BACKGROUND: The 92nd Street Y (92Y) is a world-class not-for-profit cultural and community center that connects people at every stage of life to the worlds of education, the arts, health and wellness, and Jewish life. 92Y reaches thousands of New Yorkers annually through in-school arts education programs, talks, literary readings, concerts, dance performances, and educational classes, among many other programs that enrich lives and create community. As an innovative new media leader, 92Y leverages technology, recently reaching millions of virtual patrons from 200+ countries annually via online initiatives such as its digital Archives, livestreams, and virtual classes and events.
92Y programs are segmented into four operating pillars: Children’s and Family Programming, Arts, Community Center, and Bronfman Center for Jewish Life. Underlying and supporting 92Y’s four pillars is the work done by the Belfer Center for Innovation and Social Impact. The Belfer Center, which incubated programs such as Giving Tuesday, is a global leader in the field of innovation and social impact, creating programs to address major societal challenges and lending its expertise to the entire organization to help further 92Y’s mission. For more information, please visit 92Y.org.
THE OPPORTUNITY: The Vice President, Major Gifts and Special Events will be responsible for all contributed income from individual donors and prospects through the management of major gift strategies and through the successful execution of 92Y’s cornerstone fundraising and cultivation events. The Vice President will be accountable, through the management of a personal portfolio of donors, and the successful leadership of a team of frontline major gifts and special events professionals, for the achievement of contributed revenue goals obtained through major gift solicitations and implementation of special events. He/she/they will be a member of the Senior Development Team with oversight of the Major Gifts and Special Events function and will work closely with 92Y’s Board and leadership in the implementation of fundraising events.
The Vice President, Major Gifts and Special Events reports to the Chief Development Officer (CDO). Reporting to the Vice President is a professional team of eight.
FUNDING: 92Y has a current operating budget of roughly $62M. In past years (pre-COVID-19), about 70% of the organization’s operating budget was generated by earned revenue from its vast array of cultural, educational and community and wellness programs. The balance of the budget has historically been supported though philanthropy. In response to the pandemic, the 92Y board, donors, and patrons stepped up in extraordinary ways to support ongoing engagement and service delivery during an unprecedented time. The organization was able to pivot to offer a vast array of digital programming in virtually all disciplines as well as resuming some in-person activities once it was safe to do so.
As the institution plans for its 150th anniversary in 2024, 92Y now seeks to build upon its existing community of loyal and generous supporters and to help broaden the organization’s impact through increased philanthropic support. As part of a comprehensive strategic plan leading to this milestone anniversary, a capital campaign is in the planning stages with activity to begin toward the end of 2021.
- Genuine interest in 92Y, its mission, and diverse programming.
- Passion for arts, culture, and education.
- 10+ years of related major gift solicitation and special event experience in a fast-paced institution; planned giving experience is a plus.
- Proven track record of identifying, cultivating, stewarding, soliciting, and closing five-, six-, and seven-figure gifts as well as achieving and exceeding annual goals.
- Proven ability to utilize events as a vehicle for achieving contributed revenue goals.
- Confident leader and mentor able to inspire, motivate, and develop a fundraising team.
- Strong experience and confidence in working and communicating with board members, donors, and high-net-worth individuals.
- Charismatic and engaging—a superior relationship builder.
- Socially adept and at ease with a broad range of individuals.
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills with the proven ability to craft persuasive proposals and donor correspondence as well as engaging effectively and appropriately in person.
- Adherence to the highest ethical standards with the ability to act with discretion, self-assurance, and diplomacy.
- Sound judgement in maintaining strictest confidentiality of donor information.
- Demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in all facets of the workplace.
- Ability to work positively in a flexible team environment.
- Willingness and desire to attend evening/weekend programming activities in order to cultivate/steward key donors and prospects.
- Bachelor’s degree is required; an advanced degree is preferred.
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