Major Gifts Officer – California Native Plant Society

Remote, California

To meet the growing need for mission California Native Plant Society is seeking a Major Gifts Officer (MGO) to join a robust development and membership program that is currently meeting all revenue targets. The MGO will be responsible for the full lifecycle of fundraising for major gifts of $5,000 and above, primarily from individuals. The role will manage a portfolio of major donors, with a significant focus on cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of existing donors. The MGO will join a relatively new major gifts effort, with tremendous growth potential, and will assist with designing and implementing best practices. Candidates should have a demonstrated track record of securing major gifts, coupled with strong relationship building skills. The Major Gifts Officer will work closely with the development team, the Executive Director, and Board members to move donors through the fundraising cycle. The MGO reports to the Development Director.

What You’ll Do:

Manage and solicit a major donor portfolio:

  • Drive strategies to identify, cultivate, upgrade and/or solicit retained and new donors, with an eye towards building a strong pipeline of major donors and prospects
  • Serve as the primary relationship manager for a portfolio of 75+ major gift prospects and communicate with major donors through email, social media, phone, video conference, and face-to-face cultivation meetings
  • Develop and execute documented and trackable strategies ensuring that each major donor or prospect has a clear plan for cultivation and solicitation leading to upgraded giving over time, and that all interactions are captured in the CRM
  • Make gift requests of $5,000+ throughout the fiscal year and sustain a calendar of robust gift requests and activity using metrics to track efficiency and performance

Support major donor fundraising:

Develop cultivation and solicitation messaging, updates, proposals, presentations, and reports in collaboration with the Development Director and Communications team and in alignment with the CNPS Strategic Plan (covering unrestricted asks, and program- and project-level support, and CNPS’s diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice (DEIJ) vision and strategies)

  • Develop and execute major donor cultivation events (both virtual and in person)
  • Support Development Director, Executive Director, and Board members with their major donor responsibilities, including developing strategies for cultivations and asks, involving appropriate staff, and ensuring that all involved have the encouragement, resources, and accountability to achieve established goals

Physical Requirements:

This job can require prolonged sitting and use of a computer and mouse. It may require occasional participation in field trips on uneven trails and variable grades. Travel is required and candidates should be aware that travel involves inherent risks and varying physical demands depending on location and mode of transportation. These requirements are representative, and reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform essential functions.

Additional Information:  

  • This is a full-time (40-hour week), remote position, based in California. Preference will be given for candidates within Central California (especially Sacramento and the Bay Area).
  • Standard business hours are Monday through Friday 8:30 AM to 5 PM. Meetings with donors may take place outside these hours, including mornings, evenings, and weekends.
  • A valid California driver’s license is required.
  • Periodic travel to locations throughout California will be required including monthly trips to Sacramento for meetings and regular travel (up to 40%) within CA for donor cultivation. Work travel is reimbursed.

Who You Are:

  • At least 6 years of experience as a fundraising professional
  • A demonstrated track record of at least one year, successfully stewarding and personally soliciting donors of $5,000 or more
  • Proactively approach relationship building and development daily
  • Demonstrate sound judgment and discretion and maintain the highest ethical standards
  • Display excellent written and interpersonal communication skills with strong attention to detail
  • Be highly organized with the ability to manage several projects at once and consistently meet deadlines
  • Be self-motivated with the ability to work independently and as part of a team and with great energy and persistence
  • Ability to connect with our mission and cultivate a genuine interest in the outdoors, nature, botany, etc.
  • Willingness to travel frequently within California for donor cultivation
  • Willingness to work occasional evenings and weekends
  • Experience with a Microsoft environment and ability to use Word, Outlook, Excel, Teams, SharePoint, etc.
  • Experience with relational databases/CRMs


  • Bachelor’s degree preferred; however, relevant experience may be substituted on a year-for-year basis in lieu of a degree

Nice to Have:

While CNPS recognizes that not every individual will exhibit all these characteristics, the successful candidate will possess at least one – and ideally more than one – of the following:

  • An advanced certification in fundraising or Certified Fund-Raising Executive (CFRE) designation
  • Experience using technology to efficiently and personally connect with donors
  • Experience using research tools and data to inform prospect qualification and solicitation
  • Have knowledge of, or genuine interest in, CNPS and California native plants
  • Experience integrating the values of diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice into fundraising, and comfort discussing them with donors

What You’ll Get:

  • Annual salary from $90,100 to $97,100
  • 100% of employee premiums for health (Kaiser or Anthem Blue Cross), life, dental, and vision insurance
  • 401(k) retirement plan with up to 6% matching contributions, eligible immediately
  • Flexible spending account (FSA) / health savings account (HSA), dependent care account (DCA) and/or transportation savings account (TSA)
  • Annual paid leave benefits include 13 holidays, 12 sick/wellness days, and 15 paid vacation days
  • 16 weeks paid parental leave, after 12 months
  • A CNPS-issued laptop, $750 home office stipend, and $60/month telework stipend
  • Attendance at biannual staff team building events
  • Complimentary CNPS Society membership
  • “Superhero to the planet” status (for your contributions to conservation)

About California Native Plant Society:

The California Native Plant Society (CNPS) is a statewide non-profit conservation organization ( founded in 1965, with almost 13,000 members in 35 chapters across California and Baja California Mexico. The mission of CNPS is to increase understanding and appreciation of California’s native plants and to conserve them and their natural habitats through scientific study, education, advocacy, horticulture, and land stewardship.

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