Director, Major Gifts

Team: Development
Employment Status: FTE
Salary Range: $85,000 – $95,000
Location: Saint Paul, Minnesota – Hybrid

Job overview and requirements

Fresh Energy is seeking a Major Gifts Director who shares our passion for addressing critical issues in climate and energy. This new position will be instrumental in advancing the organization’s mission by increasing donor support and serving as a dedicated ambassador within the community. This role will be responsible for strategically growing support from individual donors by identifying new donors and cultivating and stewarding existing donors to increase retention and level of support. The Major Gifts Director will play a pivotal role in fostering relationships between donors and key individuals on the board and staff, making an impact on our commitment to advance progress in the climate and energy space.

The Major Gifts Director will report directly to the Senior Director of Individual Giving at Fresh Energy. This role involves close collaboration with the Executive Director and Fresh Energy leadership team, and board members to maximize donor cultivation and stewardship.

Our story

As experts in energy and climate, Fresh Energy understands that there are solutions within reach that can help us prevent the very worst damages of climate change. For over 30 years, Fresh Energy has been speeding Minnesota’s transition to a clean energy economy to ensure that our region enjoys good health, a vibrant economy, and thriving, equitable communities today and for generations to come. Our mission is to shape and drive bold policy solutions to create equitable carbon-neutral economies by 2050.

You will thrive at Fresh Energy if: you value work autonomy with a collaborative work environment, a visionary-with-an-inclusive decision-making style, working hard while participating in the community, being attentive to integrating equity in your work, learning while adapting to business or policy changes, knowing-what-to-do-yet-coachable, and having a strong sense that you can play a role in our mission to address climate change.

Reports to

Senior Director of Individual Giving

Essential responsibilities

Summary: A major gifts role will lead and collaborate with staff, board, current and future donors in the development and growth of this area as a sustaining and increasing revenue source to advance Fresh Energy’s mission.

  • Manage a personal portfolio of major gift prospects with the purpose of cultivating, soliciting and closing five- and six-figure or more gifts.
  • Utilizing moves management strategies, assess prospects with identified capacity to move up the giving levels.
  • Conduct face-to-face cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship meetings with major donors and prospects.
  • Develop solicitation strategies for donors and prospects supporting annual fund, planned giving, and any future campaigns.
  • Collaborate with the Development Team to screen and prepare profiles of current and prospective donors.
  • Develop a systematic approach for assigning other key staff their own donor portfolios.
  • Manage the process of assigning and transitioning donor portfolios to development staff and support effective relationship management across the organization.
  • Working with the Senior Director of Individual Giving to deploy key staff and board members to participate in donor meetings and fundraising asks.
  • Set up a system for moves management and maintain accurate and timely records and contact reports for all donor interactions using fundraising software.

Participate in culture of collaboration and model our core values.

  • Exemplifying openness, humility, and continuously seeking improvements in program, policy, workflow, organizational expertise, or individual skills.
  • Shape and support organization-wide systems such as our fundraising activities, career development, coaching, and performance review systems.
  • Work effectively in the context of your immediate team, the broader Fresh Energy team, and with external partners; enhance collaboration by maintaining honest communication, seeking and respecting diverse viewpoints, engendering trust, fulfilling responsibilities, and ensuring that all team members and their contributions are valued. 
  • Model organization core values and culture such as practicing the coach approach, nurturing an intrapreneurial attitude, embracing a learning attitude as means to progress professionally, developing work autonomy, acting with honesty and integrity and collaboratively seeking ways to advance equity and justice. You can read more about our core values and mission here: https://fresh-energy.org/about-us. 
  • Exhibit a clear commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion and provide leadership in continually advancing Fresh Energy’s commitment to equity and being an anti-racist organization. You can read more here: https://fresh-energy.org/our-commitment-to-diversity-equity-and-inclusion. 

Demonstrate capacity for growth and learning and engage with opportunities which support Fresh Energy’s overall mission and strategy.

