Vice President, Advancement & Principal Gifts

New York Botanical Garden

Posted: 9/23/2020

Position Type: Full-Time (Paid)

Function: Fundraising/Development

Primary domain: Arts, Culture and Humanities

City: Bronx

Postal code: 10458

State: New York

Country: United States

Organization Information:


$20M +


Mission statement:

The New York Botanical Garden is an advocate for the plant kingdom. The Garden pursues its mission through its role as a museum of living plant collections arranged in gardens and landscapes across its National Historic Landmark site; through its comprehensive education programs in horticulture and plant science; and through the wide-ranging research programs of the International Plant Science Center. 

Position Details:

Job Description:

BACKGROUND:  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 for joy, beauty, and respite, and for renowned plant-based exhibitions, music and dance, and poetry and lectures. Innovative children’s education programs promote environmental sustainability and nutrition awareness, graduate programs 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. Unparalleled 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 ten centuries, and the William and Lynda Steere Herbarium, the largest in the Western Hemisphere with 7.8 million plant and fungal specimens. Committed to protecting the planet’s biodiversity and natural resources, Garden scientists work on-site in cutting-edge molecular labs and in areas worldwide where biodiversity is most at risk.

NYBG temporarily closed in March 2020 in cooperation with government guidelines to support efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19. The Garden reopened its grounds to the public on July 21, 2020 and continues to take measured steps in adding onsite programming and reopening indoor spaces to the public. More information on NYBG can be found at

THE OPPORTUNITY: A newly created position, the Vice President, Advancement & Principal Gifts will be responsible for building and executing a new principal gifts program (gifts at the 6- and 7-figure level). NYBG is creating a formalized principal gifts giving program to attract philanthropic gifts at the highest level.

The Vice President will be a results-oriented self-starter grounded in best practices, and will develop strategies to identify, cultivate, solicit, and steward a pool of high-capacity prospects, supporters, and donors. He/she/they will also support, through actions and conduct, NYBG’s Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility (IDEA) initiatives and actively help to build and maintain an inclusive organizational culture throughout the institution.

The Vice President reports to the Chief Advancement Officer, leads a team of five in major and planned gifts and individual giving, and will work in close collaboration with other members of the Advancement team.

FUNDING: NYBG has a FY 2021 budget of approximately $80M. The Garden is entering its 130th anniversary and its 32nd consecutive year operating under a balanced budget. On an annual basis, the Advancement program generates operating funds of approximately $30M in addition to capital and endowment funds from philanthropic sources. Other major sources of earned revenue include membership, admissions and tours, tuition, and auxiliary enterprises.



  • Genuine interest in and appreciation for the Garden and its unique scope and reach.
  • Significant successful experience in front-line principal and major gift solicitation for large not-for-profit organizations.
  • Substantial knowledge of the NYC, national, and global philanthropic, social, and business communities.
  • Demonstrated success tapping into new pockets of principal gift-level philanthropy.
  • Hands-on management of a portfolio of prospects.
  • Experience working with content experts and institutional leadership.
  • Success working with board members and other volunteers.
  • An exceptional communicator who can craft and articulate compelling, persuasive cases for support.
  • Well-honed interpersonal skills to work effectively with NYBG senior leadership, colleagues, donors, prospects, and volunteers.
  • High degree of initiative and resourcefulness; able to perform under pressure in a fast-paced environment.
  • Creative, diplomatic, and entrepreneurial.
  • Committed to fostering a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Ability to regularly participate in evening and weekend events and to travel, as needed.
  • Bachelor’s degree is required; an advanced degree is preferred.


New York Botanical Garden offers an attractive salary and benefits package commensurate with experience and accomplishments.


Commensurate with Experience

Posting Expiration Date:


How to Apply:

Please click here to apply online via the Howe-Lewis Talent Portal. You may also email your resume and letter of interest to [email protected]

All expressions of interest will be held in confidence.

Posted By: Howe-Lewis International


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