Director, Major Gifts

The Foundation Fighting Blindness (FFB) is the largest nongovernmental foundation supporting retinal disease research in the world, funding rigorous scientific discovery and clinical trials to preserve and restore vision. We are headquartered in Columbia, MD with regional offices in New York NY, Chicago IL, Raleigh NC and Santa Monica CA. Working with preeminent scientists, the FFB has funded breakthroughs in gene therapy, stem cells and bionic retinas, providing an historic opportunity for a promising new era in human clinical trials.

Over the past four decades, FFB expanded its influence by raising more than $700 million to fund thousands of research studies at prominent institutions worldwide, attracting and investing in clinicians and scientists focused on retinal disease research.

We are seeking a dynamic and experienced DIRECTOR, MAJOR GIFTS to be part of our team. This position will be based in the San Francisco/Bay area and reports to the Senior Director, Major Gifts who is located in New York City.

The western region’s volunteer leadership and philanthropic capacity are crucial to FFB’s development success over the next decade. This position is responsible for stewarding and expanding FFB’s significant donor prospect portfolio in the West.

About the Position

The position of Director, Major Gifts will be based in the San Francisco/Bay area and will focus efforts in the western region, an area which provides substantial philanthropic opportunities. The Director, Major Gifts serves as a frontline staff fundraiser and relationship builder with major gift prospects. The position will manage a portfolio of approximately 150 major donors and major donor prospects throughout the Region. Responsibilities include setting priorities, acting as a mentor to staff and providing collaborative leadership. The Director, Major Gifts will maximize the potential to further engage volunteers in identifying and soliciting major gifts prospects.

Additional responsibilities include creating strategies to introduce FFB to potential corporate, foundation, and family foundation prospects, as well as working on principal gift strategies with the Senior Director. The position will assist in identifying potential new Board and Trustee leadership from the major gift donors and volunteer leadership.

The successful candidate will be at home in a collaborative, entrepreneurial and intellectually stimulating environment.

Qualified Candidates Should Demonstrate:

  • Evidence of ability to collaborate, manage and motivate successfully with staff, board, volunteers, high level donors and regional staff in creating new giving opportunities
  • Track record of 5- and 6-figure personally solicited individual gifts; experience working on 7-figure gift strategies
  • Ability to function independently with an assigned group of prospects, yet interact collaboratively with colleagues in a centralized framework of fundraising while participating in and contributing to a total team effort
  • Interest in making a significant contribution to a recognized world class health and science leadership organization.
  • Genuine interest in or appreciation for the mission
  • Excellent oral, writing and presentation skills
  • Must have familiarity with relational databases; knowledge of WEB utilities (Convio) helpful
  • Thorough knowledge of Microsoft Office Suite, specifically Word, Excel and Outlook
  • Travel required throughout the region, including occasional weekend and national travel
  • Must be highly organized, detail-oriented and able to handle multiple projects simultaneously in a fast-paced environment
  • Valid driver’s license and driving record acceptable to FFB insurance carrier

Please send a resume with cover letter in confidence to Patricia Dudley, Chief Human Resources Officer at We offer an excellent salary and benefits, as well as a terrific team to work with!

FFB is an equal opportunity employer