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Director of Major Gifts


Boston, MA, USA



The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization.  We are an unwavering champion for animals in need, committed to keeping them safe and healthy in habitats and homes.  We support people and communities to care for animals where they belong, connecting resources, strengthening laws, and raising awareness to prevent animal neglect and abuse at its root cause. 



ARL recently completed an assessment of its fundraising structure, strategies and potential. From this assessment, a new strategy is planned that will distinguish the activities of the annual fund from major gifts, with a focused effort on developing and growing multi-year major gifts and the capacity for future capital campaigns. 

ARL’s goal is to increase total giving from $3 million in 2017 to $5 million annually by 2020 from all sources: major gifts, annual fund, foundations and corporations.

The Director of Major Gifts (Director) serves as a senior member of the management team with the primary responsibility of advancing the major gifts program including identifying, cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding gifts ($5,000 – $500,000+). 

The Director implements and manages, effective, creative, and often uniquely tailored strategies designed to individually and systematically interest, engage, and secure a wide range of key prospects to meet or exceed funding goals. 

The Director will oversee a team of two major gift officers, developing and implementing a comprehensive fundraising plan for five-and six-figure gifts; and an associate level position, to coordinate leadership level events and general administrative support.

The overall development department will be co-managed by the Director and, the Director of Development. With ambitious growth goals, a small shop setting, and integrated responsibilities. The Director must be able to work collaboratively and enjoy a team environment.  



1. Embrace ARL’s mission, vision and values and have a passion for animals and people.

2. Manage the major gifts program, which is charged with stewarding relationships and securing support from donors capable of making gifts of $5,000-$500K+.

3. Share responsibility with the Director of Development for the strategic planning, development, and implementation of the overall fundraising goals, research, planned giving, and other development areas to integrate fundraising best practices. 

4. Develop major gifts campaign strategies – including the implementation of prospect qualification, engagement, solicitation, and gift closure activities – to guide work of major gift officers and other Development staff while ensuring the strategic direction of the major gift program aligns with organizational imperatives.

5. Manage and mentor the major gifts team by providing strong leadership, support and guidance in fundraising strategies, donor communications and partnering on solicitation visits. Set team and individual goals and expectations of accountability, providing feedback and coaching.

6. Develop and manage a personal portfolio of approximately 150 major gift prospects and donors that comprise many of ARL’s most important and influential relationships.

7. Maintain a “moves management system” for tracking of donor engagement. Provide reports to President and Board of Directors related to performance to goals. 

8. Develop an ongoing schedule of events designed to drive engagement with leadership donors in specific geographic locations.

9. Collaborate effectively with senior management, board members, and key volunteers to create an environment that fosters and encourages transformative gifts. Provide strategic and logistical guidance to volunteer solicitors.

10. Develop effective communication strategies to engage donors and work in partnership with other key staff to devise individually tailored major gift strategies.

11. Oversee the Anna Harris Smith Society by stewarding planned giving including: bequests and legacy gifts.

12. Develop donor portfolio to support future capital campaigns.



1. Bachelor’s degree required. 5-8 years related work experience required, experience fundraising in the animal welfare sector preferred. 

2. 5+ years of development experience, with an established track record of major gifts or other related development experience. Previous campaign experience and direct involvement with solicitations at the $25K to $500K+ gift level. 

3. Excellent listening and communication skills. 

4. Strong time and project management skills with an ability to manage multiple high-level projects simultaneously.

5. Solid volunteer management experience; demonstrated ability to engage and successfully utilize volunteers in achieving fundraising goals. 

6. Collaborative team player with ability to partner and work closely with high-level decision makers, board members, and other top-level volunteers as well as other internal and external constituents.

7. Excellent interpersonal skills to build strong relationships, and adapt to the needs of a diverse group of individuals at all levels of the organization. 

8. Thorough, organized, and creative approach to major gifts work.

9. A metrics-driven, entrepreneurial mindset that informs strategy and work.

10. High degree of confidentiality and the ability to handle complex situations with diplomacy and tact.

11. Ability and flexibility to travel to program locations in Boston, Dedham and Brewster and other locations throughout Massachusetts in personal vehicle.

12. Advanced skills with Microsoft applications including Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint or Access and other web based applications.  Experience with Raiser’s Edge preferred.


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