Chief Development Officer - University of Michigan Museum of Art

Salary Range: $145,000-$160,000

About UMMA

Founded in 1946, the University of Michigan Museum of Art is free and fully accessible to the public, providing local, regional, and national audiences with opportunities to explore and grapple with current issues, art, and ideas about the present and past. Recently ranked the number one public university art museum in the country, UMMA welcomes more than 240,000 visitors every year and engages over 40,000 of them through 900 annual public programs. UMMA’s permanent collections include more than 21,000 objects acquired over 150 years; special exhibitions feature both emerging and internationally acclaimed artists. Additionally, the Museum’s digital initiatives have expanded and intensified in 2020, allowing people around the globe to connect with UMMA's work that positions art as a potent expression and response to the crises of our time. Under the leadership of Museum Director Christina Olsen, UMMA is experiencing great momentum and a dramatically higher level of ambition. With a renewed focus on anti-racism and social justice issues, campus collaborations and research, nationally important exhibitions, and building its capacity for partnerships, UMMA aims to strategically expand its international profile and commitment to partnering with a broad and diverse public.

Position Summary:

UMMA seeks an experienced, dynamic development professional to lead and advance the fundraising priorities of the Museum. Reporting to the Museum Director, the Chief Development Officer. is responsible for the strategy, implementation, and coordination of all activities to meet short-, medium-, and long-range fundraising goals. Working closely with the Museum Director and other senior staff, he/she/they will identify and implement creative strategies to drive philanthropic support for initiatives that further UMMA’s mission and vision. In collaboration with university development colleagues, the Chief Development Officer will engage a national donor portfolio that focuses on donors/prospects with the capacity to give major and leadership gifts to UMMA. He/she/they will direct all campaign planning and execution for the Museum, ensuring that UMMA’s goals are successfully achieved. As a senior member of the UMMA Management Team, the Chief Development Officer supervises and oversees a department of four staff: the Senior Associate Director for Foundation and Government Relations, the Associate Director for Major Gifts, the Assistant Director of Annual Giving and Corporate Partnerships, and the Development Assistant. Travel is required, as is periodic evening and weekend work.

For full consideration please provide a resume with cover letter, describing how your experience and qualifications relate to the position requirements. Please apply online at

UMMA seeks to recruit and retain a diverse workforce as a reflection of our commitment to serve the diverse people of Michigan, to sustain the excellence of the university, and to offer our students richly varied disciplines, perspectives and ways of knowing and learning. Candidates under-represented in the museum and/or development fields are strongly encouraged to apply. 

Job openings are posted for a minimum of seven calendar days. This job may be removed from posting boards and filled any time after the minimum posting period has ended.

Characteristic Duties and Responsibilities

Fundraising – 65%

    Identifies, cultivates, solicits, and stewards a portfolio of 75-100 prospects and donors with giving capacity of $500,000 or more. Advises Museum Director on top-level donor engagement.                                 
    Identifies, analyzes, and executes appropriate strategies for donor engagement, including short- and long-term planning of solicitations and the analysis of prospects with respect to size of ask, areas of interest, timing of solicitations, and identification of compelling needs within the organization. 
    Establishes strategic goals for all areas of fundraising. Establishes and monitors measurements of success for UMMA’s development efforts, including initiatives such as the Free Membership program, annual giving efforts, and other engagement opportunities to maximize philanthropic potential of donors. 
    Serves as director of all UMMA comprehensive campaign planning and strategy. In consultation with the Museum Director, sets campaign goal and tracks progress. Advises Museum Director on new initiatives and funding opportunities.
    Partners with University leadership, the Office of University Development, and other development officers at U-M to create comprehensive strategies for successful donor engagement and solicitations of multi-unit donors and prospects.
    In partnership with the Museum Director and Associate Director of Major Gifts, leads the management of volunteer committees, such as the Think Tank and Director’s Acquisition Committee, that support and advance the Museum’s mission and vision, and is responsible for the direction of these groups and executing dynamic, collaborative meetings with them. Through strategic identification, recruitment, and engagement of volunteers, effectively builds a corps of advocates for the Museum that maximizes the philanthropic potential of individual volunteers. 
    In collaboration with Museum staff across all departments, conceives and executes a series of events that deepen relationships with donors and prospects. Works with Assistant Director, Annual Giving and Corporate Partnerships to create events that enhance annual giving strategies and enliven UMMA’s brand. Evaluates events for future effectiveness and improvement.
    Provides executive staff support to the Director as related to fundraising activities including: strategic planning for Director’s fundraising travel, providing briefing materials for meetings and visits, and drafting correspondence. 
    Maintains and builds close connections with the Office of University Development and the university-wide development community; attends Chief Development Officer and Development Council meetings, prospect strategy sessions, workshops, and training.

External Relations – 15%

    In partnership with the Museum Director and Director of Marketing and Public Relations, creates targeted, strategic communications that advance UMMA among its key stakeholders, such as University leadership, donors, patrons, and foundations. Identifies opportunities for the Director to participate in University and other events locally, nationally, and internationally that advance UMMA’s long-term goals. 
    Assists in communicating with the Provost’s Office, Board of Regents, Executive Officers, and other University leadership.

Management/Administration – 20%

    Manages a department of four staff who are responsible for major gifts (individual and corporate), annual giving, planned giving, grant writing, as well as on- and off-campus development events. Provides leadership for the department: assigns and monitors coverage of primary areas of focus, sets and evaluates individual goals. Develops and sustains appropriate training and mentoring.
    Attends regular UMMA staff meetings, including the Museum’s Management Team and Strategy Team, and participates in the development and implementation of UMMA programs.
    Works effectively and collaboratively with UMMA staff as part of a cohesive team, representing the role of development as central to the success of UMMA’s mission and working to broaden understanding of the Department’s work and input from others into it.
    Works strategically with colleagues across the University of Michigan and partners in other cultural non-profits in the region as an effective representative of a leadership institution.
    Initiates reports, conducts studies, and performs other tasks related to development at the direction of the Director of the Museum.
    Updates information in the University’s development database and assures that UMMA’s development records are up to date.

Desired Qualifications

    Bachelor’s degree or the equivalent combination of education and experience. Advanced degree strongly preferred. A background in the visual arts and/or the cultural community and/or higher education is preferred.
    Demonstrated leadership and management skills and proven ability to lead a team of individuals towards a common goal.
    Seven to ten years of progressively responsible major gift fundraising experience. Must possess a demonstrable track record of successful fundraising activities.
    Candidate will be an articulate individual with personal integrity, strong interpersonal skills, creative, flexible, organized, self-motivated, with good planning and follow-through.
    Ability and willingness to travel, as well as to work outside the normal workday.
    Proven success in gift closure is ideal and experience in volunteer recruitment and management.
    Excellent communication and presentation skills, both written and oral.
    An understanding of and commitment to the mission of the Museum of Art.

The University of Michigan Museum of Art seeks to transform individual and civic life by promoting the discovery, contemplation, and enjoyment of the art of our world.

Posted on 9/2/2020


Michigan Museums Association       313-334-7643       PO Box 5246, Cheboygan, MI 49721

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