Leadership Gifts Officer, School of General Studies

Job Type

Full Time


Details: Commensurate with experience




622 West 113th Street
MC4520 7th Floor
New York
United States


Reporting to the Director of Development for the Arts & Sciences, the Leadership Gift Officer for the School of General Studies seeks to increase participation in annual giving from alumni, parents, and friends of Columbia University's School of General Studies by securing gifts up to $100,000. These annual gifts provide important support for financial aid, new academic initiatives, and ongoing expenses. The Leadership Gift Officer works with donors, prospects, and volunteers who have the capacity to make annual gifts at the leadership level to the school. 

The position staffs a portfolio of approximately 300 leadership level General Studies alumni and friends and works closely with Major Gift Officers and Planned Giving staff in the Office of Alumni and Development, Columbia Alumni Association staff, and staff from other university offices. Partners with the Dean and other members of the senior leadership team within the School of General Studies, as warranted. 

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

·        Under the guidance of and in collaboration with the Director of Development for the Arts & Sciences, the Leadership Gift Officer plans high-end annual fundraising activity for top annual giving prospects up to $100,000, with a goal of 200 substantive contacts and at least 200 direct solicitations each year.

·        Takes a leadership role in prospect discovery through face-to-face visits within the General Studies community.

·        Travels to domestic markets to visit with donors and prospective donors, as warranted.

·        Conducts all follow-up development efforts to needed to sustain and advance prospect


·        Collaborates with other fundraisers within Columbia University's Office of Alumni and

Development, as appropriate, to secure high-end annual gifts on behalf of General Studies.

·        In conjunction with the Director of Development for the Arts & Sciences, determines and

executes new fundraising initiatives.

·        Works with the Annual Fund Programs staff to coordinate plans with direct mail, telemarketing, and e-mail on an ongoing basis.

·        Partners with colleagues in the School of General Studies Alumni Affairs group to direct outreach efforts to the broader alumni population through reunion and various events throughout the fiscal year.

·        Manages a small committee of volunteer fundraisers that help to solicit high-end annual gifts; acts as a primary liaison to these committee members to ensure efforts to promote General Studies.

·        Represents and manages the planning and execution for General Studies' participation in

Columbia University Giving Day.

·        Handles other projects and assignments as reasonably required and assigned. 


Bachelor's degree and/or its equivalent is required. Minimum of 3 years' related experience, including at least 1 year of relevant development responsibilities. Ability to travel is required. 


Demonstrated experience and interest in individual wealth and philanthropic assessment, face-to-face solicitation, volunteer management experience, and portfolio management experience. Excellent organizational, interpersonal, oral and written communications skills, including a high level of attention to detail and active listening skills. Must be able to problem-solve and troubleshoot, in addition to the ability to work independently in a dynamic team environment. Demonstrated ability to effectively partner with a diverse group of administrators. Must be able to negotiate issues, resolve problems and have strong influencing skills. The successful candidate must be a strategic thinker, effective in moving strategic agendas, politically savvy, ensure the utmost discretion in all matters, as well as possess an ability to work well with all levels of management, both internally and externally, be flexible in nature, have a sound judgment with a collaborative style that fosters teamwork and cooperation beyond the immediate team to the broader organization. Must have a passion for excellent customer service and commitment to exceptional quality. 


Experience with higher education fundraising also preferred  

Columbia University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.


Medical and dental coverage, tuition exemption, retirement contributions and more.

Professional Level


Minimum Education Required

4-year degree