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At Van Alen Institute, we believe design can transform cities, landscapes, and regions to improve people’s lives. We collaborate with communities, scholars, policymakers, and professionals on local and global initiatives that rigorously investigate the most pressing social, cultural, and ecological challenges of tomorrow. Building on more than a century of experience, we develop cross-disciplinary research, provocative public programs, and inventive design competitions.


Manager of Institutional Giving

The Manager of Institutional Giving works alongside the Executive Director, Interim Director of Development, Managing Director, Director of Strategic Initiatives, and Manager of Finance and Operations to develop and execute a comprehensive institutional development strategy for contributed income totaling $2.5-3 million annually for general operations, major gifts, and restricted program support.

Reporting to the Interim Director of Development, the Manager of Institutional Giving oversees overall institutional development strategy (foundation, government, and corporate), manages a portfolio of institutional donors, and executes all institutional fundraising efforts including prospect research, stewardship, grant solicitations, proposal and budget preparation, corporate negotiations, grant reporting, and related administrative duties.

The position provides the expertise to advance Van Alen’s interests by researching and identifying potential sources of support; proactively seeking opportunities to generate new proposals based on foundation, government, and corporate guidelines and interests; and by maintaining strong communication with foundation, government, and corporate donors and prospects.

  • Under supervision of the Interim Director of Development, design, implement, and manage a fundraising strategy to expand and enhance giving from foundations, corporations, and government agencies in alignment with the mission, strategic vision, funding, and immediate and long-term programmatic priorities of Van Alen Institute
  • Research and identify prospective foundation (family, public, community), corporate, government (local, state, federal), and private funding opportunities
  • Cultivate pipelines of prospective funders, develop and implement stewardship strategies to acquire, renew, maintain, and upgrade donors in all categories
  • Develop highly competitive proposal letters, concept papers/overviews, general operating support and restricted grant applications, reports, presentations, and other fundraising materials, including preparing project budgets and supporting documents
  • Stay informed about and work collaboratively with program and other internal staff to identify projects for foundation, government, and corporate support; advise staff on funder areas of interest, cultivation, and special requirements in the development and presentation of proposals; strategize with Interim Director of Development and other leadership staff on application priorities
  • Develop and manage institutional giving calendar, including oversight of reporting schedule, grant compliance, and deliverables, and manage workplan to ensure application and reporting deadlines are met
  • Support other Development staff in their goals including meeting special event goals, Board and Council cultivation, and major donor approaches, etc.
  • Represent Van Alen with external organizations to foster relationships and organizational advancement
  • Communicate fundraising updates to senior staff on a regular basis, and maintain filing systems, and use Salesforce database to track stewardship activities
  • Coordinate the activity of occasional outside grant writers, as required
  • Bachelor’s degree and minimum five years’ experience in institutional fundraising that demonstrates a proven track record of outstanding writing skills and successful fundraising from foundations, corporations, and government agencies in a cultural, community, or urban planning field
  • Deep knowledge of the design, architecture, and urban planning fields locally and nationally, and of the field’s engagement with communities
  • Well-networked within local, national, and international individual, foundation, corporate, and government funding sources
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, including the ability to work well with staff at all organizational levels and to interact professionally with trustees, members, donors, volunteers, and other external stakeholders in person and via telephone and email communication
  • Highly organized and detail oriented, with a demonstrated ability to manage multiple priorities and projects, meet deadlines, and produce quality work within tight time constraints
  • A high level of energy, initiative, and ability to think creatively and strategically are essential
  • Computer proficiency in MS Word, Excel, Google Drive; and databases (preferably Salesforce)

Please send your application to with cover letter, resume, and writing sample in a single PDF with subject line “Manager of Institutional Giving: [Name]”

Generous benefits are provided at no extra cost to employee. Contribution is required for dependents. Van Alen Institute is an equal opportunity employer.


Van Alen Institute internships are an opportunity to learn about and get involved in a diverse range of activities across our research, competitions, programming, Councils, special projects, and communications and development initiatives. Internships are educational in nature, part-time, and based out of the Institute’s office in Manhattan’s Flatiron neighborhood.

Van Alen is currently offering fall internships in the following areas:

The Van Alen Communications team is responsible for conveying the mission of the institution through media and public relations. The Communications intern will research individuals and companies in the fields of architecture and design; gain insight into the preparation of written, multimedia, and other editorial content; support the implementation process for website and database projects; and gain exposure to the launch of press initiatives and social media promotion. Familiarity with Photoshop and image management are a plus.

Van Alen design competitions invite interdisciplinary teams to develop innovative solutions and ideas to tackle a variety of urban challenges. The Competitions intern will assist with research across Competitions topic areas; gain exposure to communication with design firms, project partners, and various stakeholders in competitions development and execution; support CRM initiatives for project press and outreach; and provide logistical support for events. Familiarity with basic graphic design and web design appreciated.

Van Alen Councils serve as a platform for exchange among leading architects, designers, developers, and planners, and provide thought leadership on Van Alen’s research, competitions, and programming. The Councils intern will support the International Council, Climate Council, and Program Leadership Council by assisting with curatorial research, supporting prospect research and outreach, assisting with production of digital and print materials, and providing logistical support for Council convenings. An interest in fundraising and event production appreciated.

The Van Alen Development team raises funds for all activities across the Institute’s initiatives. The Development intern will gain insight into benefit event planning, outreach, and marketing; CRM database management; institutional and individual prospect research; and the production process for print and digital materials. An interest in non-profit development desired.


The Van Alen Public Programs team hosts energetic and engaging public events in New York City for a broad audience of urban enthusiasts and professionals. The Public Programs intern will gain insight into the planning and production of Van Alen’s public program series, assist with marketing and outreach, correspond with participants, assist with curatorial research, and support on-site logistics and event documentation.

Van Alen’s research is grounded in a firm belief that design is a crucial tool for investigating the most pressing social, cultural, and ecological challenges we face. The Research intern will support Van Alen research initiatives through project planning and production, including urban and archival research, assisting in the creation of editorial content such as reports, online resources, and publications, and assisting in facilitation of interdisciplinary research partnerships.

Van Alen’s Strategic Initiatives department develops pathways to maximize organizational impact and increase organizational efficiencies through comprehensive program planning. Working with the Director of Strategic Initiatives, the intern will assist with research on cities, urban design, field experts, and inclusive growth, and will gain project management skills by supporting the organization’s new thematic exploration and interacting with departments across the institution.

Van Alen seeks interns with a strong connection to our mission and projects, and an interest in gaining exposure to relevant professional experience. Desired background includes:

  • Strong interest and/or background in urban studies, architecture, design, or a related field
  • Exceptional written and verbal communication skills
  • Collaborative and comfortable working with a wide range of project partners, stakeholders, and audiences
  • Flexible, organized, keen eye for detail, and able to multitask
  • Professional attitude toward all levels of assigned tasks

Fall internships correspond to the academic calendar, requiring a commitment of up to three days per week in the Van Alen office for three months. Throughout the course of the internship period, Van Alen provides opportunities such as informational meetings with staff, access to relevant public programming, and educational outings. Participants in the Van Alen Internship Program receive a monthly stipend of $600. Candidates may also arrange academic credit and outside funding sources.

To apply, please email a cover letter, resume, and writing sample in a single PDF to Please indicate in your cover letter the internship area to which you are applying.




We’re currently seeking enthusiastic volunteers who are interested in helping our small staff to make Van Alen programs and events happen. Roles will be tailored according to the volunteer’s interest, past experience, and strengths.