Job Openings >> Major Gifts Officer
Major Gifts Officer
Title:Major Gifts Officer
Organization:The Salvation Army - USA Western Territory, Del Oro Division
Location:Alameda and Contra Costa Counties, CA



Major Gifts Officer (aka: Donor Relations Director)


Alameda and Contra Costa Counties

JOIN THE ARMY’S GROWING FUNDRAISING TEAM IN THE WESTERN TERRITORY and become part of an exciting new major gifts program making a profound impact!

Today, nearly 30 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through a range of social services: providing food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless, and opportunities for underprivileged children. Eighty-two cents of every dollar the Army spends is used to support these services in 5,000 communities nationwide. As a branch of the Christian church, founded by William Booth and his wife Catherine in 1865 to serve London’s worst poverty-stricken streets, the ultimate goal of all programs is the spiritual regeneration of all people.


The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian Church. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by love for God. Its mission is to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.


The Del Oro Division is part of the Western USA Territory (THQ), one of the Army’s four U.S. geographic service areas, and is one of ten divisions. In the Western USA Territory, the Del Oro Division services Northern California and Northern Nevada. The Divisional Headquarters (DHQ) is located in Sacramento, California. DHQ provides support and supervision for 27 Corps and service centers, as well as 80 service extension locations. The annual operating budget is $55.3 million. Funds are received through foundation grants, government contracts, public contributions from businesses, churches and individuals, as well as gifts-in-kind and the United Way. Additional income is generated through sales to the public and capital/endowment investments. The Salvation Army is a nonprofit, tax-exempt charitable organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.


The Del Oro Division of The Salvation Army serves the people of Northern California and Northern Nevada with a wide variety of programs and services for these communities. These include a number of shelters serving a wide array of individuals and families. The Salvation Army provides some of the most successful addiction treatment programs available and follows up with job training and transitional housing for families, victims of domestic violence and veterans. There are a variety of youth programs such as after school programming, including music lessons, summer camp, and, late night basketball. Food boxes, rent/utility assistance and disaster relief are all covered under their umbrella. Last year a total of 635,821 people were served. 125,796 volunteers provided 595,506 hours of service. 217,598 nights of lodging were provided. Within the Division, 178,893 meals and snacks were served and 68,704 people received Christmas assistance.


“The Salvation Army is by far the most effective organization in the U.S. No one even comes close to it with respect to clarity of mission, ability to innovate, measurable results, dedication, and putting money to maximum use.” –The late Dr. Peter Drucker, renowned management expert


The Opportunity: Major Gifts Officer (MGO): aka: DRD - Donor Relations Director


  1. There is one role open in the Del Oro Division. This position will work with Donors in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties in Northern California.


The MGO/DRD plays a key and integral role in the success of the Del Oro Division’s fund development efforts, specifically working to enhance existing portfolio of major donors, as well as to build relationships, with new major gift donors in Alameda and Contra Costa counties. The MGO/DRD role is being repositioned as part of the overall reconfiguration of Major Giving programs in the Western Territory. Over the next 5 years, The Salvation Army Western Territory anticipates almost doubling the current number of MGO/DRD positions. The Army’s strong commitment to growing its major giving programs is reflected in plans to centralize training, provide prospect research/management support, enhance existing database systems, and provide stewardship support which is in the early phases of implementation. The position reports to a Regional Manager of Major Giving Programs and operates as part of the Division Development Team.


The MGO/DRD is responsible for ongoing and proactive relationship management, strategic communications plans, gifts cultivation and solicitation activity with an assigned caseload of qualified major donors and a group of assigned, qualified prospects. In this role, the MGO/DRD will identify, qualify, be assigned, cultivate, solicit and steward major gift donors and prospects, acting as the primary contact between the Army and the assigned caseload, with an emphasis on securing gifts of $5,000 and much higher in their respective portfolio worth $1 million, increasing major gifts to The Salvation Army while retaining and strengthening existing giving.


