize individual giving, meet goals and significantly grow funding.


About you!

You’ll be successful in this role if you:

  • Show a minimum of five years of professional and progressive fundraising experience, specifically with major gifts.
  • Are an energetic professional with a demonstrated track record of building and maintaining successful senior stakeholder management.
  • Have exceptional written and verbal communication skills appropriate to engage a senior, external audience.
  • Possess excellent interpersonal skills.
  • Demonstrated experience navigating high level stakeholders to problem solve and lead through complexity.
  • Are a self-starter with an focus on results and the ability to persevere through challenges to reach goals.
  • Have a positive, "can-do" attitude.
  • Have a Bachelor's degree or equivalent experience
  • Boast a deep belief in our mission.
  • Root your work in our core values.
  • Hold US Citizenship or Permanent Resident Status.

 Bonus Points if you:

  • Have an MBA or similar degree.
  • Have a high degree of comfort with Salesforce.
  • Have experience fundraising in growing, national nonprofit organizations
  • Are an AmeriCorps, Peace Corps, or other national service alum/alumna.
  • Have experience working in launch or growth phases of organizations.


What we offer:

Reading Partners offers the full package – great benefits, a great place to work and the opportunity to have a glowing and growing career.

  • We offer a competitive salary commensurate with experience. This is a full-time, exempt, salaried position.
  • We offer a comprehensive benefits package, including medical, dental, vision, disability, life insurance, flex spending accounts, generous paid time off, commuter benefits, referral bonuses, 403(b) option, and Employee Assistance Program (EAP).
  • We offer an exciting and dynamic culture, and we commit to investing in and supporting our amazing people to grow their careers with us. As such, we provide ongoing professional development opportunities, including an annual staff retreat in Oakland, CA.

 The other things you need to know:

Travel: This position is in Reading Partners’ National Headquarters in Oakland, CA.

This position travels throughout the San Francisco Bay Area with occasional travel to other Reading Partners’ markets, i.e. New York, Washington DC, Dallas/Fort Worth.

Typical Physical & Mental Demands: Requires prolonged sitting with some bending, stooping and stretching, and eye-hand coordination and manual dexterity sufficient to operate a keyboard, telephone, photocopier, calculator and other office equipment. Requires normal range of hearing and eyesight to communicate with volunteers and staff. Also requires flexibility to readily adapt to a changing environment.

Reading Partners is an Equal Opportunity Employer, with a strong commitment to diversity in the workplace.

Professional Level

None specified

Minimum Education Required

No requirement

How To Apply

If you’re interested in joining our Reading Partners team, please submit the following application materials to our online job posting:

  • A cover letter describing your interest in Reading Partners and how your past experience has prepared you for this role, along with your salary needs.
  • Resume