Major Gifts Manager

Location: Seattle, WA

Department: Development

Type: Full Time

Min. Experience: Experienced

About Forterra

Forterra secures the places — urban, rural and wild — that are keystones of a sustainable future in the Pacific Northwest — places that might otherwise be lost. Our accomplishments over our 25 years include 400+ land transactions touching more than a quarter-million acres — from wild lands and working farms and forests, to places in the city for affordable housing, parks and the arts. We also organize tens of thousands of hours of hands-on stewardship each year, as well as innovative efforts to create livelihoods so people and place can mutually thrive.

Summary of Position

Reporting to the Director of Major Gifts and Campaigns, and working as a member of the Major Gifts team, the Major Gift Manager is a self-motivated and mission-driven professional whose primary responsibility is to identify, cultivate, solicit and steward major gift prospects for gifts at the $1K to $10K level.

The Major Gift Manager will work with prospects to generate unrestricted support for Forterra’s operations, as well as restricted programmatic funding. S/he will be responsible for managing the planning, strategy-setting and execution of all activities within his/her portfolio, with the eventual goal of graduating qualified donors to giving levels above $10K. The position also plays a part in broader strategizing about corporate and foundation support, at times helping pursue these opportunities.

Essential Duties

In accordance with Forterra goals and standards:

  • Work with the leadership of the organization and the team to craft, implement, and continually refine major gifts strategy.
  • Manage a portfolio of approximately 100 major gift prospects capable of giving at the $1K-10K level — cultivating, stewarding, and soliciting as appropriate with close attention to donors’ individual values, interests and capacity.
  • Work with program-side staff to gain and maintain an in-depth understanding of Forterra’s current and past programmatic work so it can be accurately portrayed to donors.
  • Write compelling and thoughtful introductory letters, emails, gift proposals, thank-you notes, impact reports and other fundraising materials.
  • Work continually to expand the pipeline of prospective supporters, whether through research, dialogue with other staff, close attention to business and other publications, or awareness of other organizations’ supporters.
  • Share insight on foundation and corporate opportunities learned of; and in consultation with other staff at times pursue these opportunities.
  • Conscientiously plan and track communications and donor-relations activities in the donor database, working closely with the database administrator.

Key Supporting Responsibilities

  • Identify prospects with potential to give at levels above $10K, and enlist team and organizational leaders in devising the best approach to an ask.
  • Together with teammates, play an active part in creating cultivation dinners, community fundraisers and other relationship-building events for major donors.
  • Coordinate with Forterra’s Communications team to oversee, review and enhance outreach materials to make them more appealing to major donors.
  • Adhere to the highest ethical standards; reflect an optimistic and positive attitude, and convey sensitivity and a sense of gratitude towards all donors, regardless of giving level.

Required Qualifications

  • Interest in, understanding of, and commitment to Forterra’s work to secure the places that are keystones of an environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable future in the Northwest, plus the ability to communicate the work compellingly.
  • High energy and a track record of building successful donor, business or comparable relationships.
  • Ability to develop a positive working relationship with a variety of people, and to work well on small teams.
  • Ability to successfully and calmly juggle multiple tasks, and deal with ambiguity and rapidly changing plans and priorities.
  • Outstanding interpersonal and communication skills, with the ability to capably engage in person, on the phone and in written communication with a broad range of internal and external clients.
  • Tact and awareness of multiple perspectives.
  • Sensitivity and care with confidential information.
  • Experience with Raiser’s Edge (or other fundraising or CRM tool), and Microsoft Office programs, including Word, Excel and Outlook.
  • Demonstrated resourcefulness and strong problem-solving skills.
  • Ability to work occasional non-standard hours, including evenings and weekends.
  • Valid, insurable driver’s license/record.

Travel, Working Conditions, and Physical Environment

  • This position is subject to indoor environmental conditions typical to a professional office setting. The essential physical requirements of this position include:
  • Ability to exert up to 30 pounds of force occasionally and/or a negligible amount of force frequently to lift, carry, push, pull or otherwise move objects.
  • Ability to sit, stand or otherwise remain in a stationary position at a computer workstation for the majority of the work day.
  • Ability to occasionally move about inside the office to access file cabinets, office equipment, etc.
  • Ability to constantly operate a computer and other office equipment such as calculators, copy machines and printers.
  • Ability to communicate accurately and persuasively with co-workers, clients and members of the public about Forterra’s work.
  • Ability to lead and participate in outdoor project/site tours. This may require navigating uneven terrain in inclement weather.
  • Frequent travel in in the Greater Puget Sound area, mostly in the form of day trips from Seattle.

Criminal Conviction Background Check

Because this position involves access to confidential/sensitive information and physical assets, Forterra will not hire into this position anyone who has been convicted of a criminal offense related to theft or fraud. A criminal history background check will be conducted on the final candidate prior to beginning employment.

Equal Opportunity Employer

Forterra is an Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE). Qualified applicants are considered for employment without regard to age, race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, veteran status, or any other class protected by law. Assistance and/or reasonable accommodations during the application process are available to individuals with disabilities upon request. No applicant will be penalized as a result of such a request. To request assistance or accommodation, please contact

To apply, visit our website at No phone calls, please.

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