Photo: Nigel Kent

Employment Opportunity: Major Gifts Officer

Position Summary: Reporting to the Director of Development and Communications, the Major Gifts Officer is a front-line fundraising professional responsible for engaging current members and prospects to strengthen connections to the Land Trust and increase funding for its priorities and projects.

Job description:
The Major Gifts Officer will work under the guidance of the Director of Development and Communications and the Executive Director to identify new prospects and deepen relationships among current donors with the greatest capacity to give generously. The officer is charged with securing major gift level support for new and ongoing funding priorities. The officer will be part of a team that also includes our Assistant Director of Development and Development Associate.

The successful candidate will:

  • Manage a portfolio of major gift prospects with the capacity to make significant, multi-year gifts of $50,000 or more, including identifying and qualifying new prospects.
  • Cultivate, solicit, and steward prospects and donors to secure significant multi-year commitments ($50,000 – $1,000,000 or more).
  • Initiate gift planning discussions and secure planned gifts where appropriate.
  • Translate the strategic priorities of the Executive Director and Board of Directors into giving opportunities and fundraising outcomes which will result in meeting campaign and overall goals.
  • Attend Development Committee meetings; regularly interact with a supportive and engaged Board of Directors.
  • Facilitate meaningful engagement opportunities for major gift prospects to help foster growth in financial support; staff major gift prospect events with the Executive Director as appropriate.
  • In conjunction with the Director of Development and Communications and Executive Director, establish prospect management goals for visits and solicitations.  Track and report on progress, including preparing proposals and supporting materials, stewardship reports, and documentation for accurate gift recording and use.
  • Travel regularly throughout the 12-county Finger Lakes region to develop and strengthen donor and prospect relationships.
  • Promote a flexible, collaborative, and inclusive work and giving environment.

The ideal candidate will be a skilled relationship builder who develops thoughtful individual cultivation plans and enjoys working on a collaborative team, with the following qualifications:

  • A bachelor’s degree or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • A minimum 3 or more years of experience in one or more of the following areas: development, fundraising, donor relations, alumni relations, public relations, marketing/communications or related experience or equivalent.
  • Energetic, self-motivated, and engaging professional with sound judgment who can effectively, diplomatically, and confidentially work with members, donors, volunteers, and staff of the FLLT.
  • Superior verbal and written communications skills; effective organizational skills and strong detail orientation; the ability to speak credibly about the goals and mission of the FLLT.
  • Must be able and willing to work occasional weekends, evenings, and to travel extensively on behalf of the FLLT.
  • Demonstrated proficiency in Microsoft Office applications, familiarity with Raiser’s Edge a plus.

Travel: Requires frequent travel within the 12-county Finger Lakes region of upstate New York.

About the Finger Lakes Land Trust: protects more than 21,000 acres of the region’s undeveloped lakeshores, rugged gorges, rolling forests, and scenic farmlands.  The Land Trust owns and manages a network of nature preserves that are open to the public and holds conservation easements on properties that remain in private ownership.

The Land Trust focuses on protecting critical habitat for fish and wildlife, conserving lands that are important for water quality, connecting existing conservation lands, and keeping prime farmland in agriculture. The organization also provides programs to educate local governments, landowners, and local residents about conservation and the region’s unique natural resources.

The Land Trust has 14 dedicated staff members, more than 200 active volunteers, and an annual operating budget that exceeds $1 million.  The organization is currently planning its second, region-wide, comprehensive capital campaign.

Additional information:
This full-time position (40 hr/wk) is based in the Land Trust’s main office in Ithaca, NY. Salary will be commensurate with experience and includes competitive benefits.

The Finger Lakes Land Trust is an equal opportunity employer.

To apply:
Please send a cover letter and resume
E-mail: Ms. Kelly Makosch at with “Major Gifts Officer” in the subject line.
Mail: Finger Lakes Land Trust
Attn: Kelly Makosch
202 East Court Street
Ithaca, NY 14850

Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the successful candidate has been selected. Priority will be given to applications received by July 1, 2018.