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Development Manager, Major Gifts - BrightFocus Foundation

Location: Clarksburg, MD

The Development Manager, Major Gifts (Manager) is responsible for growing and managing a major gift portfolio of 120-150 individuals in various stages of the donor giving cycle. The Manager understands how achievement of fundraising goals is a reflection of time and resource allocation, as well as the ability to build relationships with donors. 

The Development Manager, Major Gifts will join our 11-member Development team, assisting in developing strategic and integrated initiatives to advance the Development program within the overall strategic priorities of the Foundation.


  • Work closely with the Senior Vice President, Development and the other gift officers to create and implement an effective 'Discovery' process, leading to the qualification of up to 150 individuals annually. 
  • Develop and maintain a major gift portfolio primarily by conducting 7-9 in-person solicitation visits per month. This portfolio consists of approximately 40% in active cultivation/stewardship and 60% in discovery.
  • Develop a major gift portfolio that successfully closes 25-30 leadership annual gifts and major gifts annually. 
  • Follow-up on bequest leads generated by the Planned Giving and the Direct Mail programs. 
  • Work closely with the Senior Vice President for Development and other Development team members to design and implement effective communication instruments and an integrated communications plan.
  • Cultivate and solicit leadership Annual Giving prospects and strategically deepen relationships with first-time and existing donors to retain, renew, and upgrade/increase annual gifts.
  • Track portfolio activity and progress in the donor database. Create cultivation, prospecting, and call reports that accurately reflect portfolio activity, performance, and progress.
  • Provide appropriate stewardship of donors, acknowledging contributions and encouraging future support.
  • Keep the Senior Vice President informed of all matters that impact the overall achievement of goals.
  • Maintain accurate and timely expense records.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.


  • Strong fundraising skills with a track record of securing gifts in the five- to seven-figure range from individuals. 
  • Confidence and skill to artfully ask prospective donors to make a financial contribution, exhibiting transparency with prospects about the purpose of cultivation visits, and believe that the fastest way to qualify a prospect is to solicit him/her for a gift.
  • Receive critique without getting defensive and refrains from taking solicitation rejection personally. 
  • Probe prospects by asking thoughtful, insightful questions about their goals and interests.
  • Possess a deep repository of knowledge to inform donor discussions.
  • Read nonverbal cues, including body language and adapts approach to the prospect accordingly, while also changing tone, inflection, and vocabulary based on the background and experiences of a prospect.
  • Zero-in on relevant details to donor motivations and interest.
  • Explain complicated issues in a comprehensible fashion.
  • Work well with all levels, demonstrating a high-level of respect and appreciation.  
  • Manage time effectively by multi-tasking, setting priorities, and meeting deadlines.
  • Proactive, ambitious, self-starter with a passion for outcomes, goals and competitive performance.
  • Thrive in a collaborative, team-oriented environment.


  • Bachelor's degree or higher from an accredited college or university.
  • 5 years of individual experience in major gift fundraising and/or relational portfolio management.
  • Proven track record of identifying, cultivating, soliciting, closing, growing, and maintaining major gifts.
  • Familiarity with planned giving (i.e. estate planning) is desirable.
  • Professional, polished demeanor that represents the high-quality standard of BrightFocus and creates a climate of confidence and trust on the part of donors.
  • Exceptional communication skills (written and verbal), and interpersonal skills.
  • Solid presentation skills and ability to speak in front of various audiences while representing BrightFocus.
  • Works well with others, is a team player.
  • Working knowledge of fundraising database programs, Data Management Incorporated (DMI) is a plus.
  • Computer proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite.
  • Travel required.


Please submit your resume and cover letter to with "Development Manager, Major Gifts" in the Subject line for consideration.
For a full position description, visit:

BrightFocus Foundation (BrightFocus) is at the forefront of brain and eye health by promoting awareness and driving innovative research worldwide to help eradicate diseases including Alzheimer's disease, macular degeneration, and glaucoma. To learn more about BrightFocus, visit

BrightFocus is committed to the full utilization of all human resources and to a policy of equal opportunity. In accordance with applicable laws, it is our policy to recruit, hire, train and promote individuals, as well as administer any and all personnel actions, without regard to any legally-protected characteristic including, but not limited to, race, age, color, religion, sex, marital status, national origin, physical or mental disability, or veteran status. 




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