Lead Major Gifts Manager at Wikimedia Foundation

The Wikimedia Foundation is the nonprofit that hosts Wikipedia and our other free knowledge projects. We want to make it easier for everyone to share what they know. To do this, we keep Wikipedia and Wikimedia sites fast, reliable, and available to all. We protect the values and policies that allow free knowledge to thrive. We build new features and tools to make it easy to read, edit, and share from the Wikimedia sites. Above all, we support the communities of volunteers around the world who edit, improve, and add knowledge across Wikimedia projects.


The Wikimedia Foundation is looking for a Lead Major Gifts Manager. This role is a critical part of the Wikimedia Foundation’s Major Gifts and Foundations team, which raises funds to support the annual operating costs of Wikipedia and its sister projects.

The Lead Major Gifts Manager will lead engagement with donors making gifts at the 5- and 6- figure levels and collaborate closely with fundraising colleagues across teams to ensure a coordinated approach to our outreach and stewardship. We’re looking for a team player who can be an asset to the team in reaching their shared goals and can help donors feel appreciated.

The Lead Major Gifts Manager will report to the Sr. Director of Development and collaborate regularly with colleagues from across the Major Gifts & Foundations and Endowment teams. Succeeding in this environment requires taking a hands-on approach to connecting with a broad array of donors one-on-one and in groups, using traditional development methods and online engagement.

This role can be based in Wikimedia Foundation’s headquarters in San Francisco, our Washington DC office, or work remotely. The ideal candidate will be located with convenient travel into US East Coast or West Coast major metros and travel frequently.

(The Wikimedia Foundation’s offices are closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Travel and in-office work will resume when it is safe to do so.)

You are responsible for:

  • Serving as a major gifts lead on a team currently tasked with raising $10M per year in direct donations
  • Leading engagement with our current major donors giving unrestricted donations at the 5- and 6- figure levels
  • Cultivating and stewarding a diverse portfolio of existing donors and donor prospects
  • Solicit and secure new major gifts, both independently and in collaboration with colleagues on the Major Gifts & Foundations and Endowment teams
  • Participating in donor identification, research, and qualification efforts
  • Collaboration with colleagues on the Major Gifts & Foundations and Endowment teams to develop fundraising and donor engagement strategies
  • Leading fundraising initiatives of various types and sizes, including one-on-one meetings and intimate cultivation gatherings.
  • Tracking your contact with donors in our CRM

Skills and Experience:

  • 4-5 years of successful fundraising experience including at least 3 years of direct major gifts experience
  • Direct experience in personally soliciting gifts from major donors
  • A demonstrated track record of identifying, cultivating, soliciting and securing individual donors in the 5- to 6-figure range
  • Broad-based knowledge of various development campaign activities, including: direct solicitations, event planning and management, and leveraging fundraising databases
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to work with a diverse group of donors and team members across geographies
  • Excellent verbal communication skills
  • Demonstrably strong writing skills
  • Ability to work with a high degree of autonomy and accountability
  • Ability to collaborate with colleagues across the teams and departments to coordinate campaigns and plan cultivation events
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality of donor information and a finely-tuned sense of discretion
  • Ability to travel occasionally to meet with donors in person and attend Foundation gatherings
  • Desire to work in a dynamic and mission-driven organization

Qualities that are important to us:

  • We are an international organization serving an internationally distributed audience. A strong international perspective with personal experience in cross-cultural communication is highly valued
  • Compassionate communication, both in speaking and writing, and particularly able to recognize the alignment of a donor’s interests with the value of Wikimedia Foundation programs, communities, services and events
  • Active listening and strategizing; comfortable receiving input from many sources, and able to act on information to develop increased support
  • Detail-oriented, able to maintain systems, track progress, and follow-up in a timely fashion
  • Sharing a culture of constructive criticism and respect

Additionally, we’d love it if you have:

  • Experience working with a technical and/or scientific donors
  • Experience working in an organization with a distributed workforce

The Wikimedia Foundation is an equal opportunity employer, and we encourage people with a diverse range of backgrounds to apply.

U.S. Benefits & Perks*

  • Fully paid medical, dental and vision coverage for employees and their eligible families (yes, fully paid premiums!)
  • The Wellness Program provides reimbursement for mind, body and soul activities such as fitness memberships, baby sitting, continuing education and much more
  • The 401(k) retirement plan offers matched contributions at 4% of annual salary
  • Flexible and generous time off – vacation, sick and volunteer days, plus 19 paid holidays – including the last week of the year.
  • Family friendly! 100% paid new parent leave for seven weeks plus an additional five weeks for pregnancy, flexible options to phase back in after leave, fully equipped lactation room.
  • For those emergency moments – long and short term disability, life insurance (2x salary) and an employee assistance program
  • Pre-tax savings plans for health care, child care, elder care, public transportation and parking expenses
  • Telecommuting and flexible work schedules available
  • Appropriate fuel for thinking and coding (aka, a pantry full of treats) and monthly massages to help staff relax
  • Great colleagues – diverse staff and contractors speaking dozens of languages from around the world, fantastic intellectual discourse, mission-driven and intensely passionate people

*Eligible international workers’ benefits are specific to their location and dependent on their employer of record

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