Major Gifts Officer, Race Community and Our Shared Future

Smithsonian Institution, Office of Advancement
District of Columbia, United States
Salary Not specified
Oct 27, 2020
Nov 25, 2020
Position Type
Fundraising, Major Gifts
Employment Type
Full Time

Come join a team of dedicated staff at an exceptional time in Smithsonian history. With our new Secretary, Lonnie G. Bunch III, who was previously the founding director of the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture, we are positioned to realize our goal of being a truly 21st century museum complex.

The Smithsonian Institution is the world's largest museum, education and research complex, comprised of 19 museums and galleries, nine research centers, 21 libraries, the National Zoological Park and more than 200 affiliate museum partners. The Smithsonian is dedicated to its founding mission, “the increase and diffusion of knowledge” and as such we use our resources to encourage curiosity, ignite wonder and spark the joy of learning.

With dynamic leadership throughout the Institution, we are focused on broadening our reach by engaging new audiences who haven't always been represented in museums and creating a more robust virtual Smithsonian that complements and amplifies our collections, our expertise, our exhibitions in ways unimaginable just a few years ago. Through this digital strategy we plan to touch every home and every school in America. Marrying the possibilities of digital access with the strong educational and programming offerings housed in our museums and research centers, we will provide equal and effective educational access to all primary and secondary school children.

The Smithsonian recently announced the Race, Community and Our Shared Future Initiative (RCOSF), a commitment to the nation during this pivotal moment in our history. The Initiative will focus on inequity and social justice, exploring how Americans understand, experience, and confront racism, racial identity and the way these forces shape every aspect of society. By delivering programs and activities from across the breadth of the Smithsonian's museum, education, and research complex, as well as through external partnerships and other platforms, this commitment will examine the historical context and contemporary challenges facing America today.

In the first stages of planning this five-year Initiative, we look to enlist innovative, visionary partners to help us frame dialogue and leverage technology. With the aim of maximizing impact to drive understanding and change, we recognize the power of partnership and want to draw from the best in the field to join us. Our initial fundraising goal is $50M. The Smithsonian has secured a Founding Partner gift of $25M to conceptualize the Initiative and develop the inaugural programming.

As we seek to identify and engage new philanthropic partners who wish to make a profound impact in how we engage in a national and global discourse around these critical issues, the Smithsonian's Office of Advancement seeks an experienced and creative Major Gifts Officer (MGO) to join its Major Gifts and Discovery (MG&D) team. Approximately 50% of the work of this newly focused position will support unit level and institution-wide goals for RCOSF.

This position offers an exciting opportunity for the successful candidate to make a significant impact on expanding the scope and scale of the Smithsonian's vision through philanthropic efforts. The MGO will play a critical role in furthering an engagement strategy in key regional markets, developing and managing a portfolio of regional major gift prospects and helping formulate strategy and implement plans to achieve ambitious fundraising goals.

Successful candidates will demonstrate proven success in securing significant contributions from individuals through creative discovery and cultivation of productive relationships with prospective donors. Strong organizational, relationship, collaboration and communication skills as well as the ability to work independently are essential. The MGO will develop and execute strategies for discovery and engagement, present opportunities for support, and complete solicitations for not only RCOSF, but other mission critical projects across the Smithsonian.

A minimum of four years of progressive major gift fundraising experience, a passion for learning and exploration, and the desire to join a dynamic and growing operation should be demonstrated in your application. Experience in complex higher education or a large cultural or environmental organization is preferred. Travel is required and work during the evenings and weekends may be necessary.

The Office of Advancement oversees and guides the fundraising efforts of the entire Smithsonian and is home to the central development organization for the Institution. In addition to raising significant support for a variety of pan-institutional initiatives, including the Race, Community and Our Shared Future Initiative, the Office of Advancement provides support to advancement offices across the Institution. The MG&D team collaborates with staff throughout the Smithsonian to help accomplishing their goals.

The Smithsonian offers a competitive salary and a comprehensive benefits package. To learn more about us, visit This is not a Federal position but has similar requirements and benefits. Interested candidates should submit their resumes and cover letter to with Major Gifts and Discovery MGO in the subject line by November 23, 2020. Resumes should include a description of your paid and non-paid work experience that is related to this job; starting and ending dates of job (Month and year); and average number of hours worked per week.

The Smithsonian Institution is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer. Candidates of all backgrounds are encouraged to apply.


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