Job Description:

Senior Director, Principal and Major Gifts

Exempt, Full-Time

Reports to:  Vice President, Major and Planned Gifts


Secure up to seven figure gifts from several revenue sources for WETA projects including Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and other stand-alone documentaries.  Work independently and with the Vice President of Major and Planned Gifts to establish strategic plans and priorities to achieve annual objectives.  Manage and grow affinity group, The Inkwell Society, for individual support for Gates’ projects.  Manage WETA’s relationship with key external production partners. Collaborate with the Major Gifts, Foundation and Government Development, Finance and National Productions teams.  Report to Vice President, Major and Planned Gifts.


  • Plan and execute a sustained personalized cultivation and stewardship program for major donors and prospects focusing on Skip Gates, The Inkwell Society, and other projects as assigned in the National Production portfolio.
  • Position requires personal meetings with donors and written communication and proposals for targeted major donors, and prospects.
  • Conceptualize and plan programs and events to recruit and cultivate new and current donors.
  • Work closely with VP, Skip Gates, and external partners to identify qualified donors that have the potential and inclination to support Skip Gates and other WETA programs.
  • Knowledge of national foundations and grant writing skills. 
  • Collaborate with Foundation and Government Development team to ensure that all reporting to foundations and donors is complete; coordinate asks to major foundations and system funders - Corporation for Public Broadcasting and Public Broadcasting System.
  • Conduct regular funding updates and strategy meetings with key internal and external stakeholders.
  • Work with appropriate WETA staff to coordinate approaches to individuals and national foundations.  Provide strategy papers and briefing documents for WETA leadership interactions with prospects.
  • Work with the major and planned gifts team on all major donor events.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.
  • Work with the major and planned gifts team on all major donor events.


  • Advanced level breadth and depth of knowledge of major giving and foundation best practices.
  • Knowledge of fundraising databases.
  • Knowledge of national foundations and grant writing skills. 
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills, both oral and written.
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively, both independently and in a team environment.
  • Demonstrated ability to successfully perform in an atmosphere of multiple projects, shifting priorities, and deadline pressure.
  • Excellent organizational skills, including the ability to set priorities, manage budgets and meet timelines.


  • College degree in liberal arts, communications, public relations marketing, or related field.
  • Minimum 7 years of progressively responsible experience in non-profit fundraising.
  • Or equivalent combination of education and experience.


WETA and NewsHour Productions are Washington, DC established media and news organizations.  We are a largely local workforce based out of the Campbell Place office in Arlington, VA.  WETA and NewsHour Productions value employee flexibility when possible.  Most positions based in our Arlington, VA office will be onsite or hybrid, depending upon the role.


WETA and its subsidiary NewsHour Productions LLC serve local and national public media audiences by producing and distributing content of intellectual integrity and cultural merit. Through broadcast, digital and community services, the organization offers compelling, diverse programming on five television channels, including primary channel WETA PBS, and on WETA Classical, the exclusive home for classical music in the nation’s capital; produces a portfolio of national television productions, including PBS NewsHour, recognized globally for bringing balanced, in-depth news coverage to all Americans; creates impactful documentaries with longtime production partners Ken Burns and Prof. Henry Louis Gates, Jr.; features a variety of content offerings on, WETA Passport, the PBS Video App and the WETA Classical App; and serves communities near and far with education and engagement initiatives that contribute to the company’s mission of public service.


WETA and NewsHour Productions prioritizes the safety and security of our community.   In accordance with our focus on providing and maintaining a safe workplace, we have adopted a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy for all employees working in a WETA and/or NewsHour Productions office and employees who may reasonably or occasionally be called to work onsite, subject to business needs.

In accordance with this policy, all applicants for employment in a WETA and/or NewsHour Productions office are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 prior to commencing employment.  Requests for exemption from this policy based on a medical reason or sincerely held religious belief will be considered upon a conditional offer of employment. Reasonable accommodations will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

WETA and NewsHour Productions is committed to equal employment opportunity and providing reasonable accommodations to qualified candidates and employees pursuant to applicable law. This policy complies with all applicable laws and is informed by guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and local health authorities, as applicable.

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WETA and NewsHour Productions are equal opportunity employers committed to diversity and inclusion in the workplace.  We prohibit discrimination and harassment of any kind based on race, color, sex, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, genetic information, pregnancy, or any other protected characteristic as outlined by federal, state, or local laws.

This policy applies to all employment practices within our organization, including hiring, recruiting, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, leave of absence, compensation, benefits, training, and internships.  WETA and NewsHour Productions make hiring decisions based solely on qualifications, merit, and business needs at the time.





Job Location: 
Arlington, VA
United States
Job Category: 
Job Type: 
Full time
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