Career Opportunities

Join a team of fundraising professionals across the Institution working to chart the future of the Smithsonian.

Office of Advancement: Career Opportunities

Resumes are only accepted in applications for listed positions. Please send a cover letter and resume to Specify the position title for which you are applying in the subject line.

Open Positions

Major Gift Officer, National Museum of American History / Grade: 13 / Location: Washington, DC / Open to All / Closing: October 3

Come join a team of dedicated staff at an exceptional time in Smithsonian history, as the Institution implements a new comprehensive strategic plan, expands the programming, educational, and scholarly activity of its museums and research centers, and completes its very first Institution-wide fundraising campaign. 

The Smithsonian is building a model fundraising infrastructure, one that will meet the growing needs of this unique organization and offer excellent professional opportunities.  This new 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.

The Smithsonian National Museum of American History (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 $120 million campaign goal.  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.
  • Works with planned giving office to coordinate cultivation and solicitation strategies as well as manages stewardship for the Museum’s legacy society.
  • Create written materials to support fundraising, including visit reports, letters, and proposals.
  • Staff Museum executives on volunteer leadership, 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.


  • Bachelor’s degree is required; 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.
  • Understanding of and dedication to the mission of the National Museum of American History.
  • Willingness to travel nationally, approximately 4-6 days per month, and to work evenings and weekends as needed.

The Star-Spangled Banner, Abraham Lincoln’s pocket watch, Ben Franklin’s suit, the Ruby Slippers—these are just a few of the three million objects collected and cared-for by the NMAH.  Through incomparable collections, rigorous research, and dynamic public outreach, NMAH explores the infinite richness and complexity of our nation’s history. 

The Smithsonian Institution is a unique complex of 19 museums and galleries, the National Zoological Park, and nine 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. 


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. To learn more about the Smithsonian, please visit Interested candidates should submit their resumes and a cover letter by October 3, 2017 to   Please include the position title in your e-mail subject line.

The Smithsonian Institution is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer.  Candidates of all backgrounds are encouraged to apply.