Job Listings

Director, Parent Engagement and Philanthropy Program

Cornell University
Job Location:
Ithaca, New York
Development and Fundraising

Cornell University embraces diversity and seeks candidates who will contribute to a climate that supports students, faculty and staff of all identities and backgrounds. We strongly encourage individuals from underrepresented and/or marginalized identities to apply.

Cornell requires that all faculty and staff members, regardless of their work location, disclose their vaccination status, and provide proof of vaccination if vaccinated, immediately upon hire.

Cornell University, a nationally ranked Ivy League institution, is searching for a Director to lead the newly reimagined Parent Engagement and Philanthropy Program to join the Alumni Affairs & Development division in the appealing city of Ithaca, NY. The Director leads a team of 4 full time staff members and in partnership with the Executive Director, will provide strategic leadership and direction to engage and maximize philanthropic investment from one of Cornell's most important stakeholder groups.

Cornell's Parent Engagement and Philanthropy Program rivals those at the most prominent universities in the country. With almost 4,000 families joining Cornell's community each year, there is significant potential to feature parent philanthropy in the upcoming campaign. Parent volunteers and donors at Cornell are enthusiastic cheerleaders for the university and its colleges and units making annual gifts as well as six- and seven-figure investments.

Cornell provides exceptional benefits that include professional development, wellness programs, health care options, generous paid leave provisions, 12 holidays, employee education options, a retirement program, and Children's Tuition Assistance. Cornell receives national recognition, as an award-winning workplace for our health, wellbeing, sustainability, and diversity initiatives.Key Responsibilities:
  • Develop and implement a strategy that will deliver $20,000,000+ in new gifts and commitments on an annual basis by the end of Cornell's current campaign.

  • Lead a team of 4 FTE with the goal of building a sustainable pipeline of major and principal gifts donors among the parent population.

  • Partner with Principal Gifts and Major Gifts as well as college/unit and regional colleagues on prospect assignment and strategy for tracked parents, directing AAD parent engagement programs including the Parents Committee and Cornell Family Fellows (FF), coordinating FF Annual Fund parent solicitations with the annual giving and marketing and participation teams.

  • Serve as a major/principal gifts officer with an assigned prospect portfolio of approximately 25 parent prospects with the capacity to give $1,000,000 or more to the University.

  • Interacts with a variety of University colleagues, including those in Alumni Affairs and Development, the Division of Student and Campus Life/Athletics, College Student Services, and various academic departments and faculty members, among others.

  • Develop and maintain in-depth knowledge of university priorities, and inspire the respect and confidence of the executive, academic, trustee and volunteer leadership of Cornell University.

The Director must share the Division's commitment to creating an inclusive culture that values each staff members' unique perspective, skills, and experience and in doing so, creates a culture of belonging; will reinforce a respectful and non-discriminatory workplace, and support the team in committing to our diversity, equity and inclusion goals.

  • Bachelor's degree; 7 -10 years fundraising or related experience

  • Excellent oral and written communication skills; empathetic; good listener

  • Results oriented, proactive; proven organization skills; willingness to travel 45+ days per year

  • Good judgment and intuition; demonstrated computer competency and ability to learn new operating systems

  • Commitment to securing philanthropic support to advance Cornell's higher education mission

  • Comfort and facility with building remote relationships using virtual platforms

  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills are essential

Working Environment
  • Typically lifts less than 10 lbs

  • Normal concentration

  • Limited exposure to hazards

For Consideration:

Please upload a resume and cover letter for review.

University Job Title:

Major GIfts Ofcr IV

Job Family:

Alumni Affairs Development



Pay Rate Type:




Contact Name:

Sage Peake

Number of Openings:


Job Titles and Pay Ranges:

To learn more about Cornell's non-union staff job titles and pay ranges, see Career Navigator. The final rate of pay for the successful candidate will be determined considering the following criteria:

  • Prior relevant work or industry experience.

  • Education level to the extent education is relevant to the position.

  • Unique applicable skills.

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EEO Statement:

Diversity and Inclusion are a part of Cornell University's heritage. We are a recognized employer and educator valuing AA/EEO, Protected Veterans and Individuals with Disabilities. We also recognize a lawful preference in employment practices for Native Americans living on or near Indian reservations. Cornell University is an innovative Ivy League university and a great place to work. Our inclusive community of scholars, students, and staff impart an uncommon sense of larger purpose, and contribute creative ideas to further the university's mission of teaching, discovery, and engagement.

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