Director of Major Gifts

With world attention focused on both the environment and the economy, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) is where policymakers and business leaders turn for win-win solutions. This leading green group, with programs from Boston to Beijing, has tripled in size over the past decade by focusing on strong science, uncommon partnerships and market-based approaches. You can be part of a vibrant workplace that welcomes diverse perspectives, talents and contributions, where innovation and a focus on results are a way of life.

This is a unique opportunity for a seasoned, sophisticated development professional with stellar management experience to become part of the development team at one of the nation’s premier environmental organizations. This position reports to the Associate Vice President of Major Gifts. The Director of Major Gifts will be responsible for ensuring that the geographically dispersed team of major gifts officers is as focused, productive and proactive as possible in order to meet or exceed their fund raising goals.

Overall Function

As well as providing leadership, direction and day-to-day management for the team, the Director of Major Gifts will identify and implement best practices to maximize fundraising strategies.  Developing and maintaining a collaborative relationship among the team, within the department and with others who interact with actual and/or potential donors on a regular basis is also a crucial component of this role.

Key Responsibilities

  • Directly manage a team of  East Coast based Major Gift Officers
  • Ensure the team has the appropriate resources to meet fundraising objectives and achieve the desired results
  • Provide leadership and direction to major gift officers in order to enhance solicitation, cultivation, stewardship and outreach strategies
  • Work with major gift officers to develop and implement strategic work plans and communication for prospects
  • Partner with development leadership to develop strategic plan for growth and communicate agreed upon plan to major gifts officers in order to target outreach efforts accordingly
  • Identify, cultivate and steward major gifts prospects with an identified gift level of $100,000 and up
  • Participate in one-on-one cultivations and solicitations with prospective donors
  • Keep abreast of changes and innovations in federal and state tax laws that impact major gifts options for donors
  • Comprehensive knowledge of fundraising vehicles, including planned giving and institutional giving, in addition to major gift solicitation
  • High level of comfort interacting with donors directly and discussing matters of personal and family finances
  • Ability to interpret giving trends to identify strongest donor prospects
  • A great deal of energy, creativity and an entrepreneurial spirit; high level of comfort working in a fast-paced environment
  • A positive and optimistic attitude with a commitment to problem solving 
  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university preferred
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Outstanding interpersonal communication skills
  • Collaborate with portfolio managers to facilitate prospects into donors at the appropriate level of six and seven figure gifts
  • Forge productive working relationships with portfolio managers in other regions
  • Bring cohesion to the major gifts team; infuse the work with a sense of energy and fun


  • At least three years managing and developing fund raising professionals
  • A high degree of satisfaction from managing front-line fund raisers and managing his/her own portfolio
  • A personal track record of success raising significant funds from individual major gifts
  • Successful track record in managing, motivating and developing staff including the demonstrated ability to build collaborative teams
New York, NY

Due to the volume of employment applications and queries received, EDF is unable to respond to each application individually. Applicants will be contacted directly if selected as a candidate.

Environmental Defense Fund is an Equal Opportunity Employer


September 4, 2014
Regular Full-Time
New York, NY, United States