Director of Major Gifts School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS)
- Requisition no: 503168
- Work type: Full Time
- Location: Morningside
- School/Department: Office of Alumni & Development
- Grade: Grade 14
- Categories: Development/Alumni Relations
Reporting to the Senior Associate Dean of Advancement at The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS), the Director of Major Gifts provides leadership and strategic direction for the major gifts program at Columbia Engineering. The Director of Major Gifts is responsible for planning and executing year-over-year major gift activity on behalf of the School, in alignment with the annual fundraising targets set by the Senior Associate Dean. S/he will also work with the Sr. Associate Dean in partnering with the School’s key fundraising board and the SEAS Board of Visitors. The Director of Major Gifts will manage the major gifts process by coordinating the pipeline, strategy, solicitation timeline and ask outcomes for major gifts of $100,000 - $5,000,000 at SEAS and will serve as a key partner to the Sr. Associate Dean for the last stages of Humanity and Columbia Commitment campaign, ending in June 2021.
In addition to management responsibilities for the major gifts program, the Director also serves as an active fundraiser focused on growing six- and seven-figure donors to the school. Together with the Senior Associate Dean, the Director sets ambitious and achievable targets for growing the major gift pipeline over time as Columbia Engineering shifts from the EFH Campaign to a $1B+ building campaign, an exciting School expansion to Manhattanville. The Director joins the Sr. Associate Dean’s senior management team and is a key thought partner to the Directors of Annual Giving, Graduate Programs and Alumni Relations.
Responsibilities include, but are not limited to the following:
- Management of all elements of the major gift fundraising program including: population analysis; prospect validation; donor upgrades, volunteer/peer-to-peer outreach by existing major gift donors; proposal development; and coordination with key major gift partners in Central OAD.
- Works with internal and external partners to set and meet annual goals for the major gifts program at Columbia Engineering including donors and potential donors in the alumni, parents and friends communities; volunteers; faculty and students.
- Participates in and sets a leadership example to junior team members in EDAR’s Monthly Moves Management Meeting (“M4”) at which key prospects are discussed, analyzed and strategized.
- Collaborates with the Sr. Associate Dean to help lead the Engineering Board of Visitors and set annual targets/plans for BOV giving to the School. Identifies prospects who are suitable for Board membership. Board solicitations will include both leadership annual fund donations as well as major gift solicitations to ensure fundraising expectations of Board members are met.
- Owns a portfolio of up to 100 major gift prospects and is responsible for conducting 150 personal visits over 12 months to cultivate and solicit leadership donors/prospects and close gifts, including interactions with members and prospective members of the Engineering Board of Visitors.
- Collaborates with Directors of Annual Giving, Alumni Relations and Graduate Programs to build team spirit and collectively achieve our ambitious goals across alumni engagement, donor engagement, and fundraising and participation goals. Includes ALMA considerations and goals in strategies and planning. Collaborating on events across these important communities is key to facilitate engagement.
- Oversees a current team of two major gift officers to achieve clearly-defined goals using standardized metrics. Manages the annual goal-setting and performance evaluations process for the Major Gifts team.
- Maintains primary responsibility for the School's annual performance in securing gifts of $100,000 - $5,000,000.
- Conducts an annual analysis of the School's major gift prospect pool to determine the potential for new major gifts and upgrades of past giving. Guides the Advancement team's activity around major gift solicitations in line with that analysis to achieve annual goals for fundraising.
- Attends regular staff meetings and leads occasional meetings to evaluate progress and prospect assignments; meets with administrators and faculty across the School and campus to understand School and University priorities.
- Bachelor's degree required. A minimum of five (5) years of related experience required. At least one (1) year of previous leadership/management is necessary. Proficiency in Microsoft Office and particularly Excel is a must. This position requires evening and weekend work and travel as necessary.
- Advanced degree strongly preferred. Program development or related transferable experience preferred, with demonstrated success in annual giving or applicable ability. Experience with higher education preferred.
Strong volunteer management skills are essential. The incumbent must have effective writing and presentation skills and be a persuasive advocate for Columbia Engineering priorities. Serving as a member of the advancement team at the University, the incumbent will have ownership of increasing the strategically important annual giving to the School.
Demonstrated success in all phases of cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding gifts from individuals, corporations, and foundations and a demonstrated ability to establish long-term relationships with donors and prospects. Successful experience staffing senior institutional leaders. Demonstrated ability to effectively leverage the time of senior volunteers and academic and administrative staff in contacts with donors, including strong preparation and good judgment about the extent to which cultivation can effectively be staff-driven. Ability to present complex information in a clear and compelling manner, both in writing and in person. Energy, initiative and ambition, both personally and on behalf of Columbia University are desirable traits. It is important for the individual to be able to thrive as both a collaborator and independent contributor.
During the course of his/her fundraising work, this person will engage with a variety of individuals including: volunteers, alumni, friends, deans and other academic leaders, faculty, university officers and staff outside Columbia. Excitement about the mission of Columbia University accompanied by excellent written, communication and relationship-building skills are crucial. Commitment to strong record-keeping and information sharing are essential. Intelligence, resilience and an entrepreneurial spirit are preferred qualities. Strong personal work ethic and unquestioned personal integrity are desirable qualities. Must have a passion for excellent customer service and commitment to exceptional quality.
Equal Opportunity Employer / Disability / Veteran
Columbia University is committed to the hiring of qualified local residents.