Jobs: Senior Major Gifts Officer

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About Lambda Legal

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; challenge discrimination against LGBTQ people and people living with HIV in the workplace, in the home, in schools, in health care, and in the military; and protect LGBTQ families, including by winning and defending marriage equality. 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, D.C.

Lambda Legal believes that serving the full breadth of the LGBTQ and HIV communities requires cultural competency and enthusiasm for diversity of all kinds. To be successful, the organization approaches its work with an understanding that discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity is not the only obstacle to achieving full formal and lived equality for LGBTQ people and everyone living with HIV; rather, it recognizes the intersectional nature of discrimination, specifically including biases based on race, religion, national origin, gender, disability, education, and class. In light of this reality, Lambda Legal prioritizes awareness and proactive commitment to counteracting these biases and their compounding effects.  



Lambda Legal seeks a dynamic Senior Major Gifts Officer Level II (SMGO) to join its Development Team. This position is responsible for acquiring, cultivating, and soliciting Leadership and Major ($5000+) donors, with an emphasis on donors at the five and six-figure level, for organizational support in assigned markets.

The SMGO will expand Lambda Legal’s Leadership ($25,000+) and Major ($5000+) Donor Program and volunteer activities and visibility in the New York Metro Area and other markets as assigned/needed. The SMGO is also responsible for managing relationships, communications, and individual giving plans with leadership donors and managing volunteer leadership committees, as needed in their assigned markets. In addition, the SMGO will work to increase planned giving in the areas covered and is responsible for increasing leadership donor revenue in each assigned market and for their overall portfolio.

The San Francisco Bay Area and Seattle are primary markets for this MGO, necessitating familiarity with either or both markets and a drive to build upon a well-established foundation of support from donors and highly engaged volunteers and board members as partners in fundraising.

This is a remote, work-from-home position, and the successful candidate must reside in the San Francisco Bay Area. Travel to Seattle and other markets as needed is required, and weekend and evening commitments are also necessary. This includes identifying, soliciting, and securing sponsorships (individual and firm/corporate) and leadership gifts for annual events in assigned markets.

The SMGO will work closely with Events Managers and the other MGOs in the Western Regional Office and nationally (as needed) on individual solicitation, event management, volunteer committees, stewardship, etc.

The successful candidate will be an experienced nonprofit fundraising professional with a track record of building and maintaining mutually beneficial relationships with individual donors. This is an exciting opportunity for a fundraiser who is prepared to excel in a fast-paced environment. This role requires the ability to work collaboratively and the confidence to operate independently as a remote member of the team.


Reporting Relationships

The SMGO reports to the NYC-based Deputy Director of Development for Major Gifts in partnership with the Western Regional Director in Los Angeles, CA. The SMGO has no supervisory responsibilities.


Essential Job Functions


The SMGO role requires a "roll up your sleeves" entrepreneurial approach and keen attention to detail and donor moves management processes, reporting, metrics-driven workflow. The following is a list of the core responsibilities of the SMGO:

