Major Gifts Officer

Major Gifts Officer

Americans United for Separation of Church and State

Washington, DC   |   October 25, 2019

About Americans United for Separation of Church and State

Americans United for Separation of Church and State is a national nonpartisan educational and advocacy organization dedicated to advancing the constitutional principle of church-state separation as the only way to ensure freedom of religion, including the right to believe or not believe, for all Americans.

Founded in 1947, Americans United is a diverse and dynamic organization composed of people from all walks of life: lawyers and lobbyists, students and activists, religious leaders and impassioned Americans.  Americans United includes people of faith and people who don’t profess any particular faith.  It is a community that includes and welcomes people of all genders, races, ethnicities, religions or beliefs, gender identities, sexual orientations, ages, classes and abilities.

Americans United uses high-impact litigation, powerful lobbying and grassroots advocacy to ensure that:

  • Religion does not dictate public policy.
  • The government does not tell Americans what to believe or how to practice their faith.
  • Discrimination is not justified under the guise of religious beliefs.

Through a strong, diverse national supporter network of over 300,000, both on the ground and online, AU defends the separation of church and state and protects religious freedom for all in communities across the country. Americans United has over tens of thousands of members, with a national network of independent state affiliates. It is a 501(c)(3) organization. Americans United is headquartered in Washington, D.C.

Building a National Fundraising Program

Americans United welcomed current President and CEO Rachel Laser in spring 2018. With a new, dynamic leader, AU has completed a robust strategic planning process and is preparing for a more prominent role in light of the issues that have taken center stage in the national conversation: discrimination in the name of religion, LGBTQ rights, reproductive rights, religious freedom, government support of religion, school prayer, vouchers and churches and elections. There is a need for a pro-active, dynamic fundraising leader to take the program to the next level.

AU is building a fundraising program to match the ambitious scale of its programs. It has considerable strengths to draw on in building this fundraising program, including:

  • Tens of thousands of members, from which it raises in excess of $4 million annually;
  • A number of members who are making unsolicited, significant, five-figure annual gifts with valuable connections to prospective donors outside the current membership;
  • Engaged, energized senior staff, with a mix of long-standing and new members;
  • Strategic planning that was completed in early 2019 to ensure a goal-oriented roadmap with which to increase engagement;
  • Current fundraising assessment by outside counsel to provide guidance to the President and CEO, Board and incoming CDO;
  • Persuasive public message, focused in an intelligent, non-partisan way at one of the most compelling issues facing the nation today: church-state separation; and
  • Board members who are eager to define and solidify a more prominent fundraising role for themselves and the organization.

Americans United aims to combine these strengths with the abilities and experience of a skilled development team to create a development program of national reach, securing support far beyond the present levels — enlisting the aid of donors of all backgrounds as well as foundations, corporations and other funding sources.

For more information on Americans United, please visit

The Opportunity

AU is seeking a major gift professional to serve as its Major Gifts Officer to help implement our major gift program. The successful candidate will be responsible for supporting the growth of the major gifts program, managing an active major gift-level portfolio, implementing strategic and effective donor relations, and securing planned and estate gifts.

The responsibilities of the Major Gifts Officer include:


  • Grow and manage an active portfolio of major gift donors and prospects, including research, identification, cultivation, face-to-face solicitation, and stewardship.
  • Implement major gift cultivation and stewardship plan, coordinating with senior staff, including major gift pipeline growth activities.
  • Support planned giving initiatives, including discussions of planned giving vehicles and addressing donor questions.
  • Provide strategy support to Development leadership, key volunteers, and others for prospect and donor cultivation and solicitation visit and activities.


  • Manage systems and software to track and cultivate donors and prospects.
  • Work with the development department to align efforts and set goals.
  • Track and report progress using specific metrics.

Professional Development

  • Participate in appropriate professional development activities to keep current with issues and trends in the fundraising field.
  • Perform other duties and special projects, as assigned.
  • Undergraduate degree, CFRE designation preferred.
  • Minimum of 5-8 years of successful hands-on experience in cultivation and solicitation of major and planned gift donors and prospects, including knowledge of planned giving vehicles.
  • Work within an advocacy organization, while not required, would be useful.
  • Established track record of soliciting and closing five, six and seven figure gifts from a national pool.
  • Strong oral communication, written communication, and presentation skills.
  • Excellent organizational and people skills, including supervisory experience.
  • The ability to maintain accountability and to work independently and creatively, while functioning as part of a cooperative and coordinated team.

Personal Characteristics

  • Advocate for church-state separation issues with a worldview that aligns with AU’s mission.
  • Tact and diplomacy in building strong working relationships with colleagues.
  • Capacity to manage multiple tasks and negotiate several priorities simultaneously.
  • Ability and willingness to work a flexible schedule, including weekends, evenings, and to maintain a travel schedule necessary to visit donors and prospective donors.

Americans United has engaged Liz Lombard and Angie Sessoms of Koya Leadership Partners to help in this hire. Please submit a compelling cover letter and resume here.

Americans United is an equal-opportunity employer and places strong emphasis on a diverse environment in which individuals are valued regardless of their gender, race, ethnicity, cultural background, religion, sexual orientation, or any other characteristic.

About Koya Leadership Partners

Koya Leadership Partners is a national retained executive search and human capital consulting firm that works exclusively with mission-driven organizations, institutions of higher education and social enterprises. We deliver measurable results, finding exceptionally talented people who truly fit the unique culture of our client organizations and ensuring that organizations have the resources and strategies to support them. For more information, visit