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Director, Principal Gifts


The Director, Principal Gifts must be a demonstrated leader who thrives in a high performing fundraising environment. The successful candidate is a proven frontline fundraiser with experience closing 6 to 7 figure gifts, an entrepreneurial sensibility, and brings an understanding and interest of music; preferably jazz, to the position. The Director manages a portfolio of donors and prospects, and guides the overall strategy of JALC’s major gifts solicitation and stewardship efforts. In partnership with the Vice President of Development, the Director works closely with the Board of Directors to cultivate direct relationships with individual donors.  Additionally, he/she assumes a leadership position as a partner in curating and executing special donor engagement opportunities as they pertain to high level donors.

The Director, Principal Gifts is a senior member of JALC’s Development team and manages a Senior Major Gifts Officer.

Key Responsibilities

  • Play a key role in developing and executing a strategy of approach for each prospect, involving department staff, senior staff and the Board of Directors. 

  • Work with senior staff to guide and prepare Board members in identifying, cultivating, soliciting and engaging donors and prospects of high capacity.

  • Develop and manage a personal portfolio of major donors and prospects.

  • In conjunction with senior staff, devise and recommend strategies for organization’s long-term fundraising objectives including donor groups, capital projects, and endowment growth.

  • Execute written proposals and other donor communications.

  • Work with Special Events team to maximize donor participation and follow up for cultivation activities. 

  • Thorough understanding of JALC, its mission, culture, history, key stakeholders, programs and finances.

  • Stay abreast of jazz, music, philanthropic, economic, and social and community trends.


A Bachelors Degree is required and a minimum of five(5) years of individual giving development experience. 

Proven track record and demonstrated success in major gift solicitation 

Ability to identify, cultivate, solicit and close major gifts from individuals.

Capacity to establish, maintain and strengthen relationships with significant donors, and an understanding of stewardship systems that support a successful donor relations program .

Excellent communication skills, both oral and written

A proven manager that promotes teamwork, creativity and open communication.

Comfort with managing multiple assignments in a fast-paced nonprofit setting.

Ability and willingness to attend concerts, donor events and participate in external activities.

Availability for periodic travel, as necessary.

We offer a comprehensive benefits package, including generous vacation time, medical, dental, a defined contribution plan and deferred compensation plans.  Interested applicants should send a cover letter and resume to careers@jazz.org.  Please include Director, Principal Gifts in the subject line.

Jazz at Lincoln Center is an equal opportunity employer.




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