This job has expired

Senior Director of Development

Institute for Citizens & Scholars
New Jersey, United States
$120,000.00 - $140,000.00
Closing date
Oct 23, 2022

Organization Overview

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 ( 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."

Position Overview

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 work.
  • 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.

Primary Responsibilities

  • 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 intent.
  • 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 needed.
  • Serve as a partner and mentor to other team members, supporting them in achieving their goals in a highly collaborative environment.
  • 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 executive leadership.
  • 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 democracy.
  • 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, entrepreneurial setting.
  • 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 stakeholders.
  • 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 organization.
  • 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.

To Apply

Simply email your resume to 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 history.

Get job alerts

Create a job alert and receive personalized job recommendations straight to your inbox.

Create alert