Director of Major Gifts | Society for Science & the Public
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Director of Major Gifts

Position Description

Society for Science & the Public seeks an experienced and innovative individual to serve in a newly created Director of Major Gifts position. The Director will develop and manage a portfolio of donors and prospects, each with an estimated capacity to give $50,000 or more. The Director will be responsible for qualifying new prospects and for building relationships between the prospects and the Society to develop financial support for our work.

In addition to soliciting leadership gifts, the Director will also assist in management of a capital campaign, still in its early stages, recognizing the Society’s 100th anniversary. The Director will spend a significant amount of time directly interacting with donors while also helping donors fulfill their passions and interests through their giving to the Society. 

Essential Functions

  • Identify, research, and qualify new prospects for assignment to the major gifts portfolio. Build and manage a portfolio of approximately 150 donors.
  • Work with Society leadership and volunteers, create a cultivation and solicitation plan for each donor/prospect in the portfolio, and execute that plan.
  • Work with the Chief Advancement Officer and campaign consultants, help develop and execute the Centennial Campaign plan to achieve capital campaign goals.
  • Provide support to President and CAO in preparation for solicitations, including developing appropriate briefing materials in advance of meetings.
  • Develop and execute cultivation and stewardship events and other engagement opportunities for donors and prospects in the portfolio.
  • Track portfolio activity and progress in the donor database. Create reports as required by management that reflect portfolio activity and performance.
  • Work with other advancement staff on alumni relations, institutional giving, annual giving, and other department functions.
  • Satisfy gift stewardship needs.
  • Maintain working knowledge of programmatic priorities and issues as they occur.
  • Other duties as assigned.


  • Minimum five years of experience in nonprofit fundraising, with progressive responsibility.
  • Proven track record of soliciting, closing, and stewarding gifts of $10,000 or more. Experience with planned gifts is a plus.
  • Excellent interpersonal, oral, and written communication and presentation skills. Demonstrated ability to simplify complex themes and activities into a short, compelling presentation or written piece.
  • Strong people skills. Effective interpersonal and communication abilities. The ability to communicate effectively and respectfully on the phone and in person with donors, board members, volunteers, staff, and the general public.
  • Strong organizational and administrative skills, ability to prioritize and manage multiple projects and meet deadlines. Ability to develop long-term plans, set objectives, and track progress toward achieving objectives.
  • Strong work ethic and willingness to tackle administrative tasks ranging from data entry to direct solicitation.
  • Experience with donor database management and systems to track campaigns and ensure complete, secure, and private donor and campaign records.
  • Demonstrated commitment to and understanding of the Society’s values and principles.
  • Proficiency with office technology and information systems (including Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint) and donor databases.
  • A confident and professional work style. Ability to work independently and to exercise good judgment. Flexibility and a willingness to take on new tasks as the responsibilities of the position evolve.
  • Personal initiative and a sense of humor. Friendly, outgoing, and collaborative.

Required Education and Experience

  • Bachelor’s Degree required, masters or higher preferred.
  • 10+ years of experience in development, with at least five years in major gift development.
  • Exceptional written, oral, and relationship-building interpersonal and presentation skills.
  • Fluent in Raiser’s Edge, Sales Force, or other CRM systems.
  • Strong understanding of donor research methods.
  • Experience working with volunteers and board members.

To Apply

Please send cover letter with salary requirements and resume to No phone calls please. To learn more about Society for Science & the Public, please visit us at

About the Society for Science & the Public

Society for Science & the Public is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) membership organization dedicated to public engagement in scientific research and education. Its vision is to promote the understanding and appreciation of science and the vital role it plays in human advancement: to inform, educate, and inspire.

Society for Science & the Public has a staff of 75, with a growing communications function. Under new leadership from Maya Ajmera, the President and CEO, the organization is in a growth mode, adding staff at a rapid pace to support the growing programs. The Society relies heavily on its corporate partners and nationwide membership to raise more than $22 million annually to fund its programs. The organization’s professional staff provides editorial, management, and administrative support for publishing Science News as well as world class science competitions, from its national office in Washington, D.C. Since its founding, the Society has conveyed the excitement of science and research directly to the public through its award-winning publications and world-class science education competitions.

In 2008, Science Service became Society for Science & the Public in order to better reflect the mission of the organization to advocate for science in the public interest. In 2013, the Society began offering an all-in-one membership and subscription program that allows subscribers to access Science News in their preferred format and launched a new website that unifies its award-winning publications with its science education and competition programs.

The Society is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer

Society for Science & the Public is committed to equal employment opportunity. In order to provide equal employment and advancement opportunities to all individuals, the Society does not discriminate against employees or applicants for employment on any legally recognized basis, including but not limited to: veteran status, race, color, religion, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identify or expression, ancestry, national origin, disability, personal appearance, family responsibilities, matriculation, political affiliation, age and/or any other categories protected by the laws of the United States or the District of Columbia.