Director of Development and Communications

The Opportunity

As we approach our 150th Anniversary, The Architectural League of New York seeks an experienced Director of Development and Communications (DDC). This person will help us grow and transform in service of our reinvigorated mission: to support transformative work in the fields of the built environment that addresses the converging crises of racism, inequity, and climate change. The DDC will arrive at a time of change within the organization and will have the opportunity to build new approaches to development and communications and to solidify the systems and infrastructure that support growth. The DDC will work with all Architectural League team members to harness this momentum. This person will be a relationship builder and a systems thinker—someone who enjoys working with a small team, and who cares deeply about the mission of the League. Reporting to the Executive Director (ED) and serving as a key member of the leadership team, the Director will oversee development and communications strategy, systems, and staff. The Director will steward, and will work toward the long-term growth of the League’s approximately $3M+ portfolio.

Key Responsibilities


  • Works with the ED and team managers to create and execute a fundraising plan that supports a growing annual budget of approximately $2M
  • Ensures meeting the highest standards for fundraising and grant making protocols and procedures
  • Drives revenue for the organization and spearheads the annual campaign that includes prospecting, cultivating, and stewarding major gifts from the Board, institutions, and high-net-worth prospects
  • Together with the Programs and Membership Director, sets strategies and goals for a robust annual calendar of fundraising events
  • Together with the Development and Operations Manager, ensures high data integrity standards and timely gift acknowledgments through overseeing procedures and proper management of donor customer relationship management (CRM) system
  • Oversees development operations, including pipeline and forecasting, revenue reporting, and database use and implementation
    • Manage the League’s Guidestar account, and other finance-related, donor-facing materials
    • With the support of the Development and Operations Manager, works to research, identify, cultivate, and steward activity for institutional funders
    • With the support of the Development and Operations Manager, oversees government and foundation grant management by writing proposal narratives for and submitting applications (city, state, federal)
    • Maintains current funder relationships and continues to broaden The Architectural League’s base of foundation funders by researching and cultivating new relationships
    • Leads efforts with the Executive Director (ED) in private and corporate giving through research, relationship building, identifying, cultivating, and securing new donors
    • Develops and implements appropriate cultivation strategies for key prospects, and advises and supports the ED, board, staff, and volunteers to move potential donors toward the solicitation and closure of major gifts in an appropriate and timely fashion
    • Works with the Board’s Development Committee Chair(s) on the annual development plan, facilitates Board recruitment, and engages the entire Board in development efforts
    • Working with the ED, Board, and Membership and Operations teams, develops and implements special fundraising campaigns focused on the growth of the endowment, new office space, and/or other needs that events such as the approaching 150th anniversary might warrant
    • In coordination with the Programs and Membership Director, evaluates the program calendar and seeks ways to deepen its effectiveness with respect to development
    • Conceives, plans, budgets and manages fundraising and outreach events in support of goals and mission


  • Oversees a communications strategy that will raise The Architectural League’s profile as well as sharpen its reputation, nationally and internationally 
  • Sets communications priorities across outlets including social media, mainstream press (print and digital) and stakeholder communications (newsletters, annual reports, and more)
  • Oversees and provides vision for all institutional communications including annual report, collateral, videos, social media presence, etc. With the Communications Manager, oversees organization-wide plans that maintain brand identity and integrity across networks and stakeholders
  • Partners with staff leadership to effectively communicate program goals to funders, aligning communications strategy and calendar with outreach goals and internal messaging
  • In coordination with Communications team, ensures departmental attendance at all League events
  • Oversees and supports the Communication Manager, who creatively and strategically develops and manages a cohesive annual communications plan and media-relations strategy that energizes and attracts a diverse group of donors, professionals, and supporters to The Architectural League’s program. (Additionally, together with the Editorial Associate, the Manager develops and coordinates press releases, website and social media content, reports, newsletters, presentations, and informational campaigns. Oversight of this work is also the responsibility of the Director.)
  • Together with the Communications Manager, analyzes The Architectural League’s position within its shifting cultural ecosystem and identifies areas where response or growth is needed
  • Seeks public speaking opportunities for Executive Director and represents The Architectural League with its varied constituencies where helpful
  • Directs communications staff to oversee and implement The Architectural League branding and style guide across website(s), print and electronic communications, and social media channels
  • Oversees the organizational crisis communications plan so that The Architectural League can easily respond to relevant breaking news stories
  • Oversees the Communications Manager, who serves as the primary editor of organizational materials and communications, ensuring adequate turnaround time and staff participation in the review and proofing process in order to consistently produce error-free communications
  • Oversees the Communications Manager, who tracks and monitors communication KPIs including engagement, media impressions, contact list size/open rates, social media followers, etc.
  • Oversees the Communications Manager, who drafts communication plans for grants and program staff 
  • Oversees the Communications Manager, who manages ad buys and placements
  • Works with the Communication Manager to maintain media contacts on the regional, state, and international level 
  • Stays abreast of evolving technologies and trends