Primary Performance Objectives


  • Establishes, manages and fulfills a caseload communications plan, including individual fundraising goals and personalized strategies, to effectively steward, educate, cultivate and solicit gifts from major donors each fiscal year, with an emphasis on gifts of $5,000 and higher.
  • Leads the development of team solicitation strategies and facilitates the team planning process for peer-to-peer cultivation and solicitation approaches, involving leadership volunteers and internal leadership as deemed appropriate, under the guidance of the Development Director. Develops research and briefing memos in preparation for team discussions. Works with prospect research manager at THQ and local staff who are trained to do research to develop donor profiles to inform “moves management” strategies and planning conversations.
  • Meets regularly with supervisor and territorial major gifts management (by phone) to discuss and refine caseload plans and donor strategies, to track progress, to receive coaching, and to keep open lines of communication.
  • Works in close conjunction with other fund development officers, pursuing and contributing to harmonious collaboration between direct marketing, social media, foundation, corporation, and planned giving staff for optimal integrated strategies in regard to major donor communications as well as overall department initiatives.
  • Supports and contributes to, as requested, overall policies and strategies to continually increase major gifts revenue and program growth.


Leadership and Fundraising Management

  • Leads in one-to-one solicitation, gift acknowledgement and stewardship communication, traveling as necessary, establishing and maintaining excellent donor relations, providing written proposals to major gift prospects as needed, and including Army and/or volunteer leadership as appropriate.
  • Works in collaboration with program, finance, development and graphic design/communications, and administrative support staff to develop a portfolio of giving opportunities (cases for support) that documents funding needs in terms of real program costs, how dollars impact people, outcomes being (and which could be) achieved, shortfalls, and exciting mission advancement opportunities. Presents these opportunities to donors to effectively match donor interests with Army service delivery advancement needs.
  • Keeps management apprised of all significant interactions, inputting contact reports to the Portfolio donor database system as required, sharing a continually updated itinerary, fulfilling all monthly and other reporting requirements, and consulting with Division and Corps leadership when needed to understand organizational priorities, to develop strategies that benefit both donor and the Army, and to troubleshoot challenging situations.
  • Stays driven toward goals and focused on caseload, but makes effective use of volunteerism opportunities, events and other initiatives to engage with assigned donors, bring them closer to the Army, and deepen their awareness of the impact of our work, especially in areas of interest to them. Participates in such opportunities alongside caseload constituents. Works with other staff and leadership (including leadership volunteers) to develop new major donor/prospect cultivation events, such as private receptions, dinners in homes, or seminars, targeted toward those with high philanthropic capacity.
  • Plays a key role in working with select local Advisory Boards.


Donor and Volunteer Relations

  • Manages a caseload of 125-150 assigned and qualified major donors, and maintains and seeks to engage with a small additional prospective donor “watch list” as assigned, following the prescribed communications plan that is specific to each donor and prospect and working, as appropriate, with donor leadership volunteers to secure visits with those in their peer networks who are assigned.
  • Works in close collaboration with local officers, program, finance and fundraising staff to present local Army resource development needs that correspond to where donors and prospects reside, while always being responsive to each donor’s interests (even if elsewhere) and attentive to fiduciary responsibilities (donor intent with gifts).
  • Makes it a priority to take donors on site visits to tour Army programs and to facilitate face-to-face briefings of donors by Army leaders.
  • Manages all office systems related to MGO/DRD duties, including maintaining updated Portfolio donor files, tracking spreadsheets, correspondence and gift acknowledgments, etc., in keeping with department policies and procedures. Documents all donor interactions through Portfolio contact reports and according to established business practices. Carries out any office and computer-related tasks important to fulfilling the goals of the position.
  • Ensures excellent customer service is provided to donors through accessibility to staff and leadership (as granted), timely responsiveness, quality in all interactions and personalized communications.
  • Works diligently to meet agreed upon monthly and annual activity and income production goals, and is purposeful about every visit and communication and the desired outcome for each “touch.”
  • Participates in recommended professional trainings as budget allows, conference calls with other major gifts staff, conference kindred sessions and other professional development opportunities.

