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 creative Major Gifts Officer to join its hard-working, fast-paced advancement team in raising support for the Museum, with a focus on (but not limited to) corporate and foundation giving. The incumbent will focus on unrestricted, and restricted support for exhibitions, collections, educational and outreach programs, and endowment. This position is located in the Office of Advancement at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden Washington, D.C. and reports to the Assistant Director of Advancement.

The Museum has significantly grown its advancement efforts in the past year and a half, and is staffing up to support and further this growth.

The Major Gifts Officer will:

  • Discover and qualify new prospects
  • 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
  • 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

The Major Gifts Officer will start with a portfolio of some existing donors, and be expected to discover, qualify, cultivate, and solicit new prospects. Travel may be required as well as evening and weekend work to execute and assist with a variety of special events, tours, and meetings. A passion for modern and contemporary art is ideal.


Qualified candidates must have a bachelor’s degree and at least two years of front-line fundraising experience, preferably in 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-figure gifts and above. In addition to possessing superior writing and relationship management skills the successful candidate must be able to take initiative and have the ability to work independently. Experience with grant writing and corporate fundraising a plus.

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.

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 to by March 25, 2016.

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


Job Information
  • Washington, Dist. Columbia, 20560, United States
  • 27095859
  • February 27, 2016
  • Major Gifts Officer, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
  • Smithsonian Institution
  • Development/Membership
  • No
  • Full-Time
  • Indefinite