Major Gifts Officer – Jewish Family Service of San Diego

Major Gifts Officer - JFSMersky, Jaffe & Associates, a national executive search and consulting firm, has been engaged to conduct a search for a major gifts officer for Jewish Family Service of San Diego.

Jewish Family Service of San Diego is a client-centered, impact-driven organization working to build a stronger, healthier, more resilient community.

Since 1918, Jewish Family Service of San Diego has been a trusted community resource for individuals and families in times of need. JFS’s wide range of integrated services Empower Individuals and Families to Move Toward Self-Sufficiency, Support Aging with Dignity, and Foster Community Connection and Engagement throughout San Diego County and the Coachella Valley. JFS provides essential services to people regardless of religion, race, color, ethnicity, national origin, ability, gender identity/expression, or sexual orientation.

JFS is a home for people in search of better lives and for those seeking to make better lives possible. Many people first turn to JFS with a specific need, like hunger. That first contact often leads to a wide range of integrated services that address their financial, social, emotional, physical, and spiritual health. In partnership with the community of clients and supporters, JFS is Moving Forward Together.

JFS has consistently demonstrated good governance and fiscal responsibility, as evidenced by its tenth consecutive year of a 4-star rating from the independent reviewer Charity Navigator. Nationally, only 1% of all charities rated have achieved this “exceptional” rating, distinguishing JFS as a responsible steward of the public trust.

Jewish Family Service is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and nonsectarian human service agency and an equal opportunity employer.

Fund Development at JFS

JFS has an annual operating budget of $18 Million, of which $15 Million is secured by the Fund Development Team from contracts, grants, and individual donations. This year, JFS will secure more than $5 Million from individual philanthropy and grants from family foundations.

JFS is currently in the midst of a successful $17 Million matching endowment campaign, which will run for the next three years.

Position Overview

The Major Gift Officer is an integral member of JFS’s dynamic Fund Development Team, which works out of the state-of-the art Joan & Irwin Jacobs Campus to raise the funds needed to meet the needs of more than 25,000 clients who receive life-changing services from Jewish Family Service each year.

Under moderate supervision, and with wide latitude for independent judgment, the Major Gift Officer is responsible for leading and growing the agency’s major gifts program, and managing relationships with donors capable of making significant gifts to further the mission of Jewish Family Service over the long-term. The major gifts officer will report to the Chief Philanthropy Officer (CPO) and supervise the planned giving specialist.

The ideal candidate will be passionate about the work of JFS, and able to effectively communicate the agency’s case for giving.

Major Duties and Responsibilities

  • Develop and manage execution of plan to significantly grow JFS’s Major Gifts program over the next three years.
  • Develop custom stewardship plan for all major gift donors, and ensure the execution of each plan through coordination with CPO and CEO.
  • Oversee and refine processes for major gift research for current and prospective donors rated as having potential for annual gifts of $10,000-$1,000,000.
  • Prepare high quality donor briefings, funding requests, and acknowledgements.
  • Assume responsibility for the cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of 125 current and prospective major donors per year.
  • Maintain an active schedule of donor engagement visits, and attendance at community events.
  • Coordinate annual Major Gifts reception, and other special events and group engagement opportunities for major donors as needed.
  • Partner with and accompany the Chief Philanthropy Officer or CEO on major gift solicitations.
  • Ensure accurate tracking and reporting of all donor and prospect interactions using the Raisers Edge NXT database.
  • Maintains effective communications with leadership and staff.
  • Attend meetings and support ongoing activity of the Development Committee and other relevant JFS committees, as assigned.
  • Supervise coordination of Jewish Family Service’s Planned Giving Program.

The successful candidate will:

  • be a senior professional with 5 years direct fundraising responsibility in a major gifts environment.
  • have significant and successful experience performing personal solicitations of gifts in excess of $10,000, and managing a portfolio of at least 125 donors and prospects.
  • be a hands-on implementer of a major gifts management process.
  • be a sophisticated, outgoing individual able to communicate the mission and the case for support with believable passion and sensitivity.
  • be a strong manager who is a self-starter, pays attention to details and follows through..
  • have excellent interpersonal, verbal/presentation, and written communication skills, with the ability to manage several projects simultaneously in a fast-paced environment.
  • manifest a strong sense of fundraising ethics and respect for confidentiality of donor information.
  • analyze and present data for measuring results.
  • have a comfort with technology.
  • have familiarity with planned giving vehicles, and ability to supervise Planned Giving Specialist.
  • have knowledge of San Diego’s Jewish donor community (would be helpful but is not required).


While an undergraduate degree is required, an advanced degree in business administration or a related area, or equivalent experience is preferred.

If you, or anyone you know, might be a suitable candidate for this unique position, please forward the person’s name, cover letter, resume, salary requirements and contact information to Lori Fainblatt Fodale.