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Director of National Donor Engagement



Job Summary

Since 1998, the Pastoral Leadership Institute (“PLI”), a 501(c)(3) based in Nashville, Tennessee, has trained over 1,250 mission-centric church leaders through online webinars, global learning communities, and leadership and discipleship coaching programs. Developing innovative and adaptive church leaders who are trained and empowered to lead change while fostering deeper connections, shaping a vibrant future, and yielding wider influence for the Church is the mission here at PLI.

Known for innovative programs such as 1,000 Young Leaders, Leadership Essentials, and Senior Leader, PLI’s programmatic offerings range from these in-depth trainings to “just-in-time” webinars with topics such as Surviving and Thriving in COVID-19 and School Scenario Planning. PLI works hard to evolve program curriculum and has expanded its reach across the globe via PLI International. Learn more about our practical instruction and our highly supportive learning communities helping church leaders and faith communities to thrive in changing times at or in our annual report at

Alongside PLI’s Board of Directors and its dedicated advisory group called Barnabas Partners, PLI is poised for continued growth under the leadership of Gail & Jock Ficken. Reporting directly to PLI’s executive leadership, the Director of National Donor Engagement will serve as a key member on PLI’s senior leadership team, drive major donor relations, implement annual giving programs, and provide direct leadership for one front-line fundraising professional.

Job Responsibilities

  • DIRECT NATIONAL DONOR ENGAGEMENT [Major Gifts & Sustainable Giving] – Provide strategic direction and leadership in the cultivation and development of major donors and sustainable giving strategies. Partner closely with executive leadership while maintaining oversight for a personal portfolio of 100+ key donors. Develop and recommend best practices for moves management, multi-year pledges, and planned giving opportunities. Hire, coach and develop the initial hire of one (1) front line fundraising professional to support major gifts and annual giving.

  • CRAFT COMPELLING GIVING OPPORTUNITIES [Gift Strategy & Donor Engagement] – Generate donor interest necessary to sustain valued program offerings tied to PLI’s core mission. Partner closely to understanding motivation and legacy desires of existing major donors. Identify key opportunities for planned gifts and or memorial gifts. Develop giving opportunities to match donor interest and motivation to fund possible grants, designated scholarships, and new programmatic offerings. Spearhead identification of new donors and design effective cultivation strategies across all giving levels.

  • EXPAND & SECURE ORGANIZATIONAL RESOURCES [Fund Development] – Drive and deliver $1.5M+ in contributed revenue to help secure PLI’s annual mission. Partner cross-functionally with program leadership to proactively engage donors and to identify gratitude opportunities to build an ongoing culture of philanthropy. Brainstorm and ideate on the possible extension of PLI’s services and the creation of new programmatic initiatives with PLI’s executive leadership.


  • You have a passion for educating and empowering Christian leaders and a solid understanding of Christian values. You appreciate the long-term value that participation in leadership training and engaged learning communities can yield.

  • You have gained 5-10+ years of progressive fundraising and development experience and/or an aptitude for identifying key resources and securing related funds. Your experience includes a demonstrated record of success in securing individual gifts, major donor or capital campaign gifts, planned giving opportunities, and or major event-related sponsorships.

  • You are well-versed in proactively communicating with a wide array of internal and external stakeholders. You confidently interact with donors and team members at all levels and react with diplomacy and tact. You bring experience communicating a vision and prospective road map to donors, internal stakeholders, senior leadership and Board Members.

  • You are a servant-leader with the ability and desire to flex between strategic and tactical priorities required. Superior project management skills and a proactive mindset is required.

  • You have developed a solid business acumen, including strong technology skills and a data-driven approach to advancement. Four-year college degree required. Advanced degree and/or CFRE certification ideal yet not required. Experience with Salesforce or similar CRM technology is preferred.


This position is fully remote yet must be based within the United States. Estimated travel is 30-40% and is required to accommodate key donor engagements across the United States and team meetings at PLI’s headquarters in Nashville, TN. Relocation assistance to Nashville is also available, if preferred.

Additional Information


  • MAKE A LONG-TERM IMPACT ON A DAILY BASIS – Build the future of PLI through the creation of long-term financial security, ensuring that generations of church pastors and lay leaders will be prepared to use their gifts to share the Gospel.


  • PASSIONATE COLLEAGUES DEDICATED TO CORE MISSION – You will join a team of colleagues with a shared vision who are passionately devoted to PLI’s core mission and ready to drive continued programmatic growth and innovation.

  • 100% REMOTE POSITION WITH 30-40% TRAVEL – PLI has built a remote model from the start and its senior leadership team is represented across the United States. With executive leadership based in Nashville, Tennessee, occasional travel will be required to PLI’s headquarter office as well as to donor related functions across the United States (see below).

  • COMPETITIVE COMPENSATION & BENEFITS PACKAGE – PLI offers a competitive base salary and comprehensive benefits including fully-paid health, vision, and dental insurance for each employee; a matching 403(b) program; a generous monthly cell phone stipend; PTO, holidays, and 2 weeks additional company-wide time off; and a home office stipend.

How to Apply

Upload your resume at Please direct all questions, referrals, and applications to our retained search consultants at Occhio Search & Recruitment. Contact Sarah Krueger ( and Hannah Phillips ( with questions. All resumes, referrals and inquiries will be held strictly confidential.


  • Date Posted: July 1, 2022
  • Type: Full-Time
  • Job Function: Fundraising / Revenue Development
  • Service Area: Other