Major Gifts Officer

Location: San Francisco, CA

Department: Philanthropic Engagement

Type: Full Time

Min. Experience: Experienced


The Major Gifts Officer will develop an inspiring strategy to engage the community in philanthropy. Reporting to the Director of Philanthropic Engagement, the Major Gifts Officer will implement a comprehensive major gifts program to achieve revenue goals and honor Burning Man’s gifting principle and values. With an emphasis on donations in the $10,000 to $100,000 gift range, the Major Gifts Officer will design, create, and implement new giving programs and build relationships that honor and nurture the Burning Man’s culture of gifting. This position will interact frequently across many programs and with a wide variety of Burning Man community members.


  • Develop, manage, and meet or exceed a Major Gifts revenue goal in support of Burning Man’s mission with an emphasis on gifts in the $10,000 - $100,000 range. A comprehensive major gifts program will include detailed goals and metrics for identification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship, and will secure support for the annual fund, restricted projects, and the capital campaign.
  • Design and implement a donor cultivation and stewardship program, in collaboration with the entire Philanthropic Engagement team, to ensure high levels of donor engagement, donor joy, and donor retention. Actively identify and cultivate individuals to advance their relationship to higher levels of engagement and support.
  • Orchestrate the most effective major gift meetings and proposals which will include the following as the primary relationship leads: CEO, Board Members, Founders, Program Directors, and the Director of Philanthropic Engagement.  In some cases, the Major Gifts Officer will serve as the primary relationship manager and will be responsible for inspiring and securing major gifts directly.
  • Coordinate communications in support of the major gifts program including compelling proposals, inspiring donor reports, personalized mail, tailored email content, and other communication tools to engage with new and current supporters.
  • With the Director of Philanthropic Engagement, design new philanthropic engagement opportunities which may include novel, innovative strategies for major gifts.
  • Supervise small cultivation and stewardship events locally and globally that support the major gifts program, help build relationships, and reflect the vision and values of Burning Man.
  • Develop and manage the expense budget for the major gifts program to keep expenses at or below projections.
  • Coach and mentor volunteers who can support the Philanthropic Engagement team.
  • Support philanthropic engagement activities, events, and relationship-building tasks on playa in Black Rock City.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.


  • Documentation - Drives the creation, publishing, and maintenance of process documentation related to assigned duties.
  • Teaching – Takes a leadership role in the acculturation and training of staff and volunteers. Teaches live or e-learning classes, as requested. Promotes a culture of teaching and learning throughout the community.
  • Mentoring - Mentors subordinates in acquiring the knowledge, skills, and experience that will allow them to advance in the organization. Aids, encourages, and inspires their team.
  • Training development - Collaborates with the education team to develop training materials in their area of expertise, as requested.
  • Learning – Pursues ongoing learning in their area of expertise, working to stay current on emergent knowledge, skills, and processes. Participates in conferences, forums, and networking events, where appropriate.
  • Speaking – Represents Burning Man as a subject matter expert and culture-bearer, as requested.



  • A bachelor’s degree.
  • 5+ years of experience in non-profit organizations, preferably in fundraising or comparable work environment.
  • Excellent relationship-building skills and agility to build rapport with internal and external stakeholders.
  • Superior organizational skills, with a strong attention to detail and excellent time management skills.
  • Exceptional communication skills; articulate, with proven ability to write effectively and speak persuasively.
  • Able to work effectively with supporters and participants of all financial capacities and colleagues across the Burning Man community.
  • Ability to learn new software, database systems, and other technologies that support development and donor services.  
  • Able to be an effective and inspiring team member and collaborator.
  • Demonstrate initiative and ability to work well independently on specific projects, anticipate needs, and learn new skills as required.
  • Demonstrate diplomacy, and integrity, especially in regards to financial information and fundraising code of ethics.
  • Actively understand, reflect, and embrace the Burning Man culture, and effectively and joyfully share and promote fundraising opportunities.
  • Ability to work nights and weekends as needed.  
  • Ability to adjust schedule seasonally to work at the Burning Man event held in Nevada.


  • It is helpful if the candidate has previously been to Burning Man and/or is familiar with its culture.
  • An advanced degree in non-profit management or comparable field.


  • Valid Drivers’ License and a clean driving record


  • Off-playa:  Work is primarily sedentary in nature, no special demands are required. 
  • On-playa:  Work is primarily sedentary but will also include the need to find and meet with department representatives who may not be in the vicinity therefore this could include walking or using some form of transportation.  Some of the work will be in outside weather conditions and will be exposed to fumes or airborne particles as well as possible extremes in temperature.


  • This is a regular, full-time position eligible for benefits, working out of our San Francisco office.
  • Burning Man is an equal-opportunity employer.
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