Senior Advancement Officer

Smithsonian Institution, Smithsonian Science Education Center
District of Columbia, United States
Salary Not specified
May 27, 2021
Jun 25, 2021
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 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 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. Following the success of the Smithsonian's first comprehensive capital campaign, the largest ever undertaken by a cultural organization, the Smithsonian has built a model fundraising organization. This position offers exciting opportunities for the successful candidate to make a significant impact on the future of the Smithsonian. There is no better time to join this amazing Institution.

The Smithsonian Science Education Center (SSEC) seeks an experienced individual to serve as Senior Advancement Officer. The Senior Advancement Officer builds and manages a portfolio of prospects and donors, including a significant portfolio of corporate and foundation donors, to execute a program focused on high capacity giving. This work affects the successful achievement of major programs such as the progress of various internal programs, developing and maintaining partnerships, and/or the funding of a substantial number of trust positions affected by these efforts. The incumbent reports to the SSEC Director and is a member of the SSEC's leadership team. This is a supervisory position for two staff members.

The incumbent works closely with the SSEC Director, staff, and Advisory Board members in conceptualizing, planning, and implementing a coordinated advancement program. The incumbent determines the direction and overall tasks of the advancement program for SSEC, and works closely with the SSEC Director and other SSEC leaders to build a culture of philanthropy within the SSEC, keeping the Director informed of unanticipated issues, organizing development activities and solicitations, and recommending development policies and procedures. Duties and responsibilities of the position include:

  • Conducts the advancement program for SSEC, with responsibility for planning, generating, and executing fundraising initiatives, as well as for identifying funding priorities, creating and pursuing multiple strategies for securing private monies and needed funds, and for implementing specific projects and development-related
  • Works closely with the SSEC Director, and other staff in establishing funding priorities. Prepares and oversees development of proposals, and prepares and produces case statements, brochures, solicitations, and other development and fundraising materials and publications.
  • In collaboration with the Office of Advancement's Director of Institutional Advancement, serves as the senior fundraising authority, counseling staff on matters relating to private funding, advising which funding sources might be appropriate for projects and the best manner of approaching them. Regularly briefs the SSEC senior staff on fundraising plans, priorities, and activities. Reviews staff contacts with outside parties to identify possible cultivation and stewardship opportunities, advising and assisting other department staff in donor engagement. In this capacity, coordinates work of other staff planning for and securing private
  • Manages and sustains a portfolio of at least 120 prospects, including a significant portion of institutional funders, and a proposal pipeline to meet the annual targets and Leads the identification, cultivation, and solicitation of donors. Develops and implements stewardship program to support these efforts. Prepares and staffs others when leading these efforts on behalf of SSEC.
  • Manages the Advisory Board activities including the execution of coordinated annual programmatic, messaging and engagement strategies that highlight the SSEC's initiatives and priorities ensuring that members are inspired, informed, and connected through meaningful work, programs, and communications. Collaborates with, cultivates, and solicits the active support and involvement of the Advisory Board in philanthropic activities, including high-priority leadership and principal gifts.
  • Ensures donations are processed and acknowledged in a timely manner and maintains accurate and timely records for gifts, donors, and prospects in the Institution's advancement information system. Maintains records of solicitations and contacts for self and Director, and activity and
  • Coordinates and collaborates fundraising efforts with other units and the Office of Advancement, in support of prospect strategies, programs, special projects, and events. Serves as liaison to the Office of Advancement, briefing the organization's Director and senior staff on centralized fundraising plans and policies and advising on appropriate and synergistic alignments between the organization and Smithsonian fundraising Develops and oversees the advancement budget.

Successful candidates will demonstrate proven ability to develop and manage a fundraising program in a major cultural, scientific, educational and/or non-profit organization, including the ability to navigate large, complex institutions. Ability to develop goals and plans of accomplishment. Proven success in securing significant contributions from individuals, corporation and foundations 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.

A minimum of eight years of experience in progressively responsible advancement leadership positions, which includes work in individual giving, institutional giving, stewardship, and Advisory Board management. A passion for learning and exploration, and the desire to join a dynamic and growing operation should be demonstrated in your application. Bachelor's degree is required; Master's degree is highly desired. 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 SSEC is an organization of the Smithsonian Institution dedicated to transforming K-12 Education Through Science in collaboration with communities across the globe. To achieve its mission, SSEC has four goals: (1) promote authentic, inquiry-based, integrated K-12 science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) teaching and learning; (2) ensure diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion (DEAI) in K-12 STEM education; (3) advance STEM education for sustainable development (STEM4SD); and (4) translate the research and collections of the Smithsonian into meaningful tools and convenings for K-12 teachers and students. SSEC achieves its goals by: (a) building awareness for science education among school leaders; (b) promoting Leadership and Assistance for Science Education Reform (LASER); (c) supporting the professional growth of K-12 teachers and school leaders; (d) developing exemplary K-12 curriculum materials and digital resources (including the comprehensive research-based science curriculum programs: Smithsonian Science for the Classroom; Science and Technology Concepts for Middle School (STCMS); and Smithsonian Science for Global Goals); and (d) engaging in research. At the heart of SSEC's work is the idea that all youth—regardless of gender, sexual orientation, geography, race, native language, ability, or socio-economic status—should be given the opportunities to learn about the socio-scientific issues that challenge us. The Smithsonian, through the Smithsonian Science Education Center, plays an active role in sparking students' and teachers' interest in STEM to ensure scientific literacy and a sustainable planet. For additional information about the SSEC visit

The Smithsonian Institution is a unique complex of 19 museums and galleries, the National Zoological Park, and multiple research and education centers. The Smithsonian is a national and world treasure and is dedicated to its founding mission, “the increase and diffusion of knowledge.” Its exhibitions, programs, collections, and outreach touch the lives of millions of Americans every year, as well as many who visit us from abroad.

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 by June 22, 2021. Please include the position title in your e-mail subject line. 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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