Co-Director, Institutional Relations

New York, NY
Full Time

The Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law is a nonpartisan law and policy institute that seeks to improve the systems of democracy and justice in the United States. We work to hold our political institutions and laws accountable to the twin American ideals of democracy and equal justice for all. Among our core priorities, we fight to protect voting rights, end mass incarceration, strengthen checks and balances, and preserve constitutional protection in the fight against terrorism. Part think tank, part advocacy group, part cutting-edge communications hub, we start with rigorous research. We craft innovative policies. And we fight for them — in Congress and the states, the courts, and in the court of public opinion.    

Position Overview. The Co-Director of Institutional Relations will serve in a leadership role for the Brennan Center and its Development team, which is charged with raising upwards of $38M annually from a diverse base of individual and institutional supporters, as well as additional gifts for special funds.  

The co-director will serve as a lead strategist, principal fundraiser, and co-leader for the Institutional Relations (“IR”) team of 5, while regularly collaborating with the full Development team of 16.  

This new role will focus on significantly growing revenues from institutions, with primary responsibility for building corporate giving and executing prospecting strategies to secure new foundation supporters. Currently, the $9M portfolio consists of approximately 45 active donors, mostly foundations and a handful of corporations/law firms. This position will personally steward and manage a subset (approximately 20%) of existing institutional donors and will lead business and law firm fundraising for the spring dinner gala to help reach a $1M goal.  

This position will directly report to the Vice President, Development. This position also regularly works with and advises organizational and program leadership, including the organization’s President/CEO. They also will have at least one direct report to manage and will regularly supervise the full team. 

Note: The Brennan Center operates on a hybrid schedule, with employees currently required to work in the office a minimum of three days per week. The schedule and number of in-office required days is subject to change. This position is based in New York City. It will require occasional travel as well.   

Key Responsibilities  

  • Co-direct an institutional giving program and serve as a principal fundraiser:   

    • Foundations: Create a prospecting strategy and implement it to significantly grow our reliable annualized revenues and base of supporters  
    • Corporate: Implement a viable corporate giving program and implement it to grow our funding stream from businesses 

    • Personally steward and manage around 20% of the existing portfolio of donors 

    • Annual gala dinner (Spring): With the VP of Development, oversee and implement fundraising from law firms and corporations to raise a total in the high 6-figures (individuals round out the gala sponsorships) 

  • Oversee and edit writing products produced by staff, and as needed, write a targeted selection of proposals, reports, strategy memos, and other compelling fundraising materials   

  • Oversee and edit financial reports and other institutional information included in grant writing packages, and prepare a targeted selection of these products as needed 

  • Conduct impactful personalized outreach through email, meetings/calls, and events  

  • Direct and advise organizational and program leaders to cultivate and steward relationships with both current and prospective funders, and to secure the Center’s position in the field with donor collaboratives and other networks 

  • Prepare and ensure effective, strategic prep/briefing documents and supporting materials for presentations, meetings, and events  

  • With the other co-director, establish and monitor performance towards projections, fundraising goals, annual and periodic benchmarks, and work plans  

  • Directly supervise at least one team member, with strong supervision over the full team 

  • Oversee maintenance and participate in a solid gift/grant intake process, clean and complete Salesforce records, and other tracking and filing systems  

Key Qualifications  

  • Bachelor’s degree required, and at least 10 years of on-point experience 

  • Successful track record in raising major gifts from institutions and/or building similar partnerships on behalf of public interest causes  

  • Firsthand knowledge of and experience working on social justice/democracy issues and/or the relevant philanthropic community 

  • Proven competence analyzing and understanding complex advocacy strategies, and translating them into persuasive information – both orally and in writing 

  • Excellent writing and editing skills with outstanding ability to tailor products so they fit a particular donor’s interests 

  • Entrepreneurial and strategic – a passion for building partnerships and support 

  • Works productively with colleagues at all levels – including organizational leadership 

  • Ability to thrive and produce in a fast-paced, high-energy environment with tight timelines and competing deadlines  

  • Extensive experience managing the work of others  

  • Generous team player able to productively give and receive direction and feedback 

  • Proficiency in foundation/grant submission technology platforms and portals, as well as a CRM database and other essential office technology  

  • Demonstrable commitment to the twin ideals of democracy and justice for all 

  • Reliable discretion to strictly maintain privacy and confidentiality 

The Brennan Center is committed to advancing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the workplace. We continuously work with our staff to find new ways to increase diversity and to build and cultivate an inclusive and equitable work environment, where everyone can be their true self and feel a strong sense of belonging. As such, we seek to hire employees who have a commitment to and/or experience with diversity, equity, and inclusion. In addition, we expect employees to participate/contribute with DEI initiatives or activities with recruitment, retention, and workplace culture.  

Applications will be considered on a rolling basis, and decisions will be made as soon as an appropriate candidate is identified. To apply, please visit: >>THIS LINK<<, apply online, and upload your (1) cover letter, (2) resume, and (3) contact information for three supervisor references.  
If you have difficulty with the online system, you may send your application by email to: [email protected] with “Co-Director, Institutional Relations” in the subject line, after registering in the online system. 

Compensation and Benefits:     
The salary range assigned for this position is $155,000-$175,000. We determine our salary ranges based on market competitiveness and internal equity for each job. The salary offered a selected candidate will be contingent upon the candidate’s experience, qualifications and internal equity considerations. Additionally, we offer a very robust and competitive array of benefits such as a generous time off program, 401k plan, comprehensive health insurance (medical, dental, and vision), and wellness and office perks.      
Note: The Brennan Center is committed to public health and to the safety and wellbeing of our colleagues and visitors.  As such, we have adopted a policy requiring all employees working in the New York and Washington, DC offices to be vaccinated against COVID-19, including having a booster, or to meet the legal guidelines for an exemption.    

The Brennan Center for Justice is committed to a workplace based on equal opportunity and a strong belief in the increased effectiveness that comes from a diverse workforce. To this end, Brennan Center

  • Welcomes applicants with disabilities and applicants of all races, ethnicities, gender identities, socioeconomic identities, sexual orientations, and national origin or citizenship, including people who have been previously incarcerated;
  • Hires diverse candidates and works to improve our recruitment practices to allow for such
  • Creates a workplace where true diversity is fostered and different perspectives are valued and freely exchanged;
  • Ensures that all members of the Brennan Center community feel welcome and respected, and have equal opportunities to thrive and advance within the institution; and
  • Is committed to supporting low-income communities and communities of color particularly affected by social inequities.

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