Development Officer, Schwarzman Center, Parent Gifts

Yale University seeks a talented fundraiser to join Alumni Affairs and Development in support of the new Yale Schwarzman Center (YSC). Reporting to both the director of parent gifts and the deputy director of YSC, the YSC development officer will engage and solicit prospective donors to Yale University for gifts in the $10,000 to $250,000 range and will play a central role collaborating with YSC staff and development officers across the university. This new role will be responsible for identifying, engaging, and cultivating relationships with recently graduated alumni, as well as parents and friends, in support of programming at the YSC, a new hub for student life and the arts at Yale. This will include organizing personalized visits to campus, virtual tours, and other activities to inspire and strengthen relationships with new donors and friends to the arts at Yale. The ideal candidate will be expected to build productive relationships across the university with leaders, key administrators, faculty members, unit development directors, and gift officers to partner with them on case strategy, prospect cultivation, and proposal writing. They will be responsible for written communications including donor correspondence, proposals, administrator briefings, and stewardship, and will collaborate closely with central development and YSC leadership on creative engagement strategies. This may include conducting research, writing, coordinating cultivation events, developing itineraries, reporting on activity, and tracking expenses. The ideal candidate will be a creative thinker and problem solver, and appropriately persistent in their approach to engaging and networking with artists and supporters. Familiarity with the cultural sector (nonprofit and/or commercial such as TV/film/media, theater, dance, music, comedy) would be useful in leveraging this new role to collaborate effectively with campus partners and prospective donors.
This position is an ideal opportunity for an ambitious, high-performing, collaborative, development professional to join the new YSC team as the center launches in 2021.
This position will begin remotely until Yale’s campus reopens more widely, currently estimated around late summer/early fall. As public health conditions allow, this position will be expected to travel as needed to achieve fundraising goals and will be expected to host potential supporters at the center for tours, performances, and conversations. This could include nights and weekends.
YSC is committed to driving positive social change. We are building an inclusive, equitable, and anti-racist organization made up of individuals who share and support the goals set forth in the center’s mission, and who reflect the diversity of the communities we serve.

Principal responsibilities

  1. Identifies, cultivates and solicits Yale parents who are capable of making major gifts to the University; create and present proposals for consideration according to donor’s interest and financial situation. 
  2. Initiates and maintains contact with prospective donors. 
  3. Acts as liaison among the Office of Development, university officers, various university departments and donors. 
  4. Solicits major gifts from donors directly and working with volunteers, administrators and other department colleagues. Develops, writes and presents proposals appropriate to donor’s interest and financial situation. 
  5. Develops financial solicitation programs and meet activity and revenue goals. Promotes positive donor relations. Raises major gifts to fund university programs and enhance development efforts of Schools and Units, with an emphasis on key university funding priorities. 
  6. Devises and recommends cultivation and solicitation strategies. Determines and executes events and programs in support of development activities. Recognizes disinterested donors and devise strategies to redirect their interests. 
  7. Interacts with external contacts such as volunteers, alumni, friends and other prospective donors to cultivate and solicit gifts. Proactively engages development volunteers in a variety of roles, including identification, cultivation, solicitation and events. 
  8. Interacts with internal contacts such as deans, directors, faculty, officers and other development staff to consult on university needs, formulate proposal strategies and identify potential donors. 
  9. Evaluates various gift opportunities and giving vehicles; recommends the most suitable for a particular donor. Assesses success of development events and programs and recommend changes. 
  10. May perform other duties as assigned.

Required skills and abilities

  1. Excellent written and oral communication skills with special emphasis on advanced writing ability. Experience synthesizing and prioritizing information from a wide array of sources while maintaining an attention to detail and effectively managing overall workflow.
  2. Demonstrates initiative, drive, and resiliency to secure meetings with prospective donors. Creative, innovative, flexible, with excellent organizational and analytical skills. Demonstrates emotional intelligence as well as intellectual and social curiosity. 
  3. Proactive, productive team contributor with a positive attitude and sense of humor. Demonstrated ability to follow through on commitments and take personal responsibility for outcomes. Persistent, results oriented and driven to succeed personally, and is inspired by challenging team goals and the belief that art inspires hope. 
  4. The ability to work independently, manage multiple projects effectively and maintain a high degree of professionalism and confidentiality in a complex team-oriented, environment. Sensitivity to and ability to maintain confidentiality of information and materials.
  5. The interest and ability to be an active presence at the center to look for opportunities to engage new donors on content. Willingness to attend nights and weekend activities to achieve engagement and fundraising objectives. Willingness and ability to travel when safe to do so. 

Required education and experience

Bachelor’s degree and a minimum of four years of experience in fundraising or a related field, preferably in higher education or equivalent combination of education and experience.

Preferred education, experience, and skills

Experience fundraising in the arts and nonprofit sector, especially higher education. Familiarity with dance, theater, music, visual arts, and digital media. Familiarity with event planning, organizing/staffing site visits. Experience in cold calling, negotiating, and closing gifts. Proficient in Word, Excel and related systems to produce reports and analysis.