Individual Giving Officer

The Individual Giving Officer is responsible for directing activities that achieve annual general operating, special project and capital individual major donor contribution goals for the National Aquarium. This key Development leader cultivates, solicits and stewards existing donors, and identifies and acquires new major donors from a variety of sources. The Individual Giving Officer works closely with all members of the Individual Giving team to develop and implement a strategic and comprehensive individual giving program, as well as with Board level volunteers, and staff at levels throughout the organization. The Individual Giving Officer reports to the Vice President of Philanthropy and is responsible for generating new commitments of $1,000,000 and more annually.


Donor Strategy, Relationship Management and Solicitation

Manage an active portfolio of 125+ major donor prospects of $5,000 and above, and lead efforts to develop and implement cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship plans for each, ensuring plans are complete, strategic, sustainable and effective. Direct activities that support plans, including:

  • Engaging with prospective donors on a personal level, ensuring they have ample opportunity to truly engage with the Aquarium in an innovative and meaningful way
  • Creating and leading efforts around cultivation, solicitation & stewardship events, visits, calls, letters, etc.
  • Devising and implementing comprehensive strategy to solicit prospects based on determination of their experiences with, and interest in, the Aquarium, and their giving capacity
  • Educating and engaging key members of Aquarium leadership and staff to ensure successful and impactful participation in donor activities
  • Achieve activity (calls, meetings, solicitations per month) and financial goals created on an annual basis
  • Develop strategic funding requests based on immediate needs and long-term funding goals of the Aquarium
  • Engage, prepare and support senior-most volunteers and Board members in their ambassadorship on behalf of the Aquarium as necessary to carry out strategies
  • Working with appropriate Institute staff, develop and implement strategies to appropriately recognize and steward development volunteers
  • Working with VP of Philanthropy, identify opportunities and implement strategies to educate current and prospective donors about planned giving opportunities and solicit their participation.
  • Identify new prospects from a variety of sources including donor lists, prospect screening information, and conversations with existing donors and volunteers
  • Working with Annual Giving Manager and Director of Membership, identify current annual donors and members who have the capacity to make major gifts; design and implement appropriate strategies

Donor Communication, Cultivation and Stewardship

  • Generate and conduct effective and engaging in-person presentations to high level audiences in support of Aquarium projects and programs.
  • Develop / prepare materials – including letters, proposals, meeting prep, stewardship reports, etc. – to support the major gift development strategies
  • Develop / prepare materials – including contact reports, activity reports, etc. – to support the major gift program
  • Manage and update contact information, plans and actions in Sales Force using identified protocol, complete timely and accurate call and progress reports
  • Ensure consistent and timely communication throughout development department, among Aquarium staff as appropriate, and with volunteers regarding prospect and donor contact and activity


  • Thoroughly understand the National Aquarium, its mission and policies, culture, values, history, key stakeholders, programs, and finances.
  • In all aspects of work, consider and promote NA's impact on and relationships within the community.
  • Work closely and collaboratively with representatives from across the Aquarium
  • Fully engage in Members/Development department activities, contributing to both overall team and organization-wide goals
  • Contribute to long-range planning for the growth and increased overall impact and prominence of the Aquarium's development program.
  • Adhere to all organizational and departmental policies and procedures
  • Maintain professional growth and development through seminars, workshops and professional affiliations as well as readings to keep abreast of fundraising trends
  • Other duties as assigned or required


  • Must be creative, driven, and results-focused conduct, and must truly value the Aquarium's commitment to inspiring conservation of the world's aquatic treasures
  • Must have a sincere interest in stewarding donor relationships and investments, and a desire to work in a donor-centered development culture and produce products of exceptionally high quality.
  • A minimum of six years in development, with at least three of those years focused on major giving or midlevel giving.
  • Keen knowledge of and experience with developing and implementing sophisticated strategies for donor and volunteer involvement.
  • Bachelor's degree is required; advanced degree preferred
  • Strong interpersonal skills, with an ability to effectively present information verbally and to respond to questions from key leaders, donors and the general public is required.
  • Excellent listening, writing, and personal communication skills are required as is high attention to detail.
  • Must be a motivated team player who can engage and inspire fellow managers and volunteer leaders in the organization.
  • Must demonstrate proven success in soliciting and closing major gifts.
  • Must have ability to work occasional evenings and weekends and be proficient with office computer equipment and standard office software.

The National Aquarium is committed to diversity and invites individuals who bring a diversity of culture, experience and ideas to apply.


The work environment at the National Aquarium is high-energy and high-performance. The pace is very fast, and change is constant. In those ways, it is not like some traditional nonprofit workplaces where work responsibilities may be predictable and unchanging, or expectations unclear. Here, we hold ourselves to very high expectations. Ours is a stimulating workplace that attracts unique and energetic people. It's also a culture of continuous improvement, which means we're constantly seeking to move from good to better to best.

The reason for this is the urgency of our mission. We are focused on changing the way humanity cares for our ocean planet. Our mission and communications are rooted in evidence-based science. We are at the center of Baltimore's renaissance, a major player in restoring its iconic Inner Harbor, and deeply committed to inspiring our guests to become "hope-filled conservationists" on a national and international scale.

If you believe this is the kind of environment where you could thrive, we want you on our team. If your talents and our culture are a match, we will invest in your success and you will grow in ways you never imagined.


Recently named one of Baltimore's Best Places to Work, the National Aquarium opened in 1981 as a nonprofit aquatic education and conservation organization, the jewel of the city's Inner Harbor redevelopment. SmartCEO Magazine honored the National Aquarium with the Healthiest Workplace award and the Corporate Culture award in 2016. With a mission to inspire conservation of the world's aquatic treasures, the Aquarium is consistently ranked one of the nation's two top aquariums and has hosted over 51 million guests since opening.

Today, the National Aquarium builds on a 36-year history of local, regional and global conservation initiatives that provide real solutions for protecting marine life, ecosystems and aquatic communities. Its Animal Rescue team has rescued, rehabilitated and released hundreds of marine mammals and endangered sea turtles throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. Its Animal Welfare and Science teams participate in important research efforts to confront pressing ocean conservation issues and advocate for smarter policies at local, state and federal levels. Through education, research, conservation action and advocacy, the National Aquarium is pursuing a vision to change the way humanity cares for our ocean planet.


Interested and engaged applicants should apply through our website Requests for reasonable accommodation can be made by e-mailing [email protected]

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