Major Gifts & Legacy Officer

San Francisco Zen Center | San Francisco, California


Organization Profile:

San Francisco Zen Center was established in 1962 by Shunryu Suzuki Roshi (1904-1971) and his American students. Suzuki Roshi is known to countless readers as the author of the modern spiritual classic, Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind.

The purpose of San Francisco Zen Center is to make accessible and embody the wisdom and compassion of the Buddha as expressed in the Soto Zen tradition established by Dogen Zenji in 13th-century Japan and conveyed to us by Suzuki Roshi and other Buddhist teachers. Our practice flows from the insight that all beings are Buddha, and that sitting in meditation is itself the realization of Buddha nature, or enlightenment.

Today, San Francisco Zen Center is one of the largest Buddhist sanghas outside Asia. It has three practice places: City Center, in the vibrant heart of San Francisco; Green Gulch Farm, whose organic fields meet the ocean in Marin County; and Tassajara Zen Mountain Center—the first Zen training monastery in the West—in the Ventana Wilderness inland from Big Sur. These three complementary practice centers offer daily meditation, regular monastic retreats and practice periods, classes, lectures, and workshops.

Zen Center is a practice place for a diverse population of students, visitors, lay people, priests, and monks guided by teachers who follow in Suzuki Roshi's style of warm hand and heart to warm hand and heart. All are welcome.

Job Summary

San Francisco Zen Center (SFZC) is looking for a Major Gifts & Legacy Officer who will be responsible for growing the major gifts program by cultivating and stewarding existing major donors, and specially identifying and qualifying prospects in our database for major gifts potential.

Reports To

As a member of the Development team, the Major Gifts & Legacy Officer will report directly to the Development Director.


  • Maintain and cultivate a portfolio of 100-150 donors.
  • Identify and qualify prospects, performing  prospect research and prioritizing donors according to capacity and inclination to give. Manage prospect pool using Salesforce and other tools and resources.
  • Create and refine donor and prospect (of gifts $1,000+) information processes and pathways between development areas to ensure timely and coordinated data and provision
  • Manage major donor and prospect information in the Salesforce database to ensure accurate and consistent data
  • Coordinate solicitations with Capital Campaign Manager
  • Manage the legacy giving program, including stewarding current legacy donors and identifying and reaching out to prospective legacy donors, either one-on-one, through seasonal campaigns, or organizing and hosting events (annual lighting of the dharma lamp for current legacy donors and workshops on financial investment and legacy giving for prospective legacy donors)
  • Oversee the Donor Outreach Team (DOT) which supports cultivators and will be led by a Development Committee member.
  • Work independently, without an assistant


  • Prior experience fundraising and developing & maintaining relationships with high-level donors (required)
  • Familiarity with Salesforce
  • Knowledge of fundraising practices and procedures, knowledge of planned gifts desirable
  • Superior verbal and written communication skills
  • Tact and discretion a must
  • Ability to successfully develop relationships with prospects to solicit gifts and commitments
  • Ability to work well independently and with a team; self-motivated, flexible and adaptable
  • Ability to manage time well and model work-life balance


  • Ability to climb multiple flights of stairs
  • Reasonable accommodations will be made as needed
  • Type daily on a keyboard
  • Comfortable working in a dog-friendly office


70k-100k Competitive benefits package, including medical, dental, vision, paid holidays, and vacation time. Organic vegetarian lunch provided on site.

How to Apply

Application Process:


Please apply to to be considered.

San Francisco Zen Center