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Director of Development


Based in Norfolk, Virginia, the Chrysler Museum of Art (Museum) enriches and transforms lives by bringing art and people together through delightful, informative, and inspiring experiences.

Founded in 1933 as the Norfolk Museum of Arts and Sciences, the Museum has more than 30,000 objects in its collection. In 1971, Walter P. Chrysler, Jr. initiated a gift that eventually totaled almost 25,000 works of art to the Museum, which was then renamed in his honor. From Ancient Egypt to cutting-edge contemporary figures, the Museum’s collection rivals that of any American museum and is notable for its glass collection, European and American painting, contemporary art, and photography. The glass collection is one of the most comprehensive in the world. The modern collection features artists, such as O’Keeffe, Pollock, Rothko, Lichtenstein, and Frankenthaler. The burgeoning photography collection includes more than 5,000 examples from the Civil War era to the present day.

The Museum is home to the Perry Glass Studio, a dynamic and nationally recognized space for glass-making instruction. A major expansion is currently under way and will triple the size of the facility by the end of 2024. Classes and workshops are available for beginning, intermediate, and advanced students and include glassblowing, sculpted beads, patterned panels, stained glass, and glass sculpting. The Studio also offers college credit courses through several local institutions of higher learning.

The Museum offers a variety of educational opportunities for kids and families, teachers and students, colleges, and life-long learners. Children and families can participate in art camps and home art activities. Professional development and educational resources are available for classroom teachers. The Museum features lectures and events for the community, as well as free admission to the Museum for all visitors.

The Museum’s 2023 exhibitions include: Barbara Earl Thomas: The Illuminated Body, a meditation on the body as it exists in a world of light and shadow; Facing Ourselves: Mike Disfarmer and the American Portrait, an exploration of the relationship between photographer and subject; Raven and the Box of Daylight, featuring the work of internationally acclaimed glass artist Preston Singletary. Over the past several years, the Museum has organized major traveling exhibitions such as Black Orpheus: Jacob Lawrence and the Mbari Club, Americans in Spain, and Alma Thomas, Everything is Beautiful, that have garnered significant critical acclaim.

The Museum has a 28-member board of trustees led by Chairman Wayne Wilbanks, and Erik Neil serves as the Macon and Joan Brock Director and CEO. For the fiscal year ending June 30, 2022, the Museum reported a total operating revenue of $9.5 million with $2.3 million from membership, contributions, and grants.



Located on Virginia’s southern coast, Norfolk is the region’s hub for economic and cultural life. Norfolk is part of the Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News metropolitan area, a region known as Hampton Roads which boasts a population of 1.8 million. In addition to its vibrant cultural and historic attractions, the city boasts 144 miles of shoreline and is located between the Chesapeake Bay and the Elizabeth River, making it a destination for aquatic recreation and exploration of the area, including Lafayette River and Pretty Lake.

The Hampton Roads region is home to thousands of businesses, with growing opportunities in technology, manufacturing, and military operations. Naval Station Norfolk is the largest naval station in the world and the largest concentration of U.S. Navy forces, supporting 14 piers, 75 ships, 134 aircraft, and 11 aircraft hangars. Hampton Roads is the headquarters of Fortune 500 companies such as Dollar Tree and Huntington Ingalls. The region supports several major universities, including Old Dominion University, a Carnegie “Research 1” classified university; Norfolk State University; Hampton University; and Virginia Wesleyan, all of whom collaborate with the Museum on a range of artistic and educational projects.

Hampton Roads is a culturally rich destination for art, culture, and natural attractions in the region. In addition to the Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk is home to the Virginia Arts Festival, Virginia Zoo, and Norfolk Botanical Gardens. Art enthusiasts can visit the Hermitage Museum and Gardens and the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art. Rich in military history, the region is home to the Nauticus maritime science museum and Battleship Wisconsin, Fort Wool and Fort Norfolk, and the Hampton Roads Naval Museum. Performing arts venues include Attucks Theatre, TCC Roper Performing Arts Center, the Sandler Theater, Chrysler Hall, Wells Theatre, home of Virginia Stage Company, as well as the Virginia Arts Festival.


Position Summary

Reporting to the Director/CEO, the Director of Development (DoD) will be primarily responsible for the Museum’s annual fundraising, membership, and stewardship programs, including the final elements of the Museum’s successful $55-million capital campaign. The DoD will be a highly skilled and effective manager and fundraiser who has a proven track-record of securing major gifts. The DoD will carry a portfolio of major donors and prospects along with the responsibility for growing and managing relationships with the community. Responsible for achieving approximately $2.5 million in contributed revenue annually, as well as increasing contributed revenue over the next five years based on the Museum’s financial needs, the DoD will lead a four-member team including: Grants and Special Projects Manager, Major Gift Officer, Annual Fund and Membership Manager, and Development Assistant. The DoD will have a history of improving systems and processes to deepen engagement with members and donors and inspire greater levels of commitment to the Museum. The DoD will also embrace contemporary fundraising strategies to cultivate a more diverse and younger community, envisioning ways to move transactional supporters into long-term growth relationships with the Museum.


