Major Gifts Associate - Full-time
Lisle, IL
Full Time

The Morton Arboretum is a world-renowned nonprofit dedicated to protecting and growing trees locally and globally. We are seeking an experienced associate to join our team to increase philanthropic support through major giving. The ideal candidate will help secure support from individual donors to improve the future for trees, advance leading scientific and conservation research, support educational programming for adults and children, and preserve our plant collections across 1,700 acres. You’ll be part of an incredible team working together to make the Arboretum exceptional.   

Position Summary:  Manage an externally focused portfolio of approximately 150 individual prospects focused on building the pipeline of donors to advance major giving at the Arboretum. Greatest emphasis will be placed on qualifying prospects and building a major gifts pipeline. Serve as an advocate for a culture of philanthropy that supports the best interests of the organization as well as the donors.

Essential Functions:

  • Build a portfolio of approximately 150 leadership annual, major and planned giving donors and prospects.  Demonstrate proper moves management through qualification, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship of donors. 

  • Work with the Director of Major Gifts to set annual and campaign fundraising goals for individual donors in personal portfolio. 

  • Develop creative, personal moves management strategies in support of overall giving goals to maximize philanthropic support of the Arboretum and institutional success in meeting mission goals.

  • In partnership with development colleagues, support a comprehensive giving program that best matches donor capacity and interest with appropriate giving channels and engagement opportunities. 

  • Work in close collaboration with the prospect research staff and other development colleagues to identify, qualify, and cultivate high potential prospects in support of priority initiatives. 

  • Actively engage colleagues and Arboretum volunteers in the cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of donors and prospects.

  • Report regularly to the Director of Major Gifts on goal achievement to demonstrate progress, identify areas of concern, and review strategies as needed.

  • Other duties as assigned. 

Qualifications:  Bachelor’s degree required. 3+ years of professional fundraising experience in a major gifts environment and/or direct experience in relationship building and cultivation of individual donors, or other related professional work. Exemplary interpersonal, verbal, and written communication skills required.  Ability to successfully motivate, engage, and interact with senior leadership, trustees, high level donors and volunteers required.  Prior experience and proven efficiency in moves management processes required.  Must be proficient with Microsoft Office and experience with Google applications is beneficial. Preferred experience using Blackbaud’s Raiser’s Edge software or similar database programs.  Must possess a valid driver’s license, which is subject to insurability and an annual Motor Vehicle Record (MVR) report.

Success Factors:  Ability to discern and respond to donor interests to meet both donor and institutional goals.  Ability to work collaboratively and cooperatively with Arboretum senior staff, trustees, colleagues and volunteers.  Ability to manage multiple priorities effectively.  Strong interpersonal skills with an ability to interface professionally with members, donors, scientists, and administration.  Comfortable working with individuals from all stations of life.  A commitment to, and ability to effectively convey, the Arboretum’s mission with genuine passion, and the willingness to continually learn about the programs and mission. Ability to embrace and operate in line with our employee core values to take ownership, work together, keep learning and make the Arboretum exceptional.

Physical Demands and Work Environment: The physical demands and work environment characteristics described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform these essential functions.

  • Physical Demands: Requires some physical activity: limited lifting and carrying (up to 10 lbs.), and occasional travel around the Arboretum campus and locally.
  • Work Environment: Fast-paced office environment.  Work is performed in a combined indoor and outdoor setting. 
  • Equipment: General office equipment, Arboretum golf cart and minivan.
  • Schedule: Position requires occasional extended work hours, including evenings and weekends.

For full consideration, please include resume and cover letter with application.

All Arboretum employees will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and provide proof of that status in order to maintain their employment.

The Morton Arboretum is a champion of diversity, supporting a culture of inclusion that attracts, inspires, and engages people to achieve success. The Arboretum is committed to hire and develop employees based on job-related qualifications irrespective of race, religion, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, disability, or veteran status. To increase diversity in professions related to the public garden realm, we encourage applications from underrepresented minorities, persons with disabilities, and veterans.  

The Morton Arboretum is dedicated to complying with our obligations as an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. All applicants are guaranteed equal consideration for employment. 

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