Career Opportunities

Join a team of fundraising professionals across the Institution working to chart the future of the Smithsonian.

Office of Advancement: Career Opportunities

Resumes are only accepted in applications for listed positions. Please send a cover letter and resume to oastaffing@si.edu. Specify the position title for which you are applying in the subject line.

Open Positions

Director of Development, Smithsonian Arts + Industries Building / Grade: 13/14/15 / Location: Washington, DC / Open to All / Closing: April 30

The Smithsonian’s Arts + Industries Building (AIB)— the oldest and newest Smithsonian museum—seeks a founding Director of Development to help make big and impossible projects come to life during a hugely transformative chapter  in the Institution’s history. If you are dynamic and results-driven, energized by groundbreaking ideas, and entrepreneurial in spirit, we’d love to meet you.

This position will play a crucial role in the renewal and reopening of one of the most important Smithsonian spaces on the National Mall. An architectural icon, AIB opened in 1881 as the country’s first National Museum and as a center for innovation and discovery, showcasing ideas and inventions about to change the world. It incubated almost every other Smithsonian museum before closing to the public in 2004.  

Now, nearly two decades later, AIB is embarking on its next big chapter. Our team, founded by Director Rachel Goslins in 2015, will reenergize AIB as a destination for the Smithsonian to explore big questions about the future—experimental, interdisciplinary, and flexible. Bolstered by the Smithsonian’s commitment to civic good and fundamental optimism, we have the unique opportunity to create a new paradigm for future thinking, on the National Mall of the United States.

Over the next few years, we will be staging a series of future-focused landmark events and exhibitions that will set the stage for AIB’s long-term vision, while also preparing for the more significant renovation that will allow it to fully reopen to the public.  

The Director of Development is a core member of AIB’s tight-knit executive leadership team, and will serve as chief fundraising officer, responsible for establishing and implementing AIB’s overall strategy for development and fund raising.  The Director of Development will report to the Director of AIB for direction, and will work closely with the Smithsonian’s Office of Advancement to coordinate AIB’s overall development and partnerships activity.

Working closely with the AIB Director and AIB leadership, the Director of Development will set priorities and devise development and fund raising strategies for accomplishing research, exhibition, partnerships, and public outreach objectives.  The Director will also advise the AIB team of development goals and objectives and solicit their active support and involvement. 

Required Qualifications and Experience

  • At least seven years of specialized experience in leading a substantial fundraising initiative, preferably within a major institution, non-profit organization, educational institution, or other environment of similar complexity.
  • Exceptional mastery of fundraising and marketing methods, techniques and practices and the creativity and ingenuity to develop new concepts and approaches that involve significant departures from previous efforts.
  • Requires expert ability to apply strategic planning techniques in a dynamic environment.
  • Demonstrated mastery of oral communication skills in order to make major presentations to current and prospective donors and gain their agreement to donate to the museum in a competitive fundraising atmosphere where there are many competing causes.

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 was founded in 1846. Just a few decades later, the Smithsonian began construction on the first National Museum of the United States, and the Arts and Industries Building opened its doors in 1881. The opening of AIB (then called the National Museum) marked a revolutionary shift in the idea of what the Smithsonian could be. Before this, the “Smithsonian Institution” was a small group of researchers and laboratories. AIB offered a radical new philosophy for a public-facing institution: a physical space to spark discovery, showcase invention, and amplify wonder. Much more than a museum, it was a powerful indicator that nation was looking forward, thinking as much about tomorrow as the past. Millions could experience first-hand the ideas that were about to change the world—the electric light bulb, steam locomotive, and Alexander Graham Bell’s telephone. For more than 125 years, AIB was the origin and incubator for almost every major Smithsonian collection before they went on to become their own museums, debuting everything from dinosaurs to rocket ships. 

DOWNLOAD THE DESCRIPTION

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 www.si.edu. Interested candidates should submit their resumes and a cover letter to oastaffing@si.edu by April 30, 2019.

