Major Gifts Specialist

Company: Washington Area Community Investment Fund (Wacif)

Location: Washington, DC

Job Function: Accounting


Washington Area Community Investment Fund (Wacif) advances equity and opportunity in the Washington, D.C. area’s underserved communities by providing financial capital, business advisory services, and strategic networking support to underinvested entrepreneurs. Since its inception in 1987, Wacif has deployed more than $50 million in capital, served more than 3,500 entrepreneurs with business advisory services, and helped create or retain more than 20,000 local jobs. To learn more about Wacif’s work, visit


The Washington Area Community Investment Fund (Wacif) seeks a full-time Major Gifts Specialist who will be responsible for developing, cultivating, and managing a portfolio of prospective five to eight-figure individual donors; shape and execute all aspects of the individual giving program; analyze prospect research with a keen understanding of moves management to steward donors towards major gifts; manage the production of pitches and proposals for individual donors; and, identify and implement investments needed to support continued scale in individual giving.

REPORTS TO: Individual Development Director


Major Gifts Development Strategy – 20%

  • Collaborate with Individual Development Director to shape and execute an individual development strategy that results in Wacif receiving and deploying resources needed to deliver on its mission of equity and opportunity. Specific responsibilities include:
    • With direction from Individual Development Director, leading Wacif’s efforts to establish and implement a major gifts program, including associated investments in:
      • Human capital
      • Technology
      • Policy, procedural, and governance protocols
    • Work with Wacif’s executive team to understand future and current programming and capital deployment needs
    • Work with the communications team to ensure that, wherever possible, content is aligned with and supports acquisition and retention of major gifts

Lead Generation/Market Research – 30%

  • Manage the organization’s efforts to generate an understanding of major gifts opportunities. Examples include:
    • Using industry standard applications and software, to gather intelligence on plan approaches to high-capacity donors
    • Analyzing individual donor trends nationally and regionally for their impact on Wacif’s development strategy
    • Connecting with strategic advisory groups, from private wealth managers to philanthropic advisors, to introduce Wacif and determine how their clients fit with our mission
  • Support a strategic, coherent process for including internal and external stakeholders – to include staff, Board, and others as appropriate – in identifying and executing opportunities with individual donors
  • Develop and implement a strategic, comprehensive approach to opportunity prioritization and decision-making related to the pursuit of opportunities with individual donors
  • Lead the development of market analytics, helping Wacif quantify its total addressable market with individual donors and establish realistic revenue scenarios and year-ahead development planning
  • Develop and maintain organizational infrastructure related to internal development analytics, including:
    • Maintaining Wacif’s individual development pipeline, including specific data elements related to current and upcoming opportunities, including but not limited to opportunity status, partner, funder, timing, and next steps; and,
    • Facilitating recurring leadership team sessions to: review market analytics, discuss funding scenarios, model fundraising targets, and key capture next steps
    • Contribute to Board discussions related to individual donor development

Relationship Development and Appeal Delivery – 40%

  • Analyze prospect research with a keen understanding of moves management to steward donors toward major gifts
  • Lead the development and management of a rational and collaborative process that results in successful, funded appeals including:
    • Leading the kickoff of pitch and appeal development efforts;
    • Leading proposal and pitch review sessions; and,
    • Packaging supporting documentation in collaboration with internal partners.
  • Cultivate relationships with individual donors, including:
    • Prioritizing individual donors by their affinity and capacity to make strategic gifts
    • Understanding donor priorities and goals and reflecting these to relevant Wacif team members
    • Mapping relationships to ensure that the right point of contact is positioned to approach the prospect
    • Wherever appropriate, lead engagement with prospects, including:
      • Making appeals
      • Positioning teammates and other points of contact to make appeals
      • Following up with prospects to ensure that commitments reach Wacif
    • Analyze prospect research with a keen understanding of moves management to steward donors toward major gifts
    • Create and produce of all fundraising/outreach materials, in collaboration with the Communications team, including but not limited to:
      • Letters
      • Emails
      • Prospectuses

Partner Stewardship – 10%

  • Manage the organization’s efforts to keep current supporters engaged with Wacif and its work, by:
    • Working with executive and program teams to identify and prioritize key relationships
    • Researching stewardship best practices and approaches taken by other organizations
    • Developing stewardship strategies for consideration by the CDCO and CEO
    • Managing implementation, in collaboration with communications teammates and others


  • Other relevant duties that will arise as assigned by leadership.


  • At least 5 years of individual fundraising experience, with a focus on major gifts
  • Bachelor’s degree in relevant field preferred (or equivalent experience).
  • Strong analytical and prospect research skills.
  • Great strategic acumen, with the ability to accurately read the strategic environment, develop and socialize potential approaches, and lead a team to success.
  • Strong management skills, with the ability to plan, coordinate, organize, prioritize, and simultaneously implement multiple projects requiring inputs from partners across the organization.
  • A high level of motivation, initiative and attention to detail demonstrated by the proactive inclination to identify, highlight, and respond to development needs.
  • Successful track record working in fast-paced, opportunity-rich environment.
  • Proficiency in MS Office suite (Excel, Word, Outlook and PowerPoint).
  • Outstanding written and oral communications skills.
  • Experience handling confidential information with high level of discretion.
  • A friendly, collegial personality with compulsive integrity and a well-conditioned sense of humor.
  • Interest in and commitment to Wacif’s mission of working with low- and moderate-income individuals and underserved communities.

Compensation and Benefits

Competitive salary commensurate with experience. Medical, Dental, Vision, Life & Disability insurance coverages available. 401(k) retirement plan (employer matching contribution eligible); paid time off (increased with tenure), paid holidays and sick leave days, transportation benefits, and education assistance benefits (professional development, tuition reimbursement, and student loan repayment).

How to Apply

nterested candidates should email a resume/CV, thoughtful cover letter that outlines how your skills and experience meet the qualifications of the position, and salary requirements to with “Major Gifts Specialist” in the subject line.

Wacif is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes candidates from diverse backgrounds.
Wacif provides a flexible and hybrid working environment with the opportunity to work remotely.

* Candidates must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 as a condition of employment; Reasonable accommodations will be considered.