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Director of Individual Giving

Whitney Museum
New York, United States
Salary Not specified
Closing date
Oct 13, 2022

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Position Type
Fundraising, Major Gifts
Employment Type
Full Time

The Director of Individual Giving is responsible for meeting the Whitney Museum’s annual revenue targets and ambitious operating goals by leading all aspects of fundraising from individual donors.  The Director will develop comprehensive annual plans, as well as individual giving strategies to identify, cultivate, solicit, and steward individual donors to increase giving at all levels.  Reporting to and working closely with the Director of Philanthropy, they will set and track yearly projections and strategic long-term priorities for individual giving in support of the Whitney's mission, vision, goals, and objectives.

The ideal candidate must be results-driven, successful in closing multi-year gifts, making face to face solicitations, and able to work collaboratively with volunteer(s), key Museum leaders, and staff across the institution.  We seek a person who is adaptable, extremely organized, a creative thinker, an outstanding writer and communicator, and thrives in a very fast-paced environment. The Director must possess a high-level of emotional intelligence, charisma, energy, and the ability to bring a “can-do” enthusiastic disposition to the role and inspire others to do their best work. 

A senior member of the Advancement team, the Director will manage members of the Individual Giving team and collaborate effectively across Advancement functions, including Foundations, Planned Giving, and Corporate Giving and Special Events. 


  • Meet exhibition and general program support goals from individual donors by developing fundraising strategies with a specific eye toward leveraging patron group affiliations to deepen relationships and cultivate additional and significant giving
  • Optimize fundraising through advance planning and partnering with the Museum director, curatorial, other program staff and Museum volunteers  
  • Reach annual fundraising goals for six patron groups with a holistic and strategic view of patron group recruitment priorities, opportunities, benefit fulfillment, and coordinated event planning
  • Build strong internal relationships across the Museum to allow for effective partnerships between Advancement and Program staff (Curatorial, Education, Conservation), as well as other departments, to accomplish fundraising goals and build long-term engagement with donors
  • Manage members of the Individual Giving Team, by providing direction, mentorship, developing systems and effectively delegating responsibilities to meet and/or exceed fundraising goals annually
  • In collaboration with the Chief Advancement Officer and Director of Philanthropy, position and expertly prepare the Director, Trustees, high-level volunteers and key staff to cultivate, solicit, and steward prospects and donors
  • Develop compelling proposals, appeals, letters, emails, reports and other fundraising communications that align with the interests of individual supporters and deepen their engagement with the Museum
  • Manage a portfolio of high-net-worth major-gift prospects and donors through the entire cycle of development – from research and identification through cultivation, solicitation, closure, and stewardship
  • Participate in prospect development with Director of Philanthropy and Manager, Prospect Research and Strategy
  • Oversee overall revenue and expense budget and monitor progress on forecasted fundraising targets for the Individual Giving Team
  • Collaborate on planned giving program development through patron group member outreach and providing advice on strategies for targeted individuals

B.A./B.S.; Minimum 7 – 10 years of progressive experience developing a significant and successful patron group program for a medium-large institution that has a reputation for quality and excellence; proven success with raising 6 figure gifts or greater; demonstrated ability to work effectively and successfully in identifying, cultivating and soliciting individuals and closing gifts; excellent writer with experience in drafting correspondence in different voices and developing fundraising proposals and reports; strong ability to lead multiple projects simultaneously; highly organized and deadline oriented;  works collaboratively across the Advancement department and institution; great interpersonal skills; Proficiency in Microsoft Office programs (Word, Excel, Outlook and PowerPoint) and experience with Raiser’s Edge database or similar fundraising software important.  Experience working in an art museum and an understanding of the cultural fundraising and NYC donor/philanthropic landscape a plus.

Experience and Qualifications:

  • Exceptional management, leadership, presentation, and written and interpersonal communication skills
  • Strong organizational skills and the ability to manage multiple projects with a keen eye for detail, accuracy, and focus on meeting all deadlines and performance goals
  • A track record as an effective communicator; highly skilled in writing; adept at crafting proposals, donor correspondence and other kinds of materials
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively with and quickly gain the respect and support of various key constituencies, including trustees, high-level volunteers, senior museum management, donors, and prospects
  • A successful track record of personally identifying, cultivating and soliciting major individual donors for annual, capital and planned gifts
  • A knowledge and understanding of the New York funding community and the ability and poise to communicate the Whitney’s mission and interests to a broad audience
  • Strategic planning and budget management experience
  • Strong passion for contemporary art and familiarity with the art and cultural world


Not sure you meet 100% of our qualifications? Research shows that men apply for jobs when they meet an average of 60% of the criteria. Yet, women and other people who are systematically marginalized tend to only apply if they meet every requirement. If you believe that you could excel in this role, we encourage you to apply. We are dedicated to considering a broad array of candidates, including those with diverse workplace experiences and backgrounds. Whether you’re new to arts and culture administration, returning to work after a gap in employment, simply looking to transition, or take the next step in your career path, we will be glad to have you on our radar. Please use your cover letter to tell us about your interest in the arts and culture space and what you hope to bring to this role.

About the Whitney:
The Whitney Museum of American Art, founded in 1930 by the artist and philanthropist Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, houses the foremost collection of American art from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. From her vision arose the Whitney Museum of American Art, which has been championing the most innovative art of the United States for 86 years. The core of the Whitney’s mission is to collect, preserve, interpret, and exhibit American art of our time and serve a wide variety of audiences in celebration of the complexity and diversity of art and culture in the United States. Through this mission and a steadfast commitment to artists themselves, the Whitney has long been a powerful force in support of modern and contemporary art and continues to help define what is innovative and influential in American art today.

EEO Statement:
The Whitney Museum of American Art is an Equal Opportunity Employer. The Museum does not discriminate because of age, sex, religion, race, color, creed, national origin, alienage or citizenship, disability, marital status, partnership status, veteran status, gender (including gender identity), sexual orientation, or any other factor prohibited by law. The Museum hires and promotes individuals solely on the basis of their qualifications for the job to be filled. The Museum encourages all qualified candidates to apply for vacant positions at all levels. This description shall not be construed as a contract of any sort for a specific period of employment.

COVID guidelines:
The health and safety of our Museum community is the highest priority. As such, the Whitney Museum is requiring all newly hired staff members to be fully vaccinated and boosted with an FDA authorized and/or approved COVID-19 vaccine as a condition of employment. Requests for reasonable accommodations for medical, religious, or other reasons will be considered in accordance with applicable law.

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