Associate, Major Gifts (HKI)

Co-founded in 1915 by Helen Keller, Helen Keller Intl is dedicated to saving the sight and lives of the world’s vulnerable. We combat the causes and consequences of preventable blindness, malnutrition and neglected tropical diseases with more than 120 programs in 20 African and Asian countries, as well as in the United States. Renowned for its reliability, efficiency and high level of technical expertise, Helen Keller Intl promotes the development of large-scale, sustainable solutions to some of the most pressing issues in public health. We deliver scientific rigor and effectively leverage donor dollars with our hallmark characteristics of grit, compassion and integrity. If you share these characteristics, we invite you to apply to open positions at Helen Keller Intl.



Major Gifts is an integral unit of Helen Keller Intl’s entrepreneurial External Relations Department, responsible for raising approximately $5 million in unrestricted support, which feeds the organization’s programs in the United States and around the world. The External Relations Department has thousands of donors whom we view as partners in our life-saving work.

The Major Gifts unit works with donors giving $5,000 or more and is at a pivotal moment in which we are investing in growing our community of major donors. An Associate, Major Gifts will be added to the team to support the full team’s efforts through research, writing, database support, and other administrative activities. Depending on the interests and talents of the Associate, this position allows for greater writing, donor interaction, and staffing events.


Functional Relationships

Reporting to the Director of Major Gifts, the Associate, Major Gifts will work directly with the Office of the President, the Vice President for External Relations, and External Relations colleagues.  This role has some direct interaction with donors and provides critical support to others to build and maintain donor relationships.

Helen Keller Intl has a matrixed reporting structure that respects both the line management and authority within departments and regional hierarchies; and the accountability and oversight duties of subject matter experts outside of each department and region. Regular communication and a spirit of teamwork among colleagues, both hierarchically and laterally are essential to make this structure thrive.


Scope of the Position

The Associate, Major Gifts will support the Major Gifts team, conduct donor research and build quality reports and materials that support Board members, the CEO, Vice President, and other leaders in their relationship-building efforts. The Associate would optimally build efficiencies, advance an already strong database so that it becomes a formidable tool for managing donor relationships, and help ensure that major donors receive quality and timely communications and attention.


  • Research donors and prospects, analyze and digest information, and use discretion and practical knowledge to compile meaningful donor profiles.
  • Manage mail and email systems so that the full portfolio receives quality and timely updates, solicitations, invitations, and acknowledgement letters.
    • Organize lists, addresses, and other key information in order to create systems to efficiently and effectively mail and email appeals, reports, and updates to different groups of donors and prospects.
    • Mail- and email- merge correspondence.
    • Pull from and input information into database of record (Raisers Edge).
    • Craft and send gift acknowledgement letters.
  • Develop, refine, and implement tracking systems and documents to help the team, and Helen Keller staff and volunteer leadership engage with donors on schedule and in timely and organized ways.
    • Track outreach to donors and prospects in Raiser’s Edge.
    • Update donor records on a timely basis to reflect meeting notes and actions.
    • Create systems and materials for review by staff and Board members to see actions and outcomes of donors they are engaging.
    • Develop efficiencies and systems to make best use of the database. Collaborate, share best practices, and learn from colleagues in Development Operations team as well as the Major Gifts team.
  • Serve a key role in staffing meetings, events, trips to see donors and travel to the field.
    • Assist the Manager, Special Events in coordinating logistics for fundraising and engagement events.
    • Staff events, including greeting guests, managing seating arrangements, working with vendors, and helping set up and close gatherings.
    • Help Major Gift Officer, Director, VP, and CEO to develop logistics and schedules for trips with or to visit donors, including putting together directions, agendas, meeting materials, scheduling travel and accommodations.
    • Handle meeting logistics, including scheduling, confirming attendees, and taking notes.
    • Prepare Committee materials, including agendas, handouts, and minutes.
    • Based on interest, skills and capacity additional projects to prepare for career growth could include:
      • Crafting compelling messages for donors and prospects, including proposals and reports;
      • Managing a small portfolio, working closely with senior staff to learn the ropes and interact directly with donors and prospects; or
      • Managing a number of engagement events from top to bottom.
    • Contribute to overall strong culture of philanthropic values and donor-centric service.
    • Take on additional projects as assigned.


  • College degree plus two -three years’ fundraising, sales, or other customer-driven experience, or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Detail-oriented.
  • An ability to work independently and efficiently in solving problems within a fast-paced and deadline-driven environment.
  • Ability to work as a team player.
  • Ability to exercise an appropriate level of professionalism and discretion when dealing with information of a highly confidential nature.
  • Computer literate, including Word, Excel, Outlook, Google, research tools. Proficiency in Raiser’s Edge and/or other fundraising CRM software or other databases.
  • Familiarity with meeting platforms, such as Zoom.
  • Passion about Helen Keller Intl’s mission and goals; some knowledge of international affairs and global public health a plus.
  • Position requires regular office hours (Mon-Fri, 9am-6pm) as well as some evening and weekend work for events.

To Apply

Qualified candidates should submit a cover letter and resume to [email protected] noting the job title in the subject line. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.





Helen Keller is dedicated to building an inclusive workforce where diversity is fully valued.

Helen Keller is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, disability, or protected veteran status.

We are committed to providing reasonable accommodation to individuals with disabilities.

If you are a qualified individual with a disability and need to request an accommodation during the application or interview process, please contact us at the email above or:

Tel: 646-356-1789; Fax: (212) 532-6014

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