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Chief Development Officer

Brooklyn Museum
New York, United States
$300,000.00 - $350,000.00
Closing date
Oct 20, 2023

View more

Position Type
Fundraising, Annual Fund
Employment Type
Full Time

The Search

At a time of historic growth and big ambitions, the Brooklyn Museum seeks a motivated and strategic leader with a record of implementing transformational development programs to join our senior leadership team as Chief Development Officer (CDO). Reporting to the Director and the President & COO, the CDO will work closely with Museum leadership and the Board of Trustees to shape our institutional fundraising strategy to capitalize on our location, reputation, and brand loyalty. As head of the Development division, the CDO will lead the Development team to deepen and broaden the Museum’s engagement with current and prospective donors locally, nationally, and internationally.

The Role

The Chief Development Officer will serve as the executive responsible for leading the Museum’s overall development strategy, with a critical focus on building the infrastructure to support and then execute on transformational giving and capital campaigns. The CDO will be responsible for the design and leadership of a capital campaign to support the renovation of our building as well as expansion of our endowment, enhancement of the Museum’s presence among esteemed philanthropists and future ones alike, and establishment of the Brooklyn Museum Board of Trustees as the board of choice in New York City. The CDO will engage the significant potential of our home borough of Brooklyn while extending our reach to national and international donors.

As a key advisor to the Director and President & COO, the CDO will be responsible for building sustainable fundraising goals that support the general operating budget and emerging opportunities. They will advance the overall vision for the Museum by ensuring that there are funds in place to take on and accomplish major strategic priorities. A creative and innovative thinker, the CDO will expand the donor pool and strengthen the donor pipeline. The fundraising strategy will sustain all major Museum-wide initiatives.

The CDO will work closely with the Director to support her work as one of the Museum’s greatest ambassadors and fundraisers. The CDO will help optimize the Director’s time by ensuring she is focused on the cultivation and solicitation of top prospects. The CDO will steward strategic relationships alongside the Director and serve as an advisor when preparing asks, attending donor events, and identifying new donors.

The CDO will oversee the Development division that includes Corporate Giving, Institutional Giving, Individual Giving, Special Events & Rentals, Membership, Development Operations, and Board Relations. Each department within the division has a lead director that reports directly to the CDO.


The successful candidate will be an enthusiastic and visible advocate for the Brooklyn Museum’s mission and vision in Brooklyn, New York, and the global art world by creating a clear and compelling case for support of the Museum. The best candidate will align with the Brooklyn Museum’s mission and values; take proactive steps to enhance an organizational culture of learning, inclusion, and cross-departmental collaboration; and help strengthen a Museum-wide culture of philanthropy.

The successful candidate will bring many of the following qualifications:

  • Proven experience developing and implementing a significant and successful fundraising effort for a large institution or organization that has a reputation for quality and excellence; experience in an art museum or other cultural institution is highly desirable
  • A minimum of ten years of successful development experience and a record of measurable results in organizing and implementing fundraising strategies for some or all of the following: annual funds, planned giving, major donor cultivation, corporate sponsorship, foundation giving, special events, development operations, moves management, and prospect research
  • Ability to leverage leadership, including Trustees, in fundraising strategy and execution
  • Substantial experience planning and executing a significant multiyear capital campaign, successfully stewarding seven-figure gifts
  • Knowledge and understanding of the New York funding community and track record of personally identifying, cultivating, and soliciting major and principal donors for annual, capital, and planned gifts
  • Decisive, tough, and resourceful attitude, with the ability to anticipate and act on events and opportunities that may advance the Brooklyn Museum locally, nationally, and globally
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively with and quickly gain the respect and support of various constituencies, including Board, staff, potential donors, and foundation and civic leaders
  • Collaborative management style and ability to reduce silos and ensure cross-functional cooperation
  • Interest in and/or experience working in culturally diverse settings
  • Exceptional communication skills; adept in writing and public speaking; highly skilled at crafting proposals, donor correspondence, and other donor-facing materials


Develop a strategic donor pipeline and expand current individual giving

The Chief Development Officer will use the findings of the recent opportunity analysis to create and execute a comprehensive plan for moving donors from their initial gifts to become dedicated supporters of the Museum. The plan will aim to increase annual contributed revenue by $5–$8 million. The plan will need to be ambitious, measurable, and achievable.

The CDO will assess the Museum’s growing audience to discover opportunities for donor conversion and/or new Members. The CDO will work to ensure each department within the division has a dedicated strategy to grow a donor’s impact at the Brooklyn Museum. The CDO will take a creative approach to attract donors through multiple fundraising tools, including tapping into an online giving community that has produced thousands of low-dollar donors over the years.

Build a path of engagement with the Board of Trustees and the Director to participate in fundraising

As the leader of the Museum’s contributed revenue operation, the Chief Development Officer must build strong relationships with Trustees, support governance, and advise certain Board committees. The CDO will have a key role in the development of the Institutional Advancement Committee and planning for the Brooklyn Artists Ball, aided by our Trustees.

The CDO will present to the Board the current donor pool assessment and present opportunities for growth, with specific focus on the role of Trustees in that growth. The CDO will engage the Board in creative ways that enrich their experiences as Trustees of the Brooklyn Museum and inspire deeper participation.

As a trusted advisor to the Director, the CDO will work together with her to develop a sizable portfolio for the Director while developing a focused portfolio of their own. This will include advising on specific donor capacity, areas of interest, best forms of stewardship, and major gift asks.

Create and implement a multiyear capital campaign

The Brooklyn Museum is taking on the largest capital improvements and renovations since its initial establishment on Eastern Parkway. With an arsenal of $65 million in public funding, the Chief Development Officer will be ready to build a multiyear capital campaign to match and significantly grow this funding. The CDO will work in close collaboration with the President & COO to assess the needs of the institution and will be the expert on funding possibilities and achievable metrics.

The CDO will supervise a feasibility study to ground the Development division and senior leadership team in data-supported decisions and make a formal recommendation to leadership on how best to build and implement this massive campaign. This comprehensive capital funding strategy will help inform how the Museum dedicates its resources and sets priorities. The best fit for CDO will possess the enthusiasm and creative spirit required to imagine a full transformation of this size.

Utilize data-driven analysis to project, track, and report out on fundraising goals to leadership and Board of Trustees

The Chief Development Officer will work closely with the President & COO and Chief Financial Officer to build informed but ambitious goals for contributed revenue to support the strategic priorities of the Museum.

The CDO will maintain fundraising schedules and overall objectives while overseeing databases and tracking systems. They will be eager to use new tech tools to better understand our donor base. The CDO will supervise unique fundraising plans from each department within the division while unifying their goals, priorities, and reporting schedules. The ideal candidate will ensure that information is shared in a digestible way across the Museum, to Museum leadership, and to the Board of Trustees. Working closely with other departments, such as Education, DEIA, and Engagement, the CDO will build a holistic fundraising program that uses tools and data across the Museum.

Start date: Immediately

Department: Development

Reports to: Museum Director and President & COO

Position type: Full-time

Grade and salary: Cabinet - $300,000–$350,000

Union status: Nonunion

FLSA status: Exempt

Schedule: 35 hours per week, Monday–Friday, 9 am–5 pm

Apply online.

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At the Brooklyn Museum, we value all types of experience. For us, a successful candidate has many of the qualities listed in our job postings, and the desire and capacity to learn the rest on the job. If much, but not all, of a job posting describes you, then we welcome your application.

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