Major Gifts Officer

Location: Petaluma, CA

Deadline to Apply: Open until filled

Position Type: Full-time, Exempt

About Point Blue:

Point Blue Conservation Science, founded as Point Reyes Bird Observatory in 1965, is a growing and internationally renowned non-profit with over 160 staff and scientists based in Petaluma, California.  Point Blue’s mission and programs have evolved over time to include a broad range of conservation activity, from restoration to environmental education, climate-smart conservation with a focus on nature-based solutions, to innovative work in the field of regenerative agriculture. We have a proven track record of scientific excellence, and long-standing partnerships with several Federal, State, and local government agencies.

Point Blue is at an unprecedented moment of growth, having received several multi-million-dollar funding awards that will enable us to significantly increase the pace and scale of climate-smart conservation. We are poised to leverage this extraordinary moment. We seek a dynamic major gifts officer to join our experienced fundraising team as we build on this success. The Major Gifts Officer will visit incredible field sites with donors, receive mentoring from our Directors of Philanthropy, and make a meaningful impact upon Point Blue’s ability to fund our growing work.

We recognize that increasing racial, gender, cultural, and other diversity, equity, and inclusion factors at Point Blue and in our partnerships is essential for the success of our mission, vision, and strategy. We are actively engaging in a process to create lasting organizational change. We seek applicants from all backgrounds to join our teams. We strongly encourage applications from people with backgrounds that are under-represented in the conservation community.

Position Description:

The Major Gifts Officer manages the development and maintenance of a portfolio of major donors to achieve fundraising goals identified in Point Blue’s annual budget and strategic plan. Serves as the primary Point Blue contact for their donor portfolio with a focus on unrestricted giving. Creates donor strategies and stewards relationships that evolve opportunities for donors to engage in and support Point Blue’s work more deeply.

Essential responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Lead cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of an increasing number of prospective and current individual donors, as well as identifying and recruiting new planned giving donors for the Tern Society, in partnership with Directors of Philanthropy, Development Team members, and other staff and volunteers.
  • Become knowledgeable and conversant in all aspects of Point Blue’s mission, programs, and strategic plan.
  • Deepen and expand existing relationships with individual donors through research, cultivation, solicitation, fulfillment, stewardship, and recognition.
  • Grow a portfolio of prospects and engage board members and existing donors with prospect identification and cultivation.
  • Meet or exceed fundraising, relationship development, and stewardship goals that are collaboratively established on an annual basis.
  • Cultivate and maintain a fundraising portfolio of approximately 150 donor prospects with the capacity to give $10,000+ annually.
  • Craft and execute solicitation strategies for individual donors—write briefings, prepare correspondence, set meetings, make the ask, follow up on all solicitations, and steward the donation and the ongoing relationship.
  • Ensure the accurate recording of donor communications, meetings, relationship status, donations, participation in events, and other cultivation information in Raiser’s Edge NXT and share that information with internal partners as appropriate.
  • Ensure the confidentiality and integrity of donor relationships, donor data management, and philanthropic agreements.
  • Utilize events to engage Point Blue donors and prospects across portfolios:
    • Assist in design, preparation, and implementation of new and existing signature events.
    • Participate in fundraising events and other opportunities to network with prospective and current donors.
    • Create opportunities for major donors to deepen their knowledge of Point Blue by arranging visits to research and program sites and facilitating conversations with key Point Blue leaders.
  • Assist with development and execution of Young Friends of Point Blue group, events, and fundraising.
  • Perform special projects, research, and other duties as assigned.


  • Demonstrated success in identifying, cultivating, and soliciting individual donors (with experience securing gifts from individual donors of at least $25,000) which resulted in a robust pipeline of new relationships and significant increases in funding.
  • Knowledge of: current trends in charitable giving in the areas of annual fundraising and major gifts; donor relationship management principles and best practices; event planning best practices.
  • Excellent relationship-building skills such as the ability to build rapport with internal and external stakeholders around innovative ideas and programs.
  • Excellent organizational skills, attention to detail and quality, and exceptional follow-up skills are essential.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, including demonstrated success in clearly and concisely translating complex ideas and strategic priorities to diverse audiences.
  • Demonstrated experience using listening, diplomacy, and tact to build strong relationships and motivate donors.
  • Proven ability to safeguard confidential donor information.
  • Proficient with Microsoft Office programs including spreadsheet, word processing, cloud-based applications (e.g., Google Docs), presentation, and email programs.
  • Experience with fundraising database programs (Raiser’s Edge/NXT preferred).
  • Ability to comfortably and graciously engage and communicate with high-net-worth individuals in varying social situations such as fundraising events and other opportunities for donor engagement.
  • Passion for and interest in the environment and nature; knowledge of conservation science and ecology a plus.
  • Valid California driver’s license and favorable driving history, and proof of auto insurance.

Preferred Education and Experience:

This position requires a combination of education and experience equivalent to a Bachelor’s degree; and 5 years of fundraising experience with a focus on major gifts from individuals for non-profit organizations.

Work Environment:

  • This position operates in a professional office environment and from home.
  • Routinely uses standard office equipment such as computers, phones, printers, scanner, and filing cabinets.
  • Work environment is primarily indoors with the majority of time spent at a desk, with periodic field visits that may include outdoor hiking and walking activities.
  • Hybrid employees should choose a work environment that is free from distractions, has a reliable internet connection, and supports the employee’s ability to dedicate their full attention to their job duties during work hours.

Expected Hours of Work and Travel:

  • Standard organizational hours of operation are 8am-5pm, Monday through Friday.
  • Evening and weekend work is required as job duties demand.
  • Travel to meet with donors throughout the extended Bay Area is expected for this position.

Compensation and Benefits:

$85,000-$110,000 Annually. Salary is based on qualifications and internal equity. Point Blue provides a comprehensive benefit package including employer paid medical and dental for staff and 75% for dependents. Other benefits include life insurance, long-term care, long and short-term disability, flexible spending accounts, and retirement plans as well as time off benefits.

To Apply: Please click here: Major Gifts Officer. If you encounter issues during the application process, please email


Point Blue is an equal employment opportunity employer and does not discriminate against applicants or employees because of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, citizenship status, disability status of an otherwise qualified individual, membership or application for membership in an uniformed service, or membership in any other class protected by applicable law and will make reasonable accommodation for applicants with disabilities to complete the application and/or participate in the interview process.