Job qualifications

  • Experience managing high level donor relationships with demonstrated success in closing gifts of $10,000 and above.
  • Ability to conceive, plan, and execute a major gifts program, including: annual giving, special events, and special projects/campaigns.
  • Excellent grasp of donor database software including experience managing moves management plans. Fresh Energy recently transitioned to EveryAction/Bonterra.
  • High level proficiency with Microsoft Office, including Word, Excel and Outlook, and a working knowledge of search functions for donor research purposes. Familiarity with wealth screening software. Comfortable conducting virtual meetings via Zoom and Microsoft Teams.
  • Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent experience plus a minimum of 5-7 or more years (direct or equivalent)
  • Superior interpersonal skills and ability to communicate professionally with a culturally diverse group of volunteers, co-workers and donors.
  • Excellent organizational and project management skills and ability to prioritize workload in a timely manner to complete assignments with many deadlines and competing requirements.
  • Experience in working at a nonprofit or organization working in clean energy, the environment or related field a plus but not required.
  • Ability and capacity to travel 25% of the time locally.
  • Demonstrated ability to perform well in a fast-paced environment.
  • Ability to work occasional evenings/weekends is required.

Qualities that will help you grow at Fresh Energy: Demonstrable experience and passion for the subject area/matter, openness to learn about different perspectives or ideas within Fresh Energy’s culture, and climate programs. An entrepreneurial drive/spirit balanced with humility, along with a deep appreciation of how to collaborate with fellow staff, partners, and opposing views.

Compensation and benefits

  • Starting salary range: $85,000-$95,000 based on experience with opportunity for compensation change based on organizational performance, equity across the organization, strategy, and organizational budget. 
  • Full-time, exempt position, working 40 hours per week. We believe in caring for others at work and at home. Fresh Energy is committed to keeping the workload in alignment with the true hours worked and respecting the space needed to take personal time to care for your wellbeing and your family members.  
  • Front-loaded 24 days of PTO (increases each year of employment) from day 1 of employment, 15 paid holidays, and a flexible, family-friendly schedule; every Fridays the office closes at noon.  
  • We provide medical and dental plans, additional voluntary vision, short- and long-term disability, life, AD&D insurance, and 5 percent of annual salary contribution to your 403(b)-retirement plan from your first day at Fresh Energy. Fresh Energy will contribute a match of 1:1 up to 3% of your eligible gross salary should you decide to contribute to your plan. 
  • Fresh Energy contributes to an employee’s FSA and HSA to promote health and wellness which will be annually adjusted based on budget and demand.
  • A one-time work-from-home stipend of $300.
  • In addition, we incentivize transit, biking, and walking, offering a dollar-for-dollar bus pass match, $1 for each trip to and from work by bike or walk, and an indoor bike storage area, as well as gym, and showers available for Fresh Energy staff as part of being a tenant of the Historic Hamm Building.  
  • We pay 50% of the day’s parking for a full-time employee who would like to use this benefit for business parking (i.e. working from the Fresh Energy Office or in downtown St. Paul) at a covered lot in downtown St. Paul that Fresh Energy contracts with. The Employee will pay the remaining 50% of the daily parking fee. The total cost per Employee is pay-per-use.  
  • Generous parental and family care leave eligible on the first day of full-time employment. Eligible employees are entitled to up to twelve (12) weeks of leave under this policy. Fresh Energy will pay an eligible employee for the first six (6) weeks of leave with the rest of the leave being unpaid or being paid through the use of PTO.
  • All our employees are fully vaccinated for COVID-19. We update our in-person protocols to safeguard the health and safety for all employees. 
  • We promote and sponsor individual and joint professional workshops and trainings. Each employee is eligible for $1,000 per year to support professional development activities.  
  • We are intentional in co-creating a relevant and inclusive flexible hybrid workplace. We foster a respectful, collaborative, and fun work environment.  

Hiring Process and Timeline

  • The position will remain open until filled and we will review applications on a rolling basis; preference will be given to applicants submitting on or before February 29th. 
  • Our hiring team will select finalists for an initial 45-minute interview via video conference.  
  • Finalists will be invited back for an approximately 60-minute second-round interview in-person; at that time, we will ask for three references and two work samples relevant to this contract, e.g. a professional writing sample, or other relevant materials. 
  • Ideally the selected candidate would begin work on or before April 1st.  

To apply

Email cover letter and resume to the Fresh Energy Hiring Team at hiringteam@fresh-energy.org with the subject line “Major Gifts Director.” Please include a cover letter and resume in one PDF document with your name as the title. No phone calls, please.

Fresh Energy’s Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and Equal Opportunity Employer Policy reflect our commitment to ensure equality, treat everyone with respect, and promote diversity in the workplace.