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Job Information

Columbia University Director, Major Gifts in New York, New York

  • Requisition no: 516866

  • Work Type: Full Time

  • Location: Campus|Morningside

  • School/Department: null

  • Categories: Development/Alumni Relations

  • Job Type: Officer of Administration

  • Bargaining Unit:

  • Regular/Temporary: Regular

  • End Date if Temporary:

  • Hours Per Week: 35

  • Salary Range: Commensurate with experience

Position Summary

Reporting to the Executive Director, Major Gifts, the Director, Major Gifts will lead a growing team of fundraising professionals as Columbia Business School enters a five-year campaign to bring $150 million to student support initiatives. The dynamic and seasoned Director will provide leadership in conceptualizing, implementing, and evaluating engagement strategies that drive philanthropic revenue from individual donors. In this context, the Director will guide and mentor the frontline fundraising team, develop and execute complex gift strategies, and work closely with the Executive Director to ensure smooth alignment of major gift practices and approaches with leadership and departmental priorities.

Externally, the Director will represent Columbia Business School in the community through meetings and events, ensuring that the School’s case is articulated with passion and intent, resulting in strategic engagement and meaningful private support. The Director will also be responsible for managing a portfolio of 75-100 prospects and donors, and will be expected to cultivate, solicit, and steward six- and seven-figure gifts from prospects and donors. Key responsibilities include:


  1. Manage and oversee a small team of frontline fundraisers, including one to two major gift professionals to start. Proactively works to monitor and review performance, set goals and trains team members on best practices. Work with the Executive Director to define program objectives, strategies, position mandates, and performance metrics. Increase frontline activity with a focus on securing funds for the Student Support Initiative.

  2. Independently manage the identification, cultivation, and solicitation for a portfolio of approximately 75-100 prospects and donors to meet revenue and activity goals. Evaluate various giving opportunities and vehicles to maximize the School’s partnership with new and existing donors. Engage faculty and staff across the School and University to consult on fundraising opportunities, conceptualize proposals, and execute complex major gift strategies. Serves as an integral part of the team with the Executive Director and others, participates in major gift meetings to coordinate the major gifts program, as well as prospect review meetings to discuss specific prospect strategies as they relate to prioritized fundraising needs.

  3. Develop and maintain strong relationships with campus leaders, faculty, and staff across the system. Support and coach campus leaders, faculty, and staff on best-in-class fundraising practices and approaches. Translate the School’s complex programs and initiatives into compelling funding opportunities for prospects.

  4. Partner with the Executive Director in the planning and execution of cultivation and solicitation events associated with the Major Gifts program.

  5. Other related duties as assigned.

Minimum Qualifications

Bachelor’s degree required. Minimum 5-7 years related experience required.

The ideal candidate will demonstrate success raising gifts at the six and seven-figure level, will have experience managing and mentoring a growing frontline team. Must be able to present sound judgement in navigating complex institutions. A dynamic leader with collaborative instincts, an inclination to integrate efforts, a tolerance for ambiguity, and the ability to motivate and mentor team members necessary. Must be tactful and have the ability to handle highly confidential information. Comprehensive knowledge of all fundraising approaches, with special expertise and understanding of principal and major gifts, alumni giving, and planned giving needed. Must have excellent verbal and written communication with both internal and external constituents, including the ability to deliver compelling and persuasive presentations. Experience with customer relationship management systems, and proven ability to utilize data to inform metrics, keep staff accountable, and influence change required. Strong familiarity with fundraising trends and perspectives, particularly in New York necessary. Ability to travel outside of New York and work nights and weekends, as appropriate.

Preferred Qualifications

Prior experience in major gift fundraising for complex non-profit organizations strongly preferred.

Equal Opportunity Employer / Disability / Veteran

Columbia University is committed to the hiring of qualified local residents.