Position Description

Sierra Club Major Gifts Officer
Location Chicaco, IL; Minneapolis, MN; Detroit, MI; St.Louis, MO; Cleveland, OH
Job Code 241-19
# of Openings 1
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Job Title: Sierra Club Major Gifts Officer 

Geographic Regions: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin in partnership with the Managing Director of Major Gifts, Midwest

Department: Office of Advancement

Reports to: Managing Director, Major Gifts, Midwest  

Context: Implements Sierra Club’s major gift fundraising in the Midwest

Scope: This is an opportunity to join the Advancement team of the country’s leading grassroots environmental organization. At a critical time for the planet, Sierra Club is running highly effective campaigns to address climate change, protect wilderness and wildlife, and advance healthier communities. The Advancement Director, Midwest, will be part of a small team responsible for major donor efforts within the defined geographic region. They will be responsible for identifying and cultivating individual donors, family foundations, and institutional funders in the Midwest, and soliciting gifts in support of Sierra Club’s statewide and national campaigns.

Job Activities:

  1. Plans and organizes donor identification strategies. Works closely with volunteers and key staff to identify prospects and develop strategies for the cultivation and solicitation of philanthropic support.
  2. Makes solicitation/cultivation requests for 5-, 6-, and 7- figure gifts from donors and prospective donors as part of a portfolio with a potential to provide $1-3 million annually.
  3. Maintains particular emphasis on building relationships with funders having single gift capacity of $100,000 or greater and focuses on upgrading, prospecting, and principal gift cultivation of qualified individuals and institutional funders.
  4. Coordinates major gift activities with the work of the regional field offices including Chapter staff, regional campaign and program staff, and Chapter leadership.
  5. Collaborates with the Midwest Advancement/Major Gifts Team to develop and implement a regional fundraising plan, monitor fundraising efforts, set priorities for future activities, and regularly report progress to senior Sierra Club leadership within the Advancement Department.
  6. Maintains knowledge and expertise in environmental issues, the Sierra Club's priorities and concerns. Helps to identify and develop funding opportunities.
  7. Plans, monitors, and updates the Office of Advancement revenue and expense budgets for regional portfolio. Evaluates and coordinates resources needed to carry out the regional plan.
  8. Works with other Advancement, Program & Media staff, as well as other Sierra Club staff, to help develop and implement Major Gift programs, initiatives, general events, and materials.
  9. Plans and leads donor events, where appropriate.
  10. Performs miscellaneous duties and specially assigned project duties as directed.


Knowledge & Skills:

  • Three years of experience in development and major gift fundraising, including a strong background in the cultivation and solicitation of five and six-figure gifts to nonprofit organizations or similar equivalent experience.
  • Demonstrated effectiveness and ability to meet fundraising goals
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Ability to partner productively with a variety of staff, volunteers, donors, and prospects.
  • Ability to prioritize and meet deadlines, to use tact and diplomacy in dealing with confidential and sensitive matters, and ability to work well with diverse groups of people.
  • Proficiency with fundraising database applications (Salesforce a plus), MS Word, Excel, and PowerPoint to build effective, compelling marketing and communications pieces.
  • Experience integrating equity and inclusion initiatives into fundraising plans.
  • Highly motivated and disciplined.
  • Valid driver’s license, satisfactory driving record, and proof of auto insurance required
  • 20% travel required.

We are passionate about developing a diverse and inclusive workforce. If you are excited about this role but do not meet 100% of the qualifications listed above, we urge you to apply.


This position is represented by a collective bargaining unit and is subject to the terms and conditions of the contract between Sierra Club and Progressive Workers Union.

The Sierra Club offers competitive salary package commensurate with skills and experience plus excellent benefits that include medical, dental, and vision coverage, and a retirement savings 401(k) plan.

This is a category 4 exempt position.

Sierra Club is a 501(c)(4) non-profit organization. Sierra Club employees are not eligible to participate in the Federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program.  Sierra Club does not sponsor H1B visas.

The Sierra Club is an equal opportunity employer committed to workforce diversity.

Explore, enjoy and protect the planet.


*If you are applying for more than one position with us, please attach your job-specific cover letters in the 'Attachments' section.

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