The Institute for Citizens & Scholars is leading a new field
of civic learning that unites the left, right, and center to
develop a strong sense of citizenship in Americans. To save our
democracy now and strengthen it for the long haul, we cultivate
talent, ideas, and networks that develop effective, lifelong
citizens. We use our decades of experience, vast data, and
unparalleled network of leading funders and practitioners to build
and sustain the civic learning field. Our goal is that within 15
years, a majority of Americans will be effective citizens:
civically well-informed, productively engaged for the common good,
and hopeful about the future of our democracy.
Formerly the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation,
Citizens & Scholars (https://citizensandscholars.org)
has played a significant role in shaping American education for
more than 75 years. We have forged stronger connections between
K–12 and higher education and have provided early funding for the
work of 16 Nobel Laureates, 21 Pulitzer Prize winners, 27
Presidential and National Medalists, 44 MacArthur “Genius Grant”
recipients, and more than 100 college presidents. Now, under the
leadership of Rajiv Vinnakota, we are building a dynamic team with
deep expertise in a host of fields. Together, in pursuit of our
newly expanded mission, we are uniting the organization's legacy
with a commitment to launch new civic learning ventures in and
beyond education, building unlikely alliances to reimagine and
recenter citizen development for young people."
The Senior Director of Development will develop and manage a
portfolio of current and prospective major donors within a specific
geography. Working closely with C&S's President and the Chief
Development Officer (who both love to fundraise!) and supported by
a strong board and senior team, the Senior Director will inspire
and close significant gifts from individuals, corporations, and
foundations through many types of giving vehicles to increase
revenue that will help the organization innovate and scale
promising practices in the nascent field of civic learning.
Reporting to the Chief Development Officer, this individual will
be in a highly externally facing role, spending the majority of
her/his time working directly with contributors and prospects,
either in person or virtually, with significant travel likely. The
ideal candidate will have a proven record of annual and major gift
fundraising utilizing a collaborative sales approach.
Additionally, successful candidates will possess the leadership
skills and interpersonal judgment to interact successfully across
the organization’s team and programs, with a wide variety of
stakeholders, and nurture some of its most important external
relationships. To succeed, the Senior Director must demonstrate a
high level of skill, accuracy, flexibility, and discretion.
This role, like all roles at C&S, is based out of our
Princeton, NJ headquarters, and will require monthly visits to the
Princeton office. However, because the position is primarily
externally focused, most time will be spent working remotely.
Essence of the Position
- Cultivate and Nurture Relationships: If you are the successful
candidate for this role, you will work in close partnership with
the President, Chief Development Officer, and Development Team to
ensure that all contributors feel valued and know that their gifts
are impactful. Your success will flow from your ability to
understand, prioritize, and manage existing relationships, while
also introducing new people to our work.
- Brand Ambassador: You will represent the Institute for Citizens
& Scholars externally. You will demonstrate graciousness and
gratitude, helping create the best experience for all interested
parties. As you become more knowledgeable about all the projects,
programs, and events at C&S, you’ll develop a valuable
perspective on how external people think about our work, what value
they attach to our brand, and what their greatest interests are.
This, in turn, will help you communicate effectively about our
- Revenue Generator: You will set ambitious revenue targets and
execute action plans to achieve the stated goals in service of the
organization's growth and innovation, generating bold and
compelling fundraising collateral and other materials in
collaboration with the Fundraising Team, Communications and
Engagement Team, and others across the organization.
- Set the strategy for a portfolio of contributors and prospects
that have the capacity to make major gifts ($25,000 and above).
Identify top targets among current and prospective individual
contributors and ensure an effective strategy is in place to help
the organization reach its revenue goals.
- In consultation with the Chief Development Officer, create and
implement a tactical plan to qualify, cultivate, solicit, and
steward gifts from current and potential contributors to achieve
annual goals, including maintaining a healthy pipeline and
consistent movement through the sales funnel.
