Reporting to the Vice Dean for External Relations and Development at Columbia Business School (CBS), the Principal Gifts Officer identifies, cultivates, and solicits individuals and organizations on behalf of the School with a focus on prospects with the capacity to make commitments in the $1,000,000 to $25,000,000 million. Prospects include alumni, non-alumni friends, corporations, and foundations.
The successful incumbent will demonstrate success in all phases of identification, validation, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship from individuals, corporations, and foundations and establish long-term relationships with donors and prospects.
S/he will serve as an important member of the External Relations team and will work collaboratively with the Vice Dean, fellow gift officers, senior leadership, faculty, and colleagues throughout the School, to help ensure that outreach to top-level alumni and donors is coordinated and effective. This individual will meet core and partnership values of teamwork, integrity, accountability, and respect.
Partners with the Vice Dean to develop specific prospect strategies, develop fundraising goals, and communicate the CBS fundraising priorities. Develops and implements effective strategies for the cultivation and solicitation of high-level donors, and achieves annual revenue, ask, and visit goals. Serves as a senior member of the External Relations team. Meets with administrators and faculty to understand CBS priorities and attend regularly-scheduled team meetings to track and discuss CBS prospects.
Develops written strategies for top tier prospects and solicitation materials, including proposals and executive summaries. Engages in high-level interactions with current and prospective donors regularly, documenting actions as appropriate and stewarding donors throughout the giving process.
Independently manages the identification, cultivation and solicitation process for a portfolio of approximately 150 prospects with responsibility for managing communications and follow-up. Conducts a minimum of 150 personal visits annually to cultivate and solicit prospects and close gifts of $1 to $25 million.
Completes a minimum of 15 major gifts asks and a minimum of 25 leadership annual fund asks annually. There is also an expectation for gift planning conversations as appropriate.
Manages prospect relationships to enhance giving and attends events that facilitate contact with prospects. Conducts regular validation meetings with prospects, alumni, and parents who have not been visited previously to help determine giving potential and opportunities for engagement.
Serves as department liaison for at least one center, program, or institute on issues related to fundraising strategy. Provides consultation and assistance to facilitate the center’s alumni exposure and funding goals.
As an ambassador of CBS, actively partners with a variety of individuals including, volunteers, alumni, friends, deans and other academic leaders, faculty, university officers, and staff outside Columbia to articulate the mission and vision of CBS to drive continuous engagement.
Performs other development-related tasks as necessary
Equal Opportunity Employer / Disability / Veteran
Columbia University is committed to the hiring of qualified local residents.
Bachelor's degree required. Minimum of 8-10 years’ relevant experienced is required. Advanced degree, is preferred.
A minimum of eight years related fundraising experience required, including a proven track-record of closing seven-figure gifts. Excellent oral, written communication, computer and interpersonal skills, a robust personal work ethic, exceptional judgement under pressure, strong sense of discretion, and unquestioned personal integrity are required. Must have proven ability in planning and executing strategic communications to complement major gifts initiatives and achieve goals. Must have the ability to handle a multitude of tasks under deadlines and have the ability to work in a high-volume, high-demand, but highly collaborative, supportive, team-oriented office. Must be creative, enterprising, persuasive, and tactful. Commitment to strong record-keeping and information sharing are essential. Proven success in staffing senior institutional leaders is required in addition to demonstrated ability to effectively leverage the time of senior volunteers and academic and administrative staff in contacts with donors. Ability to present complex information in a clear and compelling manner, both in writing and in person. Portfolio management requires domestic and international travel and well as weekend and evening work, as needed.
Frontline fundraising or equivalent sales experience with proven success managing a fundraising or sales team and with a proven track record of eight-figure solicitations strongly preferred.
About Columbia Business School
Columbia University is one of the world's most important centers of research and at the same time a distinctive and distinguished learning environment for undergraduates and graduate students in many scholarly and professional fields. The University recognizes the importance of its location in New York City and seeks to link its research and teaching to the vast resources of a great metropolis. It seeks to attract a diverse and international faculty and student body, to support research and teaching on global issues, and to create academic relationships with many countries and regions. It expects all areas of the university to advance knowledge and learning at the highest level and to convey the products of its efforts to the world.