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Vice President - Principal Gifts (VP PG)


As a 501(c) (3) charity organization, the Academy seeks philanthropic support to carry out its mission and ensure that the institution has the resources, talent, and ability to deliver its innovative programs. With a multi-year campaign in progress, the Academy is seeking a Vice President of Principal Gifts (VP PG) to complement the team of Development professionals responsible for meeting fundraising and campaign goals.

The VP PG will be responsible for developing and managing strong relationships with current and new donors, Board members, partner organizations, and other stakeholders to create a portfolio of top fundraising prospects and donors. For each individual in the portfolio, the VP PG will create an innovative marketing plan, to include discovery, cultivation, solicitation, and closure strategies. To ensure the success of these plans, the VP PG will work collaboratively with the CEO and COO and engage participation from Academy leadership, Board members and other stakeholders, as required.

The VP PG will have a matrixed reporting relationship and report to both the CEO and COO.

RESPONSIBILITIES: The specific responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Develop an extensive understanding of the Academy, its mission, strategy and programs, and Development’s strategic plan, including the campaign and other fundraising priorities.
  • Create and implement a strategic plan for principal gifts fundraising that is aligned with the Academy’s annual and campaign goals; continuously expand the portfolio of high-net-worth individuals capable of making significant gifts; assist in closure of current opportunities with high-net-worth donors and foundations.

  • Independently manage the principal gifts fundraising process for individual donors he/she develops, to include: research, discovery, engagement, selling, and closing. Set up solicitation meetings with executive and scientific leadership, as required. Ensure that all deadlines are met and follow-up actions are carried out.

  • Support the CEO in the ongoing development of the campaign strategy including the preparation of case studies and other deliverables associated with the campaign in collaboration with the MGO and Director of Individual Giving.

  • Educate and engage Board members on their critical role in the overall strategy for obtaining principal gifts; provide comprehensive support to them in donor cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship; help identify and enroll new well-connected, high-net-worth board members.

  • Establish strong working relationships with Academy leadership, Board and Council members, representatives of partner organizations, Development colleagues, and especially those Academy staff members who are experts in the areas that donors will want to fund, such as education, strategies for capacity building and innovation, and the biomedical and physical sciences; partner with them in the solicitation/closure process, where appropriate.
  • Keep the CEO/COO and Academy leadership up to date on progress against goals, outlining potential issues and opportunities through regular and clear communication.


  • A bachelor’s degree is required. Advanced degrees are desirable, but not required.


  • 10+ years of fundraising experience, with at least 5 years in major/principal gifts, is required. Campaign experience is preferred.
  • Experience in a nonprofit is required; experience in both large and small organizations is desirable.
  • Scientific education and/or experience with a scientific organization is not required but is definitely a plus. Must possess a keen curiosity about science and quick to grasp scientific concepts. Must be comfortable speaking about science and technology and their applications in society.
  • Proven success in creating principle gifts, fundraising strategies and implementing them to achieve goals in highly competitive environments.
  • Master of best practices in the field of fundraising. Specialist in high-profile, principle-gifts fundraising. Demonstrated track record of closing six- and seven-figure gifts. Brings a network of high-level relationships and connections that can be leveraged.
  • Expertise with entire continuum of fundraising process for individual donors (research/ discovery/priority setting/engagement/selling/closing). Loves the process and winning.
  • Demonstrated skill at recognizing potential donors and conceiving innovative fundraising strategies. Sees opportunities where others do not. Thinks “out of the box”.
  • A record of success in conceptualizing and articulating long-range financial development goals; ability to quickly grasp financial and programmatic concepts and package them into cogent, fundable programs.
  • Marketing mind-set: able to articulate the organization’s mission and vision, create a compelling value proposition, and “sell” it to others.
  • Outstanding personal communication skills; ability to present ideas and influence a variety of people and audiences; can structure and lead solicitation meetings. (Writing samples will be required.)
  • Track record of successfully engaging Board members and leveraging their connections to maximize resource development for the organization.
  • Success at cultivating strong relationships with all internal and external stakeholders: current and potential donors, Board members, Academy colleagues, and other stakeholders.
  • Financially and technologically savvy: understands budgets, financial goals, and the ROI of programs; has working knowledge of Raiser’s Edge.
  • Accustomed to working in a matrix environment; comfortable with ambiguity.


  • Exudes credibility and professionalism. Quickly builds confidence in others. Persuasive, with excellent influencing skills. Excellent listening skills.
  • Highly confident, results-driven person not easily intimidated.
  • Interested in and knowledgeable about science and able to engage in discussion of scientific ideas.
  • Exceptional social and interpersonal skills; charismatic; very likeable and makes positive first impression; sophisticated; comfortable interacting with high-net-worth individuals, high-level executives, and academics.
  • Flexible: able to work independently with minimal support; highly collaborative with department peers and colleagues. Team player who understands his/her role in relationship to others.
  • Unquestionable personal integrity and highly committed, passionate about the Academy’s mission and vision.
  • Smart and insightful – mentally tough and resilient — politically astute. Able to depersonalize feedback and act on it.
  • An independent “self-starter”; high-energy individual, with the necessary drive and stamina to respond to the demands of the position.


The position offers a very competitive compensation and comprehensive benefit package.


Applicants should send a current resume in Word format and a summary of relevant fundraising experience/credentials to:

Ms. Chiharu (Cara) Arai

Senior Engagement Director

3D Leadership, LLC