Electronic Frontier Foundation is hiring for Director of Major Gifts

The Electronic Frontier Foundation is the leading nonprofit organization defending civil liberties in the digital world. Founded in 1990, EFF champions user privacy, free expression, and innovation through impact litigation, policy analysis, grassroots activism, and technology development.

Job details


San Francisco offices or in Seattle, New York or Washington, DC.


Depending on experience

Hours of work

Full-time (40 hours/week)



Position Summary
The Director of Major Gifts develops and implements donor engagement and fundraising strategies while also stewarding and cultivating top-level major donor relationships.

Essential Functions
Strategy Development

  • Creates and refines systems, events, and strategies that continuously strive to enrich relationships with new and existing major donors.
  • Manage the implementation and refinement of EFF’s giving societies, which are personalized membership strategies and levels for major donors, focused on increasing top-level major donor retention and acquisition.
  • Manage the planned giving program, including identifying legacy prospects, providing them with the information and communication they need to become qualified leads, then members of the Lighthouse Society.
  • Develop annual goals with specific deliverables in partnership with the Chief Development Officer, to align and support the Development Team and EFF’s overall strategic goals.
  • Stay apprised of fundraising trends, particularly in major gift philanthropy. Adapt EFF’s program to be cutting edge and innovative.

Donor Engagement & Fundraising

  • Act as the main contact point for EFF donors who give $10,000 and above annually.
  • Manage and support EFF’s MXM Society, a Giving Society focused on increasing top-level major donor retention and acquisition.
  • Manage the Lighthouse Society, including developing and running the annual benefits, and acting as the point of contact for members.
  • Strategize and implement creative means of securing Major Gifts support, including annual campaigns.
  • Manage a portfolio of primary prospects and manage prospect activity from identification to cultivation, solicitation and stewardship.
  • Draft donor-focused copy for emails and letters, including quarterly updates of EFF’s program work, gift acknowledgments and appeals.
  • Engage donors by communicating EFF’s work and mission deftly, and with sincerity and enthusiasm. This includes reading blogposts and whitepapers and working with internal issue experts to share stories to inspire our donors.
  • In partnership with the Chief Development Officer, fosters and nurtures relationships with the organization’s high level major donors through intentional cultivation and stewardship efforts, via Giving Society outreach as well as individual stewardship plans. 
  • Identify and attend point-of-entry events, meetings, and other networking events to source, engage and cultivate new supporters.
  • Create, implement, and track moves management strategies for existing Major Gift donors, leading to increased retention and revenue.
  • Create and implement acquisition strategy, leading to new major donors and increased revenue.
  • Manage legacy giving.
  • Attend EFF hosted events and conferences for stewarding existing donors and networking with prospective ones.


  • Manage the Donor Relations Manager and shape strategy and task for mid-level major donor outreach, who have annually given between $1,000 and $10,000
  • Assist direct report in time and workload management, helping them complete day-to-day tasks while building skills to take on additional work and monitor workload to ensure that direct reports are not overwhelmed
  • Offer candid feedback to direct report about where they need to grow as well as where they are excelling, including through weekly one-on-ones and annual feedback reviews
  • Assign projects, priorities, and work to direct report and ensure they hit any deadlines, working with other team managers as necessary. Ensure the quality and quantity of the work of direct report
  • Document performance issues and address them promptly up to and including termination
  • Serve as the hiring manager for any vacancies or departures on your unit
  • Ensure that EFF staff outside your unit are aware of what your unit is doing by directing staff members to other staff/team and facilitating communication and problem-solving when necessary
  • Participate in the management team of EFF and help develop policies and practices for collaborative, efficient, effective, happy teams
  • Serve as coach, mentor, teacher, and champion for direct reports, helping to build their professional experience and careers.

Qualities We’re Seeking (i.e. Competencies)

  • Must demonstrate care and respect toward coworkers, outside partners, members of the public, donors, and others with whom this role interacts;
  • Must work to positively and collaboratively resolve conflicts and overcome challenges
  • Must have effective oral and written communication skills
  • Must be able to understand and articulate with accuracy EFF’s mission, positions, and work (for program team members or those who represent EFF at public events);
  • Must be available and responsive to colleagues, outside partners and others over email, phone, and online chat, with the ability to respond and reliably to time-sensitive requests for assistance and opportunities during agreed upon working hours;
  • Contributes to the creation of a diverse, equitable and inclusive work culture that encourages and celebrates differences including race, ethnicity, age, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, religion, disability and socio-economic circumstance.
  • Skilled at managing competing deadlines, tasks, and overlapping goals, while being able to pivot based on circumstances and need
  • Ability to communicate well with individual donors, and a track record of successfully interacting with supporters in person and in writing
  • An analytical approach to data, with a human approach to donors
  • Experience working in collaborative settings, especially collaborative writing projects
  • Skilled at developing and sharing detailed programs and action plans with coworkers
  • Tireless ambition to improve fundraising at EFF, going above and beyond specified tasks to raise funds from major donors.

Required Education & Experience

  • Strong fundraising experience and skills, especial major gifts fundraising
  • Demonstrated ability to organize complex systems