Director of Advancement

Smithsonian Institution, National Portrait Gallery
District of Columbia, United States
Salary Not specified
Jan 28, 2021
Feb 26, 2021
Position Type
Fundraising, Major Gifts
Employment Type
Full Time

Come join a team of dedicated staff at an exceptional time in Smithsonian history. 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.

Following a successful national campaign, the Smithsonian has built a model fundraising organization, one that will meet the growing needs of this unique organization and offer excellent professional opportunities. As we continue to build on our success, the Smithsonian Institution's

National Portrait Gallery seeks to hire an accomplished Director of Advancement responsible for planning, directing, implementing, and evaluating both annual and long-range comprehensive fundraising activities for the museum. The Director of Advancement reports to the Museum Director and serves as a member of the executive leadership team to set priorities and develop strategies to accomplish the museum's goals. The Director oversees the work of a high-performing advancement team, comprised of eight full-time staff focused on advancement and special events including the gala production, to plan, direct and implement fundraising strategies and initiatives in the areas of major gifts, planned gifts, corporate and foundation support.

Successful candidates will have:

  • Minimum of seven years of relevant experience in major gifts fundraising and management, preferably within a major cultural institution, nonprofit organization, educational institution, or other environment of similar complexity.
  • Demonstrated success in building long-term donor relationships and securing five-seven figure gifts.
  • Proven ability to lead, develop and supervise a team of advancement and special events professionals, and unpaid staff to include fellows, interns and volunteers.
  • Experience in the development and implementation of strategic, complex, and innovative fundraising plans for an advancement program and executing against those plans to achieve goals and objectives. Experience working directly with senior members of an organization and the ability to effectively strategize and engage various groups and constituents.
  • Superior written and oral communication skills; the ability to understand and translate information for all audiences; clarity, crispness, and elegance in writing and speaking.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills with a demonstrated ability to work well with people at all levels of an organization across a diverse range of educational and social backgrounds, and to demonstrate an honest respect for each individual.
  • Demonstrated commitment to promoting diversity, inclusion, and multicultural competence in an educational and work environment.
  • Bachelor's degree is required; Master's degree is highly desired.

The National Portrait Gallery was authorized and founded by Congress in 1962 with the mission to acquire and display portraits of "men and women who have made significant contributions to the history, development, and culture of the people of the United States." Today, the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery attracts over 2 million visitors onsite and 4 million online and continues to narrate the multi-faceted and ever-changing story of America through the individuals who have shaped its culture. Through the visual arts, performing arts, and new media, the Portrait Gallery presents poets and presidents, visionaries and villains, actors and activists whose lives form our national identity.

The museum has significantly grown its advancement department in the last two years and, as a result, has seen dramatic increases in fundraising performance. Our goal is to maintain this rate of growth beyond the museum's $25 million comprehensive campaign, which concluded at the end of 2018, the Portrait Gallery's 50th anniversary year. This position offers excellent opportunities for the successful candidate to make a significant impact on the future of the National Portrait Gallery. There is no better time to join this amazing museum.

The Smithsonian offers a competitive salary and a comprehensive benefits package. This is not a Federal position but has similar requirements and benefits. Interested candidates should submit their resumes and cover letter to by February 24, 2021. Please include the title of the position in the subject line of the email. Resumes must 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. To best serve our current and future visitors we strive to maximize the diversity, equity, and inclusiveness of our organization. Therefore, we encourage candidates that represent and embody the diversity found within our community to apply.



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