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Senior Director, Individual Giving

Institute for Citizens & Scholars
Institute for Citizens & Scholars
Job Functions:
Sales & Business Development
Employment Types:
Posted on:

The Senior Director, Individual Giving will manage and activate a portfolio of current and prospective donors largely focused west of the Mississippi River. Working closely with C&S's President and Chief Development Officer (who both love to fundraise!) and supported by a strong board and senior team, the Senior Director will inspire and close gifts from major donors through many types of giving vehicles in order to increase revenue that will help the organization innovate and scale promising practices in the nascent field of civic learning.

Reporting to the Chief Development Officer, the Senior Director will be in a highly externally facing role. This person is expected to spend approximately 75% of work time with donors and donor prospects, either in person or virtually, with significant travel likely. The ideal candidate will have a proven record of major gift fundraising utilizing a collaborative sales approach and some experience with non-cash or planned giving. Additionally, successful candidates will possess the leadership skills and interpersonal judgment to interact successfully across the organization’s team, programs, wide variety of stakeholders, and some of its most important external relationships. To succeed, the Senior Director must demonstrate a high level of skill, accuracy, flexibility, and discretion.

This role, like all roles at C&S, is based out of our Princeton, NJ headquarters, and will require monthly visits to the Princeton office. However, because the position is primarily focused on fundraising in the Western U.S., most time will be spent working remotely.

Essence of the Position

Cultivate and Nurture Relationships: If you are the successful candidate for this Senior Director role, you will work in close partnership with the President and the Development Team to ensure that all donors feel valued and that their gifts are impactful. Your success will flow from your ability to understand, prioritize, and manage hundreds of existing relationships, while also introducing new people to our work.

Brand Ambassador: You will represent the Institute for Citizens & Scholars externally. You will demonstrate graciousness and gratitude, helping create the best experience for all interested parties. As you become more knowledgeable about all the projects, programs, and events at C&S, you’ll develop a valuable perspective on how external people think about our work, what value they attach to our brand, and what their greatest interests are. This, in turn, will help you communicate effectively about our work.

Revenue Generator: You will set very ambitious revenue targets and execute action plans to achieve the stated goals in service of the organization's growth and innovation.

Primary Responsibilities

• Set the strategy for fundraising west of the Mississippi River. Identify top targets among current funders and new business development leads and ensure an effective strategy is in place to build and achieve an annual $2M major gifts fundraising target, with additional program-specific funding goals as needed.

• In consultation with the Chief Development Officer and President, create and implement a tactical plan to activate, cultivate, solicit, and steward major gifts ($25,000+) from a strong existing portfolio of current and potential donors to achieve annual goals, including maintaining a healthy pipeline and consistent movement through the sales funnel.

• Partner with the Communications and Engagement Team to grow the pipeline with new major gift prospects.

• Help to build C&S’ planned giving and other non-cash giving strategies, including supporting the communications strategy, engaging with current major donors about the opportunity, and drafting gift agreements in alignment with donor intent.

• Participate in monthly donor strategy sessions, likely in person.

• Establish and manage a schedule of regular communications with major gift donors, including writing some pieces as needed.

• Serve as a partner and mentor to other team members, supporting them in achieving their goals in a highly collaborative environment.

• Use data to track team performance in the spirit of continuous improvement and reflection.

• Contribute to the consistent use of fundraising systems, aligned with established business practices.


• Bachelor’s degree required, graduate degree preferred.

• A minimum of 7-9 years of professional fundraising or comparable experience is required. Must demonstrate experience in soliciting five- and six-figure gifts, managing trustee relationships, and working closely with executive leadership.

• Easy access to an airport, with the ability to travel at least 50% time.

• Experience using Raiser's Edge, Salesforce and/or other fundraising software is strongly preferred. Excellent written and verbal communication skills.

• Proven ability to multi-task in a fast-paced, entrepreneurial setting.

• Technological proficiency in MS Office Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook) and with a variety of virtual meeting technologies including Zoom and Microsoft Teams.


Mission-oriented and outcomes-driven. You are committed to and hold a strong belief in the potential of the Citizens & Scholars mission. You know deeply that the future of the organization relies on your achieving your goals. This responsibility excites you.

Highly relationship-oriented. You maintain relationships across all levels of the organization and with a broad spectrum of stakeholders.

Confident, self-assured, direct, and humble. You are diplomatic, you’re a good listener, and you are very comfortable making asks of people in non-transactional manner.

Strong task management and execution skills. You are strategic, thoughtful, and resourceful. You bring in the right members of the team to advance each individual relationship to maximize the benefit to the organization and the individual. You share information, coordinate effectively, and execute responsibilities while working seamlessly across teams.

Judgment. You are able to make decisions with the data available; you are also able to understand when it is necessary to have help or insights in advance of making a decision.

Strong communicator. You possess exceptional written and oral communication skills and communicate effectively at all levels, one-on-one and in groups. You write clearly and succinctly and easily adjust to different communication settings and styles.

Our Core Values

We are constantly learning and improving. We test and refine new ideas and learn from our mistakes. We dare to question old solutions. We seek opportunities to collaborate with our diverse team; different backgrounds, skill sets, and thinking styles give us valuable new perspectives. We share knowledge and insights with each other to help us grow as individuals and as an organization.

We value diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging for all. We believe that we are stronger for our differences, and we acknowledge, respect, and appreciate them. We actively work with and learn from everyone—across all demographics, backgrounds, ideologies, and geographies. We identify areas where we differ and, for the good of the organization and each other, we explore and engage with differing perspectives.

We are gracious and grateful in all that we do. We invest in our relationships with warmth and a sense of humor. We express gratitude to all our colleagues and stakeholders. While we strive for excellence, we recognize that no one is perfect. We give others the benefit of the doubt and act with kindness and integrity.

We are attentive and intentional. We are aware of the needs of the world and those around us so that our work has a real impact. Our work is mission-driven and we know the “whys”—both large and small—behind what we do. Recognizing that details matter, we are equally committed to quality.

To Apply

Simply email your resume to with “Senior Director, Individual Giving” as the subject of the email. Please include your resume as a Word or PDF attachment to the email and paste your cover letter in the body of your email.

C&S will consider all qualified applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, veteran status, or any other basis protected by law. This position may require pre-employment screening potentially including a criminal background check, verification of academic credentials, licenses, certifications, and/or verification of work history.

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