Senior Major Gifts Officer

Nov 18, 2020 Massachusetts

The Organization

Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) is a nonprofit, member-supported advocacy organization founded in 1966. CLF has offices in Massachusetts, Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island and is based in Boston. CLF’s mission is to advocate on behalf of the region’s environment and communities with an emphasis on four major areas: clean energy and climate change; clean water and healthy forests; ocean conservation; and healthy communities and environmental justice. Within these four programs, CLF works on specific issues to advance the strategic mission of addressing the challenge of climate change and ensuring thriving communities.  Examples of this work include supporting  well-sited renewable energy facilities, fighting water and air pollution, protecting marine habitat, promoting sustainable fishing practices, and promoting responsible transportation systems. CLF uses the law, science and the market to create solutions that preserve the region’s natural resources, build healthy communities, and sustain a vibrant economy. CLF has the toughness to hold polluters accountable, and the tenacity to see complex challenges through to their conclusion.

CLF is located at 62 Summer Street in Boston and employs 60 people, 30 of whom are advocates (attorneys). Each of the five state offices is managed by a Vice President and each has an independent Board. In addition there are four program Vice Presidents. All of the state and program Vice Presidents report to an Executive Vice President. The annual budget is $7 million.

Development at CLF

Over the last two years senior management and CLF’s Board of Trustees have embarked on an evaluation and restructuring of the Development department.  The result is a significantly more strategic approach to development with the department now led by a seasoned Vice President who has been with CLF for a year. The traditional dependence on foundation support (70 % of philanthropic revenue) is being realigned with targeted approaches to fundraising.  The realignment will include the hiring of the Senior Major Gifts Officer. The advocates and the state boards are eager to refocus their efforts under this strategic approach which has total senior management support. The Vice President of Development has upgraded the technological capabilities of the department to support the increased effort and sophistication of the department.

Position Summary

The Senior Major Gifts Officer will work closely with the Vice President of Development to develop and implement the strategic and tactical goals of the major gifts effort at CLF. This represents a change in strategy and execution for the advocates who have interfaced with donors in a less-defined manner.  Of major importance is the enthusiasm of the advocates to work with Development and the Major Gifts Officer in this refocused development effort.  This, coupled with the need to give structure to the process of soliciting the existing and future donor base, has the potential to impact the organization in a major way.

Major Duties and Responsibilities

  • Professionalize the major gift efforts at CLF
  • Create, integrate and implement short-, intermediate- and long-term individual major gift donor strategies with the Vice President of Development.
  • Develop strategic, focused funding requests based on short-, intermediate-, and long-term goals of the organization so as to build an evolving portfolio of appropriate donors.
  • Develop institutional knowledge to know who and when to ask for support (advocates, board members, senior management) to increase effectiveness of presentations.
  • Work with (coach, cheer and support) advocates and state board members to develop professional processes in identifying, qualifying and maximizing existing and potential donors.
  • Ensure that all appropriate relationship management systems are in place and functioning including identification, qualification, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship of prospective and current donors.
  • Plan and implement funding campaigns, events and activities for major gift donors. This includes teaming with senior management, advocates, and board members on appropriate activities and programs.
  • Execute major gift materials, including briefing memos, proposals and any other materials to convey the quality and professionalism of the organization.
  • Maintain a high degree of responsiveness to the needs and requests of all constituencies, external as well as internal.

Personal Attributes and Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree. Advanced degree preferred.
  • 8+ years of nonprofit fundraising experience with significant responsibility in major gifts.
  • Demonstrated ability to perform as a major gifts officer at a high level.
  • A strong interest in the environment. A history of environmental advocacy a definite plus.
  • The ability to assimilate complex issues/programs and have the skill to communicate their content in a succinct, coherent way.
  • Strong writing, oral, and presentation skills.
  • Attention to detail and strong project management skills.
  • A proven ability to meet deadlines and manage multiple projects at the same time.
  • Ability to perform at a high level in a team environment.
  • The willingness and ability to manage projects throughout New England.
  • Experience working in settings with a diversity of races, ethnicities, and socioeconomic backgrounds, including experience with a wide range of New England communities.
  • A tenacious individual with a well-developed sense of humor is preferred.


Compensation will be competitive and commensurate with the successful candidate’s experience.

Every day, CLF advocates stand up for New Englanders—in state houses, court houses and board rooms, regulatory hearings and community gatherings—to forge innovative paths to environmental progress and economic prosperity for all in our region.  To that end, CLF works with communities of color, and also communities that are economically or otherwise disadvantaged, which often suffer disproportionately the impacts of environmental degradation and frequently have access to fewer environmental benefits.  CLF is committed to representing New England’s diversity in our staff, volunteers, boards and membership and creating a positive, inclusive workplace culture where all can thrive.  People of color are encouraged to apply.

To learn more, call or write:

Terri Rutter, Senior Consultant

(857) 445-4918

All inquiries will be held in confidence.