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Major Gifts Officer

Himalayan Cataract Project


The Himalayan Cataract Project (HCP) works to cure needless blindness with high quality, cost effective eye care in underserved areas of the world. Thirty-six million people are blind worldwide, yet 80% of this burden is treatable or preventable. Cataract is the largest cause of blindness affecting 17 million people, who could be cured with a 10-minute, $25 surgery. HCP is keenly focused on enduring solutions to avoidable blindness for under-resourced people and communities, not only providing critical care but strengthening local capacity to provide high-quality eye care to the underserved. HCP has offices in Vermont and in the Washington, DC metro area, with programs in 7 countries on 2 different continents and an estimated 75 implementing partners.

Himalayan Cataract Project is expanding its team to meet new challenges, scale its work, and broaden its reach. We are seeking individuals with an aptitude for operating in growth environments with interest and/or experience in scaling systems.   

Scope of Work:

Reporting to the Director of Development, the Major Gifts Officer will build and manage a portfolio of approximately 150+ major gift prospects and donors, including individuals and family foundations, to support HCP’s priority initiatives. Responsible for managing and cultivating relationships with existing major gift prospects, soliciting and stewarding of lifelong or long-term donors, as well as researching/identifying and qualifying new potential donors. As an advocate for our mission and programs, you’ll be a frontline fundraiser, strategically building and expanding the major gifts pipeline, deepening giving relationships with those in a position to be most generous. As a key member of the Development team, you’ll be on the front line of organizational impact - speaking into strategies to best serve our donors.

Essential Job Functions:

The Major Gifts Officer’s primary responsibility is to annually increase the number of donors over $5,000 that give to the organization and the total amount of annual revenue received from this group of individual donors.


The Major Gifts Officer will be motivated by a passion for the HCP’s mission to cure needless blindness with high quality, cost effective eye care in underserved areas of the world.

Desired Characteristics

●      A passion for engaging existing and new donors and helping them to fulfill their vision of a world free of needless blindness.

●      Understanding of the fundraising landscape, including individual giving, major gifts, foundations, and grants.

●      Ability to effectively use constituent relationship management systems, external vendor tools, and public information to study and summarize biographical and financial information.

●      Solid organization skills to handle multiple assignments simultaneously, scoping and leading projects, and meeting deadlines.

●      Excellent analytical skills, strong goal orientation and accountability

●      Outstanding writing skills and ability to speak persuasively in front of large and small groups.

●      Exceptional organizational skills, proactive management of resources and time.

●      Attention to detail, responsiveness, flexibility and ability to work under tight deadlines.

●      Solid diplomacy skills: the ability to successfully manage donor relationships and effectively liaise with colleagues at all levels.

Key Qualifications

●      3-5 years of direct donor relationship management experience.

●      Results-oriented experience in securing major gifts of $10,000 and up from individuals, foundations, and/or corporations.

●      Planned giving experience a plus.

●      Excellent written and verbal communications.

●      An outgoing, authentic personality.

●      A high degree of effective initiative and ability to motivate high-level donors.

●      Proven ability to meet year-over-year financial growth in support of the strategic direction of the organization.

●      Experience and proficiency using a donor database CRM system (we use Blackbaud).

●      Solid skills with Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and other web-based applications.

●      Ability to travel locally/regionally/internationally with donors and prospects.

Candidates should have a minimum of 4 years of professional work experience, with knowledge or background in fundraising. Candidates will ideally have direct experience with international nonprofits working in the humanitarian sector.

Salary commensurate with experience; generous benefits.


Key responsibilities

●      Raise individual gifts, with particular attention to the $5,000-$10,000 range.

●      Effectively manage a major gift portfolio of 150 (and growing) current donors, including:

●      Developing individualized strategies and plans to initiate or strengthen relationships;

●      Participate directly in the cultivation, solicitation, and closure of gifts;

●      Steward relationships to continue and strengthen donor engagement via quarterly contact that includes email, mail, text, phone, video conference, and in-person cultivation.

●      Identify and pursue opportunities to conduct face-to-face, online, or group interactions for the purposes of cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding portfolio, both for the Major Gifts Officer, Director of Development and the CEO.

●      Continuously update the prospect management database with relevant information related to donor strategies, contacts, and results.

●      Work closely and effectively with HCP colleagues to understand fundraising priorities and how that translates to strategies for portfolio.

●      Being a trusted, approachable expert of HCP’s programs - communicating organizational priorities and program needs, as well as donor impact.

●      Meet agreed upon fundraising and stewardship goals; monitoring progress and reporting monthly or quarterly on progress against goals; studying trends and making adjustments throughout the year.

●      Research and identify family foundations with missions aligned to HCP.  Develop grant requests to support current programming needs and future expansion of HCP’s strategies.

●      Manage and prepare all reports required by foundations or other strategic partners as a result of gifts, grants and sponsorships. This includes all types of reports on impact of grant dollars provided and unsolicited feedback as necessary to maintain a healthy partnership.

●      Shaping key philanthropy-related messages through the preparation of proposals, solicitation letters, and other materials for major prospects and donors.

●      Consistently meeting fundraising goals and discovering incremental funding opportunities for the organization.

●      Work collaboratively with other members of the Development team, as well as Board of Directors and volunteers working in development.

Other Responsibilities

All employees are expected to work as a team and to contribute to any activity that will promote the success of the organization. 

How to Apply:

Working with HCP:

Himalayan Cataract Project is a high-energy and fast-paced organization. We work to change eye care in the developing world with a firm commitment to eradicating unnecessary blindness and reaching the unreachable patient.  We are a small team where everyone plays an important role and has an impact. We hire individuals who are professional, collaborative and creative thinkers with a passion for our mission.

To Apply

We invite qualified candidates to submit a resume and cover letter.  Please send materials via email to:

Himalayan Cataract Project considers all applicants on the basis of merit without regard to race, sex, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status or disability.

Job Location:

Waterbury or Norwich, VT or remote

Date Added: July 12, 2021

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