National Director of Major and Planned Giving

Job title: National Director of Major and Planned Giving
Organization: Disabled American Veterans
Location: Erlanger, Kentucky

Job Description

BASED AT NATIONAL HEADQUARTERS – ERLANGER, KENTUCKYABOUT OUR CLIENTSterling Search Inc. has been exclusively retained to recruit for the National Director of Major and Planned Giving (“NDMPG”) for Disabled American Veterans (“DAV”).Mission: Keeping the promise to America’s veterans.

Mission Statement: We are dedicated to a single purpose: empowering veterans to lead high-quality lives with respect and dignity. We accomplish this by ensuring that veterans and their families can access the full range of benefits available to them; fighting for the interests of America’s injured heroes on Capitol Hill; and educating the public about the great sacrifices and needs of veterans transitioning back to civilian life.

DAV is a nonprofit charity that provides a lifetime of support for veterans of all generations and their families, helping more than 1 million veterans in positive, life-changing ways each year. Since 1920, DAV has been a leader in the development and strengthening of federal programs, benefits, health care and transition services for the men and women who served, their families and survivors. DAV believes that America’s more than 4.7 million disabled veterans should have access to meaningful benefits and programs that address their service-connected illnesses and injuries.

DAV’s transportation network has provided more than 210,000 rides annually from volunteers who help with various activities, from assisting with Department of Veterans Affairs disability claims, caring for veterans experiencing homelessness, running food drives, helping at local VA facilities, transporting veterans to their medical appointments or participating in countless other opportunities. The organization has more than 3,700 benefits advocates nationwide assisting veterans and counselling more than 280,000 claimants resulting in more than 180,000 new benefit claims annually helping our nation’s heroes and their families obtain more than $26.4 billion in benefits.

Established in 2014, the DAV National Employment Program has firmly positioned itself as the leader among veteran’s service organizations in providing assistance to transitioning military members, veterans and their spouses seeking new or better jobs. Last year, DAV co-hosted more than 85 job fairs, both in-person and virtual, across the country to help create employment opportunities for more than 16,000 attendees resulting in almost 10,000 job offers.

DAV’s National Legislative Department takes the resolutions adopted by DAV members at the annual National Conventions to Congress to advocate for improved federal laws, regulations, and policies of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and other federal agencies whose programs support the veteran population.

DAV continues to be the premier veterans service organization in the country. The strength of its membership is unrivaled and is why they continue to ensure veterans and their families are able to live full lives with respect and dignity. With almost 1,300 chapters and more than 1 million members across the country, DAV empowers our nation’s heroes and their families by helping to provide the resources they need and ensuring our nation keeps the promises made to them.


Annual Report:


DAV has been a leader in raising much of their contributed income through direct marketing efforts. Last year, the agency reported more than $300M in total support and revenue with $0.84 of every dollar spent going to DAV program services and none of the revenue is a result of any government funding. A key area of focus has been diversifying funding revenue by building a more sustainable and comprehensive national major gifts program with a goal of raising more than $5M in major gifts and $19M in planned giving although DAV are forecasting $21M this year in planned gifts. DAV has established a solid program with talented development professionals and implementation of various tools and resources. The National Director of Major and Planned Gifts (“NDMPG”) will be a dynamic and collaborative leader who is goal driven and has a strength in operations, strategy, and staff development. This career-making and unique role positions the successful candidate to serve in a leadership capacity for major and planned giving programs, building its strategic plan and solidifying processes and structure.

DAV is committed to ensuring the mission is perpetuated through strong fiscal oversight and governance. As a member of a seasoned management team, the new NDMPG will have access to leaders of the Disabled American Veterans membership community, as well as the Executive team. The successful candidate will place his/her stamp not only on the major and planned gifts function but also on DAV’s overall organizational vision and strategy in a bureaucracy free culture.

Additionally, DAV strongly promotes a culture of work life balance and has focused employee appreciation initiatives that are also family friendly.

Based in National Headquarters and reporting to seasoned Chief Development Officer, Tracey Burgoon, this mission critical position oversees the major and planned giving development team. With more than 26 years of institutional knowledge with DAV, Tracey leads the development team of 45 members with a passion for mission that is personal as well as professional.

The successful candidate will lead a team of 5 which includes 3 major gift professionals located nationally and 2 support staff based out of Headquarters. The NDMPG will benefit from a strong pipeline of more than 350k major gift prospects and will hold a personal portfolio of 75 donors with a goal of $1M. This career-making opportunity to serve in partnership with an accomplished, cohesive, and successful team is ideally suited for someone who is truly ready to take on a program of significant magnitude, form a plan and execute to build a stronger local presence in tandem with continuing the momentum of success nationally.

