Job Description


Major Gifts Officer (MGO): (aka: DRD - Donor Relations Director) star

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Kistner Eddy Executive Services (KEES)

Phoenix, Arizona, United States

Date Posted:
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Kistner Eddy Executive Services (KEES)
Job Description:


Major Gifts Officer (MGO): (aka:  DRD - Donor Relations Director)

Southwest Division

Location: 2707 E. Van Buren Street, Phoenix, AZ 85008  (2 Positions)

Location: 2900 Palomino Lane, Las Vegas, NV 89107 (1 Position)


About The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian Church.  Its message is based on the Bible.  Its ministry is motivated by love for God.  Its mission is to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.

The Salvation Army (the Army) is an International, Evangelical Christian Church dedicated to providing individuals worldwide with spiritual, physical, social and emotional support.  Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.  Its message is based on the Bible and its ministry is motivated by the love of God.  William Booth, and his wife Catherine, founded The Salvation Army in 1865 to serve London’s worst poverty-stricken districts.   Today, nearly 30 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through a range of social services: providing food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless, and opportunities for underprivileged children. Eighty-two cents of every dollar the Army spends is used to support those services in 5,000 communities nationwide, and as a branch of the Christian Church, the ultimate goal of all programs is the spiritual regeneration of all people.

The Southwest Division is part of the USA Western Territory (THQ) one of the Army’s four U.S. geographic service areas.  The Southwest Division Headquarters (DHQ), one of ten divisions in the USA Western Territory, is based in Phoenix and serves local communities across Arizona, New Mexico and Southern Nevada.   This administrative unit directs 37 corps with an annual operating budget of $69 million.  Funding sources include government contracts, grants (foundations and other), in addition to, donations from businesses, individuals and churches.  The Salvation Army is a nonprofit, tax-exempt charitable organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.


The Opportunity:  Major Gifts Officer (MGO):  aka: DRD - Donor Relations Director


JOIN THE ARMY’S GROWING FUNDRAISING TEAM IN THE USA WESTERN TERRITORY and become part of an exciting new major gifts program making a profound impact!


Note:  3 positions are open/available:  2 Phoenix and 1 in Las Vegas .


The Major Gifts Officer plays a key and integral role in the success of the Southwest Division’s fund development efforts, specifically leading all major gift strategies and fundraising communications in the Phoenix, Arizona, OR, the Las Vegas, Nevada regions respectively.   The MGO role is being repositioned as part of the overall reconfiguration of Major Giving programs in the USA Western Territory.  Over the next 5 years, The Salvation Army USA Western Territory anticipates almost doubling the current number of MGO positions.  The Army’s strong commitment to growing its major giving programs is reflected in plans to centralize training, provide prospect research/management support, enhance existing database systems, and provide stewardship support which is in the early phases of implementation.  The position reports to a territorial Regional Manager of Major Giving Programs.


Each MGO is responsible for ongoing and proactive relationship management, strategic communications plans, gifts cultivation and solicitation activity with an assigned caseload of qualified major donors and a smaller group (10%) of assigned, qualified prospects.  In this role, the MGO will identify, qualify, be assigned, cultivate, solicit and steward major gift donors (90%) and prospects (10%), acting as the primary contact between the Army and the assigned caseload, with an emphasis on securing gifts of $5,000 and much higher in their respective portfolio worth $1 million, increasing major gifts to The Salvation Army while retaining and strengthening existing giving.


The Qualified Candidate


The Salvation Army seeks compassionate, dynamic and entrepreneurial fundraising professionals with a minimum of five years’ individual giving/ major gifts experience in a highly productive and progressive development and communications program within the nonprofit sector.   Preference is given to those who have served in a faith-based organization, and specific to this search for three MGO’s in the Southwest Division, possess a strong working knowledge of the Phoenix, Arizona, OR, the Las Vegas, Nevada areas’ philanthropic community.  It is imperative that the person who assumes this important role fully embrace, support and reflect well on The Salvation Army’s mission and values through one’s professional responsibilities and behavior at all times.  The MGO will be creative, energetic and determined, with a talent to identify and develop opportunities for donors and The Salvation Army to come together.  Full candidate requirements can be found in the Opportunity Guide (on the application site)


Specific Requirements Include:

  • Passion for The Salvation Army’s mission coupled with a strong commitment to know and understand the Army’s history, mission and structure, as well as, its services, policies and procedures.
  • Bachelor’s Degree; Advanced degree and/or CFRE credential preferred.
  • Minimum of five years of experience in a nonprofit fundraising role with a proven track record of major gifts success and a strong working knowledge of strategy development and moves management systems in the cultivation, solicitation and stewardship processes.
  • Highly effective interpersonal, conversational and presentational skills, demonstrating an emotional intelligence and situational awareness, in tandem with, excellent writing abilities and strong case development and sales pitch skills.
  • Demonstrated expertise in developing and maintaining positive relationships with diverse individuals, including executives, high-level volunteers and wealthy donors, as well as, internal stakeholders and leadership.
  • Prowess in problem-solving, strategic and creative thinking, plus, taking initiative with consistent and good follow-through.
  • Great comfort level with direct donor interaction is a must, including discussions of personal and family finances and asking for major financial commitments. 
  • Team player, able to check ego at the door, with a capacity to collaborate effectively with officers, staff and volunteers for successful achievement of position and department goals.
  • Communications and management style that exhibits the principles and culture of the Army, as well as, fosters team relationships and effectively communicates information.
  • Willingness and ability to travel on a regular basis.  Valid Driver’s License required.
  • Ability to work remotely (on the road, from home and/or at various Army locations).  It is anticipated that 80% of the donors are local to each position (Phoenix or Las Vegas), but some travel related to donor management and/or organizational training is required.
  • Experience in working independently in a fast-paced environment without extensive administrative support and exceptional organizational abilities with fluency in managing multiple projects and competing priorities with professionalism and grace.
  • Driven to make a difference, goal-oriented with a proven ability to achieve or exceed goals and meet deadlines.
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite and hands-on experience with donor management software and savvy in the maintenance of current contact and activity tracking reports (with adherence to the Army’s database protocols); Portfolio user background is preferred.



The Salvation Army offers a competitive salary and a robust benefits package.  The position will have a car available (either assigned or from the fleet pool).  Each MGO position finalist will be required to submit a full background and reference checks.



To Apply

This search is being managed by Kathrene Wales, Search Manager and Associate Consultant of KEES:  Kistner Eddy Executive Search, in counsel with Heather Eddy, CFRE, President & CEO. 

Questions may be addressed to kwales@alfordexecutivesearch.com. 

To apply, candidates should submit their cover letter and resume and complete the online application at


To assure confidential tracking of all applicants, no applications will be accepted via email.

ALL INQUIRIES WILL BE HELD IN STRICT CONFIDENCE.  Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, but are preferred by February 20, 2015.

Kistner Eddy Executive Search (KEES) is a retained search firm dedicated to providing recruitment services of exceptional quality and strengthening the nonprofit community through professional staffing solutions.




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About the Company

Kistner Eddy Executive Services (KEES)

KEES (Kistner Eddy Executive Services, Inc.) offers tools to strengthen your organization, thereby strengthening the communities in which we work, live, and play. Our services are designed to provide multiple inputs to strengthen and transform your leadership (Board and Staff) and the multiple levels of staff/associates that carry out your mission on a daily basis. We serve your leadership and Human Resources needs – including consultation, succession planning, executive recruiting and interim staffing.