Major Gifts Director, Union of Concerned Scientists

The Organization

The Union of Concerned Scientists was founded in 1969 by scientists and students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. That year, the Vietnam War was at its height and Cleveland’s heavily polluted Cuyahoga River had caught fire. Appalled at how the United States government was misusing science, the UCS founders, including Henry Kendall and Kurt Gottfried, drafted a statement calling for scientific research to be directed away from military technologies and toward solving pressing environmental and social problems.

Position Overview

The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) is a national organization founded 50 years ago by faculty and students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who sought to use the power of science to address global problems and improve people’s lives. They are seeking a Major Gifts Director with a broad development background, personal experience in cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding major donors, a record of supervising a high-performing team, and comfort with data management systems. The Director will combine this experience with an entrepreneurial spirit, and a strong commitment to the role of science in public affairs, and a passion for the specific issues on which UCS works. Specific requirements include:


  • 10 years or more of development experience with progressive responsibilities is required.
  • UCS desires candidates with minimally a bachelor’s degree, though, at UCS, comparable training and/or experience can be substituted for degrees when appropriate.

Fundraising Skills and Accomplishments

  • Demonstrated success in individual donor work, including the identification, cultivation, and direct solicitation of major gifts.
  • Demonstrated success working with organizational leaders such as President, board members, or other volunteers to engage and solicit individual donors.
  • Demonstrated success managing and prioritizing all tasks associated with an annualized major gift program, including overseeing the production of successful and compelling appeals, proposals, and packages; experience using donor tracking systems such as moves management and donor research in support of major donor prospecting and cultivation; and experience overseeing analytics processes for data-driven decision making.
  • Demonstrated success growing a revenue stream of $25,000+ gifts.

Major responsibilities include:

  • Manage their portfolio, cultivating and soliciting and stewarding high-capacity prospects and donors, elevating the caliber and impact of the major gifts program, meaningfully contributing to revenue, and serving as a model and inspiration to the frontline fundraisers and the team as a whole.
  • Lead the annual process of developing the major gifts team’s collective work plan, including setting goals, objectives, strategies, activities, and revenue targets.
  • Prepare and manage the annual major gifts revenue and expense budget. This includes monitoring progress, re-forecasting, and adjusting work plans where needed to meet goals.
  • Manage a team of eight development professionals, which includes two Associate Directors, four seasoned major gifts officers, a senior operations manager, and support staff. Ensure application of proven as well as creative and innovative major gifts fundraising tools, systems, practices, and approaches.
  • Oversee a robust and results-oriented major gifts program that is effective at every stage in the donor cycle, develops and utilizes compelling collateral materials, fundraising packages, proposals and impact reports, and existing and new in-person engagement opportunities and events, and supports the development and completion of targeted fundraising campaigns.

Position Specifics

  • Remote position; However, the successful candidate will need to be based out of one of the four primary work areas of the UCS. (Cambridge, MA – Washington, DC – Oakland, CA – Chicago, IL)
  • Business travel as needed.
  • Salary will be competitive and commensurate with qualifications and experience. Salary Range: $148,361 – $166,900.

DRiWaterstone is managing the search on behalf of Union of Concerned Scientists.

How To Apply

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