Employment Opportunities

As the breadth of the Ecology Center’s work continues to increase, so has our need for visionary and creative leaders at all levels of engagement. Join our team in developing innovative solutions for healthy people and a healthy planet.

The Ecology Center is an equal opportunity employer. We strongly encourage women, people of color, and people of all gender identities, sexual orientations, and cultural backgrounds to apply. Read our Statement of Values on Diversity and Inclusion.

Major Gifts Officer

The Ecology Center is seeking a full-time Major Gifts Officer to lead our major gift and planned giving efforts. The position will play a key role in major donor prospecting, cultivation, and stewardship in support of the Ecology Center’s mission to develop innovative solutions for healthy people and a healthy planet. S/he will develop and implement strategies to grow and diversify our major gifts donor base; participate in the updating and implementation of a 5-year development plan; coordinate efforts with our development team; help evaluate development activities to inform fundraising strategy, and contribute to an overall culture of philanthropy within the organization. 


Founded in 1970, the Ecology Center works to develop innovative solutions for healthy people and a healthy planet. In recent years, the Ecology Center developed the country’s leading product testing service for toxic chemicals; created a statewide Health Leaders Fellowship program; and led successful advocacy campaigns to expand transit service in southeast Michigan.  The Ecology Center is the parent organization of Recycle Ann Arbor, founded in 1977, which works to build zero waste communities through convenient and innovative services. The Ecology Center has offices in Ann Arbor and Detroit.

Duties and Responsibilities

The Major Gifts Officer will work with the Ecology Center’s Director, Deputy Director, development team, and program staff to secure funds for the organization by strengthening the relationships between the Ecology Center and a group of qualified donors (caseload). Most of our donors are located in Southeast Michigan. Specific responsibilities include:

  • Work closely with the Director to create and execute a plan for each donor in their caseload that will serve as a foundational stewardship and ask plan for that donor.
  • Identify and cultivate planned gift prospects.
  • Establish expert knowledge of the Ecology Center’s current and future potential activities and our niche within the overall field, and be able to effectively communicate the organization’s work to potential donors and partners
  • Work with program and communications staff to create proposals that will be used with specific donors on the caseload to secure charitable gifts.
  • Record contact and meeting information into our Salesforce development database, and create monthly reports as required.
  • Assist efforts to secure annual gifts by participating in decisions about appeals; reviewing mailing lists; and personalizing letters and notes.
  • Assist the planning, production, and follow-up of special events that affect major gift donors, and attend special events to help develop Ecology Center relationships.
  • Work with development team to create highly successful fundraising and stewardship events, particularly in the cultivation of event sponsors.
  • Participate in meetings of the Board Development & Marketing Committee, staff Development Team meetings, other organizational meetings as needed, and annual retreats for general staff, and Board & Staff.

Reports to: The Director of the Ecology Center.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Demonstrated record of leadership in major gifts work.
  • Strong track-record of successfully managing donor caseloads including the ability to qualify caseload donors that represent the highest giving potential and ability to create reasonable financial goals for each donor.
  • Ability to create a personal contact and ask plan that takes into account the individual donor’s interest, motivations, giving patterns and ask preferences for each donor on his or her caseload, in a timely and cost-effective manner, and retains and upgrades donors.
  • Ability to secure project and organization information and create and write effective offers, proposals and asks. Ability to secure information that can be sent back to donors to report on how their money was used.
  • Ability to create timely reports that reflect caseload and MGO performance.
  • Knowledge and passion for environmental causes and a demonstrated commitment to social justice and progressive social change.
  • A proven track record in working collaboratively in team-based work environments, and the ability to effectively oversee and coordinate the work of contractors, interns, and support staff.
  • Excellent communication skills: writing, editing, listening and presenting.
  • At least 5 years of experience in fundraising with at least three years in a major gifts role.
  • Experience with constituent relationship management databases ideally Salesforce and Salsa or similar.
  • Ability to work collaboratively with other program leaders and lead cross-program outreach initiatives

Salary and Benefits

Salary and benefits are commensurate with experience, with a generous benefits package including health, dental, FSA, 403(b), ongoing professional training, and growth opportunities. The office culture is upbeat, collaborative, and goal-oriented.        

To Apply

Please send your resume and cover letter to jobs@ecocenter.org. Please include how you heard about the position.

Salary and Benefits

Commensurate with experience, with a generous benefits package including health, dental, FSA, 403(b), ongoing training, and growth opportunities. Upbeat, collaborative, and goal-oriented office atmosphere. The Ecology Center is committed to diversity and inclusion in our internal practices and opportunities, and in how we fulfill our mission of working for healthy people and a healthy planet. For more about our values and work in this area, see the Ecology Center Statement of Values on Diversity and Inclusion on our website: http://www.ecocenter.org/employment-opportunities. The Ecology Center is an equal opportunity employer.

To Apply

Please send your resume, cover letter, and three to five references to jobs@ecocenter.org. Please include where you heard about the position.

Application Deadline

Please apply by February 15, 2017. Applications received by that date will be given priority, but we will continue to receive applications until the position is filled. 

Our Diversity and Inclusion Statement

Ecology Center Statement of Values on Diversity and Inclusion

The Ecology Center works to develop innovative solutions for healthy people and a healthy planet. We are a dedicated community of individuals tackling the most pressing health and environmental issues of our time with integrity, persistence and science. Through our expert staff and over 40 years experience, we provide credible information, strategic action, and education on complex environmental issues.

A commitment to equity and fairness is a critical component of any healthy organization, and that equity must extend to issues of race and income.  Our organizational commitment to equity extends not only to internal practices and opportunities, but also to the way in which our organization interacts with our community, our region, and the world.  We embrace an explicit goal that our campaigns, priorities, and activities increase equality and justice for all people.  As we continue to grow and develop, we must embody principles of diversity, inclusion, and equity in order to remain vibrant and innovative and truly be the change that we wish to see in our communities and world.  

Diverse organizations are stronger, more resilient and more innovative.  Greater diversity will help us sustain a movement in which all voices are represented and in which all communities contribute to addressing the environmental issues that confront us now, and for generations to come.  On an individual and organizational level, diversity and inclusion are important values we will continue to  to build upon in the coming months and years in order to truly help build social justice and equity.

Our Diversity & Inclusion Committee is currently working to create a long term plan that will help us advance toward our goals, including:

  • building competency among staff, management, and board on issues of diversity, inclusion, and equity;
  • cultivating a culture of inclusion, learning and innovation in the organization; 
  • creating internal processes that will better nurture a more diverse staff and a more inclusive work atmosphere;
  • integrating these principles more fully into our programs and communications;
  • building relationships with diverse organizations and individuals that support these goals;
  • helping to promote and grow diversity and inclusion in the environmental movement as a whole.


Published on May 7, 2015

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