San Juan Preservation Trust

Friday Harbor, Washington

Job Type Permanent
Salary Details $60,000-$75,000
Required Experience 2 - 6 years

Benefits:  Health insurance, 3% matching IRA contributions in next calendar year, generous vacation, 12 days/year medical/family leave, 10 holidays/year


The Major Gift Officer serves as part of the Development team and reports to the Director of Philanthropy. This position is responsible for identifying, researching, cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding individuals capable of making major and planned gifts of five-, six-, and seven-figures to support the mission of the San Juan Preservation Trust (SJPT). The Major Gift Officer maintains a portfolio of individuals and family foundations, and is called upon to engage and collaborate with SJPT board members, staff, and volunteers. The Major Gift Officer must be able to communicate the mission, values, and scope of the organization. Some travel, weekend and evening work may be required.

Organizational Profile

The San Juan Preservation Trust (, founded in 1979, is a private, nonprofit, nationally accredited land trust dedicated to helping people and communities conserve land in the San Juan Archipelago of Washington State.

Together with our landowner partners and members/supporters, the Preservation Trust permanently protects more than 300 properties, 50 miles of shoreline, 25 miles of trails, and 19,000 acres on 21 islands, including land now managed as public parks, nature preserves, wildlife habitat, and working farms and forests.

The Preservation Trust—a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization—is governed by a volunteer Board of Trustees and currently employs 13 full-time staff. Headquarters are on San Juan Island, which is served by the Washington State Ferries system. SJPT is not affiliated with any government agency and does not receive tax revenue. Financial support comes from the voluntary contributions of some 3,000 individuals, families, and private foundations.

Our MISSION is to:

  • CONSERVE the natural beauty, vital ecosystems, and unique character of the San Juan Islands for future generations;
  • CARE for the lands and waters under our protection, with our partners;
  • CONNECT people to nature, to each other, and to the Preservation Trust.


  • Manage a core portfolio of 125-150 current and prospective major donors including identification, research, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship
  • Use a moves management model to create and implement engagement and solicitation strategies for those in portfolio
  • With Director of Philanthropy, formalize Major Gift Program
  • Leverage engagement opportunities to advance relationships with donors and potential donors
  • Develop short- and long-range major gift tactical plans to help ensure that Board-approved major gift fundraising expectations are met or exceeded
  • Apply best-practice gift planning techniques and ascertain the best combination of current and deferred giving to meet the needs of donors and SJPT
  • Engage the Executive Director, staff, trustees, and other volunteers as appropriate in prospect identification, strategy development, solicitation, and stewardship
  • Brief executive leadership on major gift strategies, related timelines, and action plans
  • Conduct prospect research to inform gift solicitation strategies
  • Work with the Development team to analyze the donor database and develop appropriate processes to effectively leverage data for major and planned giving fundraising purposes
  • Assist in the timely management of donor records to ensure confidentiality, completeness, accuracy of content, and documentation of contacts with organization representatives
  • Seek out and participate in professional development opportunities
  • Other duties as assigned

Knowledge and Critical Skills/Expertise

  • Outstanding ability to express oneself clearly and empathetically in all forms of communication, including speaking, writing, one-on-one, and in group settings
  • Decisive and resourceful, with the sensitivity to gain the support and confidence of the Board of Trustees, Executive Director, advisors, all levels of staff, donors, and broader constituency
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently and as a team member
  • Ability to exercise sound judgement at all times, including strict discretion when dealing with confidential and personal information
  • Ability to work in a donor-centered manner with a focus on internal and external customer service
  • Highly motivated to set and achieve measurable goals
  • Strong commitment to respect, value, and contribute to SJPT’s commitment to justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion

Required Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience
  • At least five years of documented, progressively responsible major gift fund development
  • General knowledge of planned giving options
  • Knowledge and competence in Microsoft Office products and fundraising database software
  • Ability to work evening and weekend hours as needed, on short notice

Additional Qualifications

  • CFRE or other fundraising certification
  • Familiarity with the people, communities, and culture of the San Juan Islands
  • Experience working with volunteers
  • Ability to thrive within a small nonprofit office environment, possess a strong belief in land conservation, and demonstrate a passion for protecting the San Juan Islands

Location and Travel

The demands of this position require that the candidate live on one of the four islands served by the Washington State Ferries system (San Juan, Orcas, Lopez, or Shaw) and have regular and reliable transportation for frequent local travel.


Please send resume, cover letter, and how you learned about this position either via email at  or USPS mail: San Juan Preservation Trust (c/o Office Manager), PO Box 759, Friday Harbor WA 98250

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