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Assistant/Associate Director of Museum Development

Colby College
Maine, United States
Salary Not specified
Closing date
Sep 23, 2022

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Position Type
Fundraising, Other Fundraising
Employment Type
Full Time
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Job Description Department:

Museum Development

Pay Rate Type:


Job Summary:

College Advancement
Full-Time, Exempt, Salaried, Administrative Staff Appointment

Reporting to the director of museum development, the assistant/associate director of museum development is responsible for broadening and deepening philanthropic engagement with the Colby Museum of Art. At an exciting moment of growth for the museum and Colby during the Dare Northward campaign and with an investment in the arts ecosystem that includes collaborative programming located in downtown Waterville, the assistant/associate director will design, contribute to, and execute strategies for fundraising, communications, and events in alignment with the museum’s and the College’s commitment to access, equity, and the understanding of arts and education as a public good. The assistant/associate director of museum development will activate a robust community of support for the museum through management of Friends of Art, and by envisioning and executing both broad-based and targeted engagement strategies through events and communications. As the museum’s community of annual philanthropic supporters and advocates, Friends of Art is a a capacious vehicle 1) to drive continued relationships with donors – at every level – who care deeply about the museum and 2) to cultivate a new and more diverse generation of philanthropists who will support the museum’s program and values. In addition to annual fundraising and participation goals, success for the Friends of Art program will be evaluated on how the program is helping to advance the museum’s racial justice and equity work.

The assistant/associate director of museum development will serve as a staff member both within the Colby College Museum of Art and the Division of College Advancement. This vital contributor to the Colby Museum of Art and the Division of College Advancement teams will nurture reliable annual support for sustainable philanthropic impact year after year, and develop a pipeline to discover new opportunities for augmented support through leadership annual, capital, and planned giving, as well as through gifts of art to the museum’s collection. In supporting overall objectives for museum development, the assistant/associate director of museum development will also provide critical research, reporting, solicitation, and stewardship assistance. A representative of both the College and the museum, the assistant/associate director of museum development has a deep appreciation for the liberal arts college experience, academic art museums, and a strong personal commitment to equity and inclusion. We encourage inquiries from candidates who will contribute to the diversity of our College, including its cultural and ethnic diversity.



Friends of Arts, Appeals and Pipeline Development

  • Manage annual solicitation plan to renew and build participation in Friends of Art in close collaboration with the director of museum development and the Colby Museum of Art, Colby Fund, and Advancement Communications and Engagement teams
  • Oversee and execute all aspects of project management for printed and digital appeals including: developing content, voice, and overall approach; drafting copy; requesting and reviewing constituent data from Advancement Operations; routing drafts for approvals and revisions within project timeline; coordinating with designer and printer to produce and send mailings; and continually tracking and evaluating appeal success as feedback to inform future appeals over the course of the fiscal year and beyond
  • Collaborate with the Colby Fund to secure new and renewed 1813 Society leadership-level Friends of Art gifts, including providing stewardship that demonstrates collective impact
  • Conduct research and recommend strategies to identify prospects for increased engagement through volunteer leadership and philanthropy, building out prospect discovery work and pipeline development through the apparatus of advancement’s leadership annual giving and leadership gifts teams
  • Prepare reports and updates for the Museum Resources Committee of the Museum Board of Governors in collaboration with the director of museum development to help guide Friends of Art strategy


Friends of Art, Engagement

  • Determine and execute communications strategy to share the museum’s world-class collection and vibrant programming – which spans academic and community engagement, acclaimed special and traveling exhibitions, and the Lunder Institute for American Art – with current and new Friends of Art for solicitation and stewardship
  • Consider how the museum’s increased presence in downtown Waterville (i.e. at Greene Block + Studios and, opening late 2022, the Paul J. Schupf Art Center) and Colby’s investment in the arts on campus (i.e. Gordon Center for the Creative and Performing Arts) may shape opportunities for philanthropic engagement in an additive and integrated way, making recommendations based on analysis
  • Plan and execute specific Friends of Art cultivation events, and identify opportunities to involve Friends of Art supporters in museum and College events on campus, in Waterville, across the country, and virtually


