Senior Gift Officer - Resource Development

Fundraising San Francisco, California


About Mercy Corps

Mercy Corps is a leading global organization powered by the belief that a better world is possible. In disaster, in hardship, in more than 40 countries around the world, we partner to put bold solutions into action—helping people triumph over adversity and build stronger communities from within. Now, and for the future.

Program / Department Summary

Mercy Corps’ Major Gifts team is comprised of a dozen dynamic professionals who are passionate about Mercy Corps’ mission and dedicated to supporting our worldwide team that’s improving the lives of 19 million people in 40+ countries. The team includes gift officers as well as support staff who handle prospect research/management, communications and event planning. This team works collaboratively to develop and enhance relationships with donors and prospects, focusing on individuals and family foundations with the capacity to make current and legacy gifts of $10K+. Gift officers maintain portfolios of 125-200 donors and prospects. We introduce new audiences to Mercy Corps, forge meaningful relationships with impact-oriented philanthropists, and raise strategic and flexible resources to power Mercy Corps’ mission and work around the world.

General Position Summary

The primary focus of the Senior Gift Officer is to build personal relationships with donors and prospects who have the capacity to make gifts of $10k+, with the overarching aim of meeting or exceeding unrestricted revenue goals. The position will have a significant focus on new business development (bringing in new donors to Mercy Corps) and will require dedicated efforts in networking and building new leads. They must also be comfortable discussing legacy giving with donors. The SGO must be adept in articulating a compelling case for unrestricted mission-focused support as well as restricted support for strategic priorities. The SGO is expected to collaborate with field and program staff, with the dual aim of deepening their own understanding of Mercy Corps’ distinctive approach to humanitarian aid and development and bringing these colleagues together with donors and prospects. The position calls for a high level of social acumen and the ability to move comfortably within the realm of high net worth individuals.


Essential Job Responsibilities

  • Develop ongoing regional strategies for Mercy Corps continued growth in the Bay Area. This includes partnering with the corporate team, the public engagement team and the community fundraising team to help make Mercy Corps the preeminent INGO in the Bay Area.
  • Develop and enhance personal relationships with a select group of major donors with the goal of maintaining and increasing annual unrestricted support at the $10K+ level, generating. leadership gifts ($100K+) for programmatic priorities, and generating bequest commitments.
  • Secure $1million in new business revenue by the end of year two
  • Identify and engage with high net worth individuals within Mercy Corps’ donor file who have not yet made a major gift, with the aim of securing new major gifts.
  • Conduct outreach to high net worth individuals outside the Mercy Corps donor file, who may not yet be familiar with Mercy Corps.
  • Meet with legacy society members and prospective members.
  • Set annual goals and develop personalized cultivation, solicitation and stewardship plans for assigned donors.
  • Assist in the development of strategies to heighten the profile of Mercy Corps among target constituencies, such as events, briefings or other activities.
  • Develop working relationships with program staff in order to identify funding opportunities and to access programmatic information that can be used to steward donors.
  • Stay abreast of key issues and trends in the international aid and development community, and communicate these to donors and prospects.
  • Lead periodic overseas trips for key major donors and prospects as part of a well thought out and planned cultivation and solicitation strategy.
  • Maintain current tracking of all donor activity and revenue projection by inputting contact reports into donor database.


Organizational Learning 

As part of our commitment to organizational learning and in support of our understanding that learning organizations are more effective, efficient and relevant to the communities they serve, we expect all team members to commit 5% of their time to learning activities that benefit Mercy Corps as well as themselves.

Accountability to Beneficiaries

Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically to our beneficiaries and to international standards guiding international relief and development work, while actively engaging beneficiary communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects.

Supervisory Responsibility



Reports Directly To: Director of Major Gifts

Works Directly With: Major Gifts team, CEO, program staff, other SF-based staff, marketing/communications staff, development operations staff

Knowledge and Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree in Marketing, Communications, Political Science or related field required.
  • Experience operating within a high-level major gifts fundraising team, including at least three years of direct frontline fundraising; or equivalent experience in business development with a social impact oriented company; or a deep knowledge of Mercy Corps’ mission and operations as an outcome of having worked within Mercy Corps’ programs in the field for three or more years.
  • Strategic and forward thinking, with the ability to develop and lead a major gifts strategy
  • Ambitious and proactive community builder with strong network of San Francisco Bay Area contacts that can be leveraged to identify and engage high net worth individuals
  • Strong experience in collaboration and ability to work with people with diverse opinions to develop program proposals and other donor impact opportunities
  • Strong organizational skills, including attention to detail and to process.
  • Diligent, highly organized and results-focused.
  • Excellent communication skills – both written and oral, including public speaking
  • Outstanding people skills – empathetic and humble, as well as persuasive and confident
  • Must be able to work independently as well as in collaboration with team.
  • Demonstrated success in proposal preparation, negotiation, and cultivation and solicitation of donors (or equivalent experience with private sector clients and/or investors), or transferable skills from program work in an INGO setting.
  • Advanced degree in international relations or related disciplines preferred.
  • A valid driver’s license, ability and willingness to travel as required.


Success Factors

The successful candidate will be a strategic and proactive leader with strong emotional intelligence. This person’s exceptional communications and interpersonal skills will enable them to develop personal relationships with a variety of people in a variety of contexts. The Senior Gift Officer will be diligent and results-focused, and able to secure and increase contributions from major donors and prospects. Finally, this individual will be able to represent both the programs and essence of Mercy Corps to external audiences, and collaborate with a cross-functional team based in the Bay Area on a broader influence, innovation and impact agenda for the agency.


Physical Demands

The physical demands of the position include bending, sitting, lifting, and driving. Frequent phone and computer usage are also necessary. Regular regional or national travel (up to 40% of time) and occasional international travel (1-3 international trips yearly) is expected.


Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

This position is home-based in the San Francisco Bay Area and will require regular trips to Mercy Corps HQ in Portland, Oregon.

Mercy Corps Team members represent the agency both during and outside of work hours when deployed in a field posting or on a visit to a field posting. Team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner and respect local laws, customs and Mercy Corps’ policies, procedures, and values at all times and in all in-country venues.

Fostering a diverse and open workplace is an important part of Mercy Corps’ vision.  Mercy Corps is an Equal Opportunity Employer regardless of background. We are committed to creating an inclusive environment