Major Gifts Officer

Closing date:

Title: Major Gifts Officer

Reports to: Director of Partnerships & Philanthropy

Location: D.C. Metro / NYC Metro / Syracuse, NY. A hybrid model, a mix of remote and in person,

in early 2022; Candidate must have pre-existing right to live and work at location; this is not an international appointment.

Travel: Occasional (10-15%)

Salary: Commensurate with experience and location; salary and benefits may vary according to the location of the appointment.

The Near East Foundation (NEF) is seeking experienced candidates for an open Major Gifts Officer to join its growing Philanthropy & Partnerships team. NEF is a non-profit international development organization that has supported livelihoods recovery and community-based economic development in the Middle East, Africa, and Caucasus since 1915. NEF draws on local teams, experience, and partnerships in these regions to create community-led solutions to reduce poverty, create economic opportunity, and empower conflict and crisis-affected groups to improve their future outlook and wellbeing. Working through a network of country offices and local partners, NEF has operations in ten countries: Armenia, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, Mali, Morocco, Palestine, Sudan, South Sudan, and Syria. HQ offices are based between Syracuse, NY, Washington, DC, London, UK, and Brussels, Be. Our programs are organized around three pillars: Inclusive Economic Development, Climate-resilient Development, and Stabilization and Peacebuilding.

At a pivotal moment in Near East Foundation’s history, join us to take our fundraising to the next level. We are building a team fueled by passion, ambition, creativity, and experience to lead this new chapter of growth. We have a bold strategy to reach more communities than ever over the next decade and you can help make it possible.

Summary of role

As Major Gifts Officer, you will be responsible for supporting the Philanthropy team in raising critical funds to broaden our impact and support an exciting phase of growth at NEF. Reporting to the Director of Partnerships & Philanthropy and collaborating with the Major Gift manager, your primary responsibilities include: new donor identification, cultivation and stewardship of existing major donors to increase overall retention and giving levels, and relationship management between donors and others on the Board and staff who work with them. The Major Gifts Officer will also be responsible for taking a lead role in campaigns and formalizing and growing the organization’s first planned giving program. To make a step change in our income profile, you will mainly focus on supporting the Philanthropy Team in qualifying five and six figure prospective major donors and developing lasting relationships with them.

Joining our small but growing team, you will work closely with the Director of Partnerships & Philanthropy, Major Gifts Manager, and senior volunteers (i.e., NEF Development Committee, Development Board) to build a cohort of new philanthropic supporters to NEF’s donor portfolio. You are a values-driven, confident, and determined fundraiser who thrives in a people oriented, target driven role

What you will do

Identifying New Major Donors

  • Build and develop a pool of major donor prospects who have the potential to give five to six figure gifts (this can and should include individuals, corporations, foundations, trusts, donor advised funds etc.) with a focus on unrestricted and semi-restricted giving
  • Using a broad spectrum of sources, research, organize and evaluate prospect’s financial capacity, ability to give, willingness to give, charitable interests, and connection to the organization
  • Produce in-depth, well written reports on prospects based on a combination of data from the CRM (Salesforce), available financial records, real estate ownership and other markers of high-quality donors
  • Support the Philanthropy Team and NEF President in the solicitation of major gifts and moving prospects through each stage of the major gift donor cycle
  • Help develop appropriate cultivation strategies and move potential donors in a thoughtful and timely fashion toward solicitation and closure
  • Help to recruit, manage and support well connected, influential volunteers who will proactively fundraise through peer-to-peer fundraising, and make introductions through their networks
  • Identify potential high-value donors through networking (e.g., research, attending events, social media outreach, building your personal network, peer to peer)
  • Support the development of key fundraising products and activity to attract and retain high-net-worth supporters
  • Research and support with the development and writing high quality partnership proposals, cases for support, appeal letters, pitches and reports and submit them in a timely manner

