Major Gifts Officer

Sustainable Food Center - Austin

Job Type: Fundraising/Development
Closing date: 02/03/2020

Organization: Founded in 1993, with roots dating back to 1975 as Austin Community Gardens, Sustainable Food Center (SFC) is involved in every step of our local, Central Texas food system. With our new mission to cultivate a just and regenerative food system so people and the environment can thrive, SFC is laying the groundwork for our next phase as an organization.

SFC upholds the following Core Values.

Connectedness: We are community-focused and believe that relationships are powerful tools for building community.

Equity: We support the right of all people to grow, access, sell and consume healthy and culturally-appropriate food produced through ecologically sound and regenerative methods.

Sustainability: We know humans have a profound responsibility to treat our planet with care and respect, and we are committed to ensuring that diverse species may thrive on Earth for generations to come.

SFC is an equal opportunity employer and values diversity on our staff and in our community. In fulfillment of our commitment to diversity among our staff, we strongly encourage people of color and LGBTQ+ people to apply. This is a full-time position at 40 hours per week.

Job Description:  The Major Gifts Officer is responsible for SFC’s major donor program (annual giving of $1,000 or more), including cultivation, solicitation & stewardship of major donors.  This position is responsible for a variety of major donor strategies, including Raiser’s Edge research and other prospect exploration, donor cultivation and appreciation events, phone calls and visits with major donor prospects and current donors, and email/snail mail communication. This individual will serve as a key leader for the organization, one who is passionately committed to raising significant funds for our mission and programmatic work.

Our ideal candidate will have expertise in building and sustaining relationships and major gift fundraising.

This position also provides minimal administrative support of the SFC Executive Director.  The Major Gifts Officer reports to the Executive Director and works with a variety of donors, volunteers, staff and other constituents. 


Job Duties:

  • Create an annual plan for our major gifts program, Sustainer Circle, for donors at the $1K+ level annually.
  • Personally cultivate individual major donors, making asks from $1K to $100K annually, including calls, visits, handwritten thank you notes, agency tours, etc.
  • Maintain a moves management process for discovery, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship.
  • Research individuals and their companies, prepare materials for meetings, maintain donor files and Raiser’s Edge data, and maintain a schedule of communication to all major donors.
  • Coordinate cultivation and recognition events for major donors, such as hosted happy hours and house parties.
  • Identify and develop new strategies for discovering and cultivating major donors.
  • Support and partner with the Executive Director, Board of Directors and Development/Communications Committee to formulate and implement individual fundraising objectives and strategies.
  • Develop and maintain relationships with key individual donors to cultivate, secure and increase support.
  • Spend significant time in direct donor contact or strategic written communication that results in increased and sustained gifts.
  • Support the Executive Director, including assistance with donor correspondence, research, and record keeping.
  • Assist the Executive Director with meeting preparation and follow-up; coordinate the Executive Director’s calendar by scheduling appointments and meetings with major donors.



Position Requirements:

  • A minimum of five years of experience in sales or development work, preferably with major donors.
  • Demonstrated ability to plan and execute major gift activities including the ability to ask for and close gifts of $25,000 and above.
  • Excellent organizational, communication, and interpersonal skills.
  • Attention to detail, including the ability to maintain accuracy of details in a fast-paced setting.
  • Ability to handle complex and confidential information.
  • Ability to learn concepts and approaches, particularly those related to nonprofit management, major donor cultivation, stewardship, and fundraising.
  • Ability to work autonomously as well as part of a small team.
  • Computer skills with experience in Microsoft Office required and Raiser’s Edge.
  • Commitment to the mission, vision and values of Sustainable Food Center.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of data and reporting related to donor campaigns and philanthropy.
  • A professional and resourceful style; the ability to work independently and as a team player, to take initiative, and to manage multiple tasks.


Preferred Traits:

  • A commitment to equity and inclusion, racial and social justice, environmental stewardship, and food sovereignty.
  • Understanding of the culture of philanthropy and individual dynamics that make for lasting donor support.
  • Strong work ethic, organizational skills, flexibility in schedule, and creative entrepreneurial spirit.
  • Excellent interpersonal communications skills, engaging personality, and sense of humor!


Sustainable Food Center offers an excellent work environment, competitive salaries and great benefits. The starting salary for this position is $65,000, though starting salary will be influenced by applicant’s qualifications and experience. The position is available beginning late February or early March.

To Apply: Please submit your résumé, cover letter, and three references to Use subject title: Major Gifts Officer.

Applications accepted until February 3rd at midnight. No phone calls will be accepted or returned.

Contact Info

Ronda Rutledge