Development Officer – Major Gifts

Island Conservation

NYC/Northeast; SF Bay Area, Seattle, Texas, Florida, Chicago, Remote

Job Type Permanent
Salary Details $70,000 - $100,000 based on experience and local cost-of-living index
Required Experience 2 - 6 years

About Us

Island Conservation (IC) envisions a world filled with vibrant biodiversity, resilient oceans, and thriving island communities. We are the only international non-profit conservation organization with the mission to restore islands for nature and people worldwide. Islands are special places that provide outsized returns on our conservation investments. IC is committed to holistic island-marine ecosystem restorations that combine efforts to improve community livelihoods and climate resiliency, manage invasive species, and reestablish native animals and plants. Learn more about us at www.islandconservation.org

Position Overview 

Island Conservation seeks a Development Officer (DO) with experience raising major gifts and grants from new and existing private and public funding sources to help IC scale our work and impact. The Development Officer plays a vital role in cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding major donors to support the organization’s mission and programs. This position is an integral part of the philanthropy team and will report to the Senior Major Gifts Officer. The DO works closely with the philanthropy team and senior leadership to develop fundraising strategies and achieve fundraising goals. 

Essential Duties

As the DO-Major Gifts, your portfolio will focus primarily on individual donors/family foundations but will include approximately 30% institutional donors such as philanthropic foundations, government and bi-/multi-lateral funders, and corporations.

30% Prospect Discovery, Contact, Qualification, and Cultivation

  • Research, identify, contact, and qualify/disqualify potential major donors including potential supporters of the Island-Ocean Connection Challenge (IOCC).
  • Develop, document, and implement donor-centered strategies to cultivate relationships with prospective and current major donors.
  • Cultivate and communicate regularly with prospects to provide updates on the organization's work and impact through virtual and in-person meetings, phone calls, donor trips and events.

 40%  Major Gifts Solicitations

  • Collaborate with senior leadership and program staff to align donor interests with funding opportunities. Ensure timely solicitation of all managed donors annually or as appropriate.
  • Develop tailored solicitations for prospect/donor portfolio including personalized proposals and presentations. This will include collaboration and coordination with program staff and leadership, engagement of volunteers, writing, editing, developing pitch decks, meeting with the donor, following up, and accurately documenting donor intent.
  • In coordination with philanthropy colleagues, support solicitations of donors in other portfolios as needed. 
  • Explore opportunities for stretch and campaign solicitations, multi-year solicitations, soliciting gifts of non-cash assets, endowment, and planned gift solicitations as appropriate.
  • Coordinate with the IOCC Managing Campaign Director and others to ensure coordinated IOCC prospect and donor solicitations.

 20% Donor Stewardship

  • Ensure timely and personalized acknowledgement of major gifts.
  • Develop and implement engagement plans to steward major donors and recognize their support. Regularly update donors on the impact of their contributions and how their support is making a difference.
  • Curate specific stewardship engagement strategies for the IOCC donor portfolio.
  • Collaborate with communications team to ensure donor acknowledgement and stewardship through segmented mailings, annual impact report, etc.

10% Other duties as assigned

  • Maintaining impeccable Salesforce records and maintaining compliance with all relevant administrative tools. 
  • Work with Philanthropy team and senior leadership to develop annual fundraising goals and strategies.
  • Collaborating with team members to ensure team goals are met, accepting short-term responsibilities outside typical portfolio to ensure team coverage as needed during periods of intense activity/staff leaves, etc.


This is a full-time exempt position with a competitive salary and a full benefits package, including a four-day work week. Island Conservation offers a flexible work schedule with a remote home office.


  • Travel: This position requires approximately 5-10 work trips per year (primarily domestic but may include international travel 1-3 times per year). Trips will regularly be 1-4 nights in duration but may be as long as 12 nights in duration for international travel.
  • Physical requirements: May need to move equipment and supplies up to 20 pounds, luggage up to 40lbs. Most time is spent at a computer workstation (sitting or standing). Must be able to travel and operate computer and A/V equipment.
  • Must possess, or be able to secure by start date, a valid passport and a valid driver’s license.
  • Must be able to adapt working hours to overlap regularly with staff or donors in all relevant time zones (e.g., America/Pacific, America/Mountain, America/Puerto Rico, U.S./Hawaii, Pacific/Palau, Pacific/Auckland, Chile/Continental, Europe/London, Europe/Paris).  

Required Qualifications 

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent professional experience
  • Minimum two years professional experience demonstrating skills and ability to execute essential duties and tasks outlined above.
  • Track record of asking for and closing gifts of at least $25,000
  • Standing relationships and demonstrated fundraising experience with one or more of IC’s target philanthropic sectors including ocean conservation, climate change mitigation/adaptation, local communities/Indigenous peoples-led conservation, conservation innovation, biodiversity conservation, environmental justice and/or corporate and social responsibility.
  • Demonstrated aptitude in Microsoft office suite and Outlook. Experience with or a willingness to learn Adobe Acrobat, Salesforce (or similar CRM), WealthEngine (or similar research software), Canva, Slack, and WhatsApp
  • Fluent/Bilingual Proficiency in English Language (oral, written, and comprehension skills)
  • Deep commitment to Island Conservation’s mission and an alignment with IC’s core values and commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  • Excellent active listening and communication skills including writing, editing, speaking, presenting and persuasion skills (English)
  • Impeccable integrity, emotional intelligence, and self-awareness

Desired Qualifications 

  • Four years or more professional experience demonstrating skills and ability to execute duties and tasks outlined above.
  • Track record of asking for and closing six and seven-figure gifts
  • Fluent/Bilingual Proficiency in Spanish or French (oral, written and comprehension skills)
  • Experience collaborating with donors and colleagues in a multi-cultural, remote work setting

Qualified candidates should apply to mgo@islandconservation.org. Only applications including both a cover letter (including desired salary and remote office location) and a resume will be considered. 

Island Conservation is an equal-opportunity employer committed to building and sustaining an inclusive and equitable working environment. We value the cultural diversity of our team, and we encourage applications from individuals of diverse backgrounds and experiences.

When you apply, please indicate that you are responding to the posting on Conservation Job Board.

Category Admin & Leadership , General / Stewardship
Tags Outreach