Major Donor Relations Officer

  • New York, NY
  • Full Time
  • Mid Level

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

In a vital role to help advance the Brennan Center’s mission, we seek a results-driven development professional to join our dynamic, high-performing Development department. We seek candidates with proven ability to successfully build relationships that lead to and retain major gifts ($15,000 and up) from individuals, family foundations, and their advisors and staffs. 

The Officer will serve a critical role in a high-performing Development department of 14 charged with raising $35M+ annually from a diverse base of supporters. The Officer will join the four-person Major Donor team and report to the Director, Major Donor Relations. The primary responsibility: manage a subset of the major donor portfolio and substantially contribute to achieving overall fundraising goals.

This position requires outstanding interpersonal, communications, and writing skills – and ability to comprehend and promote the Center’s legal and policy work, goals, and strategies. The Officer must also have excellent editing skills – in particular, a talent for tailoring written products to match the needs of a particular donor.

Key Responsibilities 

  • Working in collaboration with organizational and program leadership, personally steward and secure gifts from a significant subset of the major donor portfolio
  • Identify and execute successful cultivation of new prospects and existing donors with capacity to increase their support. 
  • Conduct/facilitate donor meetings, phone calls, and briefings/events: manage diverse donor interests, prepare program and executive leaders, and oversee donor research
  • Stay updated on program goals, developments, and strategy to inform communications with donors
  • Conceptualize and draft highly personalized communications with donors and prospects, both proactively and in response to inquiries 
  • Write or edit compelling, persuasive descriptions of programmatic milestones for varied written products and correspondence, including for grant proposals and reports
  • Assemble and create full grant submission packages, including tailored budgets and financial reports
  • Participate in major donor portfolio planning, revenue analysis, and tracking of progress against fundraising goals

Key Qualifications 

  • Bachelor’s degree, and at least 5 years of related, transferable work experience, preferably in nonprofit development, communications, or public/corporate relations
  • Success in fundraising and/or building similar partnerships or sponsorships
  • Sharp comprehension of the Brennan Center’s issue areas and the political/social landscape in which it operates 
  • Demonstrable progression and advancement in career
  • Excellent writing and analytical skills, particularly for translating complex, detailed information into clear and compelling language to audiences of varying expertise
  • Perceptive ability to tailor written products or presentations to respective donors
  • Outstanding attention to detail and accuracy
  • Consistent delivery of polished, complete work product
  • Ability to thrive in a fast-paced, unpredictable environment with multiple projects and deadlines
  • Highly-evolved interpersonal skills including ability to respond productively to direction and feedback, and maturity to work with staff and leadership at all levels
  • Ability to work independently as well as to effectively serve as a team player
  • Proactive and self-starting approach
  • Sound judgment and discretion to maintain privacy and confidentiality
  • Demonstrable commitment to the Brennan Center’s mission and goals and for equity and inclusion

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 reviewed on a rolling basis. We encourage interested applicants to apply early, as the position will be filled once a qualified candidate is found.

Application Instructions

To apply, visit  Please upload the following application materials: resume, cover letter, writing sample (up to 4 pages), and contact information for three references. If applicable, include Internet hyperlinks to authored writing samples.  Also, identify where you saw this ad. 

Please, no phone calls or faxes; it is strongly preferred that you apply on our website.  If you have difficulty with the online system, you may send your application by e-mail to: with “Major Donor Relations Officer” in the subject line, after registering in the online system.

NoteThe 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 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 and hires applicants of all races, ethnicities, gender identities, socioeconomic identities and sexual orientations, including people who have been previously incarcerated;
  • 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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