Major Gifts Manager

Lake County Forest Preserves


Libertyville, IL


Since 1958, the Lake County Forest Preserve District (the District) has preserved, restored, and managed Lake County’s open space and natural lands for the public. The Preservation Foundation is the charitable partner of the District, helping raise the funds to restore and preserve Lake County’s natural and cultural resources in perpetuity. As principal guardian of Lake County’s open space and natural areas since 1958, the District sets the standard in nature and historic preservation, protecting more than 31,000 acres, across 64 sites of natural land, as the second largest Forest Preserve District in Illinois.

The District is seeking a Major Gifts Manager who will be responsible for leading their strategic fundraising efforts and developing close relationships with the Lake County community. Reporting to the Preservation Foundation Executive Director, the Major Gifts Manager will focus on cultivating major donors and identifying new prospects. A successful candidate will be an experienced fundraiser who brings expertise in building meaningful relationships and managing and implementing major gifts campaigns.

Lake County Forest Preserve District is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Compensation Range

$69,112 - $103,668

To apply

Please submit a resume & cover letter to Becca Ehrlich:

Download Job Description

Key Responsibilities

  • Cultivate, solicit, and secure five and six-figure gifts from individuals and family foundations
  • Manage and solicit a portfolio of 150+ individual major gift donors and prospects, including writing and preparing personalized appeals as needed to secure $1.5 million or more annually
  • Develop and implement a comprehensive strategy to engage current constituents and solicit prospective donors, holding a strong presence with the ability to inspire, influence, and build credibility
  • Engage the local community to raise funds and resources for the District’s mission and programs; create proposals and lead presentations as needed
  • Work with members of the Foundation Board of Directors, committees, and staff to identify and solicit major gift prospects
  • Build and execute cultivation strategies for prospective planned giving donors and securing estate gifts
  • Design and implement a robust stewardship calendar for the Foundation’s giving societies with the Donor Relations team, ensuring regular donor touch points and thoughtful solicitation
  • Utilize the donor database (Raiser's Edge) to maintain accurate records of all donor interactions/strategies, proposal tracking, and forecasting
  • Externally represent the Lake County Forest Preserves District to current and prospective support constituencies

Qualifications & Skills

  • 5+ years of experience in nonprofit fundraising with a focus on major giving
  • Passion for the mission of the District and familiarity with regional philanthropy; understanding of environmental issues and terminology a plus
  • Ability to think strategically, develop creative, competitive strategies, plans, and solutions
  • Proven record of accomplishment soliciting and securing gifts of $10,000+
  • Exceptional organizational skills with the ability to manage and prioritize multiple projects
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills; strong public speaking, presentation & relationship skills
  • High level of expertise with MS- Office Suite required
  • Proficiency in working with donor management software to maintain data integrity and reporting, Raiser’s Edge a plus
  • Knowledge and understanding of compliance with IRS fundraising standards
  • Bachelor’s Degree in non-profit management or relevant field

Key Responsibilities

Qualifications & Skills

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