Major Gifts Manager At Near East Foundation

Title: Major Gifts Manager

Reports to: Director of Partnerships & Philanthropy, Syracuse

Location: Flexible location in or near where the NEF has an office in the US (New York, District of Columbia (D.C)); Candidate must have pre-existing right to live and work at location; this is not an international appointment.

Travel: Occasional (20-30%)

Salary: Commensurate with experience and location; salary and benefits may vary according to the location of the appointment.

The Near East Foundation (NEF) is seeking experienced candidates for an open Major Gifts Manager position to join its growing Philanthropy & Partnerships team. NEF is a non-profit international development organization that has supported livelihoods recovery and community-based economic development in the Middle East, Africa, and Caucasus since 1915. NEF draws on local teams, experience, and partnerships in these regions to create community-led solutions to reduce poverty, create economic opportunity, and empower conflict and crisis-affected groups to improve their future outlook and wellbeing. Working through a network of country offices and local partners, NEF has operations in ten countries: Armenia, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, Mali, Morocco, Palestine, Sudan, South Sudan, and Syria. HQ offices are based between Syracuse, NY, Washington, DC, London, UK, and Brussels, Be. Our programs are organized around three pillars: Inclusive Economic Development, Climate-resilient Development, and Stabilization and Peacebuilding.

At a pivotal moment in Near East Foundation’s history, join us to take our fundraising to the next level. We are building a team fueled by passion, ambition, creativity, and experience to lead this new chapter of growth. We have a bold strategy to reach more communities than ever over the next decade and you can help make it possible.


As Major Gifts Manager, you will be responsible for raising critical funds to enable our rapid growth and the expansion of our impact. Reporting to the Director of Partnerships and Philanthropy, you will be responsible for growing unrestricted and restricted income through excellent new business development, cultivation, and fantastic donor stewardship. To make a step change in our income profile, you will mainly focus on qualifying six and seven figure prospective major donors and developing lasting relationships with them. You will also support the management of relationships with existing donors, ensuring all supporters have a brilliant experience supporting NEF.

Joining our small but growing team, you will work closely with the Director of Partnerships & Philanthropy and President/CEO. You will be responsible for leading and growing a small team into a fully functional Major Gifts high-performing team in future years. You are an emerging leader with excellent management skills, with a passion and drive to succeed. You are a values-driven, confident and determined fundraiser who thrives in a people oriented, target driven role.

What You Will Do

Identifying new major and principal supporters

  • Build and develop a pool of global major donor prospects who have the potential to make a big difference to NEF by giving six to seven figure gifts.
  • Solicit major gifts and lead prospects through each stage of the major gift donor cycle.
  • Develop appropriate cultivation strategies and move potential donors in a thoughtful and timely fashion toward solicitation and closure.
  • Recruit, manage and support well connected, influential volunteers who will proactively fundraise through peer-to-peer fundraising and make introductions from their networks.
  • Identify potential new high-value donors through networking e.g., attending events, social media outreach, building your personal network, peer to peer.
  • Support with the design and development of key fundraising products and activity to attract and retain ultra-high, and high-net-worth supporters to NEF (e.g., Development Board; 3 Year Appeal; Special events (in later years); Giving Circles, Wealth screen).
  • Research, develop, and write high quality partnership proposals, cases for support, appeal letters, pitches and reports and submit them to prospective donors in a timely fashion.

Securing donations

  • Develop great ideas for how to effectively build relationships, engage and inspire people to support NEF with major gifts, ideally through multi-year commitments.
  • Manage and build a pipeline portfolio of potential new major donors, to secure major and principal gifts, delivering against an ambitious team target.
  • Solicit major donors for financial gifts and advise, support and engage appropriate senior leadership to increase the likelihood of a successful solicitation.
  • Through relationship building, you will understand the motivations for each existing and potential major donor, to create compelling unrestricted, designated and budget relieving proposals, and their corresponding impact reports to enhance donors’ long-term value and experience as a NEF supporter.

