Director of Development, Athletics

Job Type

Full Time


Details: Commensurate with experience




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


Reporting jointly to the Director of Intercollegiate Athletics and Physical Education and the Senior Executive Director, Columbia College, A&S, and Athletics (SED), the Director of Development for Athletics is responsible for implementing the development and alumni relations plans for Columbia Athletics and achieving related goals. This includes helping to define and implementing priorities for development activities, overseeing both sport-specific and unrestricted annual fund goals, contributing to endowment and capital project fundraising goals, executing cultivation, solicitation and stewardship strategies for alumni, parents and friends of Columbia Athletics, overseeing the Athletics Development team (four staff members, two OAD and two Athletics) and maintaining a personal portfolio of donor prospects at the leadership annual fund and major gifts level. With the SED, the DOD is a member of Columbia Athletics Senior Staff.

Job Responsibilities include, but are not limited to the following:

  • With the Athletics Director and the SED, defines athletics development and alumni relations priorities, and implements said priorities with the Athletics Development staff.
  • Manages the Athletics Development staff toward unit goals; trains and develops staff members as a manager and leader.
  • Oversees the progress of Athletic fundraising goals and ensures goals are met in concert with overall University priorities.
  • With the SED, works with coaches, Athletics administrators, and development staff to ensure that all sport-specific fundraising initiatives (annual fund goals, capital projects, endowment) are met.
  • With the SED and in cooperation with College and Major Gifts colleagues, raises funds for department-level Athletics projects and Campaign initiatives
  • Supports the SED in staffing the Athletics Leadership Committee. Staffs other leadership volunteer groups.
  • Identifies and maintains portfolio of around 100 prospects. Focuses on qualifying and identifying new major gift prospects from the athletics alumni base.

§ Conducts regular validation meetings with prospects and alumni who have not been visited previously to help determine giving potential and opportunities for engagement; manages prospect relationships toward increased support of Columbia.

  • Develops and maintains relationships with donors and prospective donors with either/both Leadership Annual Giving ($10K+) or Major Gift ($100K+) capacity.
  • Designs and develops solicitation strategies and gift opportunities with College, A&S and Principal Gifts colleagues.

§ Attends events which facilitate contact with prospects.

§ Works with Development staff, coaches and athletics administrators to develop and manage Athletics events and programming consistent with unit goals and objectives.

§ Works in a highly collaborative fashion to engage faculty, staff, deans, gift officers and senior leadership;

§ Ensures maintenance of all records in the University database in a timely fashion

  • Develops stewardship and recognition programs and events consistent with development goals.
  • Manages and supervises Athletics Development staff providing performance evaluations, goal setting, coaching and career guidance for the team.
  • Performs additional duties and special projects as assigned.


Bachelor’s degree required; advanced degree preferred. Minimum 7 years of fundraising, related development experience or related Athletics administration experience is required; experience with Athletics development is strongly preferred. At least 2 years previous management or leadership experience required. Strong proficiency in Microsoft Office required. Some evenings required. Must have demonstrated success achieving fundraising goals. Possess a proven ability to present complex information in a clear and compelling manner is essential. The capacity to clearly comprehend and communicate University’s mission and ongoing initiatives is required. Prior experience in a not for profit, or similarly complex organizations preferred.

Demonstrated ability to work in a high pressure, fast-paced environment. Demonstrated excellence in a variety of competencies including: project management, team management, teamwork, analytical thinking, and client/customer awareness. Must possess the ability work with changing priorities and multiple projects.

Excellent analytical, organizational, interpersonal, oral and written communication 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. Must be able to negotiate issues and resolve issues constructively.

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