Friends 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.
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.
The Senior Director of Major and Individual Giving (SDMIG) will be responsible for expanding the High Line’s individual contributed annual giving program from membership to major gifts. The SDMIG will further develop a large-scale major gifts and annual giving program to attract new donors, retain existing donors, and renew lapsed donors.
As a senior leader of the development team, the SDMIG will excel at frontline fundraising, develop strategy and infrastructure, and manage a team to achieve successful outcomes. In addition to overseeing direct mail and online solicitations, the SDMIG will manage the annual giving program, focusing on moves management and documented systems to deepen relationships with individuals in support of the High Line. The SDMIG will also manage a portfolio of some of the High Line’s top major gift prospects. With a campaign in the near future, the SDMIG will have an integral role in strategic efforts to develop the campaign pipeline and gift proposals, set goals and solicit campaign gifts.
This is an exciting opportunity for a leader to join a growing team to help build and strengthen effective fundraising systems and deliver on revenue goals while staying abreast of trends affecting revenue outcomes. Reporting to the Chief Advancement Officer, the SDMIG will oversee a team of six and work collaboratively with the Development and Communications teams.
This position provides the opportunity to help lead the High Line at a pivotal point in its history and take its individual and major giving to new levels.
Leadership and Management
All 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:
Senior Vice President, Principal
Development Guild DDI