Mission: Fulfilling our promises to the men and women who served.

Sterling Search Inc. has been exclusively retained to recruit for the Regional Director of Major Gifts (“RDMG”) for Disabled American Veterans (“DAV”).

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. The organization provides nearly 615,000 rides for veterans attending medical appointments and assists veterans with more than 250,000 benefit claims annually. In 2017, DAV helped attain more than $4 billion in new and retroactive benefits to care for veterans, their families and survivors.

DAV is also a leader in connecting veterans with meaningful employment, hosting job fairs and providing resources to ensure they have the opportunity to participate in the American Dream their sacrifices have made possible.

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.

DAV has been a leader in raising much of their contributed income through direct marketing efforts. A key area of focus is to diversify funding revenue and appoint a Regional Director of Major Gifts to build a more robust, sustainable, and comprehensive major gifts program for the western region.

Although DAV has established a solid foundation for securing major gifts and there has been success in major gift fundraising initiatives over the years, DAV is interested in broadening the scope and revenue impact for its major giving program by establishing this new Regional Director of Major Gifts role for the western region.  In a dynamic and expanding market, the successful candidate will serve as the face of the organization.  Due to the high level of direct mail success, this unique opportunity offers the successful candidate the ability to build their own enterprise in a relatively untapped market, with no shortage of qualified and engaged top tier donors.

By virtue of the philanthropic potential of the region, it is anticipated that the budget will grow exponentially giving the potential for rapid career growth. The successful candidate will serve in a leadership capacity for the vision and strategy of the major gifts function in the region and will build its strategic plan and solidify processes and procedures.  As a member of a seasoned management team, the new RDMG will place his/her stamp not only on the major gifts development function but also on DAV’s overall organizational vision and its community impact in the western region.

DAV continues to be innovative and creative in development strategies as shown in the recently formed Centennial Ambassadors comprised of high level volunteer leaders. Ambassadors are tasked with expanding the philanthropic reach and increasing community engagement through fundraising and friend-raising efforts.  Centennial Ambassadors are geographically located across the United States. However, it is envisioned that a Centennial Ambassadors Philanthropic Council will be piloted in the Central Region to help secure major gifts. Once the pilot is deemed a success, it will be replicated in the western region.

With annual budget of $68M including $1.5 million in gifts of $1,000 or more from the western region, DAV is committed to ensuring their mission is perpetuated through strong fiscal oversight and governance. Additionally, DAV strongly promotes a culture of work life balance and has focused employee appreciation initiatives that are also family friendly.


Reporting to the National Director and working closely with the development team, this Regional Director of Major Gifts is a mission critical position and a career-making opportunity to serve in partnership with an accomplished, cohesive and successful team.

The Regional Director of Major Gifts is responsible for developing and moving institutional relationships in the western region that lead to philanthropic support of DAV. In this position, you will provide leadership that adheres to the organization’s mission, goals, objectives and policies. You will also guide the conceptual and major gift planning processes, including the development and implementation of philanthropic strategic initiatives.

Specific duties and responsibilities:

 Position Details

  • Responsible for managing a portfolio of donors to primarily solicit, secure and optimize major gifts. This position will also support the National Gift Planning Team in regard to planned gift solicitations.
  • Perform marketing, prospect and donor cultivation, and data management activities to secure planned and major gifts.
  • Focus of work will be in developing major gift opportunities in a specified region consisting of multiple states.
  • Develop personal cultivation strategies that strengthen and propel relationships forward to secure major gifts.
  • Provide on-going contact (calls, correspondence, and visits) with prospects and donors.
  • Conduct in-depth research to identify prospects and develop effective donor engagement strategies.
  • Works with the Gift Planner on planned gift opportunities from DAV members and donors. Planned giving activities are initiated in collaboration with the Gift Planner.
  • Draft and present major gift and planned giving proposals.
  • Performs fulfillment activities as necessary, including the preparation of custom acknowledgement letters.
  • As necessary, develop and secure DAV 5K and Corporate partners by working collaboratively with the teams for each of these programs.
  • Assist in the development and implementation of strategic plans for planned giving and major gift solicitation.
  • Assist with correspondence, data entry, prospect, donor and estate tracking, provide written reports as needed; maintains orderly files.
  • Attends workshops and seminars annually.
  • Assume other responsibilities as assigned by management


Degree of Supervision:

  • There are no supervisory responsibilities associated with this position


We are seeking candidates offering the following qualifications:

  • Passion, imagination, vision, leadership, and integrity.
  • Strong belief in DAV’s mission.
  • A minimum of five years of development experience with increasing levels of responsibility, and with direct stewardship of volunteer leadership committees.
  • Significant experience in and a successful track record of obtaining major gifts through the development of deep relationships.
  • Candidate must have an entrepreneurial drive, a team attitude, and a willingness to play a significant role in building a successful DAV major gift program.
  • A demonstrated track record of development management and operations leadership, implementing development processes and systems to measure activity and accountability as well as forecasting.
  • A strategic approach to development, with significant experience in cultivating and managing major gift donors.
  • A record of quantifiable success in donor segmentation, prospecting, and cultivation.
  • Exceptional financial, organizational, and administrative skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to plan, set goals and objectives, organize, and implement to completion.
  • A strong interpersonal and communication skill set and demonstrated ability to work effectively with and gain the respect and support of DAV’s constituencies and other key stakeholders.
  • A track record as an effective communicator skilled at writing and public speaking; adept at writing proposals, solicitation letters, donor correspondence, and other types of materials to enhance fundraising.
  • Ability to juggle many responsibilities at once, and to operate both independently and with the flexibility to be part of a team.
  • Ability to speak and read English fluently is required, as well as patience in dealing with varying speech patterns and thought processes, and answering questions of donors.
  • Must interpret general business periodicals, professional journals, and governmental regulations.
  • Ability to solve practical problems and interpret a variety of written and oral instructions required. Must maintain composure when faced with varying personalities or in sensitive situations.
  • Computer literate: Experience using Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Excel at an intermediate or higher level and ability to learn and effectively use other data sources and websites on a daily basis. Experience with fundraising database software. Knowledge of Blackbaud products a plus
  • Bachelor’s degree is preferred.
  • CFRE preferred; adherence to AFP Code of Ethics required.
  • Valid driver’s license required.


A competitive compensation package will be offered to an outstanding candidate.

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

Sarah Agee at 714-433-7040, Julie Lugo at 714-433-7042 or email us at

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

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