Director of Development

Telfair Museums, the oldest public art museum in the South, offers compelling expressions of visual culture through three unique buildings with three distinct collections bridging three centuries of art and architecture. Located in historic Savannah, Georgia, the museum develops awareness, provides education, and deepens understanding and appreciation of the arts by connecting people of all ages and backgrounds. The museums attract nearly 225,000 visitors annually.

Employment Opportunity:

Director of Development

DESCRIPTION

Reporting to the Executive Director/CEO, the Director of Development leads all fundraising efforts, and is a key member of the museum’s senior leadership team, working closely with trustees and managing a professional team to meet fundraising goals. The successful candidate will have experience designing and implementing non-profit advancement plans, setting and meeting annual and endowment fundraising goals, stewarding and retaining donors, and maintaining strong working relationships with colleagues and support staff. Specifically, this position fundraises for exhibitions and special projects, spearheads the Annual Telfair Ball, the museums largest source of annual funding, and collaborates with senior leaders and board members to design the organization’s strategic plans and budgets. The Director of Development builds on the museum’s strong fundraising successes to help lead this historic art museum to a new level and serves as a visible senior representative of the museum to external constituencies to enlist their ongoing support and partnership. 

ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Create and execute a strategic development plan to meet the museum’s short- and long-term financial goals through annual, endowment, capital, and planned giving from individuals, corporations, and foundations.
  • Cultivate strong relationships with potential sponsors and major donors. Personally, solicit and secure support from major donors.
  • Oversee a schedule of donor and member cultivation and stewardship activities, including exhibition openings, donor receptions and dinners, member events, and trips.
  • Oversee the museum membership process, both for general members and Director Circle members, including cultivation and retention of both groups.
  • Proactively engage Executive Director/CEO, board members, and volunteers in suitable fundraising initiatives.
  • Prepare and present monthly fundraising updates to Executive Director/CEO and Board of Trustees.
  • Manage development staff to meet fundraising goals and provide high-quality donor stewardship.
  • Actively identify and cultivate new donors and develop strategies for their engagement.
  • Coordinate with the Grant Writer to identify and apply for new grants.
  • Write, review, and edit copy for press releases, newsletters, website, social media platforms, and other media.
  • Act as a senior member of the museum and represent the institution at museum and community events; cultivate relationships with trustees, donors, potential donors, and corporate and political leaders at all levels. Present lectures and talks to raise the museum’s profile locally and nationally. 
  • Act with discretion and professionalism to create a positive image for the museum among supporters and the general public.

SUPERVISORY RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Supervise Development Manager, Director of Annual Giving, Director of Special Events, and Development Associate. Carry out supervisory responsibilities in accordance with the organization’s policies and applicable laws. Responsibilities include interviewing, hiring, and training employees; planning, assigning, and directing work; appraising performance and conducting annual performance reviews of direct reports; rewarding and disciplining employees; addressing complaints and resolving problems.

SKILLS AND ATTRIBUTES:

  • Superior communication and presentation skills.
  • Superior writing skills.
  • Able to work a flexible schedule including, evenings, weekends, and holidays.
  • Instinctive “donor service” outlook.

QUALIFICATIONS

  • At least four to six years of progressively responsible fundraising and development management experience.
  • An BA or BS in English or other relevant major.
  • At least two years managing staff and volunteers.
  • Proficient in Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
  • Experience managing and/or using a fund management software such as Raiser’s Edge, Altru or a compatible system.

PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS:

  • Ability to perform various functions such as standing, sitting, walking across uneven surfaces, climbing stairs, lifting, seeing in varying light conditions, and participating in some physical activities.

SALARY AND BENEFITS:

  • Telfair Museums offers a competitive salary and excellent benefits.

Please provide the following as part of your application:

  • Complete resume, references, and salary expectations.
  • A cover letter addressing both your interest in Telfair Museums and your qualifications for this position.

Application:

  • Indicate “Director of Development on the subject line of the email or in the body of the cover letter.
  • Applications in electronic format preferred and accepted at hr@telfair.org.
  • Mailed applications: Telfair Museums, Attn: HR, PO Box 10081, Savannah, GA 31412.

SUMMARY

Telfair Museums is the oldest public art museum in the South, founded in 1883 through the bequest of prominent local philanthropist Mary Telfair, who left her home and its furnishings to the Georgia Historical Society to be opened as a museum. Today, Telfair Museums consists of three unique buildings: Telfair Academy and the Owens-Thomas House & Slave Quarters, two National Historic Landmark sites built in the early 19th century, and the contemporary Jepson Center for the Arts.

Designed in the Regency style by English architect William Jay, the Telfair Academy houses 19th- and 20th-century American and European art, including paintings, works on paper, sculpture, and decorative arts. Highlights include fine examples of American Impressionism and Ashcan School Realism, with major paintings by Childe Hassam, Frederick Frieseke, Gari Melchers, Robert Henri, George Bellows, and George Luks. The Telfair Academy is also home to Sylvia Shaw Judson’s iconic Bird Girl statue, made famous in the Jack Leigh photograph on the dust jacket of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

The Owens-Thomas House & Slave Quarters is considered one of the finest examples of English Regency architecture in the country. In addition to the historic house museum and decorative art ranging from the late 18th to the early 19th century, the site includes rare intact urban slave quarters and a lovely parterre garden. The site underwent an award-winning reinterpretation in 2018, providing audiences with a broader understanding of how slavery impacted urban life in and beyond the home.

The Jepson Center, designed by acclaimed architect Moshe Safdie, is devoted to temporary exhibitions of modern art and is home to Telfair’s Kirk Varnedoe Collection, a cornerstone of the museum’s contemporary holdings. The collection features works on paper by some of the most pivotal artists of the past 50 years, including Jasper Johns, Chuck Close, Roy Lichtenstein, Jeff Koons, Robert Rauschenberg, Frank Stella, and Richard Avedon. Other contemporary artists include Carrie Mae Weems, Helen Levitt, Sam Gilliam, James Brooks, and many notable Georgia artists.

Telfair Museums’ permanent collection of paintings, works on paper, photography, sculpture, and decorative arts contains over 4,500 objects from America, Europe, and Asia, dating primarily from the 18th to 20th centuries. Telfair provides a range of educational initiatives, including youth and family programming, school tour programs, preplanned field trips for Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools fourth and eighth graders, youth classes, and summer camps. Telfair offers adults a variety of virtual and on-ground classes and workshops, ranging from drawing and painting classes with established local artists to workshops related to current exhibitions and exhibition opening lectures. Telfair (www.telfair.org) welcomes approximately 225,000 visitors each year.