Assistant Director for Annual Giving, Dean’s Leadership Society (SEAS)

Posted on 12/07/2021

Columbia University

New York, NY

Position Summary: 

Reporting to the Director of Annual Giving, the Assistant Director of Annual Giving, Dean’s Leadership Society works to build a strong momentum of giving amongst our Columbia Engineering Community with an emphasis on our Dean’s Leadership Society donors ($1,000+, for new alumni $100x for every year since graduation).

The Assistant Director of Annual Giving, Dean’s Leadership Society works with the major gift team, alumni relations team and stewardship to maximize opportunities for philanthropy and engagement amongst the Columbia Engineering community. The position plays a critical role on the team, managing a portfolio of donors who give at a leadership level, helps to identify important prospects for the School, and partners with fellow annual giving and major gift officers to ensure donors are properly cultivated and stewarded. The Assistant Director works with reunion classes that have the greatest potential for impact, identifies opportunities to launch new endowed scholarships and fellowships and advises on development messaging for reunion classes.

Columbia Engineering offers a fast-paced, collaborative and supportive work environment with ambitious multi-year growth targets.


Responsibilities include but are not limited to the following:

  • Manages a portfolio of 250 leadership prospects
  • Completes a minimum of 200 solicitations of leadership gifts each year and
  • A minimum of 150 substantive contacts with leadership annual giving prospects annually
  • Helps identify high-potential reunion classes and develops and implements a detailed fundraising plan to help drive leadership giving opportunities
  • Working in partnership with the Coordinator, manages the reunion fundraising strategy including prospecting work and managing the volunteer reunion class solicitors to raise gifts from key populations including new alumni
  • Executes strategy to build philanthropic awareness and participation among graduating seniors. – Advocates for planned giving vehicles and execute planned giving solicitations as appropriate
  • Identifies leadership annual giving prospects for our community scholarships and fellowships and solicits leadership gifts to help grow the impact of these funds
  • Documents activity with respect to the University’s standardized processes for tracking fundraising work
  • Serves as a positive, collaborative and supportive member of the Annual Giving team
  • Additional duties, or special projects as assigned

Minimum Qualifications: 

  • Bachelor’s degree and/or the equivalent required, including a minimum of two (2) years related experience required.
  • Must possess strong computer proficiency, including Microsoft Office, as well as an ability to adapt and learn future technologies.
  • Excellent organizational, interpersonal, oral and written communications skills, including a high level of attention to detail and active listening skills.
  • Some evening events and travel required as needed.

Preferred Qualifications: 

  • Prior experience in a higher education fundraising setting is desirable, but not necessary.
  • Basic quantitative analytical skills are preferred.

Other Requirements: 

Must possess the ability to interact with and cultivate strong working relationships amongst a diverse constituency including a variety of professional communities and age groups.

Must be able to problem-solve and troubleshoot, in addition to the ability to work independently in a dynamic team environment. Demonstrated ability to juggle multiple projects while keeping an eye on the priorities of the team.

Successful candidates will ensure the utmost discretion in all matters, as well as possess an ability to work well with all levels of management, be flexible in nature, have a sound judgment with a collaborative style that fosters teamwork and cooperation. 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.

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