Deputy Director of Development - Major Gifts

The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception - Washington, D.C.


Affectionately referred to as “America’s Catholic Church,” the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception has been a century in the making.

Although its foundation stone was laid in 1920, this great shrine was conceived of as early as 1846, the year the Bishops of America declared the Blessed Virgin Mary the patroness of the United States under her title of the Immaculate Conception. The Basilica is the largest Roman Catholic church in North America and is among the ten largest churches in the world. With its unique blend of Romanesque-Byzantine architecture and sacred art, it is neither imitative nor duplicative of any other sanctuary on earth.

The Basilica contains the world’s largest collection of contemporary ecclesiastical art with its brilliant mosaics, stained glass windows, and polished stone carvings. It is home to more than 80 chapels and oratories honoring the Mother of God and representing peoples from every corner of the globe, reflecting the ethnic and cultural diversity of the United States and the unity and universality of the Catholic Church.

The National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception truly is the embodiment of the people who are the fabric of the Catholic faith and mosaic of our great nation.

The Basilica is proud to reflect this rich heritage of America and to stand as our nation’s preeminent Marian shrine and patronal church, whose beauty, dignity, and sanctity are a witness to all who pass through its doors. The Basilica hosts nearly one million visitors every year, is open 365 days a year, and offers Masses and the Sacrament of Reconciliation daily.

Saint John Paul II, the first pope to visit the National Shrine, expressed its essence when he visited in 1979: 

“This Shrine speaks to us with the voice of all America, with the voice of all the sons and daughters of America, who have come here from the various countries…When they came, they brought with them in their hearts the same love for the Mother of God that was characteristic of their ancestors and of themselves in their native lands. These people, speaking different languages, coming from different backgrounds of history and traditions in their own countries, came together around the heart of a Mother they all had in common.”


The National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception is expanding its development efforts and is seeking a leader to develop and oversee its major donor relations program. The Deputy Director of Development - Major Gifts is primarily responsible for growing and sustaining a pool of major individual and foundation donors.

The Deputy Director of Development - Major Gifts will execute a strategic plan which prioritizes prospects who, through personal cultivation and relationship building, will form the core of support in sustaining the Basilica now and for future generations. The Deputy Director will oversee and develop donor recognition structures for major gifts, stewardship strategies, and cultivation and solicitation practices. The successful candidate will have experience in moves management and a proven track record in analyzing existing donor records to identify and prioritize donors who would be inclined to move up the giving ladder or would consider providing for the Basilica in bequests and/or annuities. The Deputy Director will embody a strong vision for a healthy fundraising culture and be able to effectively utilize fundraising tools and metrics to drive strategy.

This position requires exceptional interpersonal skills, as much of the time will be spent personally meeting with existing and prospective donors. Importantly, the Deputy Director will be a positive advocate for the Basilica and capable of inspiring others of diverse interests in supporting its mission—which at times will include a model of encouraging donors’ own relationship with Christ and understanding and connecting their needs and charitable objectives to the mission of the Basilica and the Catholic Faith.  The ideal candidate will have experience in Church or nonprofit fundraising and a passion for the Catholic Church. The Basilica has a large pool of active donors for the Deputy Director to immediately engage—and for the industrious and motivated individual, opportunities are primed for cultivation.

This position is based out of the Basilica’s administrative offices inside the Basilica itself in Washington, D.C. and reports directly to the Interim Director of Development. Salary is competitive, commensurate with experience, and includes a full benefits package, pension program, and annual bonuses.


The Deputy Director’s primary responsibilities will include but not be limited to the following:

  • Design, implement, and coordinate a comprehensive individual donor and planned giving management system to identify and reach out to current and potential donors.
  • Support the Rector’s initiatives to develop support for the Basilica.
  • Develop systems and strategies to seamlessly prioritize, communicate with, and acknowledge major and planned gift potential.
  • Begin relationship building and outreach to donor base.
  • Maintain records of donor interactions.
  • Build awareness of the benefits of charitable planned giving among all segments of the National Shrine’s donor constituency.
  • Acknowledge donors and contributions in an accurate and timely manner for all major gifts.
  • Prepare letters, brochures, reports, acknowledgments, and other written materials as needed and required by individual donors.
  • Develop programs to educate donors about the ministries funded from their gifts.
  • Collaborate with the National Shrine’s accounting department to ensure revenue compliance, accurate results reporting, and verification of expenditures. Provide accounting and auditors joint cost of funds analysis.
  • Aid ongoing development initiatives at the National Shrine.
  • Assist the Interim Director of Development with enhancing the image of the National Shrine using effective programs and public relations, working in collaboration with other departments, including the Communications, Music, and Liturgy departments.
  • Perform other duties as needed.


  • 10+ years relevant fundraising experience, including experience directly cultivating a caseload of donors and proven track record of making six figure asks.
  • Strong personal alignment and understanding of the Catholic faith.
  • Adhere to highest ethical standards and reflect professional demeanor.
  • Successful management of a major gift and planned giving program.
  • Excellent written and verbal communications skills.
  • Ability to communicate with a wide variety of existing and potential donors with the capacity to influence and resolve difficult situations with tact and diplomacy.
  • Knowledge of tax codes affecting charitable giving.
  • Adept at using development moves management, preferably Salesforce.
  • Ability to travel to meet donors with some evening and weekend functions.


Please direct all of your questions to Nicole Rizkallah at You must use the application form below to apply, and include a cover letter, resume, references, and a writing sample (all in PDF FORMAT) to have your application considered complete.

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