Major Gifts Director

Oikonos Ecosystem Knowledge
Monterey Bay/Santa Cruz/Coastside/Silicon Valley/Bay Area regions. Hawaii considered.

Oikonos  Ecosystem  Knowledge  seeks  a  skilled  Major  Gifts  Director  to  lead  our  team  in  major  donor fundraising  and  other  fund  development  initiatives.  Reporting  to  the  Executive  Director  and  Board  of Directors, the Director of Major Gifts will be responsible for inspiring a culture of philanthropy throughout the organization while cultivating prospects and securing gifts of $10,000 and above.

A 20-year-old conservation organization, Oikonos has a robust grantsmanship program and is ready to take a  leap forward and pursue individual major gifts. We seek a candidate  who will actively steward donors whose philanthropic goals align with Oikonos’ mission to protect  imperiled ecosystems. Oikonos achieves  its  mission  by  engaging  diverse  communities  through  innovative  scientific  study  and  artistic collaboration throughout the Pacific.

Our ideal candidate will be a mid- to late-career professional with an entrepreneurial spirit who is strongly motivated to succeed and has the necessary drive and expertise to create major gifts infrastructure for Oikonos. The MGD will work with program leaders and other team members to institute and execute long- term fundraising strategies and create a major gifts pipeline.

Our  ideal  candidate  will  have  an  undergraduate  degree  and  at  least  seven  years  of  fundraising management experience and be passionate about and comfortable in the natural world. 

They will also be thoroughly grounded in fundraising best practices and adeptly use a donor database to manage donor information. 

Work  Basis:  50%  FTE  work-at-home  position  with  benefits.  Occasional  evenings  and  weekend  time attending to fundraising events, donor meetings, and other occasions relevant to the position. Preferred location is the Monterey Bay/Santa Cruz/Coastside/Silicon Valley/Bay Area regions. Hawaii considered.


  • Develop a major gifts program for Oikonos
  • Research existing donors and new prospects to create a robust pipeline of potential gifts
  • Develop engagement plans for donors based on donor interests and philanthropic potential
  • Manage a portfolio of 40-50 donors that includes current donors and newly identified prospects with the ability to give $10,000+
  • Responsible for a minimum of 25–30 visits and 75–100 moves annually
  • Fundraising goal of $250,000 or more in first 18 months 
  • Work independently across Oikonos to understand programmatic work, organizational mission and culture 
  • Work within budgetary constraints; establish and meet fundraising goals
  •  Manage and implement multiple cultivation strategies leading to solicitation by collaborating with staff and maintaining a cultivation and solicitation calendar and setting deadlines
  • Always maintain discretion in dealings with donors or when managing donor information or sensitive documents 
  • Articulate the Oikonos mission to diverse groups whose philanthropic goals align with the organization 
  • Organize small events for donors as well as field trips to Oikonos sites 
  • Work environment may occasionally include being outdoors in nature and at field sites that require exposure to the elements and minor physical exertion and/or strain 
  • Manage virtual assistant and work with project volunteers


 Bachelor’s degree and a minimum of seven years related experience or an equivalent  combination. Experienced at:

  • Building and maintaining long-term donor relationships
  • Soliciting and closing gifts of $50,000+
  • Managing and tracking multiple prospects and donors using a fundraising database—Salesforce  experience a plus
  • Expertise in best fundraising practices 
  • Experience, coursework, or other training in current trends in charitable giving in the areas of marketing, major gifts or planned gifts
  • Strong writer able to craft winning proposals and compelling presentations
  •  Work responsively from home as a member of a global virtual team that works collaboratively via videoconferencing and phone


  • Superb philanthropic research skills
  • Exceptional ability to design and implement fundraising plans, including individualized cultivation, solicitation and recognition plans
  • Experience developing a major gifts program
  • Track record of meeting expanded fundraising goals successfully
  • CFRE credential
  • Spanish language skills—conversational to proficient
  • Working knowledge of charitable gift planning


Oikonos Ecosystem Knowledge—a 501(c)3 non-profit organization in U.S. and nongovernmental organization (NGO) in Chile—studies and protects imperiled ecosystems by engaging diverse communities through innovative scientific and artistic collaborations.