Major Gifts Officer

November 2020 | New York, NY
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Friends of the High Line is seeking a dynamic, entrepreneurial and results-oriented professional to join their talented fundraising team as their new Major Gifts Officer.


About Friends of the High Line

family-walking-on-high-lineFriends of the High Line (the High Line) is both a nonprofit organization and a public park on the West Side of Manhattan. Through their work with communities on and off the High Line, they are devoted to reimagining public spaces to create connected, healthy neighborhoods and cities.

Built on a historic, elevated rail line, the High Line was always intended to be more than a park. You can walk through the gardens, view art, experience a performance, enjoy food or beverage, or connect with friends and neighbors—all while enjoying a unique perspective of New York City. The High Line was once destined for demolition. Luckily, the community rallied together to repurpose it instead, creating the park you see today, for everyone to enjoy. It has since become a global inspiration for cities to transform unused industrial zones into dynamic public spaces.

The High Line offers family, teen and education programs including interactive, nature-based, and art-making programs, paid job opportunities for local youth, and in-school and after-school programs for thousands of NYC public school students .

In 2019, The High Line launched the Sustainable Gardens Project, a pilot program that supports the initiation or expansion of innovative urban gardening projects focused on cultivating pollinator plants across New York City. The participants in the inaugural session are Brighter Choice Community School, Kelly Street Garden, JM Rapport School for Career Development Farm/Garden, The Farmers Garden, and DeWitt Clinton High School Campus. These five gardens will work with the horticulture team to attain technical assistance and knowledge, but, most importantly, to start a peer network of community-led, self-determined gardens.

The High Line is owned by the City of New York and they operate under a license agreement with NYC Parks.

About Philanthropy at Friends of the High Line

Philanthropy at the High Line is a strategic priority, and funding has grown steadily over the last few years. With the support of leadership and the Board, opportunity exists to continue to grow philanthropy at the High Line.

With a 2019 annual operating budget of $18M, and a slightly reduced 2020 operating budget, the High Line provides virtually all of the park’s operating budget. Individual giving accounts for more than $4 million annually, in addition to fundraising for additional restricted giving for specific projects. Nearly 100% of the High Line’s annual budget comes through donations.

With the help of a tremendously generous board, the High Line was able to cut their deficit in half during these unprecedented times. With a capital campaign on the horizon in the next few years, a prospect pool with exceptional potential and a robust membership, there is no better time to join the thriving development team at the High Line.

About the Position

people-walking-on-high-lineThe Major Gifts Officer (MGO) will oversee strategy, research, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship for a portfolio of approximately 150 donors and prospects with significant potential, focused on gifts of 5 figures and greater. The MGO will have the opportunity to deepen relationships with existing donors as well as conduct discovery work to identify and cultivate new prospects.

The MGO will maximize direct engagement with donors and develop a robust, personalized mail and digital program to support that engagement. They will develop a strong, concisely stated case for support for the organization’s vital programs and annual operations and will effectively utilize moves management systems in support of advancing direct solicitations of the major gifts portfolio. Reporting to the Senior Director of Individual Giving, the MGO will collaborate with the Chief Advancement Officer, Executive Director, and Associate Director of Development on overall program and donor strategy, while prioritizing a focus on direct donor engagement.

The position offers a unique opportunity for a high energy, creative, and entrepreneurial development professional to advance the mission of the High Line and help take their individual giving to new heights.

Key Responsibilities

Key Qualifications

An understanding of cultural fundraising and NYC donor/philanthropic landscape a plussculpture-on-high-lineAll qualified candidates will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

If you are interested in learning more or being considered for this upcoming search, please email your cover letter and resume in confidence to:

Suzanne Battit

Senior Vice President, Principal

Development Guild DDI

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