Senior Advancement Program Specialist (Major Gifts)

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 National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) has an opening for an experienced and dynamic Senior Major Gift Officer to help build the base of individual support for the Museum's exhibitions, collections, educational and outreach activities, and endowment needs. This position will discover and qualify new prospects with a giving capacity of $50,000 and higher; manage a portfolio of up to 125 prospects in order to secure 5-7 figure gifts that contribute toward the Museum's fundraising goals; work with the planned giving office to coordinate cultivation and solicitation strategies for prospects; create written materials to support fundraising efforts; and design and execute appropriate events for the cultivation and stewardship of major donors. This front-line fundraising position reports to the Assistant Director of Advancement.

Qualified candidates will have one year of specialized experience developing and building long-term donor relationships, stewarding donors, and successfully closing 5-7 figure major gifts in a complex organization, preferably a museum or cultural institution. Candidates will also successfully demonstrate superior oral and written communication skills; excellent interpersonal skills; a willingness to work evenings and weekends and travel approximately 4-6 days per month; and the ability to use a donor database system to document and track prospect and donor information and interactions. A Bachelor's degree is highly desired, a Master's degree is preferred.

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 by October 15, 2018 to Please include the position title in your e-mail subject line.

Please note: This position is temporary not-to-exceed 2 years with the possibility of extension. Travel, evening and weekend work are required.

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


Professional Level


Minimum Education Required

4-year degree