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Chief Development Officer - Innovative Midwest Art Museum

Milwaukee Art Museum
Wisconsin, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Closing date
Nov 23, 2021

View more

Position Type
Fundraising, Capital Campaigns, Corporate and Foundation Relations, Donor Relations, Major Gifts, Membership, Planned Giving, Prospect Research, Other Fundraising, Special Events
Arts, Museum
Employment Type
Full Time
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ABOUT MAM: Since 1888, the Milwaukee Art Museum (MAM) has grown to be an icon for Milwaukee and a resource for the entire state. The 341,000-square-foot Museum includes permanent collection galleries in the War Memorial Center (1957) designed by Finnish-American architect Eero Saarinen, the Kahler Building (1975) by David Kahler, and the Quadracci Pavilion (2001) created by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. Central to the Museum’s mission is its role as a premier educational resource, with programs that are among the largest and most vibrant in the nation, including classes, tours, and a full calendar of events for all ages.

In May 2016, Marcelle Polednik joined the Museum as the first Donna and Donald Baumgartner Director. Please click here for more information about MAM.

The Milwaukee Art Museum, like every organization, was significantly impacted by the pandemic and has successfully navigated multiple closures and the subsequent opportunities to reopen to the public. With a concentrated effort to welcome the public back to the museum safely, the Museum saw thousands of guests return to the galleries during the spring and summer of 2021. Through the uncertainty of this last year, the Museum and Board have demonstrated an agility and creativity to deal with the storms of the pandemic and reemerge ready to serve the Milwaukee Community from a position of strength.

For more about Milwaukee as an extraordinary community in which to live and work, please see:

THE OPPORTUNITY: The Chief Development Officer will join a vibrant, committed, and talented senior leadership team at a pivotal moment in the Museum’s history. The successful candidate will be a dynamic self-starter with a track record of success in a development leadership role, an innovator, an exceptional relationship builder, and a proven manager and mentor. Demonstrated success as a front-line major gift officer is key, as is knowledge of best practices in development and membership The CDO reports to the Museum’s Director and collaborates with colleagues in Curatorial, Education, Program, Marketing, Design, and Finance, and work closely with the Board of Trustees, including a newly established board-level Campaign Committee. Reporting to the CDO is a team of 12 in development and membership.

FUNDING: MAM has a current annual operating budget of approximately $16M, with approximately $8M in private support, including philanthropy from MAM’s generous and engaged board members. The institution has an endowment with a current market value of approximately $60M. MAM is currently in early stages of a capital campaign feasibility/planning process and has engaged outside counsel (CCS).


  • A genuine passion for the MAM mission and for the importance of art and arts education more broadly.
  • Significant leadership experience within a sophisticated fundraising operation, preferably in a museum or other cultural institution.
  • Established credibility in the field as a leader and effective fundraiser.
  • Deep experience managing, soliciting, and stewarding major gift donors with success at the six-figure-plus level.
  • Demonstrated track record of innovation and advancing a development program.
  • Direct experience managing successful major gifts programs as well as robust membership programs.
  • Capital campaign experience.
  • Strong record of recruiting and developing exceptional people and fostering a transparent, collegial work environment.
  • Commitment to the principles of diversity, equity, inclusion, and access in team building and in diversifying the donor base.
  • Experience across digital and social as well as traditional platforms to extend development outreach.
  • Success working with engaged volunteers and board members.
  • Sound financial acumen and knowledge of budget preparation, monitoring, and administration.
  • Tech savvy: facility with basic business software and commonly used fundraising prospect management tools.
  • A warm, engaging, and accessible style.
  • Superior communication and presentation skills.
  • Strong work ethic and the flexibility to adapt to changing circumstances.
  • Impeccable integrity, trustworthiness, maturity, and discretion.
  • Familiarity with the Milwaukee and broader Midwest philanthropic communities is a plus.
  • Bachelor’s degree is required; a master’s degree in a relevant discipline is preferred.

Please click here to apply online via the Howe-Lewis Talent Portal. You may also email your resume and letter of interest to


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