Managing relationships with prospects, donors, and volunteers

  • Oversee a portfolio of donors and prospects to build and deepen relationships with donors and create opportunities to expand giving. Personally initiate and cultivate one-to-one relationships that enhance the potential donor’s connection and lifetime loyalty to NEF.
  • Through meetings and correspondence, you will develop excellent relationships with existing major donors, communicating the impact of their support and keeping them engaged to maximize the value of NEF’s major donor income long-term.
  • Where appropriate, you will involve NEF’s senior staff and the Board of Directors to leverage opportunities to engage and build relationships with existing and potential major donors.
  • You will create and develop inspiring and compelling funding proposals, feedback, and impact reports for major donors to demonstrate impact and inspire continued support.


  • Responsible for growing the major gifts program, and with support from the Director of Partnerships and Philanthropy, develop and deliver a major gifts strategy as a part of the wider fundraising and marketing strategy.
  • Line management of Major Gifts Officer and Associate.
  • Prepare phased budgets and forecasts in line with activity plans and progress to ensure the value and timing of planned restricted and unrestricted income to the organization is accurate.
  • Develop an excellent knowledge of NEF’s work, and liaise with colleagues to prepare and present high-quality fundraising communications products.
  • Maintain an awareness of philanthropy giving trends, news, events and legislation in the USA, UK and Europe and pick up on opportunities or topical issues that will enhance NEF.
  • Create and maintain accurate records in line with data protection on the CRM database of all leads, knowledge about individuals, foundations, companies, and all communications as well as fundraising forecasts.
  • Develop and use CRM reports to analyze and report back on the data and your work.
  • You will assist with, and lead events as needed, including but not limited to launch events and cultivation events.
  • You will undertake other tasks that are within the scope, spirit and purpose of the job, to contribute to meeting our fundraising strategic vision and those of NEF, and the wider organization.


You Have the Essentials (please demonstrate all of these)


  • 6 years proven and effective experience cultivating individual donor relationships in major philanthropic fundraising, or equivalent demonstrable experience.**
  • Bachelor’s Degree in a relevant field or equivalent work experience.
  • Experience with philanthropy strategy development and delivery, planning and budgeting
  • Extensive experience with prospecting and new business development securing six figure annual gifts.
  • Proven track record of fundraising from high-net-worth individuals and foundations in the not-for-profit sector.
  • Experience with developing and delivering fundraising products to attract new supporters. E.g., development boards; giving circles; events; major appeals.
  • Experience with designing and developing innovative cases for support to secure unrestricted and restricted funds.
  • Experience with philanthropy planning, budgeting, and reporting.
  • Expert knowledge of the principles of major gift fundraising.
  • Line management experience.
  • Proficient use of donor database management software and Microsoft Office programs including Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint and the Adobe Creative Suite.

Skills Required

  • Tenacious and self-motivated approach to work, performance and target driven.
  • Exceptional persuasive communication skills, both written and verbal.
  • Dedicated team player with the desire to develop within an organization.
  • Highly effective interpersonal skills with the ability to communicate with diverse personalities in a tactful, mature, and professional manner.
  • Strong business acumen with the ability to monitor, compile and analyze data to guide decision making.
  • Ability to remain flexible and work within a collaborative and fast-paced environment to achieve and exceed KPIs.

You may also have (you are not expected to have these, but if you do, we would love to hear about it)

  • Fundraising or relationship marketing qualification or certificate.
  • Experience in wider fundraising disciplines.
  • Experience of working in international development. Ability to understand complex international development systems, politics, and economic environment, and communicate this in an engaging way with supporters.

How to apply

NEF will accept rolling applications until the position is filled. Review of applications will begin on July 16, 2021. Interested candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

Please apply by submitting the following documents on the Near East Foundation careers page at :

  • Cover letter outlining all relevant experience, how you meet the essential criteria and availability;
  • Curriculum Vitae;
  • List of three references (including one from current, or most recent, employer).

Applicants are strongly encouraged to familiarize themselves with the Near East Foundation by visiting the NEF website at

The Near East Foundation promotes Equal Employment Opportunities for all applicants seeking employment and NEF employees.

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