Major Gifts Officer


Position: Major Gifts Officer

Department: Development

FLSA Status: Full-time, Exempt

Reports to: Chief Development Officer

Location: Washington DC

Direct Reports: Directing Marketing Manager

Date Issued: June 21, 2018

Date Revised: September 4, 2018, December 10, 2018


About Polaris

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 an $11.1 million budget in 2018, and has approximately 100 staff members.


Polaris is a leading non-governmental organization combating human trafficking and modern-day slavery, with programs operating at the international, national, and local levels through our headquarters office in Washington, D.C. Founded in 2002, Polaris is currently in a period of rapid growth in order to achieve a bold vision for an increased global presence and the introduction of new programs aimed at strategic interventions to disrupt human trafficking where it is occurring and restoring freedom to survivors. More details about our programs and history can be found on our web site at Polaris seeks a Major Gifts Officer to join our Development team and contribute to a dynamic fundraising program of a rapidly growing non-profit.


About Opportunity

Polaris seeks a Major Gifts Officer to join a six person development team and help build the organization’s financial support base from a wide range of funding sources including foundations, government, corporate, individual and earned revenue sources. Currently there are more than 40 donors who give at the Freedom Circle level ($10,000+). Polaris seeks a Major Gifts Officer to significantly grow this area to more than 100 donors in the next two years by systemically and proactively attracting new support with a focus on engaging community foundations and donor advised funds. She/he brings demonstrated experience successfully running a major donor program, personally oversees a portfolio of Freedom Circle donors and prospects, and implements systems and processes to bring a major gifts program to scale. In doing so, the Major Gifts Officer works closely with staff on the program, finance and the Executive Team.



Strategy and Leadership

  • In collaboration with the Chief Development Officer, develops, implements, and assesses an overarching major donor strategy that aligns with Polaris’s mission and core program areas;
  • Writes, edits and finalizes LOIs, proposals, reports and other major donor materials;
  • Expands the existing major donor audience by securing new donors at the Freedom Circle level;
  • Manages Freedom Circle events; and
  • Meets annual revenue targets.



  • Mentor and supervise the Direct Marketing Manager to cultivate, engage and convert mid-level donors to major donor status;
  • Coordinates with the Development Associate to conduct donor research and produce donor profiles;
  • Contributes to the planning and execution of the Development team’s annual fundraising strategy and strategic plan; and
  • Provides high level support and preparation to the CEO and CDO.


Relationship management

  • Develops and implements a multi-channel engagement strategy to cultivate and advance relationships with major donors;
  • Serves as a front line fundraiser by overseeing a portfolio of major donors and prospects by routinely communicating by phone, mail, email and personal visits;
  • Oversees and manages a multi year calendar of funding deadlines including LOIs, proposals, reports and other key major donor communications; and
  • Creates and implements a moves management plan in Salesforce; and
  • Produces and deploys periodic Freedom Circle electronic and print communications.
  • Commitment to the National Human Trafficking Hotline mission and Polaris values;
  • Other duties as assigned by supervisor.


This job description provides a summary of the major duties and responsibilities performed by individuals in this position.  Incumbents may be asked to perform other tasks not specifically written in this job.


Required Qualifications:

  • Bachelor's Degree or equivalent combination of education and/or experience
  • Minimum three years of professional work experience in a frontline major donor capacity
  • Integrated direct marketing experience
  • Ability to travel up to 25% to meet with major donors and prospects
  • Outstanding relationship building skills, including supervising staff
  • Ability to work independently and in a collaborative team environment across multiple programs and departments
  • Excellent problem-solving skills, strategic thinking, and attention to detail
  • Experience with research and prospect identification strategies
  • Solutions-oriented, collaborative, self-directed, and self-disciplined
  • Highly organized, reliable, and able to set and balance multiple priorities and meet deadlines.


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience using Salesforce (or similar) and Engaging Network (or similar) software
  • Experience using products to identify wealth indicators
  • Commitment to and interest in social justice and human rights; specific interest in human trafficking



  • Internal:    Ability to communicate with supervisors and peers
  • External:  Frequent contact with individual donors


Working Conditions:

  • Typical office setting



Physical Requirements:

  • Prolonged sitting, chiefly at a computer terminal;
  • Occasional bending, stooping and stretching;
  • Requires eye-hand coordination and manual dexterity sufficient to operate a computer, telephone, calculator, and other office equipment;
  • Requires normal range of hearing and eyesight to record, prepare, and communicate in writing, in person and by phone; and
  • Requires occasional lifting up to 25 pounds.



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.


Diversity Statement

Polaris designs and implements data-driven strategies to prevent and disrupt human trafficking, and restore freedom to survivors.  Achieving this ambitious goal requires both trafficking-specific systemic interventions and broader cultural and structural shifts that reduce the inequities that lead to human trafficking. While Polaris alone cannot build a more diverse, just, equitable, and inclusive society, both the success of our work and our organizational values require modeling in the workplace the change we want to see in the world.

This means cultivating a workforce, organizational culture, and priorities that respect and celebrate a dynamic, multi-disciplinary team made up of individuals with different identities, lived experiences, and backgrounds. Within both our team and across every part of our work, we strive to integrate and elevate the full range of survivor voices.

This is a living commitment.  Diversity, equity, and inclusion are values to be manifested daily, in the work we do, the decisions we make, and the way that we treat each other and the people we seek to serve.  This means creating space where staff can be included, heard, valued, and set up for success, and where everyone feels empowered to bring their full, best selves to work. We will not check boxes and consider it done. We will push new innovations and different ways of thinking, and treasure the community built and strengthened by each of our contributions.