Major Gifts Officer

New York City, New York
$70,000 to $80,000, depending on experience
Mar 24, 2021
Apr 22, 2021
Position Type
Full Time
Willingness to Travel
25 - 50%
Experience Level

About Us
Founded in 2003, the Transgender Legal Defense & Educational Fund (TLDEF) is a national organization committed to advancing justice and equity for transgender people through impact litigation, direct legal services, advocacy, and public education. In recent months TLDEF secured a landmark settlement on behalf of one of our clients, resulting in one of the nation’s strongest jail policies to protect transgender people in custody. TLDEF has also worked with insurance providers, labor unions, and private and private employers to increase nationwide access to transgender healthcare in unprecedented ways. And we’re just getting started. 

The Opportunity
TLDEF seeks a motivated Major Gifts Officer who is eager to join a high growth organization at a critical time for transgender rights. In less than three years, TLDEF’s annual budget has more than doubled in size from $831K to $2M+ as a direct result of the Executive Director’s plan to scale our organization to meet the many challenges and opportunities that face our movement. The Major Gifts Officer will join a growing Development Department to build and sustain giving among TLDEF’s major donors who give $1,000 or more annually.

The Major Gifts Officer will have the opportunity to design, launch, and grow a robust Leadership Circle program to engage current major donors, re-engage lapsed donors, and build the donor pipeline by cultivating prospects from annual fund supporters, as well as new sources.

The position will primarily manage relationships, communications, events, and solicitation plans for major donors, including those assigned to senior staff and board members. The Major Gifts Officer will also launch a planned giving program ahead of TLDEF’s 20th Anniversary in 2023 geared towards identifying and marketing to inaugural members.


  • Manage a portfolio of 100-150 major donors and prospects with a focus on building strong, sustainable relationships and an eye toward increasing major gifts revenue. This portfolio consists of active and prospective donors capable of providing support at $1,000 or more annually.
  • Identify, research, and develop profiles of prospective major donors that align with TLDEF’s mission and programs.
  • Design and execute a tailored cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship strategy for each major donor prospect that aligns with donor interests and their giving potential.
  • Conduct regular face-to-face meetings with prospective and active major donors. Identify and prepare TLDEF staff who may take part in donor meetings.
  • Develop a robust engagement strategy that could include donor briefings, receptions, and other intimate events geared towards highlighting TLDEF’s staff leadership and experts, clients, and work.
  • Draft event scripts, talking points, and other kinds of briefing materials for TLDEF staff when they interact with donors.
  • Develop and manage donor communications focused on cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship.
  • Provide timely and accurate acknowledgement of major gifts, including letters, phone calls, or other tailored approaches for the donor.
  • Track and maintain donor records including interactions, philanthropic interests, and other pertinent information to strengthen cultivation and stewardship activities.
  • Represent TLDEF at external events, including networking hours, sector gatherings, and related functions
  • Maintain a strong knowledge of TLDEF’s programs and activities, including external news and events that relate to the organization’s mission and work.
  • Partner with the Donor Engagement & Campaigns Associate to identify and develop pipeline strategies among donors who currently are part of the annual fund portfolio.
  • Assist in the strategy and execution of campaigns tied to hallmark events, such as the Trans Day of Visibility, Pride Month, Trans Day of Resilience, and year-end giving.
  • Assist the Director of Development with special projects and other duties as assigned.

Required Qualifications 

  • At least five years of experience in fundraising or comparable experience in either sales or marketing. Previous fundraising experience should include direct work with individual donors in the cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of annual gifts. 
  • Outstanding written and verbal communication skills, including the ability to make compelling presentations to TLDEF’s stakeholders consisting of donors, board members, and staff among others.
  • Strong time-management and organizational skills, including a willingness to develop and maintain best-in-class systems, policies, and tools that support major gifts and the overall department.
  • Experience in conducting research and summarizing complex information.
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office applications especially Word, Excel, Outlook and PowerPoint. Experience with collaborative tools, such as Asana, Slack, and Zoom.
  • Proficiency with donor database management and related tools.
  • Strong belief in the organization’s mission and the people who are driving the work forward. Commitment to social, racial, economic, disability, and gender justice.
  • Ability to travel and flexibility in working hours for occasional donor events and related functions in the evenings and weekends.

Preferred Qualifications

  • College degree from an accredited institution.
  • Previous major gifts or annual fund experience desired.
  • Familiarity with emergent and current issues impacting transgender, gender nonconforming, and nonbinary people.
  • A valid driver’s license.
  • Fluency or proficiency in Spanish or other languages.

Personal Qualities

  • Strategic thinker. You love to plan with goals and objectives, outcomes, and deadlines. You know how to map out the landscape and identify all the players. You think ahead, come prepared with solutions, and know how to keep your eyes on the “big picture.”
  • Evangelizer. You are passionate about mission-driven organizations. You naturally excel at finding ways to inspire people to give and building positive relationships along the way.
  • Integrity. You’re committed to the belief that fundraising must align with mission and values. You understand that you have been entrusted to create impact for transgender and non-binary communities.
  • Strive for excellence. You set high standards for your work. You proudly take ownership of your responsibilities and actively search for ways to improve and innovate.
  • Adaptable. You’re not bothered by the need to work in a group or by yourself. You have what it means to thrive in a fast-paced environment and with a high performing team.
  • Discreet. You understand how to exercise discretion and maintain confidentiality. You have fluency with knowing who and when it’s appropriate to share sensitive information.

Salary range of $70,000 to $80,000, depending on experience. TLDEF offers a robust benefits package that includes 100% employer paid medical, vision, dental, and life insurance; employer contributions to 401(k) retirement plan; 15 paid holidays; generous paid time off; sick time; healthcare flex spending account; and pre-tax commuter benefits.

To Apply
Submit a C.V. or resume and compelling cover letter detailing your interest to work at TLDEF and your qualifications for the position. Applications without the required submission materials will not be considered. No phone calls or emails, please. 

TLDEF is an equal opportunity employer. Black people, Indigenous people, people of color; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex people; women; immigrants; people with disabilities, including those living with HIV; formerly incarcerated people; and people with lived experiences of poverty are strongly encouraged to apply.

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