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 oastaffing@si.edu. Specify the position title for which you are applying in the subject line.

Open Positions

Assistant Director for Advancement, National Portrait Gallery / Grade: 13 / Location: Washington, DC / Open to All / Closing: October 16

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’s National Portrait Gallery seeks a charismatic and creative Assistant Director of Advancement to join its hard-working, fast-paced advancement team in building the base of supporters for the Museum.  The Museum has significantly grown its advancement department in the last two years and, as a result, has seen dramatic increases in fundraising performance.  Our challenge is to maintain this rate of growth beyond the museum’s $25 million comprehensive campaign, which concludes in 2018, the Portrait Gallery’s 50th anniversary year. 

The incumbent will focus on discovery, qualification, cultivation, and solicitation of prospects with a giving capacity of $100,000 and higher.  S/he will supervise up to two gifts officers and one advancement associate. Managing a portfolio of up to 100 prospects, the Assistant Director of Advancement will secure 6-7 figure gifts that contribute toward the museum’s $5.5 million annual goal.  This position is one of ten staff in the Office of Advancement at the National Portrait Gallery and reports to the Director of Advancement.

The Assistant Director of Advancement will: 

  • Lead fundraising efforts of Major Gifts and Donor Programs, including all giving circles
  • Supervise up to two major gifts officers and an advancement associate
  • Ensure that project-specific fundraising stays on track and meets performance goals
  • Develop and implement strategies focused on endowment giving
  • Serve as relationship lead to select Commissioners and manage Commissioner giving strategies
  • Build and manage a national portfolio of 75-100 prospects rated at $25,000 and above
  • Develop and implement strategies to solicit 5-7 figure gifts, working with staff to do the same
  • Personally close 10-15 major gifts per year toward an annual, individual dollar goal
  • Staff Museum executives and volunteer leadership, including preparing 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
  • Travel with Museum leadership and independently to build a more national base of donors

Qualified candidates must have a bachelor’s degree and at least five years of front-line fundraising experience, preferably within a large cultural institution or arts-related nonprofit.  Must have a proven track record of fundraising success, including successfully identifying cold prospects and bringing them through the cultivation cycle to close six- and seven-figure gifts and above.  In addition to possessing superior relationship management skills and the initiative and ability to work independently, the successful candidate must have the gravitas and leadership presence to supervise staff and interact with high-level donors and arts patrons, as well as curatorial, administrative, and board leadership. 

The Assistant Director of Advancement will be assigned to prospects in Washington, DC and in 2-3 other key regions across the country.  Extensive travel is required as well as evening and weekend work to execute and assist with a variety of special events, tours, and meetings.  A passion for history, art, and biography is a plus. 

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. 

DOWNLOAD THE DESCRIPTION

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 www.si.edu. Interested candidates should submit their resumes and a cover letter by October 16, 2017 to oastaffing@si.edu.   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.

Major Gifts and Membership Associate, National Portrait Gallery / Grade: 9 / Location: Washington, DC / Open to All / Closing: October 23

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 National Portrait Gallery has an immediate opening for an experienced Advancement Associate to assist with Major Gifts and lead its Portrait Circle and Portrait Patrons programs to the next level of success.  The Portrait Gallery manages a robust major gifts program, a major component of the museum’s $5.5M annual fundraising goal.  Established in 2003, the Portrait Circle is the Gallery’s membership society responsible for securing unrestricted support through $1,000 - $10,000 giving levels.  In 2013, the Portrait Circle counted on 36 members contributing more than $110,000 in support of the Gallery’s mission and has grown to 71 members contributing over $300,000.  The Portrait Gallery plans to continue the growth of this program in 2018, its 50th Anniversary year.  The Portrait Patrons program was started in 2016 and raised 50% more than anticipated in its first year.  This nascent giving program facilitates gifts up to $1,000 and has had remarkable success in its first year, with significant growth potential.

The position will manage the Portrait Circle and Portrait Patrons programs, responsible for member acquisition and renewal, benefit fulfillment, and event planning.  The Associate also will be responsible for personally identifying and then cultivating and stewarding Portrait Circle members who have the potential to become major donors. This position is one of ten staff in the National Portrait Gallery’s Office of Advancement, and reports to the Assistant Director of Advancement. 

