Major Gifts Officer: Community Legal Services

Community Legal Services, Inc. (CLS) is a private, non-profit law firm dedicated to providing excellent, free legal services to low income Philadelphians since 1966. Our mission is to fight poverty, challenge systems that perpetuate injustice, and change lives though cutting edge advocacy and exceptional legal representation.

CLS is seeking an enthusiastic, experienced and highly skilled leader to become our Major Gifts Officer. As our Major Gifts Officer, you will design, develop and implement our major gifts, individual giving and law firm giving programs. You will be responsible for managing and cultivating relationships with existing major gift prospects, as well as identifying new prospects. An ability to empathize with donors and clearly communicate our organization’s mission is key. You will be expected to energize team members, persuade prospects and persevere to the end. This position reports to the Director of Advancement & Communications.

Key Responsibilities:

•     Direct CLS’s individual and law firm fundraising program, with a strong focus on major gifts

•     Understand the work and mission of CLS and articulate it to diverse audiences through a variety of mediums.

•     Conduct CLS’s major gift fundraising activities, including prospect identification, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship.

•     Manage a personal pool of 75 -100 prospects and donors.

•     Assist and support CLS’s Executive Director in managing their pool of prospects and donors.

•     Formulate fundraising strategies to grow CLS’s fundraising enterprise, including efforts to increase funding from current/past donors, increase planned giving, and attract investments from newly identified prospects.

•     Create and implement an annual strategic fundraising plan in coordination with the Executive Director and the Director of Advancement & Communications.

•     Support and collaborate with CLS’s successful Advancement teams.

•     Create metrics and implement systems for monitoring progress towards fundraising goals.

•     Coordinate and support the Executive Director’s fundraising efforts, including prospect outreach efforts, meeting preparation and follow-up, strategy development, pipeline management and gift proposals. Accompany the Executive Director on prospect visits on as-needed basis.

•     Staff the CLS Board and the Leadership Council in their fundraising responsibilities, including CLS’s annual Bar Campaign to area law firms.

•     Assume primary responsibility for managing CLS’s fundraising events including the annual Breakfast of Champions.

•     Plan and oversee implementation of cultivation events for prospects.

•     Utilize the donor database to support all aspects of the prospect management process.

•     Oversee CLS’s prospect and investor pipelines and oversee prospect tracking/reporting using the donor database.

•     Support the implementation of annual giving strategies including direct response and digital efforts.

•     Contribute to CLS’s communications strategy as it relates to fundraising.

•     Present Development orientation sessions to non-Development staff.

•     Participate in long-range strategic planning initiatives for CLS.

•     Perform other duties as assigned by the Executive Director and Director of Advancement & Communications.


Education: Bachelor’s degree required.

Experience: Minimum of 6-8 years of Development experience, including strong track record in major gifts fundraising.

Additional skills:

•     Broad knowledge of all facets of a sophisticated Development program.

•     Excellent organizational, writing, interpersonal and “diplomacy” skills.

•     Empathetic communicator and careful listener.

•     Ability to communicate assignments to staff members.

•     Ability to establish meaningful long-term relationships with prospects, donors and volunteers on behalf of CLS.

•     Experience in preparing/staffing top leadership at prospect and board meetings.

•     Demonstrated success in working with boards and other volunteers.

•     Familiarity with Philadelphia area law community a plus.

•     Mission-driven and creative leader.

•     Ability to set objectives, develop plans and implement programs to achieve goals.

•     Highly‐organized, attentive to detail, goal‐oriented and capable of multi‐tasking.

•     Ability to work collaboratively with non-development staff to create and implement a coordinated strategy.

•     Solid understanding of fundraising databases, including segmentation, reports, moves management, and donor research capabilities.

•     Familiarity with Bloomerang a plus.

•     Proficiency with Microsoft Office, including but not limited to Excel, Access, Outlook and Word, plus the ability to learn other software programs as needed.

•     Availability for evening and weekend hours as needed.

What to Include in your application: To be considered for this position please include a cover letter, resume, and three professional references. CLS values a diverse work environment and strongly encourages women, people of color, people who identify as LGBTQ, people with disabilities, people who have experienced poverty or homelessness and people who have had prior contact with the juvenile, criminal, or child welfare systems to apply. CLS invites all applicants to include in their cover letter a statement about how your unique background and/or experiences might contribute to the diversity, cultural vitality, and perspective of our staff and legal services practice.

Community Legal Services, Inc. is an equal opportunity employer. CLS does not discriminate in the selection of employees on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, sexual identity, genetics, age, national origin, disability, or veteran status. In addition to federal law requirements, CLS complies with all applicable state and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including r

To Apply: CLS will accept applications until Friday, August 27, 2021. You can submit your application on CLS’s website online at Careers – Community Legal Services ( OR