Major Gifts Officer

Title:  Major Gifts Officer
Type:  Full-Time
Supervisor:  Managing Director, Development
Department:  Development
Location:  Oakland, CA
Last Day to Apply:  Applications will be reviewed immediately and will be accepted until the position is filled.

Drug Policy Alliance

The Drug Policy Alliance is the leading organization in the U.S. promoting alternatives to the war on drugs. We envision a just society in which the use and regulation of drugs are grounded in science, compassion, health, and human rights; in which people are no longer punished for what they put into their own bodies but only for crimes against others; and in which the fears, prejudices, and punitive prohibitions of today are no more. Our mission is to advance those policies and attitudes that best reduce the harms of both drug misuse and drug prohibition, and to promote the sovereignty of individuals over their minds and bodies.

While we address the wide range of social, political, and economic issues touched by the war on drugs, nearly all of our efforts fall under three substantive issue areas: ending the criminalization of people who use, possess, or sell small amounts of drugs; replacing marijuana prohibition with a sensible system of regulation and taxation; and ensuring access to effective, evidence-based health interventions for people struggling with problems related to drug misuse. We approach this work with an emphasis on undoing racism and supporting the communities most devastated by the war on drugs.

In the last 15 years, DPA has expanded from its New York headquarters to include eight offices, 70-plus staff, an annual operating budget of approximately $15 million, 35,000 dues-paying members, and more than 300,000 online subscribers. We have a solid track record of success at the local, state, and federal levels and consistent visibility in prominent media and policy circles. For more information, visit our website at

The Position

In collaboration with the Managing Director of Development, the Major Gifts Officer will provide strategic leadership to grow DPA’s West Coast major gifts program and will be responsible for the identification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of $20,000+ gifts. The Drug Policy Alliance’s development department is based in New York and has a team of eight, including this position.

Primary Responsibilities

Building upon the current individual fundraising program, the Major Gifts Officer will design and implement a comprehensive campaign to grow DPA’s universe of major donors on the West Coast. The Major Gifts Officer is responsible for the following:

  • Developing, implementing, and regularly updating a plan to increase West Coast major giving, which includes outcomes (both monetary and expansion of the donor universe), and short- and long-term calendars of activities.
  • Building deep and meaningful relationships with new, prospective high net worth donors and serving as their conduit to DPA.
  • Soliciting and securing major gifts though individual face-to-face meetings.
  • Collaborating with members of DPA’s Board of Directors and other volunteer leaders to create an advisory committee that would convene to discuss key prospects, strategize around events, and make introductions to potential donors.
  • Writing and editing compelling donor correspondence including letters, emails, funding proposals, and reports.
  • Maintaining accurate records of donor outreach.
  • Becoming an effective spokesperson for DPA, increasing awareness of DPA’s mission and work and broadening the organization’s reputation and visibility among funders.
  • Organizing cultivation and fundraising events.
  • Handling special projects and other responsibilities, as needed.
  • Traveling occasionally and, when necessary, working evenings and weekends.


We are looking for a talented, experienced fundraising professional with the spirit of an entrepreneur. They must be a great speaker and storyteller, a strong and fast writer, a thoughtful and empathetic listener, and organized, methodical, and relentless. Our ideal candidate has a depth of knowledge in relevant social justice work, such as drug policy, criminal justice, human rights, or civil rights, with a strong understanding of and attention to racial justice.

Skills and experience:

  • Demonstrated success in personally cultivating, stewarding, and soliciting donors capable of giving $20,000+.
  • Passion for DPA’s mission to end the failed war on drugs.
  • Persistence and creativity in the pursuit of fundraising goals; strategic and resourceful with the ability to lead the major gifts program into unprecedented growth.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills including ability to listen, observe, and interact well with diverse individuals and groups; tactful, diplomatic, and appropriately assertive.
  • Superior verbal and written communication skills; well-developed public speaking skills are a plus.
  • Highly self-motivated and willing to proactively take on leadership roles; confidence and ability to manage up.

Terms of Employment

This position requires the candidate to live in the Bay Area. Telecommuting will not be allowed. Some travel required.


DPA offers a competitive salary and benefits package, including health, dental, long-term disability and life insurance, a generous 403(b) plan, and 25 days paid time off.

Application Process

Please send a cover letter, résumé, salary requirements, and a brief writing sample to No phone calls, please. We will only contact candidates who are under consideration.

Please include the following in the subject line: “Last Name, First Name – Major Gifts Officer”.

Email submissions are preferred, but if you have a good reason for doing so, applications can be submitted by mail to:

Devon Hutchins
Human Resources Manager
Re: Major Gifts Officer
Drug Policy Alliance
131 West 33th Street, 15th Floor
New York, NY 10001

The Drug Policy Alliance is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Women, people of color, people with disabilities, and formerly incarcerated people are encouraged to apply. We are particularly interested in hiring those who have been adversely affected by the war on drugs.