Assistant Director, Development

Columbia University | New York, New York


Columbia University is geared as never before to address world issues from climate change to social justice. The Columbia Commitment builds partnerships with donors and volunteers sharing an urgent sense of what Columbians can do for our students and the world.

Job Summary

Reporting to the Senior Director of Entrepreneurship for OAD and partnering closely with the Special Advisor to the President of Columbia University, the Assistant Director of Development will play a critical role in the fundraising program of Columbia Entrepreneurship (CE).

Because so much of the work done by CE is in collaboration with other organizations across campus, exemplary relationship management and client service are key attributes of the ideal candidate. Also, because this role is primarily focused on fundraising, the ideal candidate will need to show a proven history of success in volunteer management, alumni relations, and/or fundraising.   Because Columbia Entrepreneurship is a University-wide initiative, the Assistant Director will often need to communicate, coordinate, and collaborate with school-specific fundraisers and with Central Development teams to avoid overlapping agenda and to take advantage of opportunities as they arise. Preference will be given to those candidates who have proven success working with multiple-partner organizations or within complex organizational structures.

The Assistant Director of Development will need to partner with the whole Columbia Entrepreneurship team and with other entrepreneurship centers and departments in other schools to understand the University’s full portfolio of entrepreneurship initiatives at Columbia. The Assistant Director will work with the Senior Director and with the Special Advisor, as well as with leading program managers and senior administrators, to conduct research, preliminary prospecting, prospect qualification, arranging meetings with prospects, documenting donor contacts, and tracking and processing gifts.


The Assistant Director for Development, will be responsible for a broad portfolio of tasks including but not limited to

  • Building and maintaining relationships with both new and current donors;
  • Assisting the Senior Director of Development and Special Advisor to engage and qualify high-level donors, creating and identifying new giving opportunities, and stewarding existing donors.
  • In coordination with the Senior Director, engaging and qualifying donors and soliciting annual fund gifts;
  • Managing relationships and keeping communication channels open with alumni relations and development teams in other schools and within the Office of Alumni and Development;
  • Coordinating with the CE finance team to process and track gifts;
  • Scheduling meetings between prospects and the CE fundraising team;
  • Documenting donor contacts;
  • The Assistant Director should also expect to receive an array of special projects and related duties as the CE organization grows and as opportunities arise.


The ideal candidate will be deadline-driven with strong writing skills and an intense attention to detail. In addition, this individual will be proactive in internal client, donor, and volunteer management, anticipating problems that may arise, and quickly and independently resolving unforeseen situations along the way. Demonstrated ability to work in a high pressure, fast-paced environment. Demonstrated excellence in a variety of competencies including: project management, teamwork, analytical thinking and client/customer awareness. Must possess the ability to work with changing priorities and multiple projects. Excellent analytical, organizational, interpersonal, oral and written communication skills, including a high level of attention to detail and active listening skills. Must be able to problem-solve and troubleshoot, in addition to the ability to work independently in a dynamic team environment. Demonstrated ability to effectively partner with a diverse group of administrators and academic leaders. Must be able to negotiate issues, resolve problems, and have strong influencing skills.

The successful candidate must be a strategic thinker, effective in moving strategic agendas, ensure the utmost discretion in all matters, as well as possess an ability to work well with all levels of management, both internally and externally, be flexible in nature, have a sound judgment with a collaborative style that fosters teamwork and cooperation beyond the immediate team to the broader organization. Must have a passion for excellent customer service and commitment to exceptional quality. 

Bachelor's degree and/or its equivalent, including a minimum of three to five years related experience required. Prior experience working with non-profit volunteer management, university-based alumni relations, and/or fundraising is preferred. Prior experience working in a higher educational institution is highly preferred.

Must have a valid driver's license and be able and willing to travel. Some night and weekend work will be required. Strong proficiency in all Microsoft Office applications including Access, Excel, Word, and PowerPoint are necessary.

Columbia University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.

How to Apply

Columbia University


Organization: Educational Institutions