Based in Ithaca, New York, Cornell University is a leading, privately endowed research university and as the federal land-grant institution of New York State, Cornell University has a responsibility -- unique within the Ivy League -- to make contributions in fields of knowledge to help improve the quality of life in its state, the nation and the world. Its global campus footprint in Ithaca, New York City, Doha, Qatar and other regions across the world serves over 23,000 students. To provide these students with the highest level of education possible, Cornell University employs close to 10,000 faculty and staff. Its entire workforce -- faculty and staff -- contribute to the fabric of the community and the possibility for building on a long and recognized tradition of alumni relations and development excellence. The Division of Alumni Affairs and Development (AAD) facilitates lifelong relationships between alumni, parents, and friends and the university. We embrace an unwavering commitment to donor-centric fundraising and collaboration. Cornell's Division of Alumni Affairs and Development (AAD) seeks a seasoned team player to join Principal Gifts.
About the job...
The Principal Gifts Associate (PGA) partners with a Principal Gifts Officer (PGO) to manage 40+ of the university's closest and most generous families with the capacity to make gifts of $10M+. The PGA ensures timely, creative, and robust stewardship of hundreds of millions of dollars of lifetime giving to the university. The PGA works collaboratively with the PGO, development colleagues, faculty, students, and university staff, and plays a vital role in the effort to secure significant support for teaching and research programs and university priorities from individuals and their personal foundations.
Reporting to the PGO, with oversight from the Associate Vice President for Principal Gifts, the position requires experience, sensitivity, and diplomacy; understanding of the high-level relationship-building and strategies involved in securing complex gifts; and talent in guiding projects. The PGA manages and triages workflow to allow PGOs to spend optimal time interacting with prospects or working with senior academic leaders and faculty to advance goals. With a broad, sophisticated understanding of the university's strengths and in-depth knowledge of institutional priorities, the PGA contributes to setting and delivering principal gifts fundraising and engagement strategies and goals.
Creativity, flexibility, and a proactive approach are vital in this role. The PGA has excellent communication skills--verbal and written--and demonstrates exceptional integrity. With access to sensitive and confidential information, the PGA maintains a keen sense of accountability, sound judgement, and ethical professionalism in a deadline-driven, high-performing environment.
What are my key responsibilities?
Contribute to the management of prospect portfolios at the principal gifts level, advancing university-wide fundraising priorities as well as new and emerging initiatives.
Collaborate with AAD colleagues, faculty, and university staff to develop and implement highly-personalized engagement, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship strategies. Plan and facilitate the involvement of university leaders.
Accountable for key action items, follow-up, and project management in the delivery of prospect strategies within a rapidly-evolving environment with competing priorities, opportunities, challenges, and deadlines.
Coordinate and create comprehensive, cohesive briefing materials to prepare university representatives, including the president, provost, deans, faculty, and senior development staff, for cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of principal gift prospects.
Prepare well-researched, well-written, and compelling proposals for philanthropic support. These proposals are often complex and highly individualized, and--with input from university leaders and faculty--help attract transformational gifts to advance Cornell's mission.
Produce special reports and analyze data to be utilized by university leaders, including the president, provost, deans, faculty, and senior development staff.
Write highly-customized, detailed correspondence on behalf of the president, provost, deans, faculty, and senior development staff.
Plan and deliver innovative, creative, and individually-tailored multimedia stewardship activities--a key component of the university's donorcentric fundraising model--utilizing excellent writing, photography, videography, design, photo editing, and video production skills.
Help write complex gift agreements, sometimes involving collaboration with planned giving colleagues and legal counsel. Initiate and manage gift agreement protocols, board agenda items, and recognition procedures, adhering to university policies.
Create and submit nominations to recognize principal gift prospects for Cornell University Council, college and unit advisory councils, and other volunteer leadership groups, as well as awards and honors.
Manage high-level events and recognition activities in Ithaca and in locations around the globe, sometimes involving complex live-stream components.
Interface with University Communications and outside vendors to develop communications plans and strategies around gift announcements and other key events.
Coordinate multifaceted prospect campus visits.
In the PGO's absence, represent principal gifts in interactions with prospects, academic leaders, faculty, and external partners.
Track and document prospect activities, including contact reports, correspondence, and stewardship touches.
Partner with other PGOs and Major Gifts Officers to manage and deliver key cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship actions.
With oversight by PGO, may manage a small portfolio of principal gifts prospects.
We are looking for...
Bachelors Degree with at least 3 years or work experience.
Demonstrated strong time and project management skills and ability to work independently with little supervision.
Ability to set priorities and successfully manage multiple projects and competing deadlines. Ability to manage complex issues creatively and effectively.
Superior writing skills. Ability to digest and effectively communicate complex academic content to lay audiences.
Sound judgement and demonstrated experience dealing with sensitive and confidential data and information in a professional and ethical manner.
Flexibility to take on new assignments as needed and deal with ambiguity as new programs and paradigms emerge. Evidence of being highly adaptable in working with evolving priorities.
Ability to work collaboratively as part of a team, frequently problem solving for others' projects and prospects as well as working your own assigned projects.
Exceptional communication, relationship-building, and inter-personal skills. Ability to work with individuals from across the university's campuses, as well as external partners.
Demonstrated experience in producing high-quality deliverables in a deadline-driven, high-performing environment.
Excellent computer skills, including competency with the Microsoft Office suite, databases, and the internet. Strong data management and research skills.
Ability to learn and understand the university's priorities and accounting and financial processes.
Understanding of the concepts and principles of nurturing fundraising, campaign and/or project fundraising, and speculative fundraising. Comfort and familiarity with prospect identification, relationship building, strategizing, and solicitation at the principal or major gifts level.
Patience for the process and time-frame of developing gift ideas within an academic decision-making environment.
Maturity to maintain neutrality where there are competing interests.
Knowledge of and appreciation for the mission of a major research university and ability to represent it broadly.
Ability to work both independently and collegiality with a diverse range of colleagues, faculty, donors, volunteers, and prospects in building consensus and achieving desired outcomes.
High energy, initiative, creativity, drive, and discretion.
What we offer...
The opportunity to be a leader in a top-tier fundraising organization whose mission directly supports a world-class research university that is educating the leaders of tomorrow.
A broad set of competitive benefits, including educational opportunities, access to on-site wellness programs, health care options, 3 weeks of vacation, 12 days off during the holidays, and superior retirement contributions.
An active and diverse community to work and thrive in! Cornell is situated in picturesque Ithaca, New York, the heart of the Finger Lakes.
Ithaca is home to two academic institutions, state parks, waterfalls, gorges, and a wide range of art galleries, theaters, eateries, wineries, and breweries. Ithaca has something to suit all ages and interests!
Convenient campus-to-campus bus service to NYC (227 miles).
-Typically lifts less than 10 lbs
-Limited exposure to hazards
University Job Title:
Gift Associate II
Pay Rate Type:
Number of Openings:
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