Position Overview
Oversee and provide strategic direction for all DAV Major and Planned Giving Programs. Responsible for optimizing the returns garnered from Major Giving Programs by developing and executing strategies that achieve short and long-term goals, managing team members and maximizing their performance, and managing and cultivating positive relationships with key supporters and influencers.

Specific duties and responsibilities:

Essential Functions:

  • Establish short and long term Major and Planned Giving Programs team goals and develop effective strategies for achieving them.
  • Work with the Chief Development Office to develop the annual budgets for the Major and Planned Giving team.
  • Develop strategies and processes that will facilitate the ability to derive the greatest returns from major and planned giving opportunities – including identifying tools that will assist in securing new major and planned gifts, as well as optimizing each interaction that Major and Planned Giving team members have with existing and prospective donors.
  • Oversee and monitor the relationship-building activities of Major and Planned Giving team members with donors assigned to their portfolios to ensure the appropriate engagements are taking place for the effective cultivation and closure of both current and deferred gifts.
  • Oversee the process for assigning prospects to regional philanthropy professionals and other staff.
  • In collaboration with the Stewardship and Planned Giving Manager, provide Major and Planned Giving staff with estate and gift planning education, training, and strategic guidance to achieve the Major and Planned Giving goals.
  • Foster relationships with financial advisors, attorneys, donors, and other partners who can facilitate the promotion and acquisition of major and planned gifts.
  • Build and develop a high performing team and ensure the Major and Planned Giving teams have the adequate resources and tools to excel in their responsibilities.
  • Manages a rated prospect list as part of the moves management system.
  • Communicates the status of current fundraising activities to both the general public and members and stimulates interest in gift giving by preparing written materials including proposals, contact reports, brochures, gift acknowledgments, articles, administrative reports, as well as sharing donor story opportunities with DAV Communications team.
  • Enhances donor relations by representing DAV at functions and meetings as assigned and working with donors and potential donors and friends, and various constituencies of DAV to strengthen their ties to the organization.
  • Prepares for professional and donor meetings by establishing and maintaining professional competency and currency in the field of development work through professional reading, developing professional contacts with colleagues, attending professional development courses, attending training and/or courses required by the Chief Development Officer, and maintaining appropriate professional memberships in organizations such as ANA and AFP.
  • Assures donor confidentiality as well as the confidentiality of the projects undertaken by the Fundraising team by conducting all personal contacts and communications with donors in a professional manner.
  • Furthers the attainment of established goals for Fundraising by developing and maintaining cordial and professional working relationships with DAV department and leadership staff and appropriate.
  • Creates a work environment that encourages knowledge of, respect for, and development of skills to engage with those of other cultures or backgrounds.
  • Other duties as assigned by management.

Essential Skills and Experience:

  • Strong passion and/or connectivity to the mission of Disabled American Veterans.
  • Track record of success and familiarity with the local philanthropic landscape.
  • Bachelor’s degree.
  • Experience in major and planned giving or related financial planning work.
  • Minimum of three years managing high performing teams.
  • Ability and willingness to travel.
  • Demonstrated record of personally cultivating and closing large individual major gifts.
  • Ability to take the initiative and to proactively follow through on assigned tasks and plans in a timely manner.
  • Superior communication skills, both oral and written.
  • Exceptionally strong relationship-building skills, including a professional and confident demeanor when working with people on a personal basis and the ability to work well and effectively with elderly individuals.
  • Demonstrate integrity, professional discretion, and judgment in confidential matters.
  • Experience in working as part of a team to achieve organizational goals and provide guidance and encouragement to other staff members to strengthen their performance and professional skills.

Degree of Supervision:

  • Provide workflow operational directives and oversight of activities.
  • Conduct annual employee appraisals and provide counseling as needed.
  • Goal attainment is reviewed based on supervisory oversight of technical expertise demonstrated and successful workflow management.
  • Supervise a team of up to 10 employees.

Salary Range: $100,000 – $139,900

To be confidentially considered, send a resume, or make a referral, please contact:

Julie Lugo – call/text 310 909 4897 or
Vanessa Petersen call/text 917-670-1555 or

Direct all correspondence emails and telephone calls to Sterling Search, Inc. Any resumes sent or telephone calls made to DAV will be redirected to Sterling Search, Inc.

Disabled American Veterans is an Equal Opportunity Employer