Major Gifts Officer

Position: Major Gifts Officer

Salary: Commensurate with Experience

FLSA Status: Fulltime; Exempt

Reports to: Chief Development Officer

Location: Washington DC

Other: Please submit a cover letter that includes any salary requirements


Polaris is a leader in the global fight to eradicate modern slavery. Named after the North Star that guided slaves to freedom in the U.S., Polaris acts as a catalyst to systematically disrupt the human trafficking networks that rob human beings of their lives and their freedom. By working with government leaders, the world’s leading technology corporations, and local partners, Polaris equips communities to identify, report, and prevent human trafficking. Our comprehensive model puts victims at the center of what we do—helping survivors restore their freedom, preventing more victims, and leveraging data and technology to pursue traffickers wherever they operate. Polaris is headquartered in Washington, D.C., operates on a $9 million budget in 2017, and has approximately 100 staff members. More details about our programs and history can be found on our web site at


Polaris seeks an innovative Major Gifts Officer to join our five-person development team and lead the growth of major donor revenue for the organization, which is currently over $1 million annually. S/he will be responsible for managing existing relationships with his/her own portfolio of major donors while supporting the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Chief Development Officer (CDO) on the relationships they manage, cultivating relationships with existing major gift prospects, as well as identifying new prospects. Ability to empathize with donors and clearly communicate the organization’s mission is key.


S/he will be expected to spend 90 percent of the time identifying, cultivating, regularly soliciting, and closing existing and prospective donors to give gifts of $10,000 or more. The position supports the fundraising vision and efforts of the Chief Development Officer, the Chief Executive Officer, and the Board of Directors. A successful candidate must excel in a fast-paced and evolving environment that values innovation, efficiency, collaboration, service, and social entrepreneurship. S/he must also have the skills to network with new prospects, build relationships with donors, effectively communicate, and manage a high volume of details to support organizational fundraising. An ideal candidate will be a dynamic leader, experience successfully running a major gifts program, have a plan to scale current development efforts, and have a passion for impact that will help the organization as we combat human trafficking on a global scale.



  • Manage, execute, grow, and analyze a comprehensive major gifts program;

  • Identify new prospective donors and cultivate, solicit, and steward current major gift donors;

  • Manage systems and software to track and cultivate donors and prospects and measure success;

  • Develop wealth screening systems and processes to forecast opportunities to expand current major donor list;

  • Work in collaboration with the development team to align the major gift program with broader fundraising efforts;

  • Create and implement a moves management plan;

  • Make direct, face-to-face solicitations, and assist the CDO and CEO with their portfolios (e.g. provide portfolio development support, strategic advice, and help with donor communications);

  • Acknowledge major donors through public and private recognition;

  • Plan and oversee, in partnership with Senior Development Associate, annual major donor cultivation and stewardship event;

  • Collaborate with the Chief Communications Officer to implement solid communications strategies across major gift program; and

  • Coordinate with Finance and Executive Management teams to ensure funds are properly recorded.


Required Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent combination of education and/or experience;

  • Minimum seven years successful experience in major or planned gift fundraising; preferably in a non-profit;

  • Outstanding interpersonal and communications skills, both oral and written;

  • Ability to understand the needs and interest of leadership and major gift donors to develop relationships between them and the organization;

  • Demonstrated leadership and the ability to manage multiple tasks at a time;

  • Eagerness to increase revenue quickly; self-motivated, driven, demonstrated initiative;

  • Integrity, comfort, and ability to gain the trust and confidence of supporters and stakeholders;

  • Excellent problem-solving skills, strategic thinking, commitment to innovation, attention to detail, and solutions-oriented;

  • Proven experience with using technology to advance the goals of major donor programs like donor tracking systems, prospect researching tools, and wealth screening tools;

  • Successful experience in making cold calls as well as developing cultivation and solicitation strategies;

  • Ability to work independently and in a collaborative team environment across multiple programs and departments, and;

  • Willingness and ability to travel as needed.


Preferred Qualifications

  • Proven track record of managing a development program and meeting goals from diverse sources;

  • Commitment to and interest in social justice and human rights; specific interest in human trafficking.



  • Survivors of human trafficking encouraged to apply;

  • Subject to a criminal background check;

  • Subject to a probationary term contingent on training performance; and

  • Request for three professional and/or personal references.


Values Statement

The work of Polaris is grounded in a set of values and organizational beliefs that provide a common starting point for all of our activities. At Polaris, we look for talented individuals who are passionate about combating all forms of human trafficking and who will strive to embody and model these values within the Polaris community and in the anti-trafficking field. Please take a moment to make yourself familiar with these values and our mission statement before submitting your application. You can find a full description of our values here.