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Director of Development, Smart Museum of Art

The University of Chicago
Illinois, United States
Competitive Salary
Closing date
Dec 3, 2022
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The Director of Development (DoD) will be responsible for leading and coordinating comprehensive fundraising efforts for the Smart Museum of Art. The Director will design and implement holistic strategies and build relationships to identify, cultivate and solicit annual, major, and principal gift donors in collaboration with Smart Museum leadership, the Smart Museum Board of Governors, University leadership, and development colleagues. Working closely with the Smart Museum and ARD teams, the Director will identify and define funding opportunities, support individual and foundation donor engagement opportunities and solicitations, and collaborate with the Smart Board and the Dana Feitler Director to develop strategic approaches for fundraising growth. This Director is a senior fundraising position with management responsibilities for the Smart Museum fundraising team and will work closely with other arts leaders across the University of Chicago and develop partnerships with other University of Chicago fundraising colleagues.

Reporting to the Assistant Vice President for Development-Humanities and the Arts, and the Dana Feitler Director of the Smart Museum, the Director is a member of the Smart Museum’s senior leadership team and a member of the ARD Humanities and the Arts Directors group.


The job manages a team of professional staff responsible for programs designed to meet University fundraising goals for contributed income. Manages relationships with alumni, faculty, administrators, and organizations with potential to make gifts in support of the University. Develops communication strategies for projects and contributes to the development of larger advancement strategies.



  • Provide vision for and leadership of the Smart Museum’s fundraising activities including annual giving, major gifts, institutional giving, fundraising events, and campaigns.
  • Lead and manage the creation and implementation of a strategy for the identification, cultivation, solicitation, gift closure, and stewardship of individual and foundation major donor prospects in collaboration with ARD and Smart Museum staff and leadership.
  • Work closely with the Dana Feitler Director of the Smart Museum in supporting the Smart Board of Governors, including managing, and overseeing individual relationships and board committees, as needed.
  • Build and manage relationships with a portfolio of 60-80 individual and foundation prospects, and partner with fundraising colleagues on multi-interest prospects to include Smart Museum solicitations in their overall solicitation plans; including solicitations at the six and seven figure levels.
  • Monitor progress against goals ensuring deadlines are met.
  • Manage, supervise, and lead the Smart’s development team--currently a team of two fundraising professionals with the possibility for growth in the future.
  • Hire, manage, develop, and evaluate development staff as needed and as assigned.
  • Actively encourage staff members' professional growth and participation in the life of the University.
  • In partnership with the Assistant Vice President for Development-Humanities and the Arts establish annual performance goals, allocate resources, track and assess individual and team performance.
  • Monitor and manage the development team budget.
  • Seek opportunities for professional development that will enhance job performance, including building networks within the University and with colleagues at peer institutions and with an eye towards broadly diversifying the advancement profession.
  • Manages department strategies and plans to achieve University fundraising goals.
  • Recommends and implements fundraising programs and activities.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Unit-preferred Competencies

  • An ability to communicate effectively and with influence characterized by the ability to listen deeply, speak clearly, and effectively convey ideas in writing
  • Demonstrated experience fostering partnership and collaboration
  • The ability to be a brand ambassador for the Smart Museum and the University of Chicago
  • Strong organizational and analytical skills
  • Self-motivated and entrepreneurial mindset
  • Track record of meeting and exceeding goals
  • Passion for and comprehensive knowledge of art and art museums

Education, Experience, and Certifications

A bachelor’s degree is required for this position.
At least seven years of work experience in a related job discipline.
Preferred Qualifications
1) Experience soliciting and closing major gifts
2) Experience leading a high performing team
3) Demonstrated record of organizing successful fundraising, marketing or membership programs
4) A knowledge of and passion for the visual arts, art museums, and higher education
5) Experience fundraising for an art museum, gallery, or arts organization

Required Documents
1) Resume
2) Cover Letter

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