ABOUT BGC: Founded in 1993 by Dr. Susan Weber,
the Bard Graduate Center (BGC) is a unique degree-granting graduate
institute and exhibition space in New York City. BGC’s gallery
exhibitions, MA and PhD programs, research initiatives and public
programs explore new ways of thinking about decorative arts, design
history and material culture. Its academic and library facilities,
Gallery, and administration are located in two lovingly restored
brownstones on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.
BGC is a graduate academic unit of Bard College, and offers two
programs of study, one leading to a Master of Arts degree and the
other to a Doctor of Philosophy degree. With a faculty of scholars,
researchers, educators, and practitioners in the decorative art and
design fields, BGC’s core curriculum includes a wide range of
subjects that cover design history, material culture, and the
decorative arts. The 2023-2024 academic year marked the thirtieth
anniversary of BGC.
BGC is also a leader in research, with faculty involved with
intramural and leading federally and foundation-funded research
projects. A member of the prestigious Association of Research
Institutions in Art History (ARIAH), BGC’s excellence in research
is widely recognized.
In addition to its education and research offerings, BGC also
operates a major exhibition facility. For more about BGC’s
extensive academic, research, exhibition, and public programs,
please visit bgc.bard.edu.
THE OPPORTUNITY: The Chief Advancement Officer
(CAO) will work with BGC leadership to design and implement an
advancement program to foster and expand a culture of philanthropy,
primarily focused on major individual gifts. This role presents a
unique, visible opportunity to shape and build a dynamic
advancement program appropriate to the Center’s funding priorities.
This is a position for an experienced, enthusiastic front-line
major gift fundraiser who enjoys focusing on cultivation,
solicitation and “deal-making.” A key priority for the new CAO is
to significantly expand the depth and breadth of the fundraising
operation at BGC, increasing annual contributions from $1-2 million
to $3-5 million in a 2–5-year timeframe. Additionally, BGC has
recently acquired a new building at 8 West 86th Street which will
undergo complete renovation. A major fundraising campaign of $20-40
million is expected in connection with this renovation.
The CAO reports to BGC’s Founder and Director, Susan Weber,
and is a member of the leadership team. Reporting to the CAO is a
team of three with experience in fundraising, grantmaking,
research, data management, and event management. The compensation
range for this role is $150,000-$175,000, commensurate with
experience and accomplishments, plus attractive benefits.
FUNDING: BGC has a current annual operating
budget of $16 million, of which more than half is provided by an
endowment distribution and the remainder is secured through tuition
revenue, revenue from faculty and graduate housing, several
foundation and government grants, and giving from generous and
committed major donors.
In support of its strategic direction, BGC must broaden its
traditional base of philanthropic support by successfully
instituting a comprehensive, strategic development program and a
robust culture of major gift philanthropy to generate increased
support for BGC’s ongoing priorities as well as to ensure the
Center’s continued success and growth. While an academic unit of
Bard College, BGC is financially independent from the College.
- A genuine interest in the BGC mission and passion for the
- Creating and building successful development programs.
- Demonstrated ability to cultivate and steward relationships
with high-net-worth individuals and their representatives,
foundation program officers, and others.
- Frontline major gift fundraising.
- Identifying non-traditional new prospective donors.
- Demonstrated ability to lead a team and cultivate talent.
- Working effectively with advisory and board members.
- A superior communicator; able to articulate a compelling case
for support for BGC.
- Familiarity with the New York City philanthropic
- History of serving as a strategic partner to a chief
- Able to serve as a credible external ambassador.
- Education and interest in history, art history, decorative
arts, design, or related subjects.
- Familiarity with Raiser’s Edge and Slate is a plus.
- A global citizen who is culturally sensitive and able to work
with a broad range of individuals.
- Bachelor’s degree is required; an advanced degree is a
Howe-Lewis is pleased to assist BGC with this important
search. Please click
here to apply online via the Howe-Lewis Talent Portal. You
may also email your resume and letter of interest to
Bard College/Bard Graduate Center is an equal
opportunity employer, and we welcome applications from those who
contribute to our diversity.