Major Gifts Director

People For the American Way is a national organization with over one million members and supporters dedicated to defending constitutional and civil rights and promoting the democratic values of citizen participation, freedom of expression, freedom of religion, and respect for diversity.

Over 40 years, People For the American Way has built a deep base of financial support from a broad range of donors, including mail and online contributions from members, major gifts from individuals and support from foundations. The Major Gifts Director is a key member of the development team and will be responsible for managing the major donor fundraising program for both the 501(c)3 and 501(c)4 organizations. The ideal candidate will have experience designing and executing development budgets and strategies for advocacy organizations and/or political campaigns and a commitment to the mission and values of People For the American Way.

This Washington, D.C. or remote based position reports to the Director of Development and requires frequent travel (as permissible) throughout the U.S.


  • Manage all aspects of the major donor fundraising program (gifts ranging from $5,000 to $1,000,000), including developing and managing the budget and planning process, personal solicitations by President, Board members, program staff and senior staff, major donor mail appeals, prospect research and tracking, solicitation materials and reports, and donor stewardship events.
  • Work with the Director of Development and the major gifts team to build out a clearly defined midlevel-major gifts-principal giving pipeline. Use strategies that encourage retention and upgrades to hit and exceed annual department budget goals
  • Establish standard practices for identification, qualification, cultivation, solicitation, acknowledgment, and stewardship of major donors
  • Personally manage and solicit a portfolio of approximately 75 donors and prospects with capacity to give at the principal giving level, with frequent personalized communication via phone, email, and visits
  • Collaborate with President to plan and manage their fundraising efforts, including oversight of scheduling, coordinating donor meetings, and facilitating follow-up
  • Prepare written materials such as proposals, solicitations, reports, and appeal letters
  • Supervise a staff team including two Major Gifts Officers with regionally based portfolios
  • Work collaboratively with the development operations team to facilitate reporting, research, and analysis
  • Report regularly on fundraising results to President, COO, CDO, CFO, and Board
  • Other duties as assigned


  • Minimum 7-10 years professional experience in advocacy organizations and/or political campaigns
  • Significant development experience with special emphasis on donor cultivation, prospect research and major gift solicitation, including demonstrated success in direct solicitation of 5-7 figure gifts
  • Previous experience setting and managing multi-million dollar budgets
  • Proven ability to think creatively about development opportunities, including connecting donor interests to current events and ongoing program work, identifying strategies to cultivate newly engaged political donors, stepping up the levels of engagement of existing major donors, and transitioning midlevel direct-mail and online donors to the major gifts level
  • Excellent communication skills, both verbal and written; strong analytic and interpersonal skills
  • Strong strategic skills and proven ability to expand major gift program including materials, tracking, stewardship, solicitation and closing
  • Broad understanding of different aspects of development, best practices, and fundraising ethics
  • Staff management experience, including ability to supervise, motivate and evaluate staff.
  • Ability to manage multiple priorities effectively; ability to work both independently and in a collaborative environment Ability and willingness to travel
  • Strong commitment to PFAW’s values, issues, and campaigns, including racial justice, protecting our democracy, defending fundamental rights, and fighting for policies that reflect progressive values.

To apply: Please send resume and cover letter to [email protected]. No phone calls please.

People For the American Way is an Equal Opportunity Employer