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Major Gift Officer

National Museum of American History
District of Columbia, United States
$112,015.00 - $112,015.00
Closing date
Feb 10, 2023

The Star-Spangled Banner, Abraham Lincoln’s pocket watch, the Greensboro Lunch Counter, Julia Child’s kitchen, the Ruby Slippers—these are just a few of the three million objects collected and cared-for by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History (NMAH). The Museum empowers people to create a just and compassionate future by exploring, preserving, and sharing the complexity of our past. By 2030, the Museum’s vision is to serve audiences that reflect the full racial, class, gender, ethnic, and geographic demographics of the United States.


About the Major Gift Officer

NMAH has an opening for an experienced and dynamic Major Gift Officer to help build the base of individual support for the Museum’s exhibitions, collections, educational and outreach activities, and endowment needs. The MGO will discover and qualify new prospects with a giving capacity of $50,000 and higher. Managing a portfolio of up to 125 prospects, the MGO will secure 5-7 figure gifts that contribute toward the Museum’s major fundraising goal as part of the Smithsonian’s second comprehensive campaign. This front-line fundraising position reports to the Director of Individual Giving. 


  • Manage a portfolio of up to 125 prospects rated at $50,000 and higher.
  • Develop and implement strategies to solicit 5-7 figure gifts.
  • Close 15-20 gifts per year toward an annual, individual dollar goal.
  • Collaborate with individual giving team to drive unrestricted annual giving through the Council for American History mid-level giving program.
  • Contribute to cultivation and solicitation strategies for the Museum’s legacy society.
  • Create written materials to support fundraising, including visit reports, letters, and proposals.
  • Staff Museum executives, volunteer leadership, and content experts by accompanying in meetings and writing briefings, talking points, and follow-up letters.
  • Design and execute appropriate events for the cultivation and stewardship of major donors.
  • Maintain a comprehensive and detailed knowledge of the Smithsonian’s infrastructure, policies, and procedures.


Minimum Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent combination of education and experience is preferred; Master’s degree is highly desired.
  • Two or more years of successful experience in major gift fundraising in a complex organization, preferably a museum or cultural institution.
  • A track record of building long-term donor relationships and closing 5-7 figure gifts.
  • Successful experience in identifying prospects and making cold calls.
  • Superior communication skills, both oral and written, as well as excellent interpersonal skills.
  • Ability to articulate a compelling case for support across the Museum’s broad areas of content and work with colleagues and donors across diverse cultures and backgrounds.
  • Understanding of and dedication to the mission of the National Museum of American History and a commitment to advancing its goals of becoming the most accessible, inclusive, relevant, and sustainable public history institution in the nation.
  • Willingness to travel nationally, approximately 4-6 days per month, and to work evenings and weekends as needed.


Application Instructions

To apply, please send a cover letter and resume to by February 10, 2023. Please include the position title in your 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.  Starting Salary for an IS-13 is $112,015 per year plus benefits.


Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

The Smithsonian Institution ensures its employees (federal and trust), applicants, and affiliated persons (interns, research associates, fellows, and volunteers) are protected from discrimination and unfair treatment in the workplace regardless of their race, color, religion, national origin, sex (including gender identity, gender stereotyping, pregnancy, and sexual orientation), age, disability, genetic information, marital status, parental status, or political affiliation and are free from reprisal against protected activities. In addition, other Smithsonian policy prohibits discrimination based on membership in an employee organization or other non-merit factors, and political affiliation.


The Smithsonian provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities. If you need an accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, please notify the contact person listed in this announcement. The decision on granting a reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.

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