Director of Major Giving


Job Title: Director of Major Giving

Department: Development

Classification: Full-time, salary, exempt

Job Relationship: Reports to Senior Director of Development. Works closely with the CEO, Annual Fund & Database Manager, Development Associates, APL board, other Development staff, and assigned volunteers. Supervises Donor Relations Officer.

Position Summary: Creates a formal, strategic, evolving Major Gift Program and oversees donor cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship activities for the APL. Identifies new donors and grows the base for annual fund and other specific projects. Oversees a portfolio of donors and identifies gift opportunities and prospective donors. Oversees activities of Donor Relations Officer and supports the Senior Director of Development, CEO, and board members involved in direct solicitation of major gifts and community outreach.

Essential Job Functions

Oversees all aspects of the Cleveland APL’s major giving initiatives.

  • Formalizes and oversees the qualification, stewardship, solicitation, and recognition program for major gifts to the APL ($10,000 and up).
  • Develops, oversees, participates in, and guides others in all aspects of the major gift cycle; makes initial contact with potential major donors; develops appropriate cultivation strategies for them, including working with staff, board members, and volunteers; moves potential donors in an appropriate and timely fashion toward solicitation and closure; makes solicitations; maintains stewardship contacts with donors; and accurately tracks actions in donor database.
  • Oversees tracking of actions, donor classifications, and relevant reports in donor data base (Raiser’s Edge).
  • Prepares and presents well-conceived proposals and reports that are responsive to donor interests and aligned with the APL’s priorities and oversees preparation of solicitation collateral.
  • Articulates Case for Support so that donors understand the mission/goals of the organization and its specific programs.
  • Participates in regular solicitation/stewardship meetings with appropriate staff members.
  • Coordinates effective program for recognition of annual fund, estate, and special purpose donors.
  • Evaluates various gift opportunities and options, including planned gifts.
  • Coordinates with Senior Director of Development to present planned gifts to prospects for consideration.
  • Meets donor activity and revenue goals and provides timely, accurate, and relevant performance reports to the Senior Director of Development and CEO.
  • Maintains meticulous and timely records in Raiser’s Edge on donor and prospecting activity.
  • Ensures donor electronic records are properly stored within the APL’s database.

Supervises major gifts officer(s) and other team members. 

  • Provides direct supervision to members of the major gifts team, including reviewing work performance, motivating direct reports, identifying problems with performance and solutions to those problems, determining training needs to improve performance, initiating measures to correct misconduct per APL policy, carrying out approved disciplinary actions, preparing and presenting performance appraisals.
  • Utilizes performance-based management when counseling and evaluating staff.
  • Provides orientation and training to employees and volunteers and ensures compliance with APL and department policies and procedures.
  • Develops measurable annual goals for direct reports and assures staff and volunteers are trained and coached to a level necessary to achieve the department’s and the APL’s goals and mission.
  • Provides guidance, mentoring, and support to staff in setting priorities and meeting goals.
  • Identifies volunteer opportunities, assists with recruiting, assigning and supervising volunteers in the performance of their respective responsibilities within the department.
  • In conjunction with human resources, interviews and hires new staff members.

Performs other duties as assigned including but not limited to:

  • Follows all safety guidelines to ensure a safe work environment for staff and living environment for animals. Takes immediate action to address any safety concern or noncompliance of safety rules that could put an employee, volunteer, client, animal, or the organization at risk.
  • Promotes communication and cooperation between APL departments.
  • Promotes integration and utilization of volunteers whenever possible.
  • Performs other duties and special projects as assigned.


  • Bachelor’s degree in nonprofit management (or related field such as communications, public relations, marketing, or business) or comparable work experience with demonstrated success.
  • At least 5 years of experience in fundraising with a specific emphasis on management of a major gift program, individual fundraising, and experience closing gifts of at least $25,000.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage systems and software to track and cultivate donors and prospects, including a donor database and wealth screening tools.
  • Ability to use a PC and widely used software packages, e.g., spreadsheets (Excel), word processing (MS Word); Raisers Edge (donor/fundraising software); CRM databases; ability to learn new software as necessary.
  • Ability to communicate with a diverse group of staff, board members, donors, and partners.
  • Ability to work with wide diversity of individuals, including high-level corporate executives and high wealth constituents. .
  • Must possess excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Must possess a valid Ohio Driver’s License and insurable driving record.

Knowledge and Skills

  • Must be a goal-oriented, strongly driven individual with experience successfully securing support from a portfolio of individual donors.
  • Must have excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced environment with a variety of people.
  • Excellent interpersonal communication, public speaking, and customer service skills.
  • Ability to meet deadlines; ability to set and accomplish work in order of priority; professionally maintain composure and effectiveness under pressure and changing conditions.
  • Must be an astute listener with excellent interpersonal skills.
  • Able to work a flexible schedule with regular weekend and evening activities.
  • Committed to maintaining the Cleveland Animal Protective League’s high standard of animal care, and customer care.
  • Committed to our mission to foster compassion and end animal suffering.
  • Fear Free Certified or must become certified within six months of hire.
  • Supports the APL’s desire to celebrate a diverse and inclusive culture that fuels the compassion that connects us to one another.

EEOC: The Cleveland APL is an equal opportunity employer and is looking for diversity in qualified candidates for employment.