Major Gifts and Development Lead

New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco (remote)
Competitive Salary + 401(k), fully funded healthcare, unlimited vacation, flexible working
Apr 04, 2018
May 04, 2018
Position Type
Full Time
Degree Level
Willingness to Travel
50 - 75%
Experience Level

Thorn is seeking an experienced, driven and accomplished development professional with a consistent record leading major giving to join our development team.

The Major Gifts and Development Lead role has recently been created to support overall execution of the strategic direction of the development department. This role will report to and collaborate directly with the Director of Development to help manage a growing team, cultivate and steward Thorn’s major giving program — the Defenders Circle — as well as support grant prospecting and the growth of the annual fund.

As the Major Gifts and Development Lead you will have the unique opportunity to manage and grow our Defenders Circle - A group of 42 high net worth individuals, foundations, philanthropists, and corporate giving partners who represent the primary funders of our organization and who all give at a significant level. Our Defenders are committed to ending child sexual abuse and make up a passionate, focused group exploring creative solutions to combat it. As the Major Gifts and Development Lead, the majority of your time will we spent managing this group of major donors as well as identifying and securing new members of the Defenders Circle.

If you thrive in a dynamic, entrepreneurial environment, are passionate about the intersection of technology and social good and are articulate and persuasive in your written and verbal communication, then we can’t wait to meet you. We are looking for a unique candidate who flourishes while running without a script, with demonstrated success in leading major giving relationships, to craft an inspired strategy that will deliver strong relationships and results.

Working as Major Gifts and Development Lead at Thorn will allow you to apply your skill-set in all aspects of development - prospecting new donors, pitching potential partners, planning our Defenders Circle gatherings, and executing the broader development strategy with a talented cross-functional team. Thorn is privileged to work with incredible supporters and advisors, and you will have the opportunity to build lasting relationships with this group, while also leading the cultivation of our next generation of supporters.


  • Manage Thorn’s major donor program - Thorn’s Defenders Circle
  • Develop and implement strategies and systems to identify, cultivate, steward and track current and prospective Defender Circle members
  • Craft reports, collateral and communications to engage the Defenders
  • Planning and executing bi-annual Defenders Circle meetings
  • Lead regular meetings with our CEO and Director of Development to establish strategies and goal-setting for top donors
  • Support the Development Associate in building a robust grant program at Thorn and help identify new grant opportunities
  • Support Thorn’s Digital Marketing Manager to meet Thorn’s Annual Fund targets
  • Communicate about Thorn’s products and programs to various constituencies, including representing Thorn at relevant conferences, meetings, and events
  • Support the growth of Thorn’s corporate giving program by assisting Development Associate in crafting successful strategy to engage employee giving at companies close to Thorn
  • Ensure the smooth operation of the department including work-flow, integrity and usefulness of systems and procedures related to the annual campaign, securing grants and supporting corporate giving


  • 7+ years development experience managing major donations and foundation giving
  • A track record of raising $2,000,000+ annually
  • Excellent networking and communication skills, both written and verbal
  • Ability to communicate complex subjects in a simple, accessible, compelling manner
  • Excellent organizational skills, and able to manage competing priorities
  • Comfort speaking with high-net worth individuals and preparing development materials (grant applications, proposals, etc.)
  • Experience with managing teams and ability to work collaboratively
  • Motivated and self-driven individual able to bring creative thinking and solutions to our development efforts
  • Demonstrated experience working with major stakeholders and building key relationships
  • Ability to travel (50%) and comfortable working remotely with a largely virtual team
  • Commitment to putting the children we serve at the center of everything you do and a passion for Thorn’s mission