Assistant Director of Annual Giving, SIPA

Posted on 10/08/2021

Columbia University

New York, NY

Position Summary: 

Reporting to the Director of Development and the Associate Dean, the Assistant Director of Annual Giving identifies, cultivates and solicits alumni and friends of the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) through face-to-face meetings and fundraising events to achieve annual fundraising goals.

The Assistant Director is directly responsible for managing a portfolio of 300+ leadership annual fund donors, including their identification, qualification, engagement, and solicitation for leadership-level gifts to the SIPA Fund. S/he will be expected to complete a minimum of 125 donor meetings and make a minimum of 200 solicitations per year.

The Assistant Director is the lead staff person for the SIPA annual fund. The Assistant Director will act as the main liaison with the University’s Annual Fund Programs direct marketing team to implement the School’s solicitation strategy across direct mail, student calling, email and video-documentaries, and online fundraising initiatives, such as Columbia Giving Day.


Responsibilities include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Develop and execute solicitation strategies to secure unrestricted annual gifts
  • Renew or upgrade donors to leadership annual giving levels
  • Discuss and secure restricted or endowed gifts and planned gifts where appropriate
  • Thank donors in a meaningful manner
  • Identify donors with the capacity to make major gifts and partner with other members of the development team to solicit them accordingly
  • Organize, attend, prepare materials for, and actively participate in monthly planning/status meetings
  • Manage digital and mailing appeal calendars and ensure all materials are submitted in a timely manner
  • Check accuracy of data/preparing spreadsheets
  • Draft appeals for the approval of the Director of Development and proof-read drafts
  • Assist with all development and alumni relations events including the successful planning and execution of SIPA’s annual Global Leadership Awards Gala, the School’s largest fundraising event which raises significant annual support
  • Coordinate and collaborate with internal units such as communications and external relations, alumni affairs, event planning, and finance
  • Work with leadership donors to effectively raise funds for the Gala
  • Other duties as assigned

Minimum Qualifications: 

Bachelor’s degree required. A minimum of 2-4 years of fundraising or related development experience is required. Computer proficiency (Word, Excel) required. Some evening events and travel required as needed. Must have demonstrated success managing high-level donor relationships and events. The capacity to clearly comprehend and communicate SIPA’s mission and ongoing initiatives is required.  Excellent organizational, time management, interpersonal and communication skills, with attention to detail. Must be able to problem-solve and troubleshoot, in addition to the ability to work independently and collaboratively in a dynamic team environment.

Preferred Qualifications: 

Prior experience in a not for profit, or similarly complex organizations preferred.

Other Requirements: 

  • Demonstrated excellence in a variety of competencies including: project management, fundraising event planning, teamwork and client/customer awareness. Ability to work with changing priorities and multiple projects.
  • Must be able to problem-solve and troubleshoot, in addition to the ability to work independently and collaboratively in a dynamic team environment. Demonstrated ability to effectively partner with a diverse group of administrators and academic leaders.
  • Knowledge of and commitment to the values and mission of Columbia University and SIPA. Must meet the department’s core values of collaboration, aspiration, transparency, respect, accountability, and trust.

Equal Opportunity Employer / Disability / Veteran

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

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