Assistant Director of Recognition Programs

Job Type

Full Time




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


Reporting to the Associate Director, the Assistant Director will play a vital role in building, implementing, and managing University-wide giving societies and stewardship programs that recognize, inform and engage donors through strategic communications, reporting and outreach activities. The Assistant Director will work independently, under the direction of the Associate Director, to provide high-level project management, as well as analytical and technical expertise to support and advance the goals of the Office of Strategic Donor Relations and Stewardship and Office of Alumni and Development.

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to the following:

-         Develop, drive, and execute programming for Columbia’s Benefactor Society, honoring lifetime donors of at least $1 million. This includes identifying and welcoming new members, planning and executing Presidential communications and special events, coordinating and executing mailings, educating colleagues, and undertaking special projects as assigned. Incumbent will also provide strategic direction for initiatives in partnership with various offices within the Office of Alumni and Development to connect with this group in new and exciting ways.

-         Lead management of Columbia’s 1754 Society, recognizing donors who make planned gifts and bequests to the University. This includes identifying and welcoming new members, executing special communications, and planning strategic engagement events. Incumbent will be a key liaison to the Office of Gift Planning and will take the lead in growing and enhancing this program in support of University-wide planned giving goals.

-         Manage recognition society data infrastructure to ensure that all donors are properly tracked in the central database. This includes identifying and coding new members, creating membership data analyses, conducting data audits, generating mailing lists for events, and recommending strategies to enhance processes, increase efficiency, and solve data gaps.

-         Implement e-mail communications, such as event invitations and targeted stewardship touches, via mass e-mail utility tool.

-         Oversee University-wide public donor recognition initiatives, including developing and implementing long-term strategies for optimal recognition formats (physical, digital, etc.) relative to donor constituents.

-         Serve as a University leader and resource for best practices in recognition and naming standards, processes, and procedures for school-based development and stewardship colleagues across Columbia’s schools, departments, and programs.     

-         Work closely with the Associate Director to support growing stewardship needs for the University’s most generous donors to ensure they are engaged and informed of the impact of their gifts including management and execution of stewardship events, donor milestone recognition, writing and production of ad hoc personalized impact reports, endowment financial reporting, management of special gifts inventory, and the production of bespoke gifts.

-         Assist Associate Director with other duties related to fostering the strategic direction of university-wide stewardship. Work to support and advance overarching goals of the Office of Strategic Donor Relations and Stewardship, and Office of Alumni and Development.

Minimum Qualifications:

Bachelor’s degree or equivalent with at least four years of related or transferable experience. Candidate must be flexible and willing to take on new responsibilities within a growing program. Competencies should include a firm understanding of donor relations practices; demonstrated project management skills; experience planning and executing complex events; excellent verbal, written, and organizational skills; robust data management skills with particular strength in Excel; overall proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite and experience with donor databases; and demonstrated ability to multi-task while maintaining accuracy and independently establishing priorities. Candidate must have discipline, creativity, good intuition, discretion, and excellent interpersonal skills.

Preferred Qualifications:

Knowledge of the Advance databases. Experience with mass e-mail utility tools, such as Salesforce Marketing Cloud.

Columbia University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.


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

Professional Level

None specified

Minimum Education Required

4-year degree