Deputy Director of Major Gifts, West Coast

Major Gifts San Francisco, California

Earthjustice is the premier nonprofit environmental law organization. We take on the biggest, most precedent-setting cases across the country. We wield the power of law and the strength of partnership to protect people’s health; to preserve magnificent places and wildlife; to advance clean energy; and to combat climate change. We partner with thousands of groups, supporters and people to engage the critical environmental issues of our time, and bring about positive change. We are here because the earth needs a good lawyer.

Founded in 1971, Earthjustice has a distinguished track record of achieving significant, lasting environmental protections. We achieve this by hiring people who share a passion for justice and a healthy environment.

Headquartered in San Francisco, CA, with offices in Anchorage, Juneau, Los Angeles, Miami, Tallahassee, Honolulu, New York, Philadelphia, Denver, Seattle, Bozeman, and Washington, DC, today Earthjustice ( is a $65 million national nonprofit with 300 employees.


The Deputy Director of Major Gifts reports to and collaborates closely with the Director of Major Gifts. The Deputy develops and implements effective plans and strategies to achieve major gifts revenue goals for the West Coast region.  This position manages major gifts fundraising activity for the regional major gifts team, supervising four major gifts officers throughout the region, with a team goal of $10 million+ annually.

In addition, the Deputy Director of Major Gifts will manage an individual portfolio of 25-30 donors and prospects who are capable of gifts of $500,000 or more over three years. She/he works closely with the major gifts team and volunteer Board and Council members to develop and implement donor strategies, ensuring that solicitation targets are consistent with their giving capacity.

This position will focus on donors in California with up to 25% travel. This position is based in San Francisco, CA.


  • Lead, mentor, and support team of fundraisers to help them achieve their fundraising goals and potential as gifts officers. Course correct when necessary.
  • Manage an active portfolio of 25-30 donors; develop strategies and implement plans for qualifying, cultivating, stewarding, and soliciting those donors.
  • Achieve personal annual fundraising goal of $2 million, and identify opportunities for life-income, bequest, and complex gifts, working with planned giving staff.
  • Build relationships with donors and prospects via phone calls, personal visits, ongoing written contact, and events; Responsible for 50-75 visits and 100-120 moves annually.
  • Travel regularly for donor visits, events, field trips, management, and trainings.
  • Provide program information to donors and prospects and draft personalized correspondence and acknowledgments that demonstrate appreciation, recognition, and engagement of donors.
  • Contribute to the creation of the budget, collateral materials, research profiles, and lists for targeted mailings and events.
  • Support planning and execution of donor events and field trips.
  • Engage appropriate program staff, senior leadership, Board members and Council members in regional fundraising efforts.
  • Develop expert familiarity with assigned region and programmatic needs, and communicate key regional developments as they occur. Maintain working knowledge of national and international programmatic priorities. 
  • Encourage and support collaboration among different units within development and cross-departmentally.
  • Represent major gifts team at development director meetings or at other internal meetings, when Director is unavailable or when it is needed.
  • Manage information relating to current major donors and prospects in the central database, emphasizing the highest standards of accuracy, timeliness, thoroughness, and confidentiality.
  • Pursue opportunities for professional growth.
  • Promote a culture of philanthropy, and foster a respectful and productive working environment.

Management (essential functions)

  • Recruits and hires qualified candidates who fit position requirements and the work environment.
  • Promotes change in terms of the expected benefits, as well as removing or lowering the impact of potential obstacles.
  • Sets clear team direction that aligns with Earthjustice strategy, mission, and vision.
  • Develops staff by providing career development opportunities with appropriate training, encouragement, and supervision.
  • Provides staff with performance feedback and acts as a coach and mentor.
  • Promotes inclusive work environment for team and models inclusive behavior.


The successful candidate will have a minimum of seven years of demonstrated successful experience in major gifts fundraising with a focus on prospect identification, relationship building, and solicitation. He/she will be a proven coach and motivator of staff, ideally with previous experience managing remote employees. The Deputy Director will also have experience working with trustees, volunteers and programs staff or equivalent. Capital campaign experience is a plus.

 Other desired qualifications and attributes include:

  • Experience in personal solicitation of large ($500,000+) gifts.
  • Passion for, interest in, and knowledge of environmental issues.
  • Proven initiative, self-motivation, and sound judgment.
  • Ability to work collaboratively as a member of a team and across organization units.
  • Excellent writing, speaking, listening, and research skills.
  • Proficiency with donor databases, and Microsoft Office including Word, Excel, and Outlook.
  • Ability to travel, a safe driving record, access to reliable transportation, and a valid driver’s license.
  • Ability and willingness to work evenings and weekends as required.
  • Demonstrates an awareness and sensitivity to the needs and concerns of individuals from diverse cultures, backgrounds, and orientations.
  • Contributes to the creation of a diverse, equitable, and inclusive work culture that encourages and celebrates differences.
  • Sense of humor encouraged.

Management (Essential Skills)

  • Ability to manage and lead a diverse team in a diverse environment with emotional intelligence and cultural competency.
  • Has self-awareness and understands the impact of behaviors and emotional intelligence in the workplace. Also understands team’s strengths and areas for development.
  • Commitment to and experience in developing team skills and talents to meet the evolving needs of an organization.


Bachelor’s degree preferred, higher degree a plus.


We offer a mission and employee-focused work environment and a competitive compensation package including excellent benefits. Earthjustice is an equal opportunity employer and highly values diversity. 


Earthjustice has retained the services of ThinkingAhead Executive Search. Please submit your resume and expression of interest to Chris Spagnola, Senior Recruiter, at and Jessica Martinez, Senior Recruiter, at

Earthjustice is driven by a passion for justice, partnership and excellence. Our core values lead us to seek a broad range of perspectives and backgrounds to achieve our mission and to maintain an inclusive environment where all staff are valued and respected.  As an equal opportunity employer, we are committed to employment practices that ensure that employees and applicants for employment are provided with equal opportunities without regard to race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, age, religion, physical or mental disability, medical condition, veteran status, marital status, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information or any other factor that is not related to the position.