Chief Advancement Officer
Founded in 1891, The New York Botanical Garden is the most comprehensive botanical garden in the world and an integral part of the cultural fabric of New York City. Anchored in the Bronx, visitors come to the Garden to connect with nature and for renowned plant-based exhibitions, science, cultural programs, and lectures. Innovative children’s education programs promote environmental sustainability and nutrition awareness, and educate the next generation of botanists, while engaging classes inspire adults to remain lifelong learners. The 250-acre verdant landscape and the landmark Enid A. Haupt Conservatory support living collections of more than one million plants. Peerless resources are also held in the LuEsther T. Mertz Library, the world’s most important botanical and horticultural library with 11 million archival items spanning 10 centuries, and the William & Lynda Steere Herbarium, one the largest herbaria in the Western Hemisphere with 7.8 million plant and fungal specimens. The New York Botanical Garden is committed to preserving and protecting the planet’s biodiversity and natural resources in partnership with both local and global communities. Garden scientists work on site in cutting-edge molecular labs and in locations worldwide where biodiversity is most at risk.
A National Historic Landmark, the New York Botanical Garden is committed to a diverse, equitable, and inclusive work environment, and further recognizes that diversity in its workforce fosters excellence in its mission of advocating for the plants of the world.
For comprehensive information on NYBG, please visit www.nybg.org.
Reporting to and working closely with the President & CEO, the Chief Advancement Officer will provide the leadership, coordination, and implementation of the Garden’s comprehensive fundraising programs and activities. NYBG will be embarking on a strategic planning process in spring 2022 and the Chief Advancement Officer will be a key member of the leadership team driving that process and will subsequently lead efforts to fund the major, multiyear Garden initiatives that emerge. They will continually assess, refine, and update advancement staffing and practices to ensure that the Garden is well positioned within the philanthropic landscape. The CAO will support and partner with the President & CEO and the highly engaged Board of Trustees in the efforts to identify, attract, and cultivate a new generation of major donors and trustees. As a member of the Management Committee, the CAO will also work closely and coordinate with peers in Communications, Education, Government and Community Relations, Horticulture, Marketing, Membership and Visitor Experience, Retail and Business Development, and Science.
Leading and managing a dedicated, but largely new staff of 22, in Corporate Relations, Foundations, Individual Giving, and Special Events, and fostering and maintaining a culture of inter- and intra-departmental collegiality and dialogue, the CAO will implement a forward-thinking fundraising strategy to meet institutional annual and long-term fundraising goals. With nearly 50,000 active members at NYBG, there is a special opportunity to enhance major gifts fundraising through strategic pipeline management and outreach.
The CAO will be a key contributor to institution-wide efforts to enhance inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility (IDEA) at NYBG. All senior leaders at NYBG are accountable for driving IDEA within their spheres of influence. The Garden appointed a Chief Diversity Officer last year and is continuing to invest in IDEA staffing resources and training.
PRIORITIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Above all, the Chief Advancement Officer will be an inclusive, inspirational leader who fosters a culture of excellence, collaboration, and community.
Key priorities include:
· Forging a productive relationship with the President & CEO, advancement staff, and other colleagues, as well as volunteers and key supporters to support advancement efforts;
· Working with the President & CEO and the development team to create, implement, and lead a strategic and tactical plan for expanding and diversifying contributed revenue from all potential sources;
· Assessing and rebuilding the Advancement department (or team), filling critical positions, mentoring and inspiring current staff, and evaluating and updating systems and processes, as needed;
· Fostering staff cohesion while inspiring, motivating, and leading staff’s efforts to realize the institution’s ambitions; ensuring collaboration and open communication within the department and with other colleagues.
· Leading IDEA efforts within Development and participating actively in Garden-wide IDEA initiatives.
SPECIFIC DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
· Develop, implement, and monitor the fundraising plan for annual (both restricted and unrestricted) and capital giving from corporate, foundation, and individual donors;
· Expand and diversify the Garden’s prospect pool;
· Work with the President & CEO to motivate and support the Board and other volunteer leadership and participation;
· Assume a proactive, creative leadership role in the identification, cultivation, and solicitation of major gifts; strategize all significant cultivation and solicitation with the President & CEO and volunteers as appropriate;
· Act as the primary advisor to the President & CEO in soliciting major corporate gifts (six figures and above);
· Working with the Special Events team, plan and oversee a major set of special events in support of fundraising goals; develop new events that will expand the Garden’s outreach and cultivation efforts;
· Coordinate with the Chief Operating Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Budget Office, and other colleagues in the development of the institutional budget, project budgets, and annual fundraising goals;
· In collaboration with the President & CEO, other senior leadership, and other stakeholders, identify and solicit major gift prospects for specific programs and projects needing support;
· Hire, supervise, motivate, and evaluate staff in accordance with the Garden’s policies and best practices in human resources, including the Garden’s IDEA goals;
· Oversee the writing and production of fundraising materials, including brochures, annual reports, and Board reports. Work with the Marketing and Communications staff to ensure that consistent, updated, and compelling messages are conveyed in all Garden materials for external audiences;
· Ensure proactive and realistic plans for and oversee the maintenance of donor records, development systems, and technology.
IDEAL EXPERIENCE AND CHARACTERISTICS
The next Chief Advancement Officer will possess the track record, energy, and drive to lead an iconic New York cultural institution and one of the foremost botanical gardens in the world.
Proven Fundraising Ability. A strong track record of bold and effective fundraising from the Garden’s current donor base demographics, a history of developing new donor bases, and proven ability to operate in the New York City philanthropic world, or in another major market. An understanding of the full range of funding tools, including earned income from exhibitions and programming, foundation support, special events, and patrons’ programs, and how they can be leveraged.
Strong Leadership Experience. Demonstrated success in leading a large and sophisticated development operation in a complex and multifaceted cultural, educational, and/or scientific nonprofit organization. Can build, motivate, retain, and lead an enthusiastic team of people, who collaborate to achieve results. Inspires people to perform at a high level. Creates an exciting environment that draws star performers motivated to collaborate rather than compete. Ability to achieve consensus amongst competing priorities. A firm and inclusive decision maker, who engages with diplomacy and tact.
Visionary Skill. Demonstrated success in formulating and implementing a development plan for a visionary, inspirational, entrepreneurial institution that draws admiration for its innovative and forward-looking programming. Experience working with a strong and visionary leader as a partner and team player.
Outstanding Communication Skills. Excellent interpersonal skills with a wide range of audiences from community and corporate, to scientists and private gardeners, to philanthropists and government officials, and in a variety of settings from small intimate gatherings to major fundraising events. Personal experience in a range of communication skills, including digital media, social media, and public relations.
Personal Qualities. Integrity, decisiveness, empathy, emotional intelligence, cultural agility, a quick study and learner. Personal experience in at least one of the pillars of the Garden (horticulture, science, education) providing a base to engage with all would be ideal.
Please send applications or nominations to G. Angela Henry and Becky Klein at
The New York Botanical Garden is committed to an inclusive, diverse, equitable, and accessible work environment, and further recognizes that diversity in our workforce fosters excellence in our mission of advocating for the plants of the world.