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Senior Director of Development

Joan Ganz Cooney Center | New York, NY | Full Time

Job Description

The Joan Ganz Cooney Institute: Senior Director of Development

The Senior Director of Development will lead all aspects of the Joan Ganz Cooney Institute’s fundraising capabilities and funder relations. S/he will play a key role in developing an aggressive fundraising and partnership engagement strategy that will achieve established revenue goals. S/he will provide oversight of corporate, government, and foundation support.

The ideal candidate will be an active, hands-on leader and team-builder with outstanding managerial, communication, and relationship-building skills. S/he must have a proven track record in fundraising, with demonstrated success in strengthening foundation relations, and achieving measurable results. The Senior Director plays a key role in supporting the Institute’s long-term growth, impact, and sustainability. The ideal candidate will have developed and operationalized strategies that have taken an organization to the next stage of growth.

This is a unique opportunity for a dedicated, entrepreneurial, results-oriented relationship builder to make a significant impact at an innovative not-for-profit.


  • A minimum of ten years of experience in development; a demonstrated track record of success in fundraising and relationship management; and implementation of revenue generation plans
  • Expertise in strategic planning, board relations and development, program development, people and budget management
  • Demonstrated ability to network and build external relationships
  • Strong project management and team leadership skills. Managerial experience in a non-profit institution preferred
  • Ability to speak with authority on development issues; deep knowledge of the donor community
  • Strong organizational skills and ability to prioritize and meet deadlines
  • Excellent written, verbal and presentation skills
  • Bachelor’s degree required, advanced degree desirable
  • Ability to work independently and collaboratively as part of a team\
  • Ability to manage staff and collaborate effectively with a diverse range of internal and external partners
  • Knowledge of childhood development, media, and non-profit fundraising desirable
  • Familiarity with Salesforce CRM software or equivalent software is a plus



  • Establish the JGCI fundraising strategy; set priorities, identify, cultivate, and solicit new funding sources, and steward existing funders
  • Promote the Joan Ganz Cooney Institute and support fundraising objectives through the effective design and coordination of major events
  • In cooperation with the Executive Director, and Senior Director of Research, identify grant and sponsorship prospects, and draft funding proposals, letters, and reports
  • Draft and edit grant proposals, reports, concept papers, acknowledgement letters, correspondence, and other communications
  • Participate in in-person cultivation and solicitation meetings with Executive Director and other staff as appropriate
  • Build new and sustainable funding networks for the JGCI and raise the profile of the JGCI among major development partners and funders


  • Collaborate and network with other directors and team members across Sesame Workshop
  • Grant Stewardship; ensure accurate tracking of grant submissions, reporting, acknowledgements, correspondence, receipt of grants, and other relevant data
  • Supervise fundraising consultants and mentor department staff
  • Employ analytics and data for making evidence-based decisions and analyzing effectiveness/success
  • Monitor compliance with grant and reporting requirements
  • Develop and manage calendar for fundraising activities
  • Forecast revenues, develop grant proposal budgets.

About The Joan Ganz Cooney Institute

Named after the pioneer who created Sesame Street, The Joan Ganz Cooney Institute is a research and innovation lab focused on the challenges facing children in a rapidly changing media and educational landscape. Based at its parent organization, Sesame Workshop, the Institute provides thought leadership in the realms of research, policy and talent development to improve the education, health, and social wellbeing of children around the world.  Through this work, the Institute seeks to expand the Workshop’s impact as a global educational force for change, and to advance its important mission to help children everywhere grow smarter, stronger and kinder.