Duties:

  • Plan a comprehensive calendar of Portrait Circle events to fulfill promised membership benefits and attract new members
  • Design and execute all Portrait Circle events, including program development, talking points, and logistics
  • Draft briefings and annotated guest lists with photos and bios for all guests at each event.
  • Develop and implement strategies to acquire new members.
  • Meet with the Portrait Circle Co-Chairs as required and develop succession plans for co-chair positions
  • Manage membership renewals with personal attention to each donor
  • Maintain up-to-date records for all Portrait Circle members in the shared advancement database.
  • Document all event invitations, attendance lists, solicitation and stewardship mailings, contact reports, and other activity in the shared advancement database.
  • Assist with major donor cultivation events, including an annual event for planned gift donors, donor travel programs, small dinners with the NPG Director, lunch meetings, and other events as requested.
  • Assist the major gifts team with prospect lists and research as needed.
  • Personally identify and steward members of the Portrait Circle who have capacity to make a major gift, working with the major gifts team to cultivate them for the next level of giving.
  • Identify targeted opportunities for stewardship of current major donors, making suggestions and assisting with preparation of materials and invitations.
  • Prepare reports, presentations, board books, and mailings, as requested.
  • Maintain a comprehensive and detailed knowledge of the Smithsonian’s infrastructure, policies, and procedures.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree is required; Master’s degree is highly desired
  • Two or more years of successful experience in a membership program, preferably at a museum or other cultural institution.  Experience in an art museum is highly desired
  • Some experience working face-to-face with donors and prospects
  • Successful experience in meeting aggressive annual goals, both dollars goals as well as number of members
  • Successful experience in acquiring new members, upgrading existing members, maintaining strong retention rates, and building a pipeline for major gifts
  • Superior communication skills, both oral and written, as well as excellent interpersonal skills
  • Understanding of and dedication to the mission of the National Portrait Gallery
  • Willingness to work evenings and weekends and to travel as needed

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. 

DOWNLOAD THE DESCRIPTION

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 www.si.edu. Interested candidates should submit their resumes and a cover letter by October 23, 2017 to oastaffing@si.edu.   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.

Director of Advancement, National Postal Museum / Grade: 13 / Location: Washington, DC / Open to All / Closing: October 30

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.

MAJOR DUTIES

  • Directs the Advancement program for the National Postal Museum, with responsibility for planning and executing major and annual gift fundraising initiatives including individuals, corporations and foundations.
  • Manages a portfolio of up to 100 major donors and major donor prospects.
  • Supervises Advancement staff.
  • Works with two major advisory groups: the activities of the Museum of Advisory Council and the Council of Philatelists.
  • Collaborates with other Smithsonian units on programs and solicitations.
  • Responsible for developing and adhering to budget including purchasing.
  • Creation of a planned giving program.
  • Member of the Senior Team providing leadership and guidance.

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS

  • Bachelor’s degree is required; Master’s degree is highly desired.
  • Four or more years of successful experience in major gift fundraising in a complex organization, preferably a university or cultural institution.
  • A record of accomplishment of building long-term donor relationships and closing 5-7 figure gifts.
  • A record of accomplishment of meeting and exceeding fundraising goals.
  • Superior communication skills, both oral and written.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills.
  • Understanding of and dedication to the mission of the National Postal Museum.

The National Postal Museum houses and displays the national philatelic and postal history collection, the largest and most comprehensive of its kind in the world.  The museum serves as the nation’s premier center for philatelic and postal scholarship and shares its collections with the public through exhibitions, public programs, publications, as well as outreach activities designed for visitors of all ages. The National Postal Museum, building off the successful institution-wide fundraising campaign, is positioning itself for significant growth as it turns 25 this coming year. The museum has seen double digit increase in visitation over the past couple of years.  Come join the National Postal Museum at this exciting time.

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. 

DOWNLOAD THE DESCRIPTION

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 oastaffing@si.edu by October 30, 2017.  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.

Major Gift Officer, National Museum of the American Indian / Grade: 12/13 / Location: New York, NY / Open to All / Closing: November 12

Come join a team of dedicated staff at an exceptional time in Smithsonian history, as the Institution continues with a 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 organization, one that will meet the growing needs of this unique organization and offer excellent professional opportunities.  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.

The National Museum of the American Indian – New York (NMAI-NY), located in Lower Manhattan, seeks an experienced and dynamic major gift officer to serve as a member of its successful fundraising team. This is an exceptional opportunity for an energetic professional with strong frontline fundraising skills to play an important role in building private support for public programs, exhibitions, educational and outreach activities, research, and endowment needs of the Museum. The incumbent will assist the advancement office at NMAI with prospect identification, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship activities. He or she will work creatively to match donor interest with unit priorities, develop funding proposals and negotiate complex gifts.

