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Chief Development Officer

Lower East Side Tenement Museum
New York, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Closing date
Feb 11, 2022

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Position Type
Fundraising, Capital Campaigns, Corporate and Foundation Relations, Donor Relations, Major Gifts, Membership, Planned Giving, Prospect Research, Special Events
Employment Type
Full Time
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ABOUT THE MUSEUM: Since 1988, the Tenement Museum has forged emotional connections between visitors and immigrants and migrants past and present, through educator-led tours of its historic tenement buildings at 97 and 103 Orchard and the surrounding neighborhood, enhancing appreciation for the vital role working-class migrants play in shaping America’s identity. The museum has become one of New York City’s preeminent cultural and educational institutions, welcoming more than 278,000 visitors, including 55,000 students. The museum also offers various digital media to extend the reach and impact of its programs about American migration and identity.


The Tenement Museum aims to build an inclusive and expansive American identity and believes that the exploration of our complex history—one with moments of both inclusion and exclusion—helps prepare us to recognize and discuss today’s complex issues with empathy and nuance. For more information about the Museum, please visit


FUNDING: Pre-pandemic, the Museum had an annual operating budget of approximately $11M, of which $2.85M was from philanthropy and the balance from earned revenue. During the pandemic, The Museum was able to pivot to digital programming, resulting in an exponential increase in membership and donors in addition to the institution’s existing generous board members, donors, and members. The 2022 budget is $7M, with approximately $3.5M anticipated from contributed support. The goal for this role is to tap into new sources of philanthropy, building on the momentum and dramatic growth in new donors and members. In addition, a structural restabilization of 97 Orchard Street is fully funded and is expected to be completed in the fall of 2022.


THE OPPORTUNITY: The Chief Development Officer (CDO) drives the overall strategy and management of the Museum’s fundraising program to take it to its next level of success. They will work closely with the President, board, program, and curatorial and development teams, among others, to create and lead a comprehensive plan to increase private source revenue for annual operating, capital, and programmatic priorities. This includes identifying, cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding gifts from individuals, foundations, corporations, and government organizations; management of grant proposals; oversight of annual fundraising events; and implementation of annual giving appeals.


During the pandemic, the Museum acquired 5,500 new donor and members, mostly though digital engagement nationwide. The CDO will work closely with an engaged, enthusiastic, and talented team and board to tap into this new potential to support the Museum’s ambitions as well as to help secure a successful future and expanded impact through storytelling, exhibits, public programming, and scholarship.


The CDO is a member of the Senior Management Team and reports to and works closely with the President to align the Museum’s fundraising efforts with the strategic directions and needs of the organization. The CDO will provide leadership, direction, vision, and inspiration to a team of six.


IDEAL Qualifications:

  • Genuine interest in the Tenement Museum mission.
  • Proven track record of achieving significant major gift charitable support.
  • Experience in creating and implementing a capital campaign.
  • Progressive achievements in personal solicitation, board development, and the ability to create a robust and sustainable development program.
  • Innovation, creativity, and willingness to try novel approaches and tactics.
  • Knowledgeable about the NYC philanthropic and business communities.
  • Track record of supporting and developing high-performing teams.
  • The ability to write and speak clearly and deliver an effective, consistent, and persuasive message.
  • Successful experience working with an engaged board.
  • Ability to serve as a strategic partner to the President.
  • Commitment to the principles of diversity, equity, inclusion, and access in team building and in diversifying the donor base.
  • An understanding of how to leverage technology and create and disseminate tailored messages to targeted audiences, members, and donors.
  • Proficiency with donor management software.
  • Knowledge of budget preparation and administration.
  • Experience with a cultural institution is advantageous, but not required.
  • Ability to attend evening and weekend events and to serve as a highly visible ambassador for the Museum.
  • Bachelor’s degree is required.

Howe-Lewis International is pleased to have been retained by the Tenement Museum to assist with this important search. Please email your resume and letter of interest to

All expressions of interest will be held in confidence.

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