Director of Major Gifts

The Pacific Research Institute - Southern California

The Pacific Research Institute (PRI) is a California based think-tank dedicated to championing freedom, opportunity, limited government, and personal responsibility. PRI’s mission is to provide practical, market-based solutions on issues affecting the citizens of California and all Americans. The Institute’s research focuses on education reform, health care, tax and fiscal policy, and the environment. We are “policy entrepreneurs putting ideas into action.”

Job Description

PRI is hiring a full-time Director of Major Gifts who would be responsible for identifying, cultivating, and soliciting major gifts. The successful candidate would manage a comprehensive portfolio of individual donors and major donor prospects primarily located in, but not limited to, Southern California. The Director would be expected to conduct regular personal meetings with donors and donor prospects and make solicitations, focusing on gifts in the five and six-figure range.

The Director can be based in PRI’s Pasadena office or a virtual office in Southern California.  Ideally the Director will be on the road for meetings and events 50% of the time.  The candidate’s location in Southern California would impact what percentage of the travel would require over-night or multi-day travel. The Director will work closely with the President and CEO, Vice President of Development, development and events staff, other outside contractors, and other PRI personnel to ensure that PRI grows its donor base and meets its annual fundraising goals.

Some of your key responsibilities will include: 

  • Managing a portfolio of major donors and donor prospects, which includes identifying and prioritizing meetings to cultivate, qualify, and solicit with the goals of retaining and upgrading current donors and bringing in new donors to support PRI’s mission;
  • cultivating donors through regular correspondence (phone, email, personal notes);
  • producing regular meeting/performance reports and updating donor records/profiles on a regular basis;
  • managing a pipeline of major donor meetings for which the CEO and other scholars/staff may need to attend;
  • establishing and maintaining performance metrics, including overall portfolio management, and a minimum number of monthly visits and proposals;
  • assisting with, as needed, PRI’s direct mail programs;
  • contributing to a culture of development by participating in regular prospect strategy sessions with other PRI development staff;
  • creating and producing proposal templates for individuals and, if required, institutions;
  • helping as needed with PRI’s foundation solicitation program, including meeting with existing foundation representatives and representatives of foundation prospects;
  • assisting, where necessary, with various operational and administrative tasks.


The ideal candidate will possess a bachelor’s degree and 3+ years of experience working in nonprofit development or a field with similar transferable skills. Most importantly, the ideal candidate should have a work history that demonstrates keen intelligence, success in managing multiple projects simultaneously, a high degree of personal initiative and conscientiousness, excellent organizational skills, and superb interpersonal skills.

Candidates should have familiarity with computer software and database programs (Raiser’s Edge experience is a plus), be an excellent communicator (both written and verbal), a fast learner, and a self-starter who accomplishes tasks and makes consistent progress on projects with minimal supervision. The candidate must take personal ownership of a portfolio of individual donors and will be responsible for cultivating and soliciting. The candidate will be able to work well with others, multitask and prioritize, and remain both pleasant and sane in a fast-paced environment. Other qualifications include the ability to travel and participate in evening and weekend events.

Ultimately, the ideal candidate should be committed to the mission of PRI and be able to represent the Institute, its mission, programs, and research before diverse audiences.

 To Apply

To apply, qualified candidates should submit the following application materials in one PDF document:

  • Resume
  • Cover letter detailing: 1) your interest in the position/the mission of the organization, and 2) your salary requirements
  • A list of three references

Applications should be submitted to Talent Market via this link:

Questions can be directed to Lauren Skiver, Talent Manager with Talent Market, who is assisting with the search:

While we thank all applicants in advance for their interest in this position, we are only able to contact those to whom we can offer an interview. Only direct applications will be considered. No phone calls, please.

Talent Market is a nonprofit entity dedicated to promoting liberty by helping free-market nonprofits identify talent for critical roles. We provide free consulting and recruiting services to free-market think tanks, policy organizations, research centers, and capacity-building institutions dedicated to advancing the principles of limited government and free enterprise.

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