Securing Donations

  • Develop inspiring ideas to effectively build relationships and engage major donor supporters long term
  • Manage and build a pipeline of potential new major donors to secure major gifts, delivering against an ambitious team target
  • Solicit major donors for financial gifts and advise, support and engage appropriate senior leadership to increase the likelihood of a successful solicitation
  • Through relationship building, you will understand the motivations for each existing and potential major donor, to create compelling unrestricted, designated and budget relieving proposals, and their corresponding impact reports to enhance donors’ long-term value and experience as a NEF supporter
  • Support with the development and management of fundraising campaigns and activities, from inception to completion
  • Working with the Major Gifts Manager, develop a strategy for outreach to and stewardship of planned giving prospects and donors

Managing relationships

  • Working with the Major Gifts Manager, you will oversee a portfolio of donors and prospects to build and deepen relationships, enhance donor’s connection to NEF, and create opportunities to expand giving
  • Through meetings and correspondence, you will develop excellent relationships with existing major donors, communicating the impact of their support and keeping them engaged to maximise the value of NEF’s major donor income long-term
  • Where appropriate, you will involve NEF’s senior staff and the Board of Trustees to make the most of opportunities to engage and build relationships with existing and potential major donors
  • You will support with creating and developing inspiring and compelling funding proposals, feedback and impact reports for major donors ensuring they understand the impact of their gifts and are inspired to continue supporting


  • Develop an excellent knowledge of NEF’s work, and liaise with colleagues to prepare and present high-quality information such as tailored presentations, cases for support and proposals for donors
  • Maintain an awareness of philanthropy giving trends, news, events and legislation in the USA, UK and Europe and pick up on opportunities or topical issues that will enhance NEF
  • Develop all print and web-based supporting materials for planned giving program
  • Create and maintain accurate records in line with data protection on the CRM database of all leads, knowledge about individuals, foundations, companies, and all communications sent out/received as well as fundraising forecasting
  • Develop and use reports to analyse and report back on the data and your work
  • Assist with, and lead events as needed, including but not limited to launch events and cultivation events
  • Undertake other tasks that are within the scope, spirit and purpose of the job, to contribute to meeting our fundraising strategic vision and those of NEF, and the wider organisation

Candidate requirements

You have the essentials

Basic Qualifications

  • 2 years proven and effective experience supporting with cultivating and managing major gifts and/or individual philanthropy;
  • Proven track record of fundraising from high-net-worth individuals and foundations in the not-for-profit sector;
  • Experience with prospecting, pipeline building, and new business development (geared toward securing five figure annual gifts);
  • Experience with developing and delivering one or more fundraising products to attract new supporters (e.g., development boards; giving circles; events; major appeals);
  • Experience supporting on fundraising campaigns (ideally end-to-end experience);
  • Support with the development of fundraising materials for both off and offline channels, to support fundraising activity;
  • Proficient use of donor database management software and Microsoft Office programs including Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint and the Adobe Creative Suite.
  • Ability to live and work in the U.S. without company sponsorship.

Skills and competencies

  • Tenacious and self-motivated approach to work, performance and target driven;
  • Exceptional persuasive communication skills, both written and verbal;
  • Dedicated team player with the desire to develop within an organisation;
  • Highly effective interpersonal skills with the ability to communicate with diverse personalities in a tactful, mature, and professional manner;
  • Strong business acumen with the ability to monitor, compile and analyze data to guide decision making;
  • Ability to remain flexible and work within a collaborative and fast-paced environment to achieve and exceed KPIs.

How to apply

NEF will accept rolling applications until the position is filled. Review of applications will begin on Monday, December 13, 2021. Interested candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

Please apply by submitting the following documents to the Near East Foundations Career Page at

  • Cover letter outlining all relevant experience, how you meet the essential criteria and availability;
  • Curriculum Vitae;
  • List of three references (including one from current, or most recent, employer).

Applicants are strongly encouraged to familiarize themselves with the Near East Foundation by visiting the NEF website at

The Near East Foundation promotes Equal Employment Opportunities for all applicants seeking employment and NEF employees.

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