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Senior Development Officer, Major Gifts - Ocean Wise

Vancouver, BC

Job Description


Reporting to the Director of Major Gifts, the Senior Development Officer, Major Gifts (SDO) is responsible for managing a robust portfolio of donors and prospects capable of making investments of $25,000 or more to advance Ocean Wise’s wide range of conservation, research, education, capital and operational priorities. In collaboration with colleagues across the organization, including program staff, researchers and members of the senior leadership team, the SDO will forge and foster relationships with key supporters. The SDO will engage in effective cultivation, solicitation and stewardship activities to meet annual revenue objectives and be expected to spend the majority of his/her time directly engaging with prospects and donors.


Manage an active portfolio of 100-120 constituents by:

  • Developing and implementing personalized cultivation and solicitation plans for donors and prospective donors, which include corporations, individuals and family foundations;
  • Engaging in face-to-face meetings and personalized contact activities;
  • Ensuring that donors receive impeccable and personalized stewardship, through tailored correspondence, reports and updates in a timely and professional manner;
  • Preparing and coordinating fundraising materials such as proposals, briefing notes, presentations, call reports, letters, and other documents/materials;
  • Responding to planned giving inquiries and following-up, as appropriate, to encourage donors to consider leaving a legacy with Ocean Wise;
  • Participating in regular portfolio reviews to ensure that relationships are advancing and donor development activities are on track;
  • Maintaining and properly recording information about prospects and donors, utilizing centralized electronic system and database;
  • Tracking benchmarks and delivering on goals quarterly and annually.

Support an integrated approach to development by:

  • Developing strategies to help deepen relationships with members, mid-level donors and key stakeholders;
  • Seeking opportunities to encourage major gift supporters to participate in other development and Ocean Wise programs, such as sponsorship, fundraising events, special appeals and hosting activities;
  • Occasionally taking the lead in developing a major gift cultivation/stewardship event or initiative, working in collaboration with other development staff;
  • Helping identify fundraising opportunities to expand and grow development results.

Promote a culture of philanthropy at Ocean Wise by:

  • Involving the appropriate Ocean Wise program staff or senior leaders in developing and deepening relationships with major gift donors and prospects;
  • Actively identifying and assisting in the recruitment of senior volunteers who can elevate fundraising results for Ocean Wise.

Consciously desires to improve Ocean Wise and Vancouver Aquarium processes by:

  • Promptly aiding in Emergency protocol;
  • Maintaining organizational safety standards;
  • Continually improving our impact on the environment and greening of operations through support of EMS protocols;
  • Actively demonstrating the organization’s values and expectations for conduct;
  • Performing additional duties of a similar nature or level as required.

Job Requirements


Education and Experience

  • A minimum of three years’ experience in development or a related field
  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience. Further professional development training and experience an asset
  • Experience working with volunteers
  • Experience and comfortable working with senior business and community leaders, leading philanthropists
  • Experience working with a diverse array of stakeholders


  • Clear, creative, strategic thinker
  • Ability to effectively establish and manage plans, strategies and tactics
  • Ability to manage multiple projects and tasks and to produce high quality work under tight deadlines
  • Excellent written/verbal/interpersonal communications skills
  • Excellent presentation skills
  • Demonstrated ability to set and meet targets
  • Special events management/experience an asset
  • Ability to demonstrate a high level of professionalism
  • Ability to inspire confidence in staff, colleagues, volunteers
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team
  • Ability to respond positively to frequent change
  • Ability to work with and maintain high degree of confidentiality

Working Conditions

  • The incumbent will work in a shared office environment with the usual ergonomic risks;
  • May be required to work weekends and/or have flexible work schedule.

How To Apply

If you are interested in joining our team, please apply online. All our postings can be seen at Ocean.Org/Careers 

Applications will be accepted until March 18, 2019.