Major Gifts Officer

California Trout Inc

California Trout Inc

Software Engineering
San Francisco, CA, USA
Posted on Saturday, August 26, 2023

POSITION: Senior Development Manager

OFFICE LOCATION: San Franciso, California


EMPLOYMENT STATUS: Full-time, Exempt

REPORTS TO: Director of Development

COMPENSATION: $90,000 - $105,000

California Trout is a highly recognized, effective and financially strong conservation-based non-profit headquartered in San Francisco. For over 50 years, CalTrout has championed a remarkable number of initiatives focused on ensuring healthy waters and resilient wild fish for a better California. CalTrout has six conservation offices around the state and works closely with a number of universities to apply “the best of science” to direct conservation projects and influence statewide policy. Our regionally-based offices partner with local communities to form strong collaborative partnerships. Our work ensures a viable and healthy future for wild fish, and people, given the looming threats of global warming, population growth, and increasing development. CalTrout is backed by a passionate Board along with highly committed donors and a strong membership base.

In 2021, its 50th anniversary year, CalTrout has completed a three-year strategic plan and has launched a $5M Impact Fund campaign. CalTrout is making a significant investment in growing its fundraising team. This expansion offers a distinct opportunity to join a powerful team of dedicated conservationists and to play a meaningful role making California a better place for future generations.


The Senior Development Manager (SDM) works closely with the Executive Director, Director of Development, development team and program leaders to plan, implement, and coordinate effective near and long-term strategies to generate support for the critical conservation priorities of CalTrout from primarily individuals. The position may also provide strategic advice and support to enhance the functioning of the development program.

The Senior Development Manager is responsible for managing a portfolio of qualified donors, prospecting for new donors, and building strong relationships. They understand and apply complex principles of developing donor strategies. They will be responsible for direct asks and can discuss planned gift opportunities. The SDM will assist in the development of procedures around giving initiatives, campaigns, strategic donor events and stewardship. They involve and engage appropriate partners throughout the organization, keeping them apprised of interactions, issues and/or concerns, and address questions as needed. They are conversant in CalTrout programs in detailed terms and understand project budgets. They will be required to use the donor database and will, at all times, employ discretion and integrity with sensitive donor information.

Essential functions include:

85% (approx.)

  1. Build and manage a portfolio of 80 - 100 individual donors with the capacity to give $2,500 - $10,000, creating, managing and executing a plan for all donors within the managed portfolio.
  2. Responsible for implementing donor plans using tailored outreach.
  3. Help the fundraising team meet or exceed annual fundraising goal of $3.5MM including restricted and unrestricted contributions.
  4. Meet or exceed any additional fundraising goals defined for the fiscal year.
  5. Make direct asks to support CalTrout priorities.
  6. Help the fundraising team with corporate and private foundation identification, cultivation, solicitation.
  7. Collaborate with the Leadership Team, Board of Directors, and other staff to secure major gifts and provide direction in fundraising strategy, particularly in our efforts to plan for the next capital campaign.
  8. Understand and apply complex principles of developing donor strategies.
  9. Manage and expand the Richard May Legacy Circle, CalTrout’s planned giving program.
  10. Work across teams to involve and engage appropriate subject matter experts and other conservation partners in outreach and proposal development, and to keep them apprised of interactions, issues and/or concerns, while addressing questions as needed.
  11. Communicate the programs in detailed terms, co-create and discuss all opportunities to connect to our work through philanthropy.
  12. Work closely with the Communications team and Membership Manager to create compelling, persuasive donor appeals, newsletters, and other communications.
  13. Understand project budgets; may build proposal budgets utilizing this knowledge.
  14. Use the donor database to track donor interactions, strategy, and other metrics.
  15. Participate in cross-departmental team to expand support from foundations.
  16. May manage formal and/or informal networks of volunteers.
  17. Arrange and attend various donor meetings and events.
  18. Administrative functions: Generates misc. reports; accurate and timely submittal of items such as timecards, expense reports, performance and self-reviews
  19. Other duties as required.


  • Act independently and in supervisor’s stead as needed, exercise independent judgment to identify and solve problems.
  • Demonstrate sensitivity in handling confidential information.
  • Assist in the development of and ensure compliance with internal policies and procedures and external (donor/legal/IRS) requirements.
  • Recommend and meet fundraising goals.
  • Manage and implement multiple projects, directing work of staff, managing budget, and setting deadlines.
  • May direct or participate in negotiations for complex, high profile or sensitive agreements.
  • May supervise support or administrative staff.
  • Persuasively convey the mission to diverse groups.
  • Ability to travel on occasion and work flexible hours as needed.
  • Work environment involves only infrequent exposure to disagreeable elements and minor physical exertion and/or strain.


  • Bachelor’s degree and 6 years related experience or an equivalent combination.
  • Experience building and maintaining long-term relationships with fundraising constituents.
  • Experience in asking for and closing gifts.
  • Experience in managing and tracking multiple prospects and donors.
  • Experience working with cross-functional teams.
  • Experience working with fundraising principles and practices.
  • Experience, coursework, or other training in current trends in charitable giving in the areas of capital campaigns, major gifts or planned giving.
  • Excellent organizational skills, research abilities, and attention to detail.
  • Experience with Windows, Excel, and Outlook
  • Valid Driver’s license


  • Ability to design and manage fundraising plans, including individualized cultivation, solicitation and recognition plans.
  • Ability to determine an individual’s interests, capacity and potential and act appropriately to tie those interests with CalTrout’s work.
  • Demonstrated experience using listening, diplomacy and tact to build strong relationships and motivate donors and volunteers.
  • Working knowledge of charitable gift planning.


California Trout offers competitive compensation commensurate with experience; health benefits (medical, dental, and vision), retirement plan with matching, generous holidays and vacation benefits.

CalTrout is an Equal Opportunity Employer and our commitment to diversity includes the recognition that our conservation mission is best advanced by the leadership and contributions of people of diverse backgrounds, beliefs and culture. Recruiting and mentoring staff to create an inclusive organization that reflects CalTrout’s mission is a priority and we encourage applicants from all cultures, races, colors, religions, sexes, national or regional origins, ages, disability status, sexual orientation, gender identity, military, protected veteran status or other status protected by law.