This position will be based in either Philadelphia, Pennsylvania or Washington, District of Columbia.

About FIRE

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to defending liberty, freedom of speech, due process, academic freedom, legal equality, and freedom of conscience on our nation’s college campuses. Please visit to gain a sense of our work and mission.

Position Description

FIRE is seeking a Major Gifts Officer to cultivate, retain, and upgrade the giving of individuals in a portfolio of major donors across the country.

This position requires a substantial amount of travel; approximately 50% of the job will be on the road. Occasional work on weekends and evenings should be expected.

The Major Gifts Officer will report directly to FIRE’s Senior Vice President of Finance and Development, while working closely with the rest of the development team and FIRE’s President and CEO. Additionally, the Major Gifts Officer will consult with FIRE’s other department heads to keep abreast of all programming initiatives. The duties for this position include, but are not limited to:

  • Maintain an active national portfolio of current supporters for upgraded and continued major gift support, and personally direct the cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of these supporters.
    • Meet with donors and donor prospects, including traveling throughout the United States;
    • Cultivate donors through events, meetings, and regular communication.
  • Identify and research new potential supporters and design strategies to cultivate and solicit them to support FIRE;
  • Produce regular reports and update donor records/profiles on a regular basis, and establish and maintain performance metrics, including overall portfolio management;
  • Work with FIRE’s development and program staff to create written proposals for individuals when necessary and appropriate.

The expected start date for this position will be June 1.


A successful candidate will have a good work ethic, be a self-starter, and have the ability to work independently. Most importantly, the candidate must demonstrate a knowledge and passion for FIRE’s mission and an ability to articulate that passion in a way that will make others enthusiastic about our cause. A candidate must also be able to demonstrate:

  • A four year undergraduate degree;
  • A minimum of 3-5 years experience in development, preferably with personal solicitation of major gifts;
    • Applicants with non-development yet relevant experience in fields like law, policy, or advocacy are also encouraged to apply;
  • A goal-oriented mindset and not afraid to ask supporters for money;
  • A high-level of interpersonal and relationship-building skills;
  • An understanding of how to personalize FIRE’s mission and stories;
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills;
  • The ability to be compelling, a good listener, and be able to think on their feet;
  • A willingness to travel often;
  • A working knowledge of donor database platforms like Salesforce (preferred, not required);
  • A working knowledge of planned giving (preferred, not required).

Salary and Compensation

Starting salary is negotiable and depends upon experience and education level. FIRE conducts periodic evaluations where employees may receive raises or bonuses for outstanding and excellent work. FIRE also offers a comprehensive benefits package that includes employer-paid comprehensive health, dental, and life insurance; a Section 125 Flexible Spending Account option; matching retirement contributions; and a generous paid time-off plan.


Applicants should provide a resume, cover letter, a writing sample, salary requirements, and contact information for at least two professional references. All applications are confidential. Please address applications to Peyton Cudaback, Director of Human Resources. Applications can be emailed to

FIRE is an equal opportunity employer.