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

Senior Advancement Program Specialist (Major Gifts), National Museum of African American History and Culture / Grade: 13 / Location: Washington, DC / Open to All / Closing: April 30

Come join a team of dedicated staff at an exceptional time in Smithsonian history, as the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the newest museum in the Smithsonian family, implements a new strategic plan, expands its programming, educational, and scholarly activity, and continues its first comprehensive fundraising campaign.

This museum is building a model fundraising infrastructure, 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 both the museum and the Smithsonian itself. 

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 annual and campaign goals; work with the Planned Giving Office to coordinate cultivation and solicitation strategies for planned giving 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. 

DOWNLOAD THE DESCRIPTION

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 www.si.edu. Interested candidates should submit their resumes and a cover letter by April 30, 2019 to oastaffing@si.edu.   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.

Major Gifts Officer, National Portrait Gallery / Grade: 12 / Location: Washington, DC / Open to All / Closing: May 13

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.

This position is located at the National Portrait Gallery (NPG), Smithsonian Institution, which was authorized and founded by Congress in 1962 with the mission to acquire and display portraits of "men and women who have made significant contributions to the history, development, and culture of the people of the United States." Today, the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery attracts over 2.3 million visitors onsite and 4 million online and continues to narrate the multi-faceted and ever-changing story of America through the individuals who have shaped its culture. Through the visual arts, performing arts, and new media, the Portrait Gallery presents poets and presidents, visionaries and villains, actors and activists whose lives form our national identity. The National Portrait Gallery is committed to recruiting, supporting, and investing in a diverse team of talented, creative, and passionate staff members who have a shared vision of our mission.

The museum has significantly grown its advancement department in the last two years and, as a result, has seen dramatic increases in fundraising performance. Our goal is to maintain this rate of growth beyond the museum's $25 million comprehensive campaign, which concluded at the end of 2018, the Portrait Gallery's 50th anniversary year. This position offers excellent opportunities for the successful candidate to make a significant impact on the future of the National Portrait Gallery. There is no better time to join this amazing museum.

The National Portrait Gallery seeks to hire an accomplished Major Gifts Officer (MGO) with proven fundraising experience to build and manage a portfolio of prospects and donors to execute a fundraising program focused on high capacity giving. The MGO works closely with the Assistant Director of Advancement to ensure that annual fundraising goals are met.

Reporting to the Assistant Director of Advancement, the Major Gifts Officer will secure contributions from individuals, foundations, corporations, and other organizations by discovering and cultivating a productive relationship with prospective donors; present opportunities for giving through solicitation efforts; establish and maintain effective working relationships with individual donors and prospects, and foundation officers; help steward board members and their networks; and help craft and implement a multi-year fundraising plan. The MGO will manage the Corporate Circle and have a strong focus on corporate sponsorships and management. The MGO will maintain a strong working relationship with Smithsonian’s central administration, working closely with the Office of Advancement to coordinate with colleagues as appropriate on matters relating to proposals, gift agreements, budgets and reporting, and other policy and process areas.

Successful candidates will have:

  • At least four years of specialized experience in major gift fundraising, with proven examples of successful corporate sponsorships, preferably within a major, arts-related institution, non-profit organization, educational institution, or other environment of similar complexity.
  • Demonstrated ability to raise funds, to be a strategic, creative thinker, and to complete projects in an efficient fashion.
  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Superior communication skills, both oral and written
  • Ability to take ownership of projects and work with minimal direction and supervision
  • Understanding of and dedication to the mission of the National Portrait Gallery

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. 

DOWNLOAD THE DESCRIPTION

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. Interested candidates should submit their resumes and a cover letter to oastaffing@si.edu by May 13, 2019. Please include the title of the position and your name in the subject line of the email.

The Smithsonian Institution is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer. To best serve our current and future visitors we strive to maximize the diversity, equity and inclusiveness of our organization. Therefore, we encourage qualified candidates that represent and embody the diversity found within our community to apply.