  • Manage leadership donor fundraising programs, including acquiring, cultivating, and soliciting donors and prospects with the potential to give $5,000+ annually, with a heightened focus on upgrading donors to five- and six-figure levels. This includes face-to-face meetings and interaction with donors, including direct solicitations, managing cultivation events/touchpoints, and house parties.
  • Work to increase planned giving in the areas covered.
  • Increase Leadership Donor revenue in each assigned market and for the overall portfolio.
  • Work as a team with other staff under the leadership of the Deputy Director of Development for Major Gifts to plan and execute a wide variety of development relationships and activities.
  • Serve as the primary contact for individual donors and prospects, local corporate and law firm event sponsors, and volunteer fundraising committees in assigned markets, other markets, and for Leadership Donors nationally, as assigned.
  • Work with Lambda Legal staff, Board, National Leadership Council (NLC) members, and other volunteers to execute fundraising and cultivation events in assigned markets and others, as determined.
  • Manage volunteer leadership committees and Leadership Donor fundraising plans, including identifying and securing event sponsorships (individual and firm/corporate), San Francisco and Seattle, and other markets as determined.
  • Leverage their existing networks in the advancement of Lambda Legal’s mission.
  • Identify and cultivate prospective volunteer solicitors, including potential Board and National Leadership Council (NLC) members in assigned markets as well as support and manage annual solicitation of donors in assigned portfolio by the Chief Executive Officer, the Chief Development Officer, Board, NLC members, and other key volunteers; identify and secure major donor prospect meetings for senior staff and organizational leadership.
  • Support and manage annual solicitation of donors in assigned portfolio by the Chief Executive Officer, Chief Development Officer, Board, NLC members, other key volunteers, and other Lambda Legal staff. This includes identifying and securing major donor prospect meetings for senior staff and organizational leadership.
  • Acknowledge contributions and coordinate annual report recognition for gifts received from donors in assigned portfolio and work with national staff to coordinate input into grant proposals for local foundations and prospective foundation grantors.
  • Additional duties as assigned.


Skills + Competencies

  • 5+ years of demonstrated success in a major gift or planned gift fundraising function and experience coordinating fundraising events desired.
  • Experience soliciting five- and six-figure gifts.
  • Proven experience expanding and cultivating existing donor relationships over time; campaign and annual giving experience is a plus
  • Demonstrated experience working with racially and gender diverse volunteers and groups.
  • Experience working closely with Board and key volunteers and knowledge of LGBT and/or philanthropic communities in assigned areas is required.
  • Excellent written and interpersonal communication skills; ability to influence and engage a wide range of donors and build long-term, authentic relationships.
  • Flexible, adaptive, and innovative work style; a collaborator who can positively impact both strategic and tactical fundraising initiatives.
  • Able to leverage existing networks in the advancement of Lambda Legal’s mission.
  • Ability to work independently without close oversight and as 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 are 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 excel in an environment that emphasizes teamwork and collaboration.
  • Some travel is required for this position.
  • Bachelor's degree required.

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. 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.


Compensation + Benefits

Salary is based on the Collective Bargaining Agreement. The salary range for this position begins at $105,000. Benefits include short and long-term disability, life insurance, basic medical and dental plan at no cost to the employee, with an opportunity to obtain additional coverage for themselves or their family including vision at a low cost. Option to enroll in a pre-tax health flexible spending account, dependent care account, and commuter transit account. Option to defer earnings to a 403(b)- retirement plan. Paid time off includes the opportunity to annually accrue up to 15 days of vacation, 3 personal and 12 sick. Lambda Legal observes 10 holidays per year and is supportive of observance of religious holidays.



This is a remote position insofar as Lambda Legal does not have a Northern California office. The successful candidate will work from home and must be located in the San Francisco Bay Area. Willingness to travel throughout the region as needed is required.


Travel + COVID Statement

During the COVID-19 pandemic, travel will be minimal.  In the future, however, some amount of travel (~30%) may be required. 

The health and well-being of our employees and their loved ones are of the utmost importance to us.  During the pandemic, we have chosen to close our offices.  Our employees are all working from home and only visit the office voluntarily, only if absolutely necessary. We follow CDC and Department of Health guidelines to ensure the safety of employees who occasionally need to work from the office. We have an employee task force that is continually evaluating and assessing when we can re-open.  At this time, we do not foresee re-opening our office in the next several months.

EEO + Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

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.


The position is open until filled.

Cooper Coleman is leading this search on behalf of Lambda Legal. To apply, please visit this link ( Inquiries and nominations of qualified candidates can be sent to:

Johnny Cooper, Principal:

Kindly use the position title as the subject line of your email. All inquiries will be held in confidence.

A cover letter is not required with your initial application. Candidates invited for interviews will be asked to provide a thoughtful letter of interest indicating their specific qualifications for the opportunity, desire to join Lambda Legal, and connection to its mission.

Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the successful candidate has been selected.