Senior Business Development Manager - Major Gifts

Job Type

Full Time




100 E. Tennessee Ave
United States


Water For People is currently recruiting for the position of Senior Business Development Manager – Major Gifts. Water For People has set out ambitious plans that require increased financial support for our Everyone, Forever strategy of extending sustainable water and sanitation services to everyone, without exception, in every district where we work. Our goal is to reach a $30M annual operating budget by 2021 and major gifts are a key area of income growth. The Senior Business Development Manager – Major Gifts will be instrumental in cultivating relationships with major corporate, foundation and individual donors to generate substantial six to seven figure multi-year donations as well as manage a team member whose portfolio focuses on converting and upgrading existing annual donors. 


  • Develop and implement strategies to maximize the giving potential of high-capacity major individual, corporate and foundation donors. This will require securing face-to-face donor visits across the US, Canada, the UK and Europe, frequent donor communication, and coordinating overseas donor visits to our nine country programs.
  • Establish and maintain strong ties to high-capacity prospects and donors through regular, personal contact, either via phone, email or in-person communication.
  • Proactively network with Water For People’s Director, C-level, Regional Directors, Board, and other staff to identify and follow-up with various networks and contacts to cultivate current or add new prospects to the revenue pipeline.
  • Become deeply familiar with each account’s special needs and with Water For People’s strategy and assets in order to maximize the partnership potential of each account.
  • Meet regularly with Director of Principal Gifts to strategize on engagement plans for donors/prospects, and for support on managing the team member.
  • Manage a team member whose portfolio consists of individuals, foundations, and corporations. Support and empower this person to develop and implement a communication and engagements plans to ensure renewals and upgrades.
  • Work closely with Global Programs, Marketing/Communications, and Finance teams to develop strong fundraising cases to secure major donor funding for the organization’s immediate and long-term funding priorities.
  • Work closely with the Director of Development Operations to proactively identify, develop and deliver engagement opportunities for these donors to ensure that their financial and non-financial support is maximized.
  • Work with Development Writer to research, develop and draft formal funding proposals and reports as required by each account.
  • Support other Business Development managers with strategic direction for fundraising approaches to their contacts.
  • Support other Relationship Managers in the Global Programs and Marketing/Communications departments with strategic direction for fundraising approaches to their contacts.
  • Track and record all donor details, meetings, interactions and prospect research on a weekly basis using the constituent database Raiser’s Edge and regularly monitor account progress through the donor pipeline.
  • Lead the Grant Management process for portfolio of accounts and follow procedures of process from pre-proposal through grant close.
  • Demonstrate a culture of philanthropy across the organization.
  • Participate in conferences and/or speaking engagements to increase Water For People exposure and research/meet new prospects.


  • Builds Teams and Talent - Attracts, engages, develops and rewards talented people to build individual and organizational capability needed to achieve desired impact
  • Connects to the Mission – Embraces the mission of Water For People and is passionate about advancing the dynamic role it plays leading social impact in international development
  • Demonstrates Ethics and Integrity– Understands ethical behavior and business practices, and ensures that own behavior is consistent with these standards and aligns with the values of the organization
  • Demonstrates Cultural Awareness – Shows empathy, a high comfort level in the developing world, and unquestionable integrity; able to engage the wide range of stakeholders from a variety of backgrounds and cultures
  • Connects with Others – Demonstrates exceptional communications and interpersonal skills, exceptional networker, key influencer, and is comfortable representing Water For People across a wide variety of audiences
  • Manages through Ambiguity – Demonstrates flexibility and adaptability in responding to change and ambiguity 
  • Self-confident - handles tough questions or critique in a professional manner assuming the best intentions; open to feedback and coaching


  • Bachelor’s degree in business, marketing, communications and/or non-profit management or other related discipline is preferred or equivalent work experience
  • 6 years + experience in fund raising or sales, with demonstrated success in securing $100,000+ gifts to advance mission-driven objectives.
  • At least 2 years of successful management experience, supporting and developing employees preferred
  • Demonstrated success securing major gifts
  • Excellent written and oral communication, public speaking, organization and management skills
  • Interact and collaborate with employees at all levels of the organization, actively support a positive team environment, directly address conflict, and appropriately express concerns
  • Confidence in working with senior-level stakeholders both internally and externally to secure major gifts across the organization
  • Self-motivated, and able to balance multiple projects in different phases of completion
  • Flexibility, capacity to work under tight deadlines and excellent follow-through skills
  • Knowledge of domestic and international water, sanitation and health sectors highly desirable
  • Experience using Raiser’s Edge database


  • Ability to travel up to 20% domestically and internationally to developing countries, where travel is rugged.
  • Open office environment.
  • This position is based at Water For People Headquarters in Denver, Colorado.

Note: This job description is not intended to be an exhaustive list of all duties, responsibilities, or qualifications associated with the job.

Level of Language Proficiency

Spanish fluency preferred

Professional Level


Minimum Education Required

4-year degree

How To Apply

Contact and Further Information:

If you are both qualified and Water For People interests you, please send us your resume and cover letter that introduces you to us and provides insights into both your experiences and how you are the ideal candidate for this position. Resumes and cover letters can be sent to; please put the job title in the subject line. Please no phone calls or in-person inquiries.