  • Plays a key leadership role in forward-looking strategy, organization-wide projects, and maintaining a healthy work culture
  • Attends All-Staff and Department Head meetings
  • In addition to the Communications Manager (sole direct report), Development and Operations Manager (co-managed with the Director of Research and Operations, though the main reporting channel is to the Director), and Editorial Associate (co-managed with the Editor-in-Chief of Urban Omnibus, though the main reporting channel is to the Director), the Director of Development and Communications will oversee all of the department’s contractors, consultants, and any campaign committee, and works with the Executive Director, Board Committees, and relevant staff to meet campaign outcomes and objectives
  • Provides constructive and timely performance evaluations and corrective actions as needed
  • Leads, inspires, and mentors the development and communications staff, supervising their work, supporting their success, providing direction, and ensuring job satisfaction
  • Manages development and communications efforts by ensuring that the appropriate systems, staffing, and procedures are in place to support fundraising and communication goals
  • Creates and oversees departmental budgets
  • Collaborates with the ED and the Board’s Nominations and Governance Committee to research and identify new board candidates
  • Creates and presents development and communications reports at Board and Executive Committee meetings, when requested
  • Onboards and trains all Architectural League staff regarding development and communications procedures; maintains training materials
  • Oversees the workflow and schedules of the development and communications programs

Qualifications and Skills


  • Demonstrated commitment to The Architectural League’s mission: to support transformative work in the fields of the built environment that addresses the converging crises of racism, inequity, and climate change
  • 5+ years of relevant fundraising and communications experience, including capital campaign experience and the proven ability to raise significant gifts from many constituencies—with a special focus on securing and managing foundation and government grants
  • Experience centering diversity, equity, inclusion, and access in fundraising and communications strategies as well as in daily management practices
  • Track record of developing, implementing, and reporting on diversified fundraising plans 
  • Exceptional strategist who can partner with the ED to envision The Architectural League’s future
  • Superb communication and relationship-building skills with the ability to work effectively with a range of colleagues and partners (e.g., board members, funders, volunteers, and advocates)
  • Dedicated team leader with experience training and mentoring staff and volunteers in fundraising and communications practices and techniques
  • Broad experience with nonprofit communications and media strategy
  • Quantitative acumen and ability to drive revenue and develop and refine fundraising targets, goals, and budgets
  • Proficient in data collection, data analysis, and using data to drive performance and decision-making
  • Extensive knowledge of the national not-for-profit funding and media landscapes
  • Knowledge of fundraising database systems and communications platforms 
  • Competent knowledge of social media, computer operations (Google Apps, Word, Excel, etc.) and equipment operation such as copiers and telephones
  • Administrative and organizational skills necessary to carry out the job description responsibilities
  • Love of teamwork and a good team player while working in a collaborative work environment
  • Strong written and verbal communications skills in English
  • A sense of proportion and a sense of humor


  • Strong experience with traditional and new media outlets and platforms; ability to design and deliver media training and talking points for other Staff and Board members who speak to the press on The Architectural League’s behalf
  • Experience with effectively managing and developing distributed teams
  • Experienced public speaker
  • Deep knowledge of the funding community in New York City and beyond


  • This position is hybrid, with some in-office presence required
  • Ability to sit or stand at a computer workstation for extended periods of time
  • Ability to maintain physical records and files by bending, reaching, and occasionally lifting up to 25 pounds
  • Ability to communicate effectively with staff members and other stakeholders by email, phone, virtually and in person
  • Some evening and weekend work required
  • Some travel required 
  • Able to work outdoors in inclement weather conditions
  • Able to work in an open office space


This is a full-time position. Candidates must be located in, or willing to relocate to, the New York City region. At this time, the League is unable pay relocation expenses. The salary range for this position is $105,000–$125,000, depending on experience. Benefits include health insurance and paid time off (vacation, sick days, personal days, holidays), as well as subsidized monthly transit and a 401(k) plan after six months of employment. We strongly encourage people of color, LGBTQ+ individuals, people with disabilities, and others who may contribute to the diversity of perspectives on the League staff to apply.

The advertised pay scale reflects the good faith minimum and maximum salary range for this role. The specific compensation offered may be dependent on a variety of factors including, but not limited to, the candidate’s experience, education, special licensing or qualifications, and other factors.

Not sure you meet 100% of our qualifications? If you believe that you could excel in this role, we encourage you to apply. We are dedicated to considering a broad array of candidates, including those with diverse workplace experiences and backgrounds. Please use your cover letter to tell us about your interest in the work of The Architectural League, and what you hope to bring to this role.

To apply, please send a resumé and cover letter to William Kelly, Director of Operations and Special Projects, at, with the subject line “Application: Director of Development and Communications.” Though reviews will begin on February 5, applications will remain open until the position is filled.

About The Architectural League

The Architectural League of New York supports critically transformative work in the allied fields that shape the built environment. As a vital, independent forum, the League stimulates thinking, debate, and action on today’s converging crises of racism, inequity, and climate change, in service of a more livable and just world. League live events, digital media, publications, installations, and exhibitions present important work and ideas to inspire and help shape the path to a better future. The League encourages the development of talented younger architects and designers through competitions, commissions, and travel grants. In addition, the League creates opportunities to explore challenges in the built environment, through design studies and commissioned work, and pursues important areas of inquiry to help support the contribution of architecture to the common good, through research and sustained attention to selected topics.