Museum Development Events

  • Contribute to analysis and ideation, and serve as event manager for all aspects of the Colby Museum of Art’s annual Summer Luncheon – a daytime festivity that brings together approximately 500 friends of the museum in celebration of its commitment to transforming lives through art, the contributions of artists, and the philanthropy that makes its mission and programs possible
  • Provide event planning, management, and assistance for events that engage museum donors and prospects hosted by the Colby Museum of Art, the College, volunteer leadership, and other institutions (in the case of traveling exhibitions)
  • Serve as proactive and reliable resource for frontline fundraisers in relaying museum events so that they may participate in and share events with prospects


Museum Development Communications

  • Determine and execute communications strategy that features and distributes museum content for donor-focused communications in coordination with the Colby Museum of Art's communications manager, Advancement Communications, and the Office of Communications as appropriate, whether leverage existing (such as the museum's e-newsletter or digital publication, The Lantern) or drafting and managing additional communications
  • Serve as proactive and reliable resource for frontline fundraisers in relaying museum content with prospects and as a means of keeping colleagues informed about museum news, programs, events, and initiatives


Data Review and Gift Acknowledgments

  • Track and assess progress to fundraising and participation goals for Friends of Art, the Museum Board of Governors Fund, and the Summer Luncheon
  • Review gifts to the museum regularly and conduct research on donor histories, capacity, and inclination to identify opportunities for further engagement, cultivation, and personalized stewardship
  • Oversee the weekly gift acknowledgement process in coordination with the Administrative Operations team, providing timely, standardized thank you letters from the Colby Museum of Art’s Carolyn Muzzy Director for gifts in support of the museum and drafting tailored communications as necessary
  • Manage data, as needed, for the Colby Museum of Art’s external communications that include donors, such as the museum’s holiday card



  • Participate in professional development training offered by the College, Division of College Advancement, Colby Museum of Art, and professional associations to enhance expertise and skills
  • Perform additional duties as assigned; duties, responsibilities, and activities may change at any time with or without notice



  • Bachelor’s degree or the equivalent in education and experience
  • Minimum of 1-5 years of fundraising or related experience in a college, university, museum, cultural or complex institution with success in making direct solicitations 
  • Demonstrated capacity to organize and manage programs
  • Superb organizational skills, ability to consistently meet deadlines and follow-through on assignments, and great attention to detail
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Proficiency with fundraising/alumni relations or equivalent relationship management databases and technology
  • Proven collaboration and teamwork skills in a diverse community to leverage activities, initiatives, and programs for multiple purposes
  • Strong, self-motivated work ethic; flexibility; and demonstrated capability to work both independently and constructively as a member of a diverse community
  • Appreciation of Colby’s and Colby College Museum of Art’s missions and the ability to effectively communicate them
  • Unwavering commitment to fostering an anti-racist, equitable work environment supportive of people from different cultures, backgrounds, and life paths
  • Willingness and ability to work outside normal working hours (i.e. nights and weekends)
  • Must be willing to travel; valid driver’s license required and must meet the College’s Fleet Safety Policy requirements



Reporting to the director of museum development, the assistant/associate director of museum development will work closely with the Colby College Museum of Art’s Carolyn Muzzy director and the assistant vice president for college advancement. The assistant/associate director of museum development will have direct contact with the Colby Museum of Art’s deputy director, executive assistant, coordinator of institutional initiatives and board affairs, curators, Lunder Institute director, collections manager and registrars, as well as the Division of College Advancement leadership, president, trustees, senior administration, key faculty, and staff members across campus. The position also occasionally interacts with the Museum Board of Governors Chair and Vice-Chair and key members of the board.



General open office and campus environment. Position involves sitting, although frequent movement is necessary. Computer usage involving repetitive hand/wrist motion is also necessary. Ability to move around campus and interact with faculty, staff, students, parents/alumni, and external constituencies regularly is crucial. Potential for travel and work outside of normal business hours.



Interested candidates should apply electronically by clicking the "Apply" button on the Colby Careers website. Please submit a letter of interest including salary requirements, resume, and the contact information of three professional references. Materials should be addressed to:


Assistant/Associate Director of Museum Development - Search Committee
Office of Human Resources
Colby College
5500 Mayflower Hill
Waterville, ME  04901-8855

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