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Director of Advancement

Smithsonian Institution
District of Columbia, United States
$160,000.00 - $170,000.00
Closing date
Feb 17, 2022

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Position Type
Fundraising, Annual Fund, Capital Campaigns, Corporate and Foundation Relations, Donor Relations, Fundraising Administration, Major Gifts, Planned Giving, Other Fundraising, Special Events
Arts, Museum
Employment Type
Full Time
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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’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden seeks a charismatic and accomplished Director of Advancement with proven fundraising experience to help grow a high-performing advancement department to serve the philanthropy needs of the museum today and for the future. The incumbent will develop and manage the museum’s fundraising program and raise major gifts from individual donors, corporations, and foundations for exhibitions, public programs, museum collections, and other initiatives. In addition, the Director of Advancement will be responsible for planning, implementing, and managing a multiyear capital campaign to support our Sculpture Garden revitalization efforts.

The Director of Advancement oversees the advancement program for the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, with responsibility for planning, generating, and executing fund-raising initiatives with an emphasis on major gifts. S/he manages a portfolio of prospects including qualification of new prospects, and the cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of donors through in person visits and communications. The Director supervises the advancement staff of six full-time staff members.  This position oversees the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden Board activities. S/he develops written annual work plans, visit and solicitation goals in conjunction with the Museum Director, and prepares reports on activities. The Director collaborates with museum staff and other Smithsonian units on programs and solicitations.

The Director of Advancement must be passionate about the Hirshhorn Museum, its history, and its important position in the international contemporary and modern art landscape, to deliver a persuasive message about investment in the programs and collections of the museum.   

The successful candidate will have at least five to seven years of successful experience in major gift fundraising, preferably in a major, arts-related institution, non-profit organization, or educational institution. Application materials should show experience in building long-term donor relationships and closing 5-7 figure gifts.  Hands-on board management experience with a proven history of fundraising success, including cultivation through solicitation and stewardship as well as experience working with planned giving, grant writing, and annual fund strategies should be demonstrated in application. Candidates must have superior oral and written communication skills, as well as excellent interpersonal and negotiation skills. Application materials should show experience building an advancement program for a cultural organization.  A bachelor’s degree is required; an advanced degree is preferred.

The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden is a leading voice for contemporary art and culture and provides a national platform for the art and artists of our time. We seek to share the transformative power of modern and contemporary art with audiences at all levels of awareness and understanding by creating meaningful, personal experiences in which art, artists, audiences and ideas converge. We enhance public understanding and appreciation of contemporary art through acquisition, exhibitions, education and public programs, conservation, and research. 

The Smithsonian Institution is a unique complex of 21 museums and galleries, the National Zoological Park, and nine research 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 Institution offers a competitive salary and a comprehensive package of benefits. This is not a federal position but has similar requirements and benefits. Interested candidates should submit their resumes and a cover letter to by February 16, 2022.  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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