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Betty Brubach



PR, Communications, and Fundraising Jobs Back to Job Listing

Development Specialist

Alexandria VA

The Development Specialist, serving as a Major Gifts Officer, is motivated to connect high-value individuals with an opportunity to make a difference for animals in our community. Specifically, this role will be responsible for managing a comprehensive major gift and planned giving program in collaboration with the Director of Development and Executive Director. This role is a valuable member of a small Development Team responsible for generating revenue to advance the organization’s mission. 


This position is supervised by: Director of Development


Major Gift Donor Management 

As a Major Gifts Officer, the Development Specialist will: 

• Identify a pipeline of qualified major donors 

• Coordinate and track the cultivation, solicitation and stewardship activities of members of the AWLA leadership team, including Director of Development, Executive Director and members of the Board of Directors 

• Manage a portfolio of major donors throughout the gift cycle

• Utilize a moves management program for all prospects 

• Create a recognition program to steward all major donors 

• Coordinate donor visits, cultivation events and other activities to facilitate the building of meaningful personal relationships with donors

• Guide the development of personalized donor proposals, presentations and reports as needed, aligning the donor’s areas of interest with the AWLA’s programs and objectives

• Track all major gift pledges and donations, including deferred giving and stock donations

Planned Giving Coordination 

The Development Specialist will be the organization’s lead on planned giving, and will: 

• Identify potential planned giving prospects, create a cultivation and solicitation plan  

• Develop stewardship plan for current expected planned gift donors

• Build relationships with local estate planning professionals

Key Member of Development Department 

To support the development department and activities, the Development Specialist will:

• Represent the AWLA by participating in events

• Act as a donor liaison by: 

o Building relationships with donors, which may include in-person visits, phone calls, emails and written correspondence 

o Recruit and engage with donors at events 

• Support the Director of Development, Executive Director and additional AWLA colleagues with additional projects as requested



1. Bachelor’s Degree and two years’ experience in relationship building, or a high school diploma and five years’ experience in fundraising 

2. Successful track record of securing high-value gifts in excess of $5,000 

3. Knowledge of estate planning techniques

4. Strong communication skills, including writing, conversational and presentations

5. Ability to handle multiple tasks in a busy work environment, while keeping focused and organized

6. Strong customer service skills, ability to build and maintain strong relationships on behalf of the organizations 

7. Professional demeanor and appearance

8. Ability to exercise independent judgment and discretion 

9. Positive, can-do attitude; someone who sees opportunities instead of problems 

10. A self-starter who can work independently and collaboratively as a key member of a small, strong team 

11. Ethical values, ability to handle sensitive information confidentially 

12. Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite, specifically Word and Excel 

13. Compassion and concern for both animals and people 

14. Ability to pass a criminal and financial background investigation


1. Specific experience in developing and expanding major gifts and planned giving programs

2. Donor database experience (Salsa Labs preferred)


1. Indoors in air-conditioned/heated office, outdoors at shelter or on-location for various activities

2. Equipment use: PC, laser printer, copy machine, fax machine, telephone and credit card machine 

3. Work Hours: 

a. Regular work hours are Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. 

b. Some evening and weekend hours may be required

4. Constant interaction with people, including staff and donors

5. Regular exposure to animals; offices often house dogs, cats or other animals


Posted February 16, 2021

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