The successful candidate will possess strong leadership and communications skills, and a track record in building relationships across a spectrum of individual, foundation and corporate donors to achieve aggressive fundraising goals. Progressive fundraising experience, experience with diverse constituents, a drive to succeed, and ability to close major gifts should be demonstrated in your application. Candidates must have strong organizational and communication skills, and the initiative and ability to work independently. Experience with tribal organizations, in complex higher education or a large cultural organization is preferred. Extensive local, regional and national travel (approximately 25% of the time) is required.

Established in 1989, through an Act of Congress, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian is an institution of living cultures dedicated to advancing knowledge and understanding of the life, languages, literature, history and arts of the Native peoples of the Western Hemisphere. The National Museum of the American Indian operates three state-of-the-art facilities. The museum on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. offers exhibition galleries and spaces for performances, lectures and symposia, research, and education. The George Gustav Heye Center in New York City houses exhibitions, research, educational activities, and performing arts programs and is one of the leading institutions in the cultural fabric of New York City. The Cultural Resources Center in Suitland, Maryland, houses the museum's collections as well as the conservation, repatriation, digital imaging programs, and research facilities. The NMAI's off-site outreach efforts, often referred to as the "fourth museum," include websites, traveling exhibitions, and community programs.

The NMAI-NY is housed at the Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House on Bowling Green in Lower Manhattan, a designated National Historic Landmark and a New York City landmark. The center attracts close to 600,000 visitors per year and its exhibition and public access areas total about 20,000 square feet. The center was established through a combination of city, state, and federal financial support. The permanent collection of NMAI-NY is called “Infinity of Nations: Art and History in the Collections of the National Museum of the American Indian,” and shows the scope of the Smithsonian's collection, displaying more than 700 items. The center includes two other galleries, one of which is being converted to a permanent exhibition and the other serves as a rotating exhibition space.

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. 

DOWNLOAD THE DESCRIPTION

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 oastaffing@si.edu by November 12, 2017.  

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

Assistant Director of Advancement, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden / Grade: 13 / Location: Washington, DC / Open to All / Closing: November 12

Come join a team of dedicated staff at an exceptional time in Smithsonian history, as the Institution continues a 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. 

Through this national campaign, the Smithsonian is building a model fundraising organization, one that will meet the growing needs of this unique organization and offer excellent professional opportunities.  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.

The Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden seeks a charismatic and accomplished Assistant Director of Advancement with proven fundraising experience to help grow a high-performing development department to serve the philanthropy needs of the museum today and for the future.  The incumbent will assist the director with planning and implementing a broad-based and fully integrated private fundraising program that includes major individual and planned gifts, institutional giving, development research, direct mail, membership, special events, and other forms of outreach. S/he will maintain an active portfolio of major gift prospects; develop appropriate cultivation and solicitation strategies for donors and prospects, moving constituents in an appropriate and timely fashion toward solicitation and closure. The assistant director will maintain a relationship with the central Office of Advancement, coordinating with colleagues as appropriate on matters relating to proposals, gift agreements and the Smithsonian campaign.  S/he will work closely with the board chair, members of the board of trustees, and other administrative and curatorial leaders to achieve annual fundraising goals and to build and maintain a robust advancement function to fund museum priorities.

Qualified candidates must have a bachelor’s degree and at least five years of progressively responsible advancement leadership, preferably within a major, arts-related institution, non-profit organization, or educational institution. Must have hands-on board management experience with a proven track record of fundraising success, including cultivation through solicitation and stewardship as well as experience working with planned giving, grant writing, and annual fund strategies. In addition to possessing superior people management and development skills, highly effective interpersonal communication abilities, and a sense of urgency, the successful candidate must be hard working, genuinely collaborative, and have the gravitas and leadership presence to interact with high level donors and arts patrons, as well as curatorial, administrative, and board leadership. 

The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden is a leading voice for contemporary art and culture and provides a national platform for the art and artists of our time. We seek to share the transformative power of modern and contemporary art with audiences at all levels of awareness and understanding by creating meaningful, personal experiences in which art, artists, audiences and ideas converge. We enhance public understanding and appreciation of contemporary art through acquisition, exhibitions, education and public programs, conservation, and research. 

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. 

DOWNLOAD THE DESCRIPTION

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 www.si.edu. Interested candidates should submit their resumes and a cover letter to oastaffing@si.edu by November 12, 2017.

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