Director of Major Gifts (Development/Fundraising) 

Location: Chicago, IL or Washington, DC


Salary: $85,000 -95,000

Avodah Overview

Avodah believes that Jewish leaders have the power to help change our country for the better. We train and support early- and mid-career Jewish young adults with the tools, knowledge, and networks they need to contribute their skills and passion to advancing social justice across the country and strengthening the fabric of our diverse Jewish communities. Additionally, we help the Jewish community understand how to address the root causes and effects of poverty in the United States. Avodah operates its Jewish Service Corps, Justice Fellowship, Alumni Network, and Community Engagement programs in five cities across the nation and has sparked thousands of Jewish leaders to do justice work, added millions of dollars in critical capacity to antipoverty organizations, and helped strengthen Jewish life in the United States. Learn more about Avodah and our cities/sites at

Position Overview

Avodah seeks a seasoned, engaging fundraiser with major gifts experience and demonstrated management acumen to steward and grow our major donor portfolio, supervise the major donor fundraising efforts of the rest of Avodah’s national fundraising team members (3-4 staff located in New York, Kansas City, San Diego, and Washington, DC or Chicago), and expand the revenue received from Avodah’s major donors. 

The Director of Major Gifts will be located in either Avodah’s DC or Chicago office and will remotely report to and collaborate closely with Avodah’s Director of Development in New York. Candidates must be available for occasional local and out-of-state travel to engage major donors in other regions, and to attend Avodah staff meetings and retreats.

National Responsibilities

  • In consultation with the Director of Development, set fiscal year revenue targets and national major donor engagement strategies; 
  • Oversee implementation of major donor engagement and staff accountability systems; 
  • Work with Director of Development to plan and oversee execution of all communications with prospective and current major donors; 
  • Supervise the major donor fundraising efforts of fundraising staff based in other Avodah regions, including regular supervision meetings, review of planned touchpoints, assessment of progress toward engagement and revenue goals, and an in-person visit to one of the other Avodah sites approximately once per quarter (travel required); and
  • Manage the Executive Director’s stewardship and solicitation of top tier of major donors. 

Local/Regional Responsibilities

  • Identify, qualify, cultivate, solicit and steward local/regional major donors, growing our major donor revenue in either DC or Chicago, depending upon location; 
  • Build meaningful relationships with local Avodah participants and alumni in order to share their stories with and connect them to funders and prospective funders; 
  • Partner with lay leaders to advance regional major donor fundraising goals; 
  • Act as the professional key point of contact for all local and regional foundation funders and prospective funders, including by submitting all proposals and reports and meeting with foundation representatives as necessary; 
  • Communicate regularly with foundation representatives regarding engagement opportunities and organizational updates; and 
  • Maintain and update Avodah’s donor CRM records as appropriate. 


  • At least five (5) years of nonprofit development experience, including demonstrated success in the area of major donor fundraising; 
  • Experience managing fundraising staff;
  • Working knowledge of Salesforce preferred
  • Experience working in a nonprofit setting preferred;
  • Relentless drive to implement strategies and achieve goals;
  • Ability to identify, cultivate relationships with, and solicit four- and five-figure gifts from new and existing stakeholders;
  • Exceptional relationship-building skills;
  • Collaborative work style coupled with ability to work autonomously at a high level. 
  • Creativity to develop and implement new fundraising solutions; 
  • Appetite for a fast-paced work environment;
  • Commitment to the idea that the Jewish community has an essential role to play in promoting justice in the United States; 
  • Flexibility to adjust to evolving work demands;
  • and good sense of humor.

To Apply

Please send resume to Shira Sarfati at [email protected]. Please include “Director of Major Gifts” in the subject line.  

Applications will be accepted until we hire, but we strongly encourage interested candidates to submit their applications by September 25, 2019. Interviews will be set up on a rolling basis. Due to the volume of applications, we are only able to respond to those applicants granted an interview. No phone calls, please. 

Salary: $85,000 – $95,000 commensurate with experience. Comprehensive benefit package included (i.e., medical, dental, 403(b), paid holidays, annual leave, etc.).

Avodah is an equal opportunity employer. Sephardic and Mizrahi Jews, people of color, women, people with disabilities, immigrants, LGBTQIA people, and people who come from poor or working class backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply.