Director of Major Gifts

Job Type

Full Time



Start Date


Application Deadline



901 5th Avenue
Suite 2200
United States




We live in one of the best spots on the planet. But — between population growth, development pressure and climate change — our region is under stress. Forterra is keeping this place we live a place we love by securing the keystone places we need for a sustainable future. We work across landscapes — from iconic wild places, to farms and working forests, to community lands supporting parks, the arts, local economies, and attainable housing.


Over nearly 30 years, Forterra has completed more than $500M in transactions spanning 450 individual properties resulting in the protection of more than 275,000 acres — the equivalent footprint of four Seattles. We have mobilized thousands of volunteers, and completed tens of thousands of hours of work restoring forested parks and riparian habitat. And our work on Cross Laminated Timber and other economic development initiatives is helping create jobs and new opportunity for struggling communities across the state. Together, these efforts contribute to our vision of a sustainable region where everyone has a place to thrive.

 Summary of Position

Reporting to the VP of Philanthropy, and leading the team of Major Gifts Managers, the Director of Major Gifts is a self-motivated and mission-driven professional with strategic responsibilities for growing the portfolio of Major Donors supporting Forterra at the $10,000+ level, encouraging bequest commitments among Forterra supporters, and facilitating connections with corporate, foundation and finance/investor prospects. The Director of Major Gifts will be primarily responsible for increasing the Major Gift program’s effectiveness by identifying, strategizing, cultivating, soliciting and stewarding major gift prospects for gifts at the $10,000+ level.  The Director of Major Gifts will supervise and mentor a team of two Major Gift Managers. The Director will also work with the VP of Philanthropy, consulting advisors, board members and Forterra Executive team to develop and implement donor strategies and ensure delivery of overall annual fundraising goals necessary to achieve Forterra’s strategic plan.

The Director of Major Gifts fundraising targets will generate unrestricted support for Forterra’s operation fund, as well as restricted programmatic funding, including a focus on place-based campaigns.

Essential Duties

Leadership, Strategy, and Management:

·        Under the general direction of the VP of Philanthropy, develop and execute successful fundraising strategies and tactics for major donors and planned gift prospects in support of Forterra’s annual fundraising and place-based goals and objectives.

·        Build a strong relationship with Executive Leadership Team, Board and consulting advisors—to ensure successful execution of major gift strategies to support the goals of Forterra’s annual fund and place-based campaigns.

·        In close collaboration with the VP of Philanthropy- play an integral role in the creation and execution of Major Donor strategies by effectively staffing Executive Leadership members in cultivation and solicitations to maximize outcomes.

·        Help to expand the major gift program by identifying donors and prospects with additional interest and capacity, by stewarding mid-level donors to become major donors, and by inspiring major donors to become leadership donors.

·        Work with the VP of Philanthropy and serve as a key member of the fundraising management team to create and execute the annual work plans as it relates to each portfolio Manager within the major gifts team.

·        Build relationships with community stakeholders to advance the Forterra mission and fundraising goals.

·        Help strengthen the culture of philanthropy throughout the programs teams and create strategies to grow the existing donor base through creatively planning, training, and supporting programs staff to play key roles in organizational philanthropy.

·        Supervise and mentor two managers by advising on strategy, stewardship, cultivation and solicitation.

·        In close coordination with the Communications team, oversee and manage donor excursions, cultivation dinners, community fundraisers and other relationship-building events for major donors.

·        Work with the VP of Communications and members of the Communications team on strategies to effectively move donors from general membership to the major donor portfolio.

·        Set giving policies, guidelines, and reporting standards and adhere to them.

Major Donor Portfolio Management:

·        Manage a portfolio of approximately 50-75 major gift prospects capable of giving at the 10K+ level — cultivating, stewarding, and soliciting as appropriate with close attention to donors’ individual values, interests and capacity.

·        Expand the pipeline of prospective supporters through research, dialogue with other staff, close attention to business and other publications, or awareness of other organizations’ supporters.

·        Build strong personal donor relationships and collaborate with Executive Leadership team members to solicit major gifts.

·        Identify avenues to reach and visit prospective donors.

·        Work with program staff to understand Forterra’s current and past programmatic work, using this information to attract donors.

·        Write compelling letters, emails, gift proposals, thank-you notes, impact reports and other fundraising materials.

·        Help develop foundation and corporate opportunities and strategies.

·        Plan and track communications and donor-relations activities in the donor database.

Required Qualifications

·        Interest in, understanding of, and commitment to Forterra’s work to secure the places that are keystones of an environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable future in the Northwest, plus the ability to communicate the work compellingly.

·        3+ years of experience and proven success in management, cultivation and solicitation of gifts exceeding $10,000.

·        Proven leadership and management skills--either direct management or demonstrated experience serving as a leader, coach or mentor in past roles.

·        Ability to develop a positive working relationship with a variety of people, and to work well on small teams.

·        Ability to successfully manage a large portfolio and deal with ambiguity and rapidly changing plans and priorities.

·        Outstanding interpersonal and communication skills, with the ability to engage in person, on the phone and in written communication with a broad range of internal and external clients.

·        Sensitivity and care with confidential information.

·        Experience with Raiser’s Edge (or other fundraising or CRM software) and Microsoft Office programs, including Word, Excel and Outlook.

·        Demonstrated resourcefulness and strong problem-solving skills.

·        Ability to work occasional non-standard hours, including evenings and weekends.

·        Valid, insurable driver’s license/record.

Travel, Working Conditions, and Physical Environment

·        Ability to sit, stand or otherwise remain in a stationary position at a computer workstation for the majority of the work day.

·        Ability to occasionally move about inside the office to access file cabinets, office equipment, etc.

·        Ability to constantly operate a computer and other office equipment such as calculators, copy machines and printers.

·        Ability to lead and participate in outdoor project/site tours. This may require navigating uneven terrain in inclement weather.

·        Frequent travel in in the Greater Puget Sound area, mostly in the form of day trips from Seattle.

·        Ability to exert up to 30 pounds of force occasionally and/or a negligible amount of force frequently to lift, carry, push, pull or otherwise move objects.

Criminal Conviction Background Check

Because this position involves access to confidential/sensitive information and physical assets, Forterra will not hire into this position anyone who has been convicted of a criminal offense related to theft or fraud. A criminal history background check will be conducted on the final candidate prior to beginning employment.

Equal Opportunity Employer

Forterra is an Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE). Qualified applicants are considered for employment without regard to age, race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, veteran status, or any other class protected by law. Assistance and/or reasonable accommodations during the application process are available to individuals with disabilities upon request. No applicant will be penalized as a result of such a request. To request assistance or accommodation, please contact


See benefits summary on careers page.

Professional Level


Minimum Education Required


How To Apply

Please include a resume and cover letter.