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Major Gifts Officer - New York Academy of Sciences

Company: New York Academy of Sciences
Date Posted: December 26, 2016

The New York Academy of Sciences is an independent, not-for-profit organization committed to advancing science and technology since 1817. With 20,000+ members in 140 countries, the Academy has one of the world’s most elite networks of experts and partner organizations. Twenty-seven Nobel Prize winners and numerous academic and industry executives sit on its President’s Council and Board of Governors. It participates in alliances with 40 universities and academic medical centers, as well as scores of multinational companies and NGOs. The Academy uses these networks to catalyze path-breaking initiatives for scientific, social, and economic benefit, both locally, in New York, and globally, in developed economies and emerging markets.


The Academy’s core mission is to advance scientific knowledge, positively impact the major global challenges of society with science-based solutions, and increase the number of scientifically informed individuals at large. It achieves its mission through innovative programs in life sciences—including expanding initiatives in nutrition and Alzheimer’s disease; physical sciences—including programs in energy and environmental science; and critical areas of science policy and education. In addition, it plays a major role in providing advice and assistance to government leaders who are hoping to better use their science-and-technology talent base to drive innovation for economic and social betterment. Clients have included the prime minister of Malaysia, the ruler of Qatar, the president of Russia, and the mayor of Mexico City.


In essence, the Academy facilitates communications among scientists, physicians, students, educators, executives, policy makers, government officials, and journalists from around the globe through its interdisciplinary conferences, meetings, workshops, and diverse electronic and print publications. The Academy employs 85 professional and support staff and has an annual operating budget of over $18 million.


The New York Academy of Sciences is located at 7 World Trade Center in lower Manhattan. More information can be found on the NYAS website:





As a 501(c) (3) charity organization, the Academy seeks philanthropic support to carry out its mission and ensure that the institution has the resources, talent, and ability to deliver its innovative programs. The Academy is seeking a Major Gifts Officer (MGO) to complement the team of Development professionals responsible for meeting fundraising and campaign goals.


The MGO will be responsible for developing and managing strong relationships with current and new donors, Board members, partner organizations, and other stakeholders to create a portfolio of top fundraising prospects and donors. For each individual in the portfolio, the MGO will create an innovative marketing plan, to include discovery, cultivation, solicitation, and closure strategies. To ensure the success of these plans, the MGO will work collaboratively with the President/CEO and EVP/Chief Operating Officer (COO) and engage participation from Academy leadership and other stakeholders, as required.


The MGO will have a matrixed reporting relationship to both the President/CEO and the EVP/COO.


RESPONSIBILITIES: The specific responsibilities include but are not limited to:


  • Develop an extensive understanding of the Academy, its mission, strategy and programs, and Development’s strategic plan and other fundraising priorities.  


  • Create and implement a plan for major gifts fundraising that is aligned with the Academy’s annual goals; continuously expand the portfolio of high-net-worth individuals and foundations capable of making significant gifts; assist in closure of current opportunities with high-net-worth donors and foundations.


  • Independently manage the major gifts fundraising process for individual donors he/she develops, to include: research, discovery, engagement, selling, and closing. Set up solicitation meetings with executive and scientific leadership, as required. Ensure that all deadlines are met and follow-up actions are carried out.


  • Establish strong working relationships with Academy leadership, Board and Council members, representatives of partner organizations, Development colleagues, and especially those Academy staff members who are experts in the areas that donors will want to fund, such as education; strategies for capacity building and innovation, and the biomedical and physical sciences; partner with them in the solicitation/closure process, where appropriate.


  • Keep the President/CEO, EVP/COO and Academy leadership up to date on progress against goals, outlining potential issues and opportunities through regular and clear communication.




  • A bachelor’s degree is required. Advanced degrees are desirable, but not required.




  • 5+ years of fundraising experience, with at least 3 years in major gifts, is required. Campaign experience is not required but desirable.


  • Experience in a nonprofit is required; experience in both large and small organizations is desirable.


  • Keen curiosity about science and its role in society.


  • Proven success in creating fundraising strategies and implementing them to achieve goals in competitive environments.


  • Master of best practices in the field of fundraising. Specialist in individual-gifts fundraising. Demonstrated track record of closing six-figure gifts.


  • Expertise with entire continuum of fundraising process for individual donors (research/ discovery/priority setting/engagement/selling/closing). Loves the process and winning.


  • Demonstrated skill at recognizing potential donors and conceiving innovative fundraising strategies. Sees opportunities where others do not. Thinks “out of the box”.


  • A record of success in conceptualizing and articulating long-range financial development goals; ability to quickly grasp financial and programmatic concepts and package them into cogent, fundable programs.
  • Marketing mind-set: able to articulate the organization’s mission and vision, create a compelling value proposition, and “sell” it to others.


  • Outstanding personal communication skills; ability to present ideas and influence a variety of people and audiences; can structure and lead solicitation meetings. (Writing samples will be required.)


  • Success at cultivating strong relationships with all internal and external stakeholders: current and potential donors, colleagues, and other stakeholders.


  • Financially and technologically savvy: understands budgets, financial goals, and the ROI of programs; has working knowledge of Raiser’s Edge.


  • Accustomed to working in a matrix environment; comfortable with ambiguity.




  • Exudes credibility and professionalism. Quickly builds confidence in others. Persuasive, with excellent influencing skills.


  • Highly confident, results-driven person not easily intimidated.


  • Interested in and knowledgeable about science and able to engage in discussion of scientific ideas.


  • Exceptional social and interpersonal skills; charismatic; very likeable and makes positive first impression; sophisticated; comfortable interacting with high-net-worth individuals, high-level executives, and academics.


  • Flexible: able to work independently, with minimal support, and also to collaborate with colleagues. Team player who understands his/her role in relationship to others.


  • Unquestionable personal integrity and highly committed, passionate about the Academy’s mission and vision.


  • Smart and insightful – mentally tough and resilient — politically astute. Able to depersonalize feedback and act on it


  • An independent “self-starter”; high-energy individual, with the necessary drive and stamina to respond to the demands of the position.




The position offers a very competitive compensation and comprehensive benefit package. Relocation provided.




Applicants should send a current resume in Word format and a summary of relevant fundraising experience/credentials to:


Ms. Chiharu Arai

3D Leadership, LLC