Director of Annual Giving, The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS)

Job Type

Full Time




622 West 113th Street
New York
New York
United States


Reporting to the Executive Director of Development at The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS), the Director of Annual Giving provides leadership and strategic direction for SEAS fundraising efforts targeting its alumni, parents, and friends. The Director of Annual Giving serves as the primary point of contact between the School of Engineering and the centrally-administered Annual Fund Programs team at Columbia University. 

In addition to management responsibilities on the development team, the Director also serves as active fundraiser focused on growing donors to SEAS and Columbia overall. Together with the Executive Director, the Director sets ambitious and achievable targets for growing annual giving generally and individual fundraising goals overtime. 

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to the following:

·        Management of development operations including: population analysis; retention and acquisition strategies and metrics; direct mail and online solicitation campaigns; and development of key communications pieces for SEAS fundraising efforts. 

·        Works with internal and external partners to set and meet annual goals for the SEAS annual fund.

·        Oversees the Parents Council donor cohort and sets annual targets for parent giving to SEAS.

·        Owns a portfolio of up to 150 prospects and executes individual solicitations for major gift, leadership annual giving, and gift planning, as determined annually in consultation with the Executive Director. Maintains records on the Advance database in a timely fashion.

·        Records 150 significant contacts with prospects annually. Refines individual prospect portfolio and develops relationships with assigned prospects in a manner that depends engagement between prospects and SEAS with an aim towards increasing philanthropy and volunteerism.

·        Manages a team of four, including three frontline fundraisers and one Development Coordinator, to achieve clearly-defined goals using standardized metrics. Leads all mentoring and coaching efforts for team’s overall success.

·        Maintains primary responsibility for the School’s participation in “Columbia Giving Day,” and/or other similar seasonal giving programs, including planning and execution of strategies to affect successful fundraising through that initiative. Works with Columbia University’s Annual Fund Programs team to draft appeal letters, develop calling scripts, and craft email communications specific to parents and alumni. 

·        Conducts annual analysis of the School’s prospect pool to determine the potential for renewals, acquisitions and upgrades in support of SEAS’ priorities as defined by the Dean of Engineering. In partnership with the Executive Director and the Senior Associate Dean for Advancement, the Director develops and tracks the Advancement team’s solicitation plan to achieve annual goals for fundraising and donor participation.

·        Conducts regular segmentation analyses to help inform new strategies for activating donors in our bachelor, masters and PhD alumni cohorts.

·        Collaborates with the SEAS alumni relations team to develop and implement events that facilitate engagement with prospects. Establishes goals in partnership with the Executive Director of Development and the Executive Director of Alumni Relations that links signature and special events with both engagement and fundraising goals.

·        Attends regular staff meetings to evaluate progress and prospect assignments and work closely with Columbia College parent staff to coordinate approaches and collaborate on key initiatives; meets with administrators and faculty across the School and campus to understand School and University priorities.

·        Performs other related tasks as required.


Bachelor's degree required, advanced degree strongly preferred.  A minimum of five (5) years of related experience required. At least one (1) year of previous leadership/management necessary. Proficiency in Microsoft Office is a must. This position requires evening and weekend work and travel as necessary. Program development or related transferable experience preferred, with demonstrated success in annual giving or applicable ability. Experience with higher education preferred. Strong volunteer management skills are essential.

The incumbent must have effective writing and presentation skills and be a persuasive advocate for Columbia Engineering priorities. Serving as a member of the advancement team at the University, the incumbent will have ownership over growing the strategically-important annual giving to the School.

Demonstrated success in all phases of identification, cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding gifts from individuals, corporations, and foundations and a demonstrated ability to establish long-term relationships with donors and prospects. 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. Ability to present complex information in a clear and compelling manner, both in writing and in person.

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 essential. Commitment to strong record-keeping and information sharing are essential. Intelligence, resilience and an entrepreneurial spirit are preferred qualities. Strong personal work ethic and unquestioned personal integrity are desirable qualities. Must have a passion for excellent customer service and commitment to exceptional quality.


Medical, Dental, Retirement, Life Insurance, Disability, Tuition, Paid Time Off, etc.

Professional Level


Minimum Education Required

4-year degree

How To Apply