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Vice President of Major Gifts
National Trust for Historic Preservation in Washington, DC
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Date Posted 05/23/2019
Employment Type fulltime
Application Deadline Open until filled

Careers at the National Trust for Historical Preservation


The Vice President for Major Gifts is responsible for ensuring that the National Trust’s team of major gift officers achieve their short- and long-term fundraising goals. This position is results-oriented and directs key aspects of major gift fundraising ($25,000 or more) for operations, programs, special projects, and strategic initiatives. This position works closely with peers across the organization to develop and execute collaborative fundraising strategies, particularly with Chief Development Officer, Preservation Team Leaders, the Executive Team, and the President’s Office. The Vice President plans and implements fundraising programs and activities consistent with the organization’s mission and priorities, and also directs the engagement and stewardship of current and prospective donors. The Vice President manages the full team while also managing a portfolio of major gift donors and prospects, and leads the team by demonstrating best practices and personally achieving ambitious fundraising results.


  • Lead the Major Gifts Team, including developing annual and multi-year strategic plans and fundraising goals in collaboration with the Chief Development Officer.

  • Recruit and retain a highly qualified, engaged, and culturally diverse team of major gift officers (titled Directors of Individual Giving).

  • Develop and implement effective management strategies for achieving organizational fundraising objectives.

  • Work closely with major gift officers to maintain for each gift officer a robust pipeline of 125-150 major gift prospects and donors, and establish systems for monitoring fundraising activity, including regular tracking, forecasting, and reporting of results.

  • Direct prospect identification, development, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship for each fundraising officer, including active management and utilization of the CRM system and proactively managing and supporting gift officers. Work closely with the Prospect Research team to achieve results.

  • Implement best practices for achieving fundraising goals. Instill a sense of urgency, passion and esprits de corps among individual giving staff.

  • Manage the stewardship and acknowledgement of all gifts of $25,000 or more, as well as those resulting from an individual gift officer’s involvement. Work closely with the Data Analytics Team to ensure timely gift entry and recognition of leadership giving.

  • Collaborate closely with the Development Communications team to develop major gift proposals, stewardship reports, collateral materials, and other written communications.

  • Collaborate closely with the Special Events team in developing effective donor stewardship, cultivation, and engagement events, including National Trust Council and Principal Gift Society events.

  • Serve as an active member of the Development Leadership Team.

  • Establish and cultivate effective relationships with the President, Chief Preservation Officer, Executive Team, Development Team Leaders, Marketing Team Leaders, and others as necessary to develop donor-centric giving opportunities and secure major gifts support, including planned gifts.

  • Work closely with the Chief Development Officer to align fundraising efforts with other institutional activities and objectives.

  • Continually enhance skills related to use of rapidly changing technology and communications best practices.

  • Responsible for achieving high quality results with minimal supervision. Significant travel required.


  • Minimum 20 years professional experience, including at least 12 years in progressively responsible fundraising roles and managing large cross-departmental projects and teams, preferably in a national level, non-profit setting.

  • At least 12 years’ experience in fundraising systems, including a proven track record of executing successful non-profit revenue-generation and donor-management strategies and tactics. Proven ability to manage teams to secure major gifts, with demonstrated ability to leverage and sustain relationships of individuals with a high net worth.

  • Demonstrated working knowledge of moves management models and fundraising best practices.

  • At least 5 years’ experience with department-level budgeting, staffing, supervising experienced professionals and leading teams to generate high quality results.

  • Demonstrated business acumen and analytic ability. Self-motivated, goal-oriented with a sense of urgency and proven track record of results.

  • Excellent consulting and diagnostic skills, with ability to foresee and plan around obstacles to produce desired outcomes.

  • Advanced analytical, problem solving (issue identification and prioritization) skills are essential for this role plus the ability to exercise sound judgment and make decisions based on accurate and timely analysis.

  • Experience with analytics -- specifically with techniques such as data mining and forecasting.

  • Advanced project management, team-management and client-management skills, with the ability to develop and execute short and long terms plans including the establishment of goals and outcome measures. Dependability essential, with a strong sense of urgency and results-orientation, preferred.

  • Ability to achieve results with minimal supervision.

  • Demonstrated experience leading departments, as well as successfully managing key internal and external stakeholders and relationships. Proven ability to train, motivate and manage staff in a fast-paced, high-performing environment, including experience coaching/mentoring others in fundraising roles.

  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills, with the ability to communicate plans and outcomes at all levels of the organization. Ability to communicate with staff at remote locations essential.

  • Persuasive, polished presentation skills.

  • Strong interpersonal skills, with proven ability to collaborate across departments to implement processes and achieve results. Track record of building and maintaining productive relationships with multiple stakeholders. Demonstrated ability to build bridges between and among key donor prospect stakeholders.

  • Ability to prioritize, multi-task efficiently and respond to a high volume of ongoing requests in a timely fashion. Ability to adapt and be flexible in a dynamic work environment. Ability to work effectively with frequent interruptions required. Able to handle frequently changing and/or unscheduled tasks with accuracy.

  • Proven ability to continually develop skills related to use of rapidly changing technology and communications best practices.

  • Entrepreneurial spirit and skill set essential. Ability to delegate as possible.

  • Demonstrated success in marketing to and engaging culturally diverse audiences and partners. Personal or professional ties to culturally diverse affinity organizations and social networks are preferred, and bi-lingual language skills (especially English/Spanish) are a plus.

  • Advanced knowledge of Microsoft Word, Excel, and database management required.

  • Familiarity with nonprofit accounting, IRS regulations regarding charitable giving, and financial management.

  • Bachelor’s degree (or equivalent years of experience) required. Master’s degree in related field preferred, or equivalent combination of related professional certification and experience.

  • Regular and reliable attendance required.

  • Frequent travel required.

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