Ithaca, NY

Development Director, Cornell Atkinson Center, Cornell University

The Organization

Cornell University, a nationally ranked Ivy League institution, is looking for a Director of Development, Atkinson Center to join the Alumni Affairs & Development division in Ithaca, NY.

The Cornell Atkinson Center for Sustainability seeks an innovative and strategic development leader to serve as its next Director of Development (DOD). As Cornell embarks on the public phase of its multi-billion-dollar campaign and the Atkinson Center enters a period of rapid growth, the DOD will lead the individual philanthropic efforts for the Atkinson Center and play a significant role in increasing its awareness and support.

The DOD will join a dynamic and passionate senior leadership team led by David Lodge, the Francis J. DiSalvo Director. S/He will provide a strategic vision for all aspects of fundraising for the Atkinson Center and will collaborate with the Director and Associate Vice President for Alumni Affairs and Development to develop and translate its top priorities into a comprehensive engagement and development program. The DOD will build and advance strong relationships with alumni, friends, corporations, and foundations, resulting in philanthropic contributions through collaborations with an extended alumni affairs and development partnership and the management of a portfolio of major gifts prospects.

The DOD will work also have the exciting opportunity to work alongside and collaborate with the fundraising leader(s) for the 2030 Project: A Cornell Climate Initiative.  Launched in 2022, The 2030 Project will mobilize world-class faculty to develop and accelerate tangible solutions to the climate challenge. From transforming food and energy systems and reducing greenhouse emissions to advancing environmental justice and shaping policy, Cornell will harness the power of collaborative scholarship, science, innovation, and entrepreneurialism to advance climate solutions in this decisive decade for climate action.

The successful candidate will be an intellectually curious and networked fundraiser with the ability to navigate complex organizations and work in a start-up environment. An interest in and commitment to sustainability and the mission of Cornell Atkinson is a must. The ideal candidate will be comfortable with ambiguity and change, open to new ideas and creative approaches to work, relish new growth opportunities, and be keen to learn. Increasing collaboration across the University to successfully build and grow the Atkinson Center’s fundraising program to its greatest potential is a fundamental expectation.

Rewards and Benefits

Cornell receives national recognition, as an award-winning workplace for our health, wellbeing, sustainability, and diversity initiatives. Benefits include:

  • Comprehensive health care options
  • Access to wellness programs
  • Employee discounts with local and national retail brands
  • Generous retirement contributions
  • Leave provisions including three weeks of vacation and 12 holidays
  • Impressive educational benefits include tuition-free Extramural Study and Employee Degree Program, Tuition Aid for external education, and Cornell Children’s Tuition Assistance program
  • Learn more about benefit opportunities

Position Overview

  • Development Director will serve as the chief development officer for, and manager of, the Center’s alumni affairs and development program, with responsibility for securing private philanthropic support.

  • Lead the strategic management of a comprehensive development program that executes on the unit’s and university’s strategic philanthropic priorities

  • Build and advance strong relationships with alumni and friends that result in philanthropic contributions to the Atkinson Cent by leading the college’s major gifts, leadership gifts, annual fund, and any other special project

  • Coordinate initiatives with individual giving officers and other AAD colleagues and serve as a major gift officer for 50 prospective donors with the capacity to give $250,000 or more.

  • Devises strategies for engagement in alignment with unit priorities, fundraising, and otherwise

  • Manage relationships with individual giving officers outside of Cornell Atkinson AAD office to assist with prospect strategies.

  • DOD will be the primary thought partner on development for the Center’s Director, David Lodge, and serve as a member of his senior leadership team.

Core Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree and a minimum of five to seven years of experience in development, individual fundraising, or closely related experience
  • Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal
  • Effective organizational skills and strong detail orientation
  • Superb listening skills with a relationship-oriented approach
  • Intellectual curiosity, capacity, and versatility to understand and promote the latest scientific research and thought leadership in sustainability across multiple disciplines
  • Ability to work in a fact-pasted, complex environment while handling multiple tasks and competing priorities
  • Ability to work independently while supporting the efforts of an overall team
  • Ability to work effectively and collaborate with a large, diverse staff network
  • Ability to learn and effectively apply knowledge of university and college priorities and programs within a fund-raising effort
  • Sound judgment, tact, and discretion in handling highly confidential and sensitive information
  • Ability to develop innovative and creative options to increase potential prospect base
  • Ability to develop effective strategies to meet stated goals.

This position is based in Ithaca, NY with the opportunity to work in a hybrid environment.

Visa sponsorship is not available for this position.

Apply directly:–Cornell-Atkinson-Center-for-Sustainability_WDR-00031659-1

Sign up