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Advancement Communications Specialist

National Portrait Gallery
District of Columbia, United States
$78,592.00 - $102,166.00
Closing date
Jun 17, 2023

Come join a team of dedicated staff at an exceptional time in the Smithsonian’s history as we prepare for the Smithsonian Campaign for Our Shared Future. This ambitious fundraising campaign’s public phase will run from 2024 to 2026, culminating with the nation’s 250th anniversary. It will expand the Smithsonian’s reach and impact, empowering the institution to find solutions to today’s most pressing challenges. The Smithsonian is also planning two exciting new museums. The National Museum of the American Latino and the Smithsonian American Women's History Museum share the experiences and perspectives of Latinos and women across history and deepen our shared understanding of what it means to be an American. The Smithsonian has built a model fundraising organization, driven by talented staff across our many museums, research centers and cultural centers. This position offers exciting opportunities for the successful candidate to make a significant impact on the future of the Smithsonian. There is no better time to join this amazing Institution.


About the National Portrait Gallery and Smithsonian Institution

The National Portrait Gallery was authorized and founded by Congress in 1962 with the mission to acquire and display portraits of "men and women who have made significant contributions to the history, development, and culture of the people of the United States." Today, the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery attracts over 2 million visitors onsite and 4 million online and continues to narrate the multi-faceted and ever-changing story of America through the individuals who have shaped its culture. Through the visual arts, performing arts, and new media, the Portrait Gallery presents poets and presidents, visionaries and villains, actors, and activists whose lives form our national identity.


The Smithsonian Institution is a unique complex of 22 museums and galleries, the National Zoo, and eight research centers.  The Smithsonian is a national and world treasure and is dedicated to its founding mission, “the increase and diffusion of knowledge.” Its exhibitions, programs, collections, and outreach touch the lives of millions of Americans every year, as well as many who visit us from abroad.  


About the Advancement Communications Specialist

The National Portrait Gallery is seeking a talented writer with an exceptional eye for design and branding to serve as principal writer. This role will provide editorial assistance for a wide variety of communications that focus on donor engagement, solicitation, and stewardship for different donor audiences. This position reports to the Commission Liaison and Campaign Manager. Occasional work during the evenings and weekends may be necessary.



  • Research, write, and design materials in support of fundraising priorities, managing them from inception through delivery
  • In collaboration with gift officers, develop and execute funding proposals, stewardship plans for major donors, endowment reports (both narrative and financial), case statements, and project summaries (including budgets)
  • Partnering with members of the Advancement team and other museum staff, develop letters on behalf of the Director, event invitations, remarks for events, briefings, brochures, presentations, and website content updates
  • Maintain a clear understanding of advancement goals, strategies, and communications and articulate this information appropriate and effectively
  • Independently incorporate changes, comments, and critiques from multiple reviewers using exceptional writing and editing skills
  • Manage multiple projects simultaneously, and turn around projects on tight deadlines


Successful candidates will have:

  • Bachelor’s degree, preferably in Communications, English, Writing, or Design
  • Experience developing compelling stories, case statements, and/or written materials in support of fundraising
  • Superior communication skills, both oral and written
  • An exceptional eye for detail and design
  • Ability to easily change writing styles to fit the author, audience, and voice of the piece
  • Ability to translate complex ideas into language easily comprehensible to non-specialists
  • Ability to take ownership of projects and work with minimal direction and supervision
  • Knowledge of fundraising strategies, principles, and techniques is strongly preferred
  • Understanding of and dedication to the mission of the National Portrait Gallery


Benefits Information and Application Instructions

The Smithsonian Institution offers a competitive salary and a comprehensive package of benefits. This is not a federal position but has similar requirements and benefits. Interested candidates should submit their resumes and a cover letter to by June 16, 2023. Please include the position title in your e-mail 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); average number of hours worked per week; and salary requirements.


Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

The Smithsonian Institution is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We believe that a workforce comprising a variety of educational, cultural, and experiential backgrounds support and enhance our daily work life and contribute to the richness of our exhibitions and programs. See Smithsonian EEO program information.


The Smithsonian Institution provides reasonable accommodation to applicants where appropriate. Applicants requiring reasonable accommodation should contact the Human Resources Specialist listed. Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.  To learn more, please review the Smithsonian’s accommodation procedures.

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