Background: The Pepperwood Foundation seeks a Major Gifts Officer to support and grow its individual and family foundation giving program. Pepperwood owns and operates a 3200-acre preserve in Sonoma County dedicated to ecological research and education. The mission of Pepperwood is to steward the life and landscapes of the preserve and to advance science-based conservation of ecosystems throughout our region and beyond. The Dwight Center for Conservation Science is a 9400 square foot LEED-certified green building equipped with new administrative, educational and research facilities opened in 2010 to support the expansion of programs at Pepperwood Preserve. The center provides an administrative base for nine staff (including administrators, naturalists and educators) and serves as a venue for regional conservation gatherings and workshops. Pepperwood’s annual program budget is approximately $1.5M. This position is based at the Dwight Center and also involves local travel and attendance at occasional events on and off-site for the purposes of donor outreach and cultivation. The Major Gifts Officer will be a key player in the organization’s leadership and will be provided with significant staff support in the areas of donor relations, database management and events.
Job Summary: Reporting to the Executive Director, the successful candidate will demonstrate a proven track record in cultivating and securing significant gifts. For this critical position, we are seeking an individual with depth and breadth of experience and demonstrated expertise in bringing closure to significant numbers of five and six figure gifts. This expertise will have been achieved through a 7+ year progressive career in direct fundraising. The ideal candidate is someone who thrives in an individual contributor management role, has a strong working knowledge of the greater Bay Area and is passionate about the environment. Competencies required include strategic thinking, exceptional integrity and ethics, a donor-centric mindset, compelling communication skills, interpersonal savvy, the ability to manage multiple priorities and the ability to improvise as needed to meet evolving challenges. The qualified candidate will demonstrate the ability to build and manage a healthy donor portfolio. Knowledge and established networks in the Bay Area a significant plus.
Essential Functions: 1. The Major Gifts Officer will work with members (Friends of Pepperwood) and others to build relationships that will lead to gifts in the $25,000 to $1,000,000 range.
2. He/she will also be expected to gain familiarity with the region and to develop a comprehensive fundraising strategy for implementation in partnership with Pepperwood’s board, staff and volunteers.
3. In addition, he/she will be responsible for a wide range of fundraising activities including, but not limited to the following: o Identifying new prospective donors and volunteers and maintaining an active schedule of contacts, activities and solicitations with individuals with ratings of $25,000 to $1,000,000. o Working with the communications assistant to keep our donor database fully up to date and to generate reports as needed to support/direct their own activities plus those of staff and volunteers supporting fundraising. o Advising on communications strategies (including membership program, newsletters, social media, and personal correspondence) to maximize fundraising benefits. o Providing oversight regarding stewardship and involvement for Pepperwood’s major supporters and high-level volunteers, including design and implementation of an active donor recognition program. o Maintaining an active, current body of knowledge relative to Pepperwood’s activities. o Participating in a leadership role in monthly Development Advisory Committee meetings and providing briefings to our leadership as needed.
Essential Requirements: 1. Sophisticated communication skills, with the ability to write and speak clearly and effectively. 2. Demonstrated successful experience and effectiveness in prospect identification, cultivation/relationship building, solicitation and stewardship. 3. Experience asking for large gifts and staffing volunteers to ask. 4. Ability to maintain a strong field presence with activity goal of 10 in-person visits per month. 5. Ability to manage a large number of fundraising activities simultaneously. 6. First-hand experience mentoring and working with volunteers, board members and professionals in fundraising with individuals. 7. Strong initiative and self-motivation. 8. Bachelor’s degree required; advanced degree preferable. 9. Working knowledge of the Bay Area preferred. 10. Valid California driver’s license.
Work Environment: Primary place of employment: Dwight Center for Conservation Science at Pepperwood Preserve. Office setting: cubicle workstations, artificial lighting, public spaces and classrooms. Outdoor education site: 3200 acre nature preserve, uneven terrain and range of elevations. Travel: local travel required, generally within 10 Bay Area counties. May require working on weekends and evenings on- or off-site for special events.
Physical Requirements: Ability to negotiate two story building with ease and participate in outdoor events including receptions and hikes over uneven terrain. Office work station requires extended sitting and fine finger movements and visual capacity to review and edit documents. Driving required for local travel.
Compensation: To be defined as commensurate with experience.