Foundations and Major Gifts Manager at Big Thought

Purpose Statement

The Foundations and Major Gifts Manager will raise financial support by developing and executing strategies for cultivating and stewarding Big Thought’s major donor portfolio, including foundations, supporting the coordination and execution of special events and assists with other projects as needed.

About Big Thought

Big Thought equips youth in marginalized communities to imagine and create their best lives and world. The secret that makes our work uniquely effective is the powerful combination of our social and emotional focus, experiential learning, community-centered partnerships, inclusion/equity lens and future focus.

 Throughout our 30+ year history of innovation, Big Thought has become a national model in arts education, out of school time systems, summer learning and juvenile justice intervention. Now, we’re one of six community partnerships in the U.S helping scale national best practices in Social and Emotional Learning (SEL). We take direct-to-youth programs and resources to communities with the greatest needs and share our evidence-based best practices with other nonprofits and organizations through a suite of consultation services including professional development, curriculum design and technical assistance.


Essential Job Duties

  • Develop Big Thought’s annual major gifts and individual giving plan, leading strategy in collaboration with the Vice President of Development
  • Manage a portfolio of major donor and foundation relationships, overseeing cultivation and relationship management as well as identifying new prospects
  • Build the pipeline of major donor and foundation support by identifying, researching, and engaging local, regional, and national prospects
  • Establish and maintain a donor cultivation plan and gift stewardship program
  • Develop and support portfolios of prospects for cultivation and solicitation by the Vice President of Development, President and CEO, Board Members and other staff
  • Maintain excellent record-keeping, ensuring that donor management is accurate in Salesforce and other tools and systems used by Big Thought
  • Be accountable to personal goals, strategies, and metrics, participating in ongoing and regular assessment of progress toward goals
  • Provide briefings and reporting on fundraising activities on a regular basis
  • Coordinate with the Communications team to develop collateral and support foundation and major donor partnerships through marketing recognition
  • Infuse inclusion and equity both internally and externally
  • Conduct meetings and prepare materials and proposals
  • Other duties as assigned by supervisor for the success of the departmental goals and organization’s mission

General Job Duties and Expectations

The ideal candidate is enthusiastic and an experienced fundraiser in building high-touch, long-term relationships with major donors and foundations as well as demonstrated success soliciting and securing support. The ideal candidate for this position will possess strong communication and analytical skills, be solution-oriented, have experience managing through change, be an individual of impeccable integrity and high ethical standards. The candidate will have experience in developing and implementing a major gifts strategy to ensure long-term financial stability of the organization.


Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience


Minimum of 5 years of fundraising experience

Other Requirements:

  • Three years’ experience focused on corporate and/or foundation giving and volunteer management
  • Excellent organization, communication, negotiation and interpersonal skills are a must
  • Intermediate knowledge and skill with Microsoft Office used for word processing, email, presentations, and spreadsheets
  • Proficiency of donor CRMs

Additional Information

Big Thought jobs are hands on and can be physically demanding.  To perform the duties of these roles successfully, you may regularly be required to: sit, stand, or stare at computer screen for long periods of time; participate in external activities; use various office equipment, some manual; work in environment with loud sounds, multiple distractions and interruptions; be exposed to extreme hot or cold temperatures on occasion; maintain emotional control during stressful situations.

NOTE: This job description is not an employment agreement or contract. The CEO and/or designee has the exclusive right to alter this job description at any time without notice.

Employees of Big Thought are expected, as required in their specific job functions, to participate in activities, meetings, and committees; to interact and work cooperatively in order to accomplish various goals; to represent one’s self and Big Thought in a positive, professional manner; and to safeguard sensitive or confidential information from intentional or unintentional disclosure.

Employees are expected to maintain current working knowledge of policies, procedures and guidelines necessary to answer work-related questions and to provide assistance in a timely and courteous manner. Employees are also expected to perform other duties as may be assigned by their supervisor and to contribute to the team efforts of the department and to assist the organization in achieving its strategic goals.

Employees must abide by all laws, Big Thought policies and guidelines.