Jobs: Director of Major Gifts

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The Director of Major Gifts (Director) is entrusted with the moves management, recognition, and stewardship of individual major donors to Lambda Legal as well as researching and sourcing new donors, prospects and family foundations.  Working directly with the Chief Development Officer (CDO), Chief Executive Officer (CEO), and Major Gifts Officers (MGOs), the Director sets goals, monitors work and evaluates results and metrics to ensure that departmental and operating requirements are met and are aligned with the needs and mission of Lambda Legal.  The Director will manage and supervise a team of Major Gifts Officers across Lambda Legal’s offices in New York, Chicago, Dallas, Atlanta, Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles.

Who We Are

Lambda Legal is a national organization committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and everyone living with HIV through impact litigation, education and public policy work. Since 1973, Lambda Legal has used impact litigation and other advocacy tools to decriminalize same-sex relationships, fight HIV discrimination, win marriage equality, and advance the rights of transgender people. Contributions from supporters nationwide enable an annual budget of approximately $19M. Clients are not charged for legal representation or advocacy and Lambda Legal receives no government funding. Headquartered in New York City, Lambda Legal has regional offices in Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas, and Washington, DC.

We believe that serving the full breadth of the LGBT and HIV communities requires cultural competency and enthusiasm for diversity of all kinds. Part of what makes us successful is an understanding and awareness that civil rights go beyond face value. The intersectionality of discrimination doesn’t end with sexual orientation or gender identity – it reaches into the depths of race, religion, national origin, education, and class. Acknowledging that this reality exists in the world and in our organization, we prioritize awareness and proactive commitment to counteracting them.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

Reporting to the Chief Development Officer, the Director of Major Gifts requires a "roll up your sleeves" attitude, a keen attention to detail, and complete oversight of donor moves management processes, reporting, metrics and team leadership. The following is a list of the core responsibilities; however other duties may be assigned.

  • Manage and grow the major gifts program while leading and mentoring a Major Gifts team to meet or exceed the $5M+ major giving annual goal.
  • Manage, steward, cultivate and solicit a portfolio of approximately 100 donors and prospects; work both independently, as well as collaboratively, with other team members towards the annual goal of $5M.
  • Identify, cultivate, and solicit individuals capable of contributing to the different tiers of Lambda Legal’s major gifts program with special emphasis on gifts ranging from $5,000 through 7-figures.
  • Build and implement an improved moves management system to track and advance current major donors and prospects in the development database, Raiser's Edge.
  • Become knowledgeable and able to speak passionately and compellingly about the impact of Lambda Legal’s work and partner with members of the Legal and Communications teams to stay current on the success, impact, and progress of our impact litigation work.
  • Ensure that Lambda Legal is continually deepening relationships with new and existing donors to ensure exceptional donor experiences and increased giving annually.
  • Prepare meaningful and effective customized collateral and messaging for individual major donors and prospects in partnership with MGOs and Communications team.
  • Provide briefing materials in advance of donor meetings for the CDO and CEO as needed.
  • Schedule, manage and attend donor meetings regularly in partnership with CDO, CEO, and MGOs.
  • Work with National Events team to evaluate our regional donor events strategies to attract prospective donors and engage them with Lambda Legal.
  • Lead strategy in partnership with CDO for engaging the Board, National Leadership Council, volunteer committees, and other key stakeholders in order to create fruitful partnerships in fundraising efforts.
  • Actively work with the CDO and senior staff to develop and implement a comprehensive major gifts strategy and re-evaluation of our donor benefits program.
  • Monitor and report regularly on the progress of the major giving program.

Qualifications and Skills

  • Bachelor's degree required; Master's degree a plus.
  • 8+ years of demonstrated success in a major gift fundraising function, with at least 5 years management experience.
  • Proven experience having expanded and cultivated existing donor relationships over time; campaign experience is a plus.
  • Excellent communication skills, both written and oral; ability to influence and engage a wide range of donors and build long-term authentic relationships.
  • Flexible, innovative, and values-driven management style; a leader who can positively impact both strategic and tactical fundraising initiatives while building positive team culture.
  • Ability to work both independently without close oversight, but also a team player who will productively engage with others at varying levels of seniority within and outside the organization.
  • High energy and passion for Lambda Legal’s mission is essential.
  • Strong organizational and time management skills, critical thinking and problem solving skills, with exceptional attention to detail.
  • Highly proficient with Microsoft Office applications and Raiser’s Edge database.
  • Ability to interact with all levels of the organization and to excel in an environment that emphasizes teamwork and collaboration.

Working at Lambda Legal requires a demonstrated awareness of and commitment to the concerns of the breadth of the communities that Lambda Legal serves. Prior work on behalf of the LGBT community and/or people living with HIV is highly desirable, and some experience working with historically marginalized communities (in a professional or volunteer capacity) is also desirable.  Any successful candidate will welcome the opportunity to work in a gender-diverse and racially-diverse environment.


Salary is commensurate with experience within the guidelines of a midsize not-for-profit.  Competitive benefits package is provided, including medical, dental, life and long-term disability insurance, employer contributions to retirement account, and substantial vacation


The position is open until filled. Send a resume and cover letter to Include the words “Director of Major Gifts” in the subject line of your email so that it can be properly sorted.

NO CALLS PLEASE. Due to the high volume of applications, Lambda Legal cannot return phone calls about the position and does not notify applicants of status except when an interview is granted.

Lambda Legal is committed to further building and maintaining a staff that reflects the full range of LGBT, HIV-affected and allied communities, and is an equal opportunity employer. People of color, transgender and gender-diverse people, women, people with abilities in multiple languages, immigrants, people living with disabilities, and individuals living with HIV are encouraged to apply.