Director of Individual Philanthropy

Job Type

Full Time


Details: Competitive Salary & Benefits



Start Date


Application Deadline



55 Exchange Place
New York
New York
United States


Are you looking to make a difference? Do you want to work for an organization that is mission-based, diverse and empowering?

SEO is one of the nation’s top pre-professional development organizations for underserved and underrepresented students, is seeking a Director of Individual Philanthropy to join our growing Development team!


The Director of Individual Philanthropy (IP) reports directly to the VP of Development and is responsible for generating annual funds, leadership gifts, and special project/capacity-building support to help meet annual targeted goals (totaling nearly $15 million in FY19). The Director/IP develops, plans, organizes and executes a variety of initiatives and strategies to receive, maintain, and increase revenue from individual donors including, targeted major gift solicitations, patron support, direct-mail campaigns, online and texting campaigns, planned giving, and special events. While overseeing all individual giving programs, the Director/IP is directly responsible for upgrading the existing base of individual supporters while also identifying, developing, and soliciting new prospects at the $25,000+ giving level. Major emphasis is on building and managing donor relationships through a variety of cultivation, solicitation and stewardship activities, including but not limited to events, site visits, and one-on-one meetings, as well as personalized communication through letters, notes, e-mails, and calls. Strategic support is provided to board members, volunteers, senior leadership, and the VP of Development who are engaged in soliciting high-potential donors.

This senior position works closely with the VP of Development to create strategies to advance fundraising objectives across all of SEO’s constituent groups—individual donors and alumni, board member contacts, as well as individuals and leaders within partnering corporations/organizations. The Director/IP collaborates with the Associate Director, Strategic Engagement (SE) on alumni relations and develops, implements and supports strategic engagement across the department and throughout SEO.

The Director/IP provides day-to-day supervision to the Associate Director/SE and two Development Associates who are responsible for the execution of various aspects of SEO’s Individual Philanthropy program, including annual fund appeals, special campaigns, a yearly program of cultivation and fulfillment events, special events, data/outcomes, research, planned giving, and major-gift fundraising.


• Devise, execute, and oversee effective fundraising programs and strategies for the cultivation, solicitation and stewardship of individual donors, including member/alumni giving; patron, major gift and leadership support; planned giving; and special project/capacity-building support.

• In collaboration with the VP of Development and Associate Director/SE actively develop relationships with donors/prospects/alumni to deepen their connections to SEO and key stakeholders, to identify major gift/board prospects, and to identify, cultivate and solicit alumni/donors with the goal of personally initiating a minimum of 30-40 alumni/donor visits per year.

• Provide strategic support to VP of Development, senior leadership, board members, and volunteer solicitors to manage their prospect/donor portfolios, including one’s own portfolio.

• Oversee in-house project management of SEO’s major fundraiser, the Annual Awards Dinner, to ensure that board, senior leadership, team members, consultants and vendors are fulfilling their roles for optimum results.

• Oversee the organization and integrity of donor/prospect records in Raisers Edge and/or Salesforce, including implementation of tracking and rating systems in collaboration with the Development Operations Manager (OM).

• Partner with VP of Development to establish and meet short- and long-term departmental goals.

• Oversee management of all fundraising activities for individual donors including site visits, one-on- one meetings for key solicitors, receptions, dinners, events, outreach, phone calls, e-mail and social media campaigns, direct-mail appeals, and personalized targeted solicitations.

• Provide direction on prospect research and development of pitch materials, updates/reports, as well as talking points and scripts for donor events.

• Oversee monthly, quarterly and yearly plans to quantify moves management and outcome goals.

• Supervise development, planning and execution of all donor cultivation events, major fundraising events, and other development-related activities, including at-event fundraising schemes.

• Provide direction and supervision on all stewardship/operational processes, including database management/development, donor filing systems, financial/analysis reports, gift processing and acknowledgments, donor benefits and fulfillment activities.

• Work closely with VP of Development and Associate Director/SE to collaborate with Communications on all relevant media campaigns and development-related collateral, and, with the Scholars Program, in the engagement of team members and students in donor-facing activities.

• Other development-related duties as assigned.

• Represent VP of Development at meetings of senior SEO leaders as needed.


• Bachelor’s degree required and 5-7 years+ fundraising experience with progressing levels of responsibility.

• Demonstrated commitment to SEO’s mission, purpose, and values and to its methodology, history,

• Experience and ease in working with multi-cultural, socio-economically and politically diverse populations.

• Ability to thrive in a fast-paced, dynamic start-up/entrepreneurial environment.

• Available to work some evenings and weekends.


• Prior fundraising experience (5-7+ years) with direct solicitation and demonstrated results.

• Strategic thinker with exceptional communication skills (written and oral), including: compelling and clear writing; high attention to detail; excellent proof-reading abilities; and poise, sophistication and intellectual depth when speaking with donors and other high-level constituents.

• Demonstrated drive and successful outcomes in identifying and securing new and existing revenue opportunities.

• Ability to work independently and in a team setting, showing respect for all, emotional maturity and a good sense of humor.

• Operate in a highly organized fashion, juggling multiple projects and meeting all deadlines.

• Excellent computation skills, analytical abilities, and competency in working with budgets.

• Adept at using technology, including Microsoft Office suite and donor database systems.

TO APPLY: Please submit your resume and cover letter to with Director of Philanthropy on the subject line.

Sponsors for Educational Opportunity is an Equal Opportunity Employer – M/F/D/V

Professional Level


Minimum Education Required

4-year degree

How To Apply

TO APPLY: Please submit your resume and cover letter to with Director of Philanthropy on the subject line.