Major Gifts Officer, Audubon Connecticut

US-CT-Greenwich | US-CT-Southbury | US-CT-Sharon | US-CT
Regular, Full-Time
Job Category
Additional Location : City
Additional Location : State/Province


Now in its second century, Audubon is dedicated to protecting birds and other wildlife and the habitat that supports them. Audubon’s mission is engaging people in bird conservation on a hemispheric scale through science, policy, education and on-the-ground conservation action.  By mobilizing and aligning its network of Chapters, Centers, State and Important Bird Area programs in the four major migratory flyways in the Americas, the organization will bring the full power of Audubon to bear on protecting common and threatened bird species and the critical habitat they need to survive.  And as part of BirdLife International, Audubon will join people in over 100 in-country organizations all working to protect a network of Important Bird Areas around the world, leveraging the impact of actions they take at a local level.  What defines Audubon’s unique value is a powerful grassroots network of nearly 500 local chapters, 23 state offices, 41 Audubon Centers, Important Bird Area Programs in 50 states, and 700 staff across the country.  Audubon is a federal contractor and an Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE).


Position Summary

Audubon Connecticut is expanding its focus on major gifts fundraising and seeks to hire a Major Gifts Officer. This position provides an opportunity for a highly motivated development professional to build and manage a portfolio of donors capable of making five and six figure gifts, as well as to help Audubon grow its major gifts program toward the seven-figure range. Reporting to the Executive Director of ACT, this individual will be a dedicated partner with other ACT and NAS staff, and ACT advisory board members and supporters.  S/he will supervise the Development Officer and act as a leader for fundraising through the state program, providing guidance to program staff as needed.

The Major Gifts Officer will play a key role maintaining engagement with current major donors that support ACT and its programs/centers, and will identify, engage, and cultivate new donors as well.  Working closely with the Executive Director and other staff at ACT, as well as Audubon state and center board members, the MGO will lead efforts to enhance ACT’s connection with donors, including a variety of engagement opportunities throughout the year, and the identification/creation of distinct giving opportunities that would complement funds raised through ACT’s annual gala.  The Officer will also work with National staff on collaborative fundraising for the Atlantic Flyway and other National conservation priorities. Key metrics for success will include donor engagement (number of personal meetings with prospects and current donors; number of successful cultivation and donor engagement events) and revenue (value of gifts; number of solicitations; and success rate of solicitations).


Interested individuals should also submit a cover letter with their application.

Core Attributes:

  • A “people person” who is comfortable and enjoys interacting with prospective and current donors, board members and volunteers, and Audubon staff and supporters.  Someone who prefers to be spending time out of the office cultivating new and future donors, rather than primarily sending emails and making phone solicitations.  Sense of humor always a plus—creativity is a must.
  • An understanding and commitment to the conservation of birds/wildlife and their habitat, and an ability to communicate Audubon’s mission, goals, and programs effectively and with the highest professional standards.  Demonstrated life experience that relates to Audubon’s mission or the broader field of conservation and environmental protection.  This experience can be professional and/or personal.  
  • Demonstrated organizational skills.  Ability to perform work independently and on time and at high quality.  An ability to develop recommendations, and possess a confidence in their own decision-making abilities.  A demonstrated ability to engage, cultivate and make a direct ask of a donor.  
  • A tangible and demonstrable track record of having been successful at major gifts fundraising at one or more previous organizations.

Essential Functions

  • Under the direction of the ACT Executive Director, the Major Gifts Officer will qualify, select and engage donors to develop an active portfolio of 120 to 140 individuals for major gift management and will craft and implement a strategy for attracting new and diverse donors to Audubon and proactively forge relationships with individuals who are not yet invested in the organization.
  • Create and implement personalized cultivation/stewardship plans and gift requests for each donor within portfolio, to be based on their philanthropic focus and maximizing their giving to Audubon. Effectively partner with colleagues to ensure that every donor has an optimal level of interaction with Audubon volunteers, leadership and program staff.
  • Develop a strong knowledge of Audubon’s Strategic Plan and ACT’s conservation priorities and programs, priority projects and core initiatives, as well as broader Atlantic Flyway priorities and needs.
  • Participate in both in-person and virtual team meetings and training opportunities in order to interact with leaders and development colleagues across Audubon.
  • Using Salesforce, create and record timely and updated reports on all donor interactions and provide other background essential to portfolio management, and the sharing of information across teams.
  • Adhere to the highest ethical standards, demonstrate empathetic disposition and perseverance, reflect optimistic and positive attitude, and convey sensitivity to the needs of donors.
  • Ensure regular engagement with all existing ACT major donors.
  • Work productively with the Development Officer to ensure proper recording of funds received, and to track overall fundraising strategy for major gifts throughout the year.
  • Support ACT Center Directors/Team Leaders who have fundraising responsibility and objectives.
  • Responsible for working with ACT finance and development staff and others in preparation of annual Development Plan; provide monthly review of major gift fundraising with ACT staff who are responsible for this fundraising.
  • Contribute to responsible financial forecasting from major gifts, working in close cooperation with ACT’s financial management team.
  • Become a thought leader within ACT for innovative approaches to major gift fundraising; share new innovative approaches with staff; mentor and train staff as needed.

Qualifications and Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree required, as well as 5-7 years of collaborative, nonprofit fundraising in organizations that have a reputation for strategic thinking, organizational excellence and aggressive action. An equivalent combination of education and experience will also be considered.
  • Proven track record of building donor relationships, closing major gifts in the five and six-figure range, as well as expertise in Moves Management.
  • Demonstrated ability to work with teams, cross functionally and with high-level volunteers and boards.
  • An autonomous self-starter, one who is able to manage projects, establish and monitor priorities, maintain flexibility and meet deadlines with little direct supervision.
  • Exceptionally strong communicator, with strategic thinking, analytical skills and attention to detail.
  • Outstanding stewardship and relationship management skills.
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office applications and donor management systems required; experience with Salesforce highly desired.
  • A flexible approach to work, and willingness and ability to work evenings and weekends, when needed. Must possess a valid driver’s license as some travel across the state will be required.
  • A gifted communicator able to share both technical and complex information, orally and in writing, with both technical and non-technical audiences. 
  • Understanding and experience using Facebook, Instagram, and other social media outlets to promote events, programs, organizations.
  • Demonstrated commitment to conservation, as well as the mission of the National Audubon Society.


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