Associate Director, Philanthropic Partnerships

New York, NY, USA
Posted on  

Job Description

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 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 Associate Director, Philanthropic Partnerships will serve as a fundraising leader for the Brennan Center and its Development team, which is charged with securing approximately $40 million annually from a diverse base of individual and institutional supporters. 

As our first-ever position focused principally on raising funds from new donors, the Associate Director will be one of the Center’s lead prospecting strategist and a central player in cross-organization efforts to grow annual fundraising, with particular focus on major giving from individuals and families. 

One major responsibility will be to significantly enhance and expand the Center’s partnership and networking opportunities by ensuring robust presence in key donor communities and organizing spaces. The role also will work collaboratively across the team and organization to spearhead special initiatives and events to attract and strengthen relations with prospective funders, while also personally managing a portfolio of donors with high networking potential. 

The Associate Director will directly report to the Vice President, Development and work under the guidance of the Managing Director, Development (who spearheads major donor giving). The position will regularly partner with and advise organizational and program leadership, including the Center’s President and CEO, and will collaborate regularly with an 18-person Development team that includes major gifts fundraisers and support staff. 

Note: Brennan Center employees adhere to a hybrid schedule that is subject to change, with employees currently required to work in the office a minimum of three days per week, on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. While most employees follow this in-person schedule, there may be some positions that require additional in-office days. This position is based at our headquarters in New York City. It will require occasional travel. 

Key Responsibilities: 

  • Grow fundraising opportunities by developing and leading comprehensive efforts to identify and engage donors who do not currently support the Center  
  • Implement tailored strategies to maximize exposure to potential supporters, including by ensuring the Center’s robust participation and partnership with key philanthropic communities and networking spaces  
  • Manage, cultivate, and steward a portfolio of donor networks and philanthropic influencers often in collaboration with organizational leadership, program experts, and other fundraising staff 
  • Partner with Development teams to conceive, design, and implement special initiatives and events to attract new support, including efforts to further diversify our funding base  
  • Prepare and advise organizational leadership and staff before donor meetings, including by overseeing and producing written meeting prep   
  • Secure funding from and steward a small portfolio (around 10-15) of high-value funding prospects while identifying prospects for other fundraising staff to cultivate  
  • Provide strategic and operational guidance to strengthen prospecting and networking efforts led by the major, mid-level, and institutional giving teams 
  • Work proactively with others to create tailored fundraising opportunities and campaigns to be leveraged across Development channels (e.g., interviewing program staff to draft an initial case for support for a new project area) 
  • Draft and edit a variety of compelling fundraising materials  
  • Supervise support staff and interns in the production of research and other materials 
  • Guide the development of database systems and infrastructure to support successful prospect management 

Key Qualifications 

  • Bachelor’s degree required, and at least 7-10 years of on-point experience  
  • Successful track record of raising five-, six-, and seven-figure gifts and/or building similar partnerships with individual donors on behalf of public interest causes 
  • Demonstrated skill and experience in devising and applying prospecting strategies to secure funding from new donors 
  • Proven competence in absorbing complex legal and policy issues and translating them into persuasive, donor-friendly communications – both orally and in writing 
  • Awareness of the U.S. philanthropic sector; knowledge of and experience with funders who focus on democracy and justice or related issues is a plus 
  • Excellent writing/editing skills and ability to tailor products to fit donor interest 
  • Entrepreneurial and strategic mindset; a passion for building partnerships and support 
  • Works productively with colleagues at all levels, including executive leadership  
  • Ability to thrive in a fast-paced, high-energy environment with tight timelines and competing deadlines 
  • Generous team player able to productively give and receive direction and feedback 
  • Demonstrable commitment to the twin ideals of democracy and justice for all 
  • Reliable discretion to strictly maintain privacy and confidentiality 
  • Proficiency in CRM databases (Salesforce preferred) and other essential office technology 

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. 

Application Instructions: 

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: with “Associate Director, Philanthropic Partnerships” in the subject line, after registering in the online system. 


Compensation and Benefits: 

The salary range assigned for this position is $125,000-$135,000 and has been determined based on market competitiveness. 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. 


In addition, this position is part of a bargaining unit represented by the National Organization of Legal Services Workers, UAW local 2320. 


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.