Major Gifts Officer

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is the nation's most effective environmental action organization. We use law, science and the support of 3.1 million members and online activists to protect the planet's wildlife and wild places and to ensure a safe and healthy environment for all living things. NRDC was founded in 1970 and our staff helped write some of America's bedrock environmental laws, including the Clean Water Act, and many of the implementing regulations; our water enforcement cases played a major role shaping current water policy throughout the country. Today, our staff of more than 500 lawyers, scientists, economists, policy and communications experts, and others, work out of offices in New York, Washington, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Bozeman, Montana and Beijing.


Position Summary


NRDC is seeking a Major Gifts Officer to join its Regional New York Tri-State and DC Team.  The NY/DC region is the largest of six regions covered by NRDC’s development division. 


The MGO will join a diverse range of development professionals as NRDC gears up to launch a bold 1 billion dollar campaign to mark the organization’s 50th anniversary. This is a truly unique moment as NRDC aims to reach new fundraising heights through this ambitious campaign.  The New York City-based MGO will work in service of this effort.  He/she will be committed to directing their talents in donor cultivation and soliciting major gifts with individuals who care deeply about saving the planet.


Working from NRDC headquarters in the thriving Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan, this MGO will also work side-by-side with program staff, including the scientists and litigators, who work to fulfill NRDC’s mission.  The New York/DC Major Gifts team will be fully staffed at six; the team embraces a collaborative culture and takes an entrepreneurial approach to reaching its ambitious fundraising targets


  • Develop strategies with the membership team to upgrade members from direct mail solicitation to personal solicitation
  • Cultivate relationships with membership donors and convert them to major donors
  • Manage a portfolio of 100-150 individuals
  • Personally cultivate and solicit high-level gifts from current and prospective donors
  • Set strategies for cultivation, solicitation and stewardship of high-level gifts from current major donors and prospects
  • Participate in face-to-face meetings and solicitations
  • Provide comprehensive, timely and innovative stewardship opportunities. Elevate the importance of stewarding all gifts and programs in ways that strengthen donor interest in, satisfaction with and commitment to NRDC
  • Partner with and support NRDC’s leadership with respect to cultivation, solicitation and stewardship efforts, and utilize their time and talents appropriately; ensure their effectiveness as spokespersons and fundraisers for NRDC
  • Work with the New York special events team to plan events in the region that maximize major donor and prospect cultivation opportunities
  • Other duties as needed


  • The Major Gifts Officer must be a skilled major gift fundraiser with a track record of successfully and strategically identifying, cultivating and stewarding major gift donors
  • Ability to interface effectively with high-level NRDC donors and senior staff members
  • Demonstrated ability to handle multiple, complex fundraising activities simultaneously in a fast-paced environment
  • Passion for the mission and goals of NRDC
  • Experience with advocacy or environmental groups preferred
  • Experience with fundraising campaigns a plus
  • Experience with donor databases
  • 5+ years of fundraising experience with a focus on major gifts or senior level annual fund gifts
  • Bachelor of arts or science degree

NRDC is committed to workplace diversity and inclusion. We are equal opportunity employers and do not discriminate in hiring or employment on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, gender identity and expression, marital status, sexual orientation, age, disability, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local law. We offer competitive salaries, excellent benefits, and a pleasant working environment. Salary is based on a nonprofit scale and commensurate with experience. Pursuant to the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance, for positions based in San Francisco, CA we will consider for employment qualified applicants with arrest and conviction records.


To apply, please visit and upload your resume and cover letter through our online portal.  We would like you to upload any additional papers or project work that you think would showcase your abilities. Please no phone calls, emails, faxes or in-person resume drop-offs. Please reference where you saw this posting. NRDC is an Equal Opportunity Employer. 


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