Major Gifts Officer (RTC)

Rails to Trails Conservancy is the nation’s largest trails organization – with a grassroots community of more than 1 million strong – dedicated to connecting people and communities by creating a nationwide network of public trails, many from former rail lines, with a goal of creating healthy, connected, thriving communities across America.

Rails to Trails Conservancy seeks a Major Gift Officer to join our dynamic team at an exciting time for the organization. The Major Gift Officer will play a critical role in helping the organization build its fundraising resources. We seek a strong, versatile fundraiser who has a track record of developing cultivation strategies, as well as, soliciting and closing gifts of $10,000+. Our ideal candidate will be a strong team player with the leadership skills to motivate and engage donors in RTC’s mission and programs.

We’re looking for someone with initiative who has superb writing skills, thrives in a fast-paced organization, and can manage many competing priorities and work efficiently under deadlines. The candidate will also possess excellent interpersonal, communication and organizational skills.

Job Description

Reporting to, and in close partnership with, the Vice President of Development, the Major Gifts Officer will continue to grow the organization’s revenue through contributions from major donors, including individuals, foundations and corporations. Dedicated, entrepreneurial, detail-oriented and highly organized, the Major Gifts Officer will be responsible for creating and executing the cultivation, solicitation and stewardship of major gift prospects. This position works closely with colleagues across the country to develop and implement effective strategies for donor engagement.

Key areas of responsibility including the following:


  • Builds and strengthens donor relationships within a personal portfolio of 100+ donors; in addition, utilizes senior and field staff in the management of donor portfolios
  • Secures $1 million+ in contributed revenue on an annual basis from gifts of $10,000+
  • Works with program staff to prepare letters of inquiry, proposals, progress reports and budgets
  • Effectively manages up to the president and board members, ensuring they are regularly scheduled to meet and build relationships with major donors and new donor prospects
  • Participates in rolling strategy between field staff and fundraising teams to assess priorities, funding opportunities, fundraising progress and donor fit
  • Contributes to building the culture of fundraising within the organization

Relationship Management

  • Tracks all activity with all major donors and prospects within the donor database
  • Ensures that all donors are regularly updated on key events and initiatives, alongside timely annual reporting as required
  • Working with program staff, represents Rails to Trails for the purpose of increasing its profile and income in both fundraising and partnership relationships
  • Develops individual “moves” plans for each prospect within the moves management system
  • Other duties as assigned

Job Location

This position is remote, with a preference for the ideal candidate to be located within RTC’s regions of operation.

Supervisory Responsibilities

None. This position will report directly to the VP of Development.


  • Demonstrated fundraising track record, including cultivating foundation and individual major gifts
  • Strong creative writing and communication skills
  • Excellent organizational skills, including the ability to manage multiple people that are a part of the donor and prospect relationship to achieve multiple deadlines
  • A passion for the mission and vision of Rails to Trails Conservancy
  • Excellent relationship management and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to be direct and proactive in resolving challenges
  • Demonstrated ability to effectively work and communicate with a wide variety of individuals
  • Proactive work approach with excellent attention to detail
  • Ability to think strategically and creatively and turn ideas into achievable plans
  • Bachelor’s degree preferred

How to Apply

Please use one form of transmitting your résumé. No phone calls please, unless contacted for an in-person interview. Recruiters, please do not contact our offices.

Mail, fax or email cover letter, résumé and three professional references to:

Human Resources Manager
Rails-to-Trails Conservancy
The Duke Ellington Building
2121 Ward Court, NW, 5th Floor
Washington, D.C. 20037

Email: [email protected]
Fax: 202.223.9257

Commitment to Diversity

RTC is an equal opportunity employer and seeks qualified candidates regardless of race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability or national origin. Women and diverse applicants are encouraged to apply. EOE

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