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The World Science Festival (WSF) seeks a results-driven Director of Development who will be responsible for leading and managing all fundraising and resource development activities for a dynamic and growing organization. The Director of Development will establish strategic revenue targets, and design and implement multi-faceted plans to increase revenue and broaden sources of support. They will oversee the development team in building and sustaining best practices for donor identification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship programs. As a member of the executive management team, the Director will work with colleagues across the organization to understand programmatic priorities that are potential funding opportunities, and to guide colleagues on developing relationships with potential funders.

About the World Science Festival: 

World Science Festival (WSF) is a multimedia organization producing original content straddling science, the arts, journalism and education. Founded in 2008, WSF is viewed by many as the premier platform bringing the most transformative ideas at the forefront of discovery to mainstream audiences. With formats spanning innovative works of theatre, film, dance and music, immersive live and virtual experiences, as well as riveting discussions and debates, WSF is lauded globally for its groundbreaking live and digital content featuring world renowned scientists, artists and intellectuals, shifting science to the cultural center.  Based in New York City, WSF is distinctive in its commitment to the highest of editorial standards and production excellence, providing worldwide audiences an exciting and impactful view of the near and far future.

Primary Responsibilities:

The Director of Development will

  • develop and execute a comprehensive fundraising strategy to significantly grow revenues for all WSF operations and programs, with a focus on diversifying sources of funding and assuring long-term sustainability;
  • lead, oversee, and ensure the quality of innovative development initiatives that identify new funders, cultivate existing funders, and grow revenue from individual, membership, foundation, governmental, and corporate sources;
  • oversee the annual gala and other fundraising special events, including planning, execution, and evaluation;
  • develop and lead the strategic revenue areas of individual giving and major gifts, annual fundraising appeals, and foundation relations, identifying, cultivating and soliciting prospective donors and funding organizations;
  • maintain a portfolio of major donors and prospects, with responsibility for personally making face-to-face donor solicitations and creating a strategy to target and generate interest from a variety of sectors;
  • develop, launch and grow high-level individual giving circles, and build a broad-based membership program;
  • oversee development operations, including setting and managing the departmental budget, including special events;
  • Manage and provide strategic direction to the fundraising team, including establishing goals, managing performance, and ensuring accountability for results and the use of best practices to achieve goals;
  • produce compelling fundraising marketing pieces to demonstrate the work of the Festival and effectively communicate the organization’s mission, vision, and impact to donors and supporters;
  • ensure that timely, accurate and complete development reporting systems are in place;
  • develop effective systems to track, measure, and evaluate impact from WSF grant-supported programs;
  • oversee the effective growth and use of the Blackbaud donor database to support fundraising strategy;
  • establish management systems to ensure cogent reports and analyses to senior management; and
  • Monitor and analyze trends in fundraising and donor behavior, including forecasting, and make strategic recommendations for improving fundraising performance and effectiveness.

Preferred Qualifications:

World Science Festival seeks a Director of Development with

  • a commitment to the mission of World Science Festival;
  • strong fundraising experience with the ability to engage a wide range of stakeholders;
  • experience identifying, cultivating, and closing gifts with significant institutional impact;
  • experience working with a Board of Directors in support of strategic fundraising goals;
  • experience providing strategy and oversight for events;
  • experience overseeing institutional grant, including strategically managing grant proposals, evaluation and reporting;
  • experience partnering with a CEO, senior leadership, and board members to plan and implement cultivation strategies for potential individual or corporate gifts;
  • leadership and management skills, with experience building and managing a high-performing team and fostering an open, collaborative, and respectful team culture;
  • an ability to thrive in an entrepreneurial, fast-paced, and creative environment;
  • experience with media tie-ins and sponsorship deals (desired);
  • strong written and verbal communication skills, with excellent interpersonal skills;
  • organizational management skills with the ability to set and achieve strategic objectives, and administer a budget;
  • an ability to articulate to corporate and institutional executives and program officers a compelling proposition for supporting WSF’s initiatives; and
  • A bachelor’s degree and at least eight years of senior management experience leading development teams.

 Salary and Benefits:

The salary range for this position is $170,000 to $190,000 annually, depending upon experience. WSF offers a comprehensive package of benefits.

Application Instructions:

Please email a resume with a cover letter and salary requirements to with “Director of Development” in the subject line. Please save the files LastName.FirstName.Resume, LastName.FirstName.CoverLetter. Resumes that are submitted without cover letters will not be considered.

 Equal Opportunity Employment Policy:

World Science Festival is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of an individual’s sex, age, race, color, creed, national origin, alienage, religion, marital status, pregnancy, sexual orientation or affectional preference, gender identity and expression, disability, genetic trait or predisposition, citizenship, veteran or military status and other personal characteristics protected by law. All applications will receive consideration for employment without regard to legally protected characteristics. WSF will consider qualified applicants in a manner consistent with the requirements of applicable “Fair Chance” laws.

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