- Support C&S’s planned giving strategies, including
communications, engaging with current major donors about the
opportunity, and drafting gift agreements in alignment with donor
- Participate in monthly donor strategy sessions, including
during Team Week in the Princeton Office.
- Establish and manage a schedule of regular communications with
major contributors and prospects, including writing some pieces as
- Serve as a partner and mentor to other team members, supporting
them in achieving their goals in a highly collaborative
- Use data to track performance in the spirit of continuous
improvement and measurement, regularly utilizing the department’s
database software to maintain proposal opportunities, action steps,
and other key information.
- Contribute to the consistent use of fundraising systems,
aligned with established business practices.
- A Bachelor’s degree is required.
- A minimum of seven to nine years of professional fundraising or
comparable experience is required. Must demonstrate success in
soliciting five- and six-figure gifts and working closely with
- Superior communication skills, including active listening and
the ability to compellingly articulate what is inspiring about our
work and why it is critical to an effective, working
- Easy access to an airport, with the ability to travel at least
25 percent of the time.
- Experience using Raiser's Edge, Salesforce, and/or other
fundraising software is strongly preferred. Excellent written and
verbal communication skills.
- Highly organized, detail-oriented, and strong at prioritization
and time management. Proven ability to multi-task in a fast-paced,
- Technological proficiency in MS Office Suite (Word, Excel,
PowerPoint, and Outlook) and with a variety of virtual meeting
technologies including Zoom and Microsoft Teams.
- Mission-oriented and outcomes-driven. You are committed to and
hold a strong belief in the potential of the Citizens &
Scholars mission. You know deeply that the future of the
organization relies on your achieving your goals. This
responsibility excites you.
- Highly relationship-oriented. You maintain relationships across
all levels of the organization and with a broad spectrum of
- Confident, self-assured, direct, and humble. You are
diplomatic, you’re a good listener, and you are very comfortable
making asks of people in a non-transactional manner.
- Strong task management and execution skills. You are strategic,
thoughtful, and resourceful. You bring in the right members of the
team to advance each individual relationship to maximize the
benefit to the organization and the individual. You share
information, coordinate effectively, and execute responsibilities
while working seamlessly across teams.
- Judgment. You are able to make decisions with the data
available; you are also able to understand when it is necessary to
have help or insights in advance of making a decision.
- Strong communicator. You possess exceptional written and oral
communication skills and communicate effectively at all levels,
one-on-one and in groups. You write clearly and succinctly and
easily adjust to different communication settings and styles.
Our Core Values
- We are constantly learning and improving. We test and refine
new ideas and learn from our mistakes. We dare to question old
solutions. We seek opportunities to collaborate with our diverse
team; different backgrounds, skill sets, and thinking styles give
us valuable new perspectives. We share knowledge and insights with
each other to help us grow as individuals and as an
- We value diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging for all.
We believe that we are stronger for our differences, and we
acknowledge, respect, and appreciate them. We actively work with
and learn from everyone—across all demographics, backgrounds,
ideologies, and geographies. We identify areas where we differ and,
for the good of the organization and each other, we explore and
engage with differing perspectives.
- We are gracious and grateful in all that we do. We invest in
our relationships with warmth and a sense of humor. We express
gratitude to all our colleagues and stakeholders. While we strive
for excellence, we recognize that no one is perfect. We give others
the benefit of the doubt and act with kindness and integrity.
- We are attentive and intentional. We are aware of the needs of
the world and those around us so that our work has a real impact.
Our work is mission-driven and we know the “whys”—both large and
small—behind what we do. Recognizing that details matter, we are
equally committed to quality.
Simply email your resume to
firstname.lastname@example.org with “Senior Director of
Development” as the subject of the email. Please include your
resume as a Word or PDF attachment to the email and paste your
cover letter in the body of your email.
C&S will consider all qualified applicants for employment
without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or
expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics,
disability, age, veteran status, or any other basis protected by
law. This position may require pre-employment screening potentially
including a criminal background check, verification of academic
credentials, licenses, certifications, and/or verification of work