Major Gift Officer

Job Type

Full Time




Dist. Columbia
United States


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

Following a successful national campaign, the Smithsonian has built 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.

The Smithsonian's Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden seeks a charismatic and accomplished Major Gift Officer with proven fundraising experience to help build and manage a portfolio of prospects and donors to execute a program focused on high capacity giving. The Major Gift Officer is responsible for fundraising efforts resulting in contributing to the museum's overall fundraising goal.

Reporting to the Assistant Director of Advancement, the Major Gift Officer will work to raise support for the Hirshhorn through individual giving, patron membership, general membership, and gala giving. The Major Gift Officer will maintain a relationship with Smithsonian's central Office of Advancement, coordinating with colleagues as appropriate on matters relating to proposals, gift agreements.

The Major Gift Officer must be passionate about the Hirshhorn Museum, its history, and its important position in the international contemporary and modern art landscape, in order to deliver a persuasive message about investment in the programs and collections of the museum.

The Major Gifts Officer will:

  • Maintain an active portfolio of major gift prospects, including members of the Collectors Council and Acquisitions Council, developing appropriate cultivation and solicitation strategies for donors and prospects, moving constituents in an appropriate and timely fashion toward solicitation and closure.
  • Oversee and manage select events including donor cultivation and Collectors Council membership events to ensure meaningful engagement of volunteers and patrons; ensure the efficient use of resources, and maximum revenue generation; develop event programming that serves a diversity of audiences while yielding new major gift prospects and increasing the volunteer and prospect base.
  • Coordinate administration of general membership program.
  • Work with Hirshhorn senior administrators and curators to identify potential donors, key team members involved in cultivation and solicitation, and strategies that will enhance the likelihood of success; participate in moves management-based cultivation and solicitation efforts in an appropriate and timely manner.

Required Qualifications and Experience

  • At least two years of specialized experience in special gifts fundraising, preferably within a major, arts-related institution, non-profit organization, educational institution, or other environment of similar complexity.
  • Superior development skills, highly effective interpersonal communication abilities, and a sense of urgency.
  • Demonstrated ability to raise funds, to be a strategic, creative thinker, and to complete projects in an efficient fashion.
  • Experience managing and fundraising for special events.
  • A bachelor's degree is required; an advanced degree is preferred.

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 June 25, 2018.

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


Level of Language Proficiency


Professional Level


Minimum Education Required

4-year degree