Executive Director of Development

Job Type

Full Time


Details: Salary commensurate with education and experience.



Start Date:


Application Deadline:



New York
New York
United States



The CUNY School of Professional Studies (CUNY SPS) was founded in 2003 to meet the needs of working adults by developing distinctive programs and innovative practices. It offered its first degree program, an online bachelor’s degree, in 2006. Now with 25 degree programs, 19 of them online, it has become the chief provider of online degrees in CUNY, with a focus on professional master’s programs and degree-completer programs at the bachelor’s level. Affirming its leadership in online education, the School was ranked in the top 5% of U.S. News & World Report’s 2018 Best Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs, the highest ranked in New York State.

CUNY SPS is the fastest growing school in CUNY, with enrollments increasing over 30% in the last three years; it now has over 3400 students in its degree-credit programs. The School has also seen dynamic growth in its non-credit offerings, with a portfolio of grant-funded programs currently accounting for more than $20 million. Just 15 years from its founding, the School has an active Alumni Association, and the CUNY SPS Foundation, incorporated in 2011, offers students an array of scholarship opportunities.

The Executive Director for Development will be responsible for ensuring that the School’s fundraising keeps pace with the School’s significant growth and recognition. In promoting the public understanding and visibility of CUNY SPS, the Director will be working in partnership with an active and expanded CUNY SPS Foundation Board of Directors.

Working in this partnership with the Foundation Board, reporting directly to the Dean, the Executive Director of Development will develop and execute long- and short-term plans to support the School’s funding priorities with donor support. The Executive Director will provide direction to strengthen and expand individual, foundation and corporate donations and will be responsible for the growth of the School’s alumni campaign.

The Executive Director of Development will also:

•Grow philanthropic revenue and foster a culture of philanthropy at CUNY SPS

• Increase donor support by identifying new major donors as well as cultivating existing ones for annual and endowment gifts; inspire alumni and friends of the college to become donors: and create opportunities to keep all donors closely engaged in the life of the School

• Work closely with the Dean, the CUNY SPS Foundation Board, Associate Deans, faculty, staff and alumni to develop compelling requests to secure support for the annual fund, as well as program initiatives, scholarships, and endowments

•Identify and help recruit directors to serve on the CUNY SPS Foundation Board

• Strategically develop and evaluate a portfolio of prospects and manage an aggressive calendar of outreach that involves faculty, staff, alumni, board members, and volunteers in the solicitation process

•Establish fund raising goals and implement tracking and reporting mechanisms 

•Solicit and steward major gift requests

• Negotiate gift agreements, memoranda of understanding, and other documents formalizing donor commitments, and ensure these comply with all city, state, and federal regulations

•Research and write proposals and presentations for internal and external audiences

• Oversee the work of the Alumni Relations staff in planning and promotion of alumni programs that support a wide range of alumni, locally, regionally, and nationally

•Serve as the chief liaison to CUNY Central office on all development/fundraising strategies and efforts, and serve as chief spokesperson in the area of Development; develop and sustain effective relationships with all internal and external stakeholders

•Direct the management of the donor database

•Contribute broadly to the School’s mission and growth


This position is in CUNY's Executive Compensation Plan. All executive positions require a minimum of a Bachelor's degree and eight years' related experience.

The preferred candidate will be a skilled, knowledgeable fundraiser of demonstrated ability, will bring a broad strategic vision and the ability to implement that vision, and will have the capacity to work hard as well as to motivate and lead. Specific experience and attributes will include:

•Excellent leadership and communication skills

•An extensive record of achievement as a fundraiser

•A broad understanding of college advancement within the context of urban public higher education

•A proven record of success with a range of fundraising activities including securing major gifts from corporations and foundations as well as individuals

•The ability to communicate with and harness energies of a broad base of people from a wide range of backgrounds: board members, faculty, staff, public officials, business executives, students and alumni

•An understanding of development-specific technology to assess and improve systems and processes to further advancement goals

•An entrepreneurial and innovative approach to fundraising, including the agility, transparency and political astuteness to navigate the CUNY system

•The ability to strengthen and lead alumni and advancement programs to new levels of success at CUNY SPS


CUNY's benefits contribute significantly to total compensation, supporting health and wellness, financial well-being, and professional development. We offer a range of health plans, competitive retirement/pension benefits and savings plans, tuition waivers for CUNY graduate study and generous paid time off. Our staff also benefits from the extensive academic, arts, and athletic programs on our campuses and the opportunity to participate in a lively, diverse academic community in one of the greatest cities in the world.

Level of Language Proficiency


Professional Level


Minimum Education Required

4-year degree

How To Apply



Visit www.cuny.edu, access the employment page, log in or create a new user account, and search for this vacancy using the Job ID 18390 or Title. Select "Apply Now" and provide the requested information.

Candidates must attach a resume, cover letter and three professional references (name, title,

organization, and contact information).


April 8, 2018


CUNY Job Posting: Executive


CUNY encourages people with disabilities, minorities, veterans and women to apply. At CUNY, Italian Americans are also included among our protected groups. Applicants and employees will not be discriminated against on the basis of any legally protected category, including sexual orientation or gender identity. EEO/AA/Vet/Disability Employer.