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Senior Vice President, Major Gifts


Founded in 1988, City Year is a trailblazing, youth-powered organization committed to expanding educational equity by supporting students furthest from opportunity and developing the next generation of diverse leaders through national service. We work to create the conditions that enable young people to learn, develop, and reach their full potential. When young people succeed, we all benefit.

Headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, City Year operates with 900 total staff members, a $190 million operating budget, and locations in 29 cities across the country and two international affiliates. Each year, City Year deploys AmeriCorps members (aged 18-25) organized into diverse teams to serve as student success coaches, providing support to students, classrooms, and whole school communities to help ensure that students in systemically under-resourced schools receive a high-quality education that prepares them to succeed academically and in life. This year, over 2,000 City Year AmeriCorps members worked with over 226,000 students across 350 systemically under-resourced schools. Annual philanthropic support from individuals and families is essential to City Year’s ability to sustain and grow our work deploying AmeriCorps members to provide supports to students in systemically under-resourced schools across the US, enabling improvement and redesign of schools and driving toward broader policy changes that support educational equity.


To meet City Year’s ambitious plans, the organization aims to increase all private revenue across the network. The SVP, Major Gifts (SVP, MG) will be a key leader and contributor to achieving this goal, focusing on transformational individual gifts. Reporting to the EVP and Chief Development Officer and working closely with the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Chief Operating Officer and Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) as well as all the local site leaders, the SVP, MG will:

  • Create and execute a comprehensive annual plan for individual giving fundraising, strategically designed with defined objectives and milestones to propel City Year, Inc’s total philanthropic revenue from $80M to $150M by playing a leadership role in building and implementing City Year’s “Campaign for Impact”
  • Establish and meet yearly revenue targets in close partnership with the CEO, EVP, Chief Development, Recruitment and Alumni Officer, COO, CSO, National Development team, and Executive Directors; monitor and report on progress, evaluating trends and adapting strategies as needed
  • Ignite enthusiasm and coach staff from national leadership to site teams in the creation and implementation of major gifts development strategies
  • Formulate and execute strategies for soliciting significant donations, retaining donors, and cultivating donor growth including establishing robust systems to manage interactions with prospects and supporters, guaranteeing personalized and diligent communications
  • Partner and collaborate with colleagues to create a regular cadence of funder and prospect engagement and develop and integrated communications plans
  • In partnership with organizational leaders, support an individual giving pilot which will serve as a catalyst for further alignment of site and headquarters fundraising efforts


The Senior Vice President, Major Gifts will be responsible for the following key areas:


This role involves spearheading the creation and execution of a comprehensive Major Gifts fundraising plan aimed at significantly boosting revenue. The SVP, MG will oversee a portfolio of individual donors with the capacity to contribute more than $250k annually, aiming for substantial, multi-year contributions. Deepening relationships with existing donors and expanding the pool of prospective funders through curated engagement strategies and approaches, the SVP, MG will increase annual individual revenue growth and support the launch of a major private revenue campaign in 2025 to achieve City Year’s philanthropic goals. Collaborating with organizational leaders, engaging with boards and stakeholders, and establishing performance metrics to drive results and foster a culture of adaptability are key responsibilities.


The SVP, MG will collaborate with organizational leaders including site Executive Directors and local Boards, to build a Major Gifts community of practice across the network, ensuring focus and alignment. A unique opportunity exists for the SVP, MG to reimagine our approach to fundraising and development with a lens for equity, identifying, engaging, and cultivating a wide array of diverse funders with a vested interest in supporting City Year’s inclusive programming and policy initiatives. Advancing this framework, the SVP, MG will assess progress towards goals, share best practices, gather feedback on tools and systems, understand and overcome obstacles, and advise and coach local leaders on soliciting major gifts, engaging champions, and securing and stewarding ideal volunteer leadership.


The SVP, MG will collaborate with the VP of Development and the Marketing and Communications team to establish a regular cadence of engagement and communication with funders and prospects, aligning with external communications. Utilizing project management skills, the SVP, MG will create a comprehensive calendar for individual and cohort-based funder stewardship and engagement throughout the year. Additionally, this individual will contribute content and participate in various stakeholder meetings as required.


The vision for this role is to establish and grow a national major gifts team, expanding the individual giving department from one person to a staff of three to five. The SVP, MG will identify areas for network-wide staff learning and development to meet major gift needs, motivate development staff to deliver excellent customer service, achieve fundraising and stewardship program goals, and strengthen internal communications throughout the organization. Additionally, the SVP, MG will create and document policies, support onboarding and education of key teams, and contribute to a positive and supportive work environment.


We’re looking for someone who is passionate about supporting the growth of an education innovation organization, uniquely focused on supporting the success of students and young people across the country, with a commitment to access and equity at its core. This individual should be excited about working as part of a nimble team focused on paving the way for City Year’s next evolution.

Our ideal candidate will be an adept relationship builder with the ability to create high-touch engagements with individual philanthropists that share our passion for our mission. They will approach fundraising with the goal of creating genuine connections and mutually beneficial partnerships that blend City Year’s funding priorities with each donor’s unique interests, beliefs, and desires for impact. This individual will thrive in both face-to-face and virtual interpersonal interactions, operate with a high level of discretion, and employ sound judgement and decision-making skills that inspire confidence from individual donors and prospects from diverse backgrounds and experiences.

This individual should bring a deeply collaborative approach and a “possibilities” mindset, able to overcome adversity and persist in the face of ambiguity. This individual should have outstanding people leadership and partnership skills with the proven ability to motivate internal stakeholders and produce results. Motivated by City Year’s mission and values, this individual should demonstrate a dedication to fostering to diversity, belonging, inclusion, and equity, along with a strong willingness to continue personal development and learning in these areas.


  • A minimum of 10 years of relevant experience including fundraising, philanthropy, business development, and/or sales
  • Demonstrated experience with a multi-site, mission driven organization
  • A track record of successfully building sound external engagement strategy as a skilled resource catalyst or proven, comparable skills
  • Proficient in overseeing complex teams and development operations
  • Strategic planning experience and skill, with ability to set a vision for the long term, translate the vision into clear goals and build a plan to achieve identified goals
  • Experience managing and analyzing a pipeline via a fundraising database (Salesforce a plus)
  • Strong writing and proposal creation skills and experience, including project budgeting
  • An asset-based approach to leadership and fundraising with a forward-thinking mindset, and adeptness in leading and achieving results in dynamic environments
  • Willingness and ability to travel 50% of their time as required by the work, for donor meetings and key convenings and other events


This hybrid position will be based out of our headquarters in Boston, MA.


The salary range for this role is $200k-220k. This role is also eligible for a performance bonus of up to 10% of salary. Full-time employees are entitled to compensation commensurate with experience. Benefits for full-time employees include health insurance with Flexible Spending Account, paid vacation, holidays, parental leave, 401K, and more.

City Year is an Equal Opportunity Employer, committed to a diverse workforce. Individuals from all backgrounds are encouraged to apply, including persons with disabilities and veterans.


Salary Range

$200,000 - $220,000 USD

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