The Qualified Candidate


The Salvation Army seeks a compassionate, dynamic and entrepreneurial fundraising professional with a minimum of five years’ individual giving/major gifts experience in a highly productive and progressive development and communications program within the nonprofit sector. Preference is given to those who have served in a faith-based organization, and specific to this search for the MGO/DRD in the Del Oro Division, possess a working knowledge of the philanthropic community in the Alameda and/or Contra Costa areas. It is imperative that the person who assumes this important role fully embrace, support and reflect well on The Salvation Army’s mission and values through one’s professional responsibilities and behavior at all times. The MGO/DRD will be creative, energetic and determined, with a talent to identify and develop opportunities for donors and The Salvation Army to come together.


Specific Requirements Include:

  • Passion for The Salvation Army’s mission coupled with a strong commitment to know and understand the Army’s history, mission and structure, as well as its services, policies and procedures.
  • Bachelor’s Degree; Advanced degree and/or CFRE credential preferred.
  • Minimum of five years of experience in a nonprofit fundraising role with a proven track record of major gifts success and a strong working knowledge of strategy development and moves management systems in the cultivation, solicitation and stewardship processes.
  • Highly effective interpersonal, conversational and presentational skills, demonstrating an emotional intelligence and situational awareness, in tandem with excellent writing abilities and strong case development and sales pitch skills.
  • Demonstrated expertise in developing and maintaining positive relationships with diverse individuals, including executives, high-level volunteers and wealthy donors, as well as internal stakeholders and leadership.
  • Prowess in problem-solving, strategic and creative thinking, plus taking initiative with consistent and good follow-through.
  • Great comfort level with direct donor interaction is a must, including discussions of personal and family finances and asking for major financial commitments.
  • Team player, able to check ego at the door, with a capacity to collaborate effectively with officers, staff and volunteers for successful achievement of position and department goals.
  • Communications and management style that exhibits the principles and culture of the Army, as well as fosters team relationships and effectively communicates information.
  • Willingness and ability to travel on a regular basis. Valid Driver’s License required.
  • Ability to work remotely (on the road, from a home-based office with a professional set-up, and/or, at various Army locations). It is anticipated that 80% of the donors are in the assigned areas, but some travel related to donor management and/or organizational training is required.
  • Experience working independently in a fast-paced environment without extensive administrative support and exceptional organizational abilities with fluency in managing multiple projects and competing priorities with professionalism and grace.
  • Driven to make a difference, goal-oriented with a proven ability to achieve or exceed goals and meet deadlines.
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite and hands-on experience with donor management software, savvy in the maintenance of current contact and activity tracking reports (with adherence to the Army’s database protocols); Portfolio user background is preferred.


The Salvation Army offers a competitive salary and a comprehensive benefits package, including a car. The MGO/DRD position finalist will be required to submit to a full background and reference checks.


The Salvation Army is committed to offering equal employment opportunity to all applicants and to all employees without regard to race, color, gender, religion, age, national or ethnic origin, non-disqualifying physical or mental disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, marital status, political affiliation, genetic predisposition and/or any other lawfully protected classification or occupationally irrelevant criteria. Equal Opportunity Employer M/F/D/V.


To Apply


Candidates may apply by clicking the APPLY NOW button below. To assure confidential tracking, no resumes will be accepted via email.



This search is being managed by Kathrene Wales, Search Manager and Associate Consultant of Kistner Eddy Executive Services (KEES), in counsel with Heather Eddy, President & CEO. Questions may be addressed to


KEES builds transformative teams and leaders in the nonprofit and public sectors. For more information, visit


More about the Army’s Del Oro Division

The Del Oro Divisional leaders are Majors Ivan and Jennifer Wild. There are 584 employees and over 1,000 volunteers. The Division is blessed to have wonderful Advisory Board members who lend their expertise, time and finances, and many corporate partnerships and individual donors without whom the Division simply would not exist. The Del Oro Division’s Development and Community Relations Department is led by the Director of Development and Business, David G. Bentley.


The Salvation Army – Western USA Territory
Comprised of 10 Divisions and serving communities in Alaska, Washington, Oregon, California, Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, Idaho, Montana, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Hawaii, Guam, Micronesia and the Marshall Islands. Territorial Headquarters (THQ) is situated in Long Beach, California. Under the leadership of Territorial Commander, Commissioner James Knaggs, Chaz Watson is the Territorial Executive Director of Development and Susan Levin is the Territorial Director of Major Giving Programs.

This opening is closed and is no longer accepting applications
Powered by ApplicantStack