Role and Responsibilities

Planning and Team Leadership

  • Construct development strategies in consultation with the Director/CEO, senior leadership, and the development team and create an ambitious and comprehensive development plan and calendar with clearly defined goals, objectives, timelines, and assigned responsibilities.
  • Inspire, motivate, and mentor an experienced and competent development team, setting performance standards and providing timely, constructive feedback, while also supporting opportunities for professional development and growth.
  • Collaborate with the finance team to ensure tracking and documentation of gifts meets organizational and external reporting needs in an efficient and timely manner.
  • Work with the development team and other colleagues to evaluate and align member benefits with the needs and wants of the Museum’s constituents, with a goal of increasing and diversifying membership, especially for the Masterpiece Society, while also increasing participation in the annual fund.
  • Ensure the strategic use of the CRM database (Altru) and other technology to guarantee the highest level of donor engagement, satisfaction, and expressions of appreciation.
  • Work with visitor experience team and train and support frontline staff around membership and other development initiatives, including staff at the Perry Glass Studio.
  • Create a supportive, collaborative, productive, and healthy work environment based on respect, teamwork, and the equity, diversity, and inclusion values of the Museum.

Fundraising and Stewardship

  • Maintain a personal portfolio of donors and successfully cultivate and solicit major gifts from a diverse group of individuals, corporations, and foundations, ensuring appropriate stewardship of donors at all levels.
  • Collaborate deeply and frequently with curatorial, public engagement and learning, and visitor experience teams to secure necessary funding for exhibitions, public programs, and other initiatives.
  • Grow the Museum’s donor base to provide financial support both for general operations and for special projects by working with individuals, corporations, foundations, and government agencies.
  • Lead the expansion of the major gifts and planned giving programs, implementing systems and processes to build an effective donor pipeline.
  • Expand a robust membership program, focusing on the key fundraising affiliate groups: the Masterpiece Society and the Corporate Leadership Alliance.
  • Develop and maintain gift stewardship policies and procedures, including appropriate gift acknowledgment policies and donor recognition.
  • Coordinate a successful upper-level members’ travel program with external vendors.
  • Ensure all gift agreements for the Museum’s recently completed capital campaign are finalized and provide appropriate stewardship and donor recognition for all gifts to the campaign.

Board and Community Engagement

  • Serve as the key liaison to the Board’s Development Committee and work with them to explore new contributed revenue sources, create and monitor revenue and expense budgets, and provide accurate reporting and analysis for contributed revenue.
  • Mobilize the Board of Trustees, Director/CEO, corporate partners, and community leaders to drive fundraising activity and personal engagement with top prospects and donors.
  • Commit to the ongoing discovery of new major gift prospects throughout the community and serve as the Museum’s primary knowledge source for funding opportunities and philanthropic outlets.
  • Be a passionate, visible, and informed advocate, actively seeking opportunities to engage with the broader community and to participate in events that position the Museum for improved fundraising and visibility.
  • Understand and clearly articulate the Museum’s mission, history, programs, values, and policies to cultivate and enhance authentic relationships throughout the region.
  • Partner with the Director/CEO to identify and recruit new board members, educate board members about their role in membership and development, cultivate and solicit them for financial support, and leverage their respective networks to expand the donor base and support for the Museum.


Traits and Characteristics

The Director of Development will be an experienced development professional with a demonstrated capacity to achieve contributed revenue goals. A confident fundraiser and self-starter with sound judgment and strong organizational skills, they will work as part of a team to achieve organizational goals through knowledge of strategies and best practices. Energized by working in the community, the DoD will be a passionate, visible, and informed advocate for the Museum who can effectively engage existing and potential supporters in the Museum’s mission and programs. Comfortable balancing both relationship-oriented and task-focused responsibilities, the DoD will present compelling opportunities that will support the Museum’s long-term success. They will have a warm and outgoing personality with a sense of humor and the ability to collaborate well with colleagues.

Other key competencies of this role include:

  • Customer Focus – The capability to anticipate, meet and/or exceed customer needs, wants, and expectations.
  • Self-Starting and Personal Accountability – The capacity to demonstrate initiative and to answer for personal actions.
  • Diplomacy and Interpersonal Skills – The sensitivity to handle difficult or sensitive issues effectively and tactfully, while effectively communicating, building rapport, and relating well to all kinds of people.
  • Leadership and Teamwork – The ability to organize and influence people to believe in a vision, while also creating a sense of purpose and direction and cooperating with others to meet objectives.
  • Time and Priority Management – The clarity to prioritize and complete tasks in order to deliver desired outcomes within allotted time frames.



A bachelor’s degree with eight to ten years of fundraising and management experience is required. Experience with a nonprofit organization, cultural or educational institution, or equivalent with a strong preference for experience working with a museum development team is preferred. Knowledge of all areas within development, including major gifts, annual giving, membership, corporate and foundation giving, planned giving, capital campaigns, and research is important for this position. Experience raising funds throughout a large geographic region, such as the Hampton Road’s region, is a plus. Excellent written and verbal communication skills are necessary, as are strong computer skills and knowledge of advanced donor research and customer relationship management systems. Passion for the Museum’s programs, goals, and mission is necessary.


Compensation and Benefits

The Chrysler Museum of Art provides a competitive compensation, with a salary range between $110,000 and $140,000 commensurate with experience, coupled with a robust package of benefits and a relocation stipend.


Applications and Inquiries

To submit a cover letter and resume with a summary of demonstrable accomplishments (electronic submissions preferred), please click here or visit For questions or general inquiries about this job opportunity, please contact:


Todd Ahrens, Vice President

201 West Lake Street, Suite 133

Chicago, IL 60606-1803

Tel       (888) 234.4236 Ext. 216



The Chrysler Museum of Art is an equal opportunity employer. We strive to create a working environment that includes and respects cultural, racial, ethnic, sexual orientation, and gender identity diversity. Women, racial and ethnic minorities, persons with disabilities, persons over 40 years of age, disabled and Vietnam-era veterans, and people of all sexual orientations and gender identities are encouraged to apply.

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