Development Specialist, Institutional Giving and Sponsored Projects

Posted On: May 30, 2024

Hours: Full Time



The Development Specialist will support the Director and Assistant Director, Institutional Giving and Sponsored Projects at The Cooper Union. The role involves collaborating with various departments to cultivate, solicit, and steward corporate, foundation, and government fundraising prospects and donors. Responsibilities include drafting and finalizing grant proposals and reports, correspondence, managing donor records in our CRM, overseeing tax acknowledgment processes, maintaining grant management systems, coordinating deadlines, conducting prospect research, analyzing grant guidelines and synthesizing RFPs, and ensuring ongoing donor stewardship.


Communications and Outreach:

  • Write, edit, and finalize letters of inquiry, proposals, reports, and various types of correspondence, including event invitations, personalized outreach, and acknowledgment letters.
  • Develop and maintain "boilerplate" language for proposals, reports, and correspondence for key programs and fundraising priorities.
  • Collaborate with program partners to manage project completion and document meetings and outcomes.
  • Gather and analyze program data and outcomes for proposals, reports, correspondence, and briefings.
  • Collect, develop, and maintain information and visual materials for funder reports, proposals, and award memos.

Donor Stewardship and Cultivation:

  • Assist in the cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of corporate, foundation, and government fundraising prospects and donors.
  • Implement a schedule for prospect cultivation and donor stewardship, including donor contacts, event invitations, and correspondence.
  • Collaborate with colleagues to notify student scholars of their awards and collect, curate, and edit scholar information for annual donor reports.
  • Assist in planning and implementing donor site-visits and events.
  • Manage tax acknowledgment correspondence and ensure prompt communication and recognition of all grant awards and payments.

Prospect Research and Grant Development:

  • Conduct ongoing prospect research for fundraising priorities, including capital projects, public programs, and institutional initiatives.
  • Identify prospects and synthesize grant guidelines, applications instructions, and Requests for Proposals. 
  • Collaborate with the Director and Assistant Director to develop strategies for grant proposals, ensuring alignment with organizational goals.
  • Prepare profiles, briefing documents, and meeting agendas, considering strategic connections and donor history.
  • Build and maintain relationships with key stakeholders to pursue funding opportunities and strategic partnerships.
  • Ensure compliance with grant guidelines and manage the accurate and timely submission of grant proposals and reports.
  • Utilize CRM systems and other tools to manage donor data, track fundraising progress, and generate reports to inform strategic decisions.

 Administrative Support and Recordkeeping:

  • Oversee record-keeping and file management, including updating donor engagement in CRM Slate, and running queries and reports.
  • Manage an institutional deadline calendar for proposals, reports, information gathering, prospect cultivation, and donor stewardship.
  • Provide administrative assistance for pre- and post-award activities.
  • Maintain project management documents for collaboration and prioritizing projects across campus.
  • Provide general administrative support, including processing invoices, tracking expenses, updating contacts, and maintaining the departmental meeting calendar.
  • Complete other tasks as assigned.


  • Excellent communication skills, including copywriting, editing, and proofreading.
  • Ability to analyze data to inform decision-making.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint), fundraising database software (CRM), and PDF management tools, and interest in learning new technology or software as needed.
  • Comfortable working with numbers and familiarity with project budgets.
  • Fluency in grants management systems, including but not limited to: Statewide Financial System (SFS),, and corporate and foundation portals.
  • Strong organizational and planning skills.
  • Proven track record of meeting deadlines and effectively managing multiple projects in a fast-paced environment.
  • Exceptional attention to detail.
  • Demonstrated sound judgment and discretion.
  • Strong team player with excellent interpersonal skills. 
  • Self-reliant, curious, and collaborative.
  • Comfortable working in a hybrid in-person/at-home work setting.


  • Bachelor's Degree; Minimum of three - five years of relevant experience.
  • Annual Salary range - $68,000 - $72,000

This is a unionized position.

The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Email materials to:

Or submit resume and cover letter to:
Human Resources
30 Cooper Square, 2nd Floor
New York, NY 10003


  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.