Major Gifts Officer

Sundance Institute

Los Angeles, CA


We find, love, and share the best independent stories in the world. From our offices in Los Angeles, New York City, and Park City we work for and with storytellers to give them whatever they need to take their work to the next level. We also present the Sundance Film Festival and other programs for audiences to discover the most compelling independent film, theatre, and new media. Ranging from Human Resources professionals to film curators and everyone in between, it takes a diverse set of skills to do all that we do. Because our global ambitions can stretch our non-profit resources, we rely heavily and often on creativity, ingenuity, and teamwork. And we're always on the hunt for the ideas and the people who can help us do it better. Each of our three offices has its own culture. All are united in our commitment to the mission and the values that drive our work.

As a champion and curator of independent stories for the stage and screen, Sundance Institute provides and preserves the space for artists in film, theatre, film composing, and digital media to create and thrive.  We produce the Sundance Film Festival and other public events throughout the year, as well as a wide array of programs supporting emerging creators as they develop and produce new work across the U.S. and around the world.



Position works full time from our Los Angeles, CA office. Must be able to work extended hours, including weekends, holidays and evenings at key points throughout the year. Position will be required to travel and be lodged during off site festivals and to work from other Institute offices and events throughout the year. Travel estimated around 10-15%.


Position General Summary

The Major Gifts Officer is our lead fundraiser for the west coast region who is specifically responsible for raising $1.5 million of a $7+ million contributed revenue department goal primarily through new and increased contributions. Additionally, the Major Gifts Officer will be charged with supporting our Chief Advancement Officer and Executive Director in engaging and stewarding their donor portfolios and networks.


Essential Job Functions and Duties

Frontline Fundraising

  • Serves as lead individual giving (IG) officer for the west coast region, managing a portfolio of 150+ major donors and prospects, which includes meeting with donors to cultivate, steward, solicit, and ascertain capacity to support Sundance.
  • Solicits renewals and new contributions from assigned Sundance Circle donors and prospects.
  • With Director of Individual Giving and Senior Advancement Officer, develops tailored cultivation and solicitation strategies for current and prospective donors, specifically identifying major giving prospects for direct programmatic support.


Leadership Support

  • Tracks and manages moves management for donors for whom Chief Advancement Officer and Executive Director is lead point of contact, and partners with IG Director as appropriate.
  • Prepares meeting prep documents and ensures proper research is complete in advance of Chief Advancement Officer and Executive Director donor meetings.
  • Drafts donor communications for Chief Advancement Officer and Executive Director as directed.
  • Identifies and coordinates key individual donor meetings with Executive Director, Chief Advancement Officer, IG Director, and programmatic leadership when appropriate.


Donor Affinity Engagement

  • Partners with Women at Sundance program leadership to create and implement Women at Sundance Leadership Council engagement strategy.
  • Partners with programmatic department staff to identify communication opportunities to interested donors about our programs and to engage donors directly with the work.
  • Drafts program specific communications and sends to donors with affinity for a particular program.
  • Partners with IG Director to determine areas that require formalized affinity groups and works to create and implement these groups as needed.
  • Ensures all information regarding opportunities is shared with full individual giving team.


Donor Programs

  • Partners with Membership Manager to create and implement strategy for encouraging west coast based individuals to join Sundance Institute’s membership program.
  • Develops thorough understanding of donor programs including Sundance Circle and associated Festival benefits and act as Individual Giving representative when needed.
  • Reviews donor correspondences, including reports, proposals, acknowledgment letters, etc.


Festival Experience & Special Events

  • With Director of Individual Giving and Senior Advancement Officer creates and implements strategy.
  • Supports Sundance Circle office during annual Sundance Film Festival.
  • Supports development-related events on the west coast and during the annual Sundance Film Festival.



  • Leads proposal writing and year end report writing for major gift acquisitions and renewals outside of Sundance Circle patron program.
  • Tracks year end proposals and reports along with anticipated deadlines.
  • Supports leadership on Individual Giving components of Annual Report and is team lead during the Annual Report strategy process.

Other duties as assigned.



Interested and qualified applicants may apply by completing an online application at,



Sundance Institute is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the discovery and development of independent artists and audiences. Through its programs, the Institute seeks to discover, support, and inspire independent film and theatre artists from the United States and around the world, and to introduce audiences to their new work.

Sundance Institute is dedicated to equal opportunity employment without regard to race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, veteran or disabled status, or any other basis protected by local, state or federal law.  Sundance Institute will consider for employment qualified applicants with criminal histories in a manner consistent with the requirements of the City of Los Angeles Fair Chance Initiative for Hiring.

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