Design Trust Fellows are top professionals from the private-sector who lead the research, design and planning work for our projects. The exact role and expertise is based on the nature of the project – in the past we've worked with journalists, transportation experts, urban planners, water resource engineers, filmmakers, public policy experts, information designers, architects, photographers, public health experts, and graphic designers.

Getting a Design Trust Fellowship is like getting the New York version of the Rome Prize – it provides an opportunity to investigate something in depth with support and resources from a nonprofit and city agencies.

Nina Rappaport, Design Trust Fellow , 2008

Interested in becoming a fellow?

Tell us about yourself and we will send you more information.

Thank you!


The Design Trust believes that public/private partnerships are the most effective way to advance the quality of our public realm. We will not undertake a project unless the city agency or community group best situated to implement the designs and plans we develop is involved from the very beginning. For that reason, every Design Trust project is conducted in full partnership with the organization that proposed the project idea to us. 

Do you want more information about partnering with us?

Tell us about yourself and your organization and we will send you more information.

Thank you!


Occasionally we need more hands to help us do our work. From installing public exhibits to leading tours to staffing one of our events, we cannot do our work without dedicated volunteers who believe in our mission. 

If you are interested in volunteering some of your time and expertise to help us fulfill our mission, we would love to hear from you! 

Interested in volunteering?

Tell us about yourself and your organization and we will send you more information.

Thank you!

Employment & Internships At the Design Trust

development assistant

We are seeking an energetic Development Assistant who shares our passion for public space!

Design Trust for Public Space, recipient of the 2017 National Design Award for Corporation and Institutional Achievement, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the future of public space in New York City. Our projects bring together city agencies, community groups, and private sector experts to make a lasting impact – through design – on how New Yorkers live, work and play.

Position Summary
Design Trust for Public Space seeks an energetic Development Assistant who shares our passion for public space. The Development Assistant will play an integral role in increasing revenue for and the capacity of the Design Trust by supporting the organization’s fundraising program, including major gift and annual giving, foundation and government grants and special events.

The Development Assistant will be able to successfully prioritize among multiple projects, initiate process improvements, work collaboratively with a dedicated staff of 8 and with various stakeholders across the organization i.e. board members, donors and project partners.

The ideal candidate will have excellent organizational, written and verbal communication and data base management skills, as well as strong attention to detail. We are looking for candidates with the ability to thrive in an entrepreneurial environment with a positive, can-do attitude and a sense of humor!

The position will report directly to the Director of Development.

Responsibilities and Duties
  • Data/Gift Management and Administration: Maintain accurate donor files; manage DonorPerfect database; ensure data integrity by identifying and implementing regular data cleanup projects for all donor records; liaise with the bookkeeper regarding contributed support and development expenses; record incoming gifts in database, and coordinate timely acknowledgements for all gifts received; create reports and excel spreadsheets for various mailings throughout the year.
  • Board Committees: Coordinate scheduling, reporting materials, and follow-up activities for board Development, and Nominating Committee meetings. 
  • Organization and Project Support: Work closely with Development Director to draft and submit grant proposals and final reports to Foundation, Government and Corporate prospects and funders; maintain grant proposal calendar.
  • Event Management: Work closely with Development Director and Communications Manager on multiple aspects of Annual Benefit including: production and mailing of leadership appeal and general invitation; oversee graphic design of invitation for print and website; assist with producing collateral materials for Annual Benefit, i.e. posters, table signs etc.; maintain RSVP List. Assist Development Director with overseeing the Design Trust Council patron program: issuing timely renewals and processing new memberships; planning and execution of 4 to 6 Design Trust Council events per year; Annual Report and Founder’s Circle Report: Annually, draft report materials and manage graphic design, printing, and mailing; Fundraising One-Sheets: Periodically update fundraising one-sheets for stewardship and reporting.
  • Collateral and Written Materials: With Director of Development draft Annual Appeal materials, create mailing lists and oversee mailing of letters; assist with drafting, printing and mailing of both the Annual Report and Founders’ Circle Report (Design Trust’s Major Donor group); work with Communications Manager in periodically updating Fundraising One-Sheets used for stewardship and reporting.

Required Required Background, Skills and Qualifications
  • Bachelor’s degree and at least 2 years of professional or internship experience at a nonprofit organization
  • Team player and thrives in a small-office environment
  • Proven excellent written and oral communication skills and organizational skills
  • Prior experience working in fundraising/development preferred 
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office, DonorPerfect or Raiser’s Edge preferred, some knowledge of design software like In-Design a plus

The Design Trust offers a competitive salary based on experience and an excellent benefits package (health, dental, vision, and 401(k) with an employer match). In addition, Design Trust employees receive ample vacation and sick time, enjoy a flexible work environment, and work with a talented team of individuals on public space projects that have a real impact on New York City’s urban environment.

How To Apply
Applications will be accepted via email only and will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Only complete applications will be reviewed. Due to the volume of applications, only those candidates short-listed for the first round of interviews will be notified. No phone calls or office visits please.

To apply, send the following as one complete PDF file:
  1. A cover letter explaining your qualifications for the position, with salary requirements
  2. Your resume (2 pages maximum)
  3. A writing sample (development-related)

Name your PDF file “lastname_firstname.pdf” and send your complete application to: info@designtrust.org with “Development Assistant Application” written in the Subject Line.

Deadline to apply is: Friday, January 25, 2019 with a projected start date of February 2019.

Design Trust for Public Space
Design Trust for Public Space is a nonprofit organization that brings design innovation to New York City’s public space. Design Trust is an equal opportunity employer and encourages people of all abilities, ethnicities, genders, national origins or ancestries, socioeconomic statuses, races, formerly incarcerated statuses, religions and sexualities to apply. Design Trust is also committed to accessibility and to working together with you to develop an accessibility plan.