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Columbia University Major Gifts Officer, Global in New York, New York

  • Requisition no: 507333

  • Work Type: Full Time

  • Location: Campus|Morningside

  • School/Department: null

  • Categories: Development/Alumni Relations

Position Summary

Reporting to the Senior Executive Director for University Development, the Global Major Gifts Officer manages a portfolio of global prospects, as well as provides strategy and fundraising for the Global Centers network. The gift officer will be responsible for identifying, cultivating, and soliciting or arranging for the solicitation of annual and major gifts, and will engage with a variety of individuals including, volunteers, alumni, friends, faculty, university officers and staff outside Columbia. In addition to the global centers network, gifts may be for university purposes, cross-disciplinary priorities, or designated for a specific school, program, or other parts of Columbia. This position has a portfolio covering various international and domestic markets.


Responsibilities include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Leads the evaluation, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship of prospects and donors, while managing a portfolio of 150 major rated donors, with a specific focus on key international markets as assigned while conducting continuous discovery work in these regions and with prospects North America as needed. Develops long-term relationships with these individuals and cultivates their interest in Columbia.

  • The Global Major Gifts officer will achieve and document 150 prospect visits per year as well as achieve 15 asks of $250,000 or above per year.

  • Works closely with colleagues in the University Development team and colleagues in schools across campus on prospect identification, strategy, solicitation, and stewardship. Consultation and collaboration with school-based colleagues are essential.

  • Successfully meets fundraising goals by identifying and personally working with prospects through successful gift closings. Contributes to an ongoing process of identifying/evaluating, and tracking a comprehensive pool of prospects.

  • Works with alumni, parents, and friends of Columbia and their advisors, and leads efforts through high-level volunteers, both external and internal to the University; collaborates with other staff, academic leaders, and faculty to develop gift ideas and strategies and foster productive relationships for Columbia.

  • Actively maintains a current body of knowledge about Columbia and its development priorities; develops a thorough understanding of the programs and aspirations of each of Columbia's schools and other units where major gift fundraising is needed.

  • Creates and supports strong ties to the academic units of Columbia University, gaining an in-depth understanding of their programs and opportunities for giving; serves as an effective representative in a university-wide array of giving opportunities and possesses the flexibility and breadth of perspective to draw on the most appropriate opportunities, given the interests of the donor or prospect, and builds the most relevant ties to the institution.

  • Serves as the main liaison to the Executive Vice President for Global Centers (EVP) for development operations and related needs of the Columbia Global Centers network.

  • Support the EVP as well as Global Centers’ directors in the development and stewardship of Centers’ advisory boards, including board giving and new prospect cultivation and solicitation. Staffs the EVP on international travel for board meetings as needed.

  • Serves as the main liaison to the finance team of the Global Centers office in New York for development reporting, including pipeline reports and projections, and development-related communications projects.

  • Participates in Global Centers’ activities such as recurring monthly calls, directors’ convenings, summits, and retreats on behalf of the University Development

  • Serves as liaison to other members in the Office of Alumni and Development who partner with specific Global Centers (e.g. Mumbai, Beijing) in the territories they cover.

  • Other responsibilities and special projects as assigned.

Minimum Qualifications

Bachelor’s degree required; advanced degree desirable. A minimum of 5 years of fundraising or related experience with prior exposure to an international setting or international support organization required. Strong proficiency in Microsoft Office a must. Evening and travel required. Ability to present complex information in a clear and compelling manner, both in writing and in person. Ability and willingness to travel extensively.

Preferred Qualifications

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

Other Requirements

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.

Experience working in complex organizations and the ability to navigate multiple priorities is recommended. Officers may be asked to perform related tasks, as needed. The Major Gifts Officers are expected to be self-motivated, well-organized and collegial partners, and, above all, persuasive advocates for Columbia University’s priorities. Energy, initiative, and ambition, both personally and on behalf of Columbia University are desirable traits.

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 is essential. Strong work ethic, resilience, entrepreneurial spirit, and personal integrity are preferred 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.