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Director of Major Gifts

The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art
New York, United States
$148,000.00 - $148,000.00
Closing date
May 22, 2024

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Position Type
Fundraising, Major Gifts
Employment Type
Full Time


Reporting to the Vice President of Development and Alumni Affairs, the Director of Development will manage the major gift programs with giving beginning at the $25,000 level. These programs include Cooper Fund Leadership Circle, including Patrons, Partners and President’s Circle groups. As a key member of the Development team, this position will execute year-round prospecting, cultivation and stewardship efforts and ensure financial goals are achieved. In partnership with the alumni affairs staff and in close coordination with the VP of Development and Alumni Affairs, the Director will work to identify and cultivate a pipeline of current donors and new prospects to introduce to CU.


• Identify, cultivate and solicit current donors and prospects as they relate to the fundraising priorities for the schools of Architecture, Art and Engineering, and the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences.
• Responsible for managing donor programs starting at the $25,000 level including all communications, stewardship, and engagement.
• Maintain a portfolio of 75-150 current and prospective donors.
• Manage three full time staff members including, the Assistant Director of Individual Giving, Prospect Research Specialist and Development Associate
• In coordination with the Director of Special Events and the Development Team, execute donor recognition and cultivation events.
• Manage the Planned Giving donor pipeline group – The Society of 1859 providing stewardship for planned giving prospects, as needed, in close partnership with VP.
• Work with other development support staff managed by the Deputy Director of Alumni Affairs and Development for needed resources to prospect and steward these individuals.
• With team, track and maintain giving projections to ensure financial goals are met.

• Manage donor relationship plans, including those for VP and President, to ensure proper stewardship.
• Monitor all prospect contacts to ensure positive and purposeful prospect and donor relations.
• Travel as needed and approved by the Vice President for meetings and events with alumni and other prospects.
• Coach staff and participate in aspects of the gift cycle to ensure high standards are met at all levels.
• Work collaboratively with all development staff, events and alumni affairs professionals and all other colleagues on campus.
• Offer counsel, insight and research to the president, vice president, and development staff on prospects and current donors.
• Ensure appropriate donor acknowledgment, stewardship and recognition.
• Develop effective major gift solicitation strategies, working closely with the Vice President of Alumni Affairs and Development and key constituencies within the college, and write compelling proposals.
• Participate in development events to encourage long-term relationships with prospects.


• A minimum of ten years of successful experience in major gift fundraising preferably in higher education
• Passion for the arts and sciences
• Ability to communicate effectively to internal and external audiences through exceptional personal presentation and persuasive writing
• Desire to work in a collaborative environment stressing mutual support for common objectives
• Ability to understand the needs and interests of leadership and major gift donors to develop relationships between them and Cooper
• Interest in all aspects of education and a dedication to promoting Cooper’s fundraising priorities
• Demonstrated leadership and the ability to successfully manage multi-functional or diverse areas
• Successful experience in making cold calls as well as developing cultivation and solicitation strategies
• Excellent interpersonal skills and a demonstrated record of completing assignments

• Willingness to travel


Bachelors Degree

Annual Salary - $148,000

This is a non-union position.

The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

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