Major Gifts Officer

Washington DC, DC

National Museum of Natural History (NMNH)

Come join a team of dedicated staff at an exceptional time in Smithsonian history. With Secretary Lonnie G. Bunch III, previously the founding director of the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture, we are positioned to realize our goal of being a truly 21st century museum complex. The Smithsonian is dedicated to its founding mission, “the increase and diffusion of knowledge” and as such we use our resources to encourage curiosity, ignite wonder and spark the joy of learning. Following the success of the Smithsonian’s first comprehensive capital campaign, the largest ever undertaken by a cultural organization, the Smithsonian has built a model fundraising organization. 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 Natural History (NMNH) is part of the Smithsonian Institution’s unique complex of 21 museums and galleries, the National Zoological Park, and nine research centers. The NMNH mission is to promote understanding of the natural world and our place in it, thus inspiring curiosity, discovery, and learning about the natural world through its unparalleled research, collection, exhibitions, and education and outreach programs. The museum’s collections tell the history of the planet and are a record of human interaction with the environment and one another. Because of the boundless curiosity of NMNH researchers, the breadth and depth of the collection, and the ability to inspire future generation of scientists, the museum has a vital role to play. In the next decade, the museum will welcome 60 million people through its doors and engage millions more digitally. Through NMNH, people can both discover the world and learn to become better stewards of it.

NMNH seeks an experienced and dynamic gift officer to serve as a member of its successful fundraising team, supporting the museum’s mission and strategic plan as it heads into a capital campaign. This is an exceptional opportunity for an energetic professional with strong frontline fundraising skills to play an important role in building private support for the exhibitions, educational and outreach activities, research, and endowment needs of the Museum. The incumbent will assist the advancement office with prospect identification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship activities. The Gift Officer will work creatively to match donor interest with unit priorities, develop funding proposals, and negotiate complex gifts.

The Museum seeks to achieve and sustain total philanthropic support of $20 million on an annual basis and recently completed the planning phase for a comprehensive campaign. Buoyed by an extremely powerful institutional brand, an expansive base of volunteers, and substantial support from a small group of lead donors, our challenge now is to leverage the extraordinary strength of the higher levels of the donor pyramid. We are growing the museum's donor base at the five-, six- and seven-figure levels, acquiring new donors through annual giving, and moving funders through the giving cycle. Identifying, cultivating, and soliciting new donors at all levels will be critical to the success of the Museum’s future fundraising efforts.

The successful candidate will possess strong leadership and communications skills, and a track record in building philanthropic relationships with individual donors and prospects 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 skills, and the initiative and ability to work independently. Experience with complex higher education or a large cultural organization is preferred. The position is based in Washington, DC and reports to the Deputy Chief Advancement Officer. Travel of up to 25% of the time is required.

The Smithsonian Institution offers a competitive salary and a comprehensive package of benefits. There may be multiple vacancies filled through this announcement. This is not a federal position but has similar requirements and benefits. Interested candidates should submit their resume and cover letter to by September 30, 2022. 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); and average number of hours worked per week.

The Smithsonian Institution ensures its employees (federal and trust), applicants, and affiliated persons (interns, research associates, fellows, and volunteers) are protected from discrimination and unfair treatment in the workplace regardless of their race, color, religion, national origin, sex (including gender identity, gender stereotyping, pregnancy, and sexual orientation), age, disability, genetic information, marital status, parental status, or political affiliation and are free from reprisal against protected activities. In addition, other Smithsonian policy prohibits discrimination based on membership in an employee organization or other non-merit factors, and political affiliation.

The Smithsonian provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities. If you need an accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, please notify the contact person listed in this announcement. The decision on granting a reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.

Posted: 09/06/2022