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

Major Gifts Officer, National Portrait Gallery / Grade: 12 / Location: Washington, DC / Open to all / Closing: September 23

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 2019, 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 September 23, 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.

Senior Major Gift Officer, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute / Grade: 13/14 / Location: Front Royal, VA / Open to all / Closing: October 6

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 National Zoological Park and Conservation Biology Institute (NZP/SCBI) is seeking a Senior Major Gift Officer to develop and implement a major and leadership giving program from individual donors for SCBI’s science and educational programming. The position will be based at SCBI’s headquarters in Front Royal, VA.  Candidates must have a passion for conservation and an interest in helping to save some of the world’s most endangered and beloved species, while working collaboratively with scientists and conservationists who are world leaders in their respective fields.

The Gift Officer is responsible for building and managing a portfolio of prospective donors to advance SCBI’s mission, under the direction of the Chief Advancement Officer (CAO), in coordination with the Director of SCBI.  He/she will implement projects and activities to support the overall NZP/SCBI Advancement program and meet established annual and campaign revenue goals.  He/she is responsible for developing and implementing a strategic fundraising plan to secure an adequate and sustainable non-federal financial base for SCBI comprised of restricted, unrestricted, annual and planned gifts.  Sources of support include high net worth individuals, family foundations, and local corporations.

The Gift Officer will support the CAO in the development of a robust international NZP/SCBI Advisory Board and works with the SCBI Director to develop and maintain a vital SCBI volunteer Task Force.

Successful candidates will have a broad background in individual major gift fundraising within a complex environment with multiple stakeholders. He/she must have a thorough understanding of large-scale fundraising operations; a record of success in a campaign environment is highly preferred. He/she must display creativity in strategy development and experience as a senior development professional with a record of progressive accomplishment in the management of an individual giving department. Candidate should preferably have strong relationships and a proven track record cultivating and soliciting donors in Virginia counties near the SCBI facility.

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 October 6, 2019.   

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

Advancement Associate (Constituent Engagement), Office of Advancement / Grade: 9 / Location: Washington, DC / Open to all / Closing: October 6

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 Constituent Engagement Advancement Associate works in the Office of the Director of Constituent Engagement for the Office of Advancement at the Smithsonian Institution.  The Associate supports the work of the Director and the Constituent Engagement team. The team collaborates with colleagues across the Smithsonian, supporting institutional and volunteer leadership on advancement messaging and communications, programming and stewardship, and online engagement and fundraising.  Everything the Constituent Engagement team does is focused on building and engaging audiences, inspiring private support for the Smithsonian, thanking donors and conveying the impact of their gifts.

The Constituent Engagement Advancement Associate will support the Director and team with a full range of advancement functions including project management, travel and logistics planning, communications and presentations, budget development and oversight, research, drafting briefings, documents and presentations, and assisting with donor events and meetings. S/he will help the team think strategically about a cohesive approach to engaging our audiences.

Qualified candidates will successfully demonstrate sophisticated communications skills and the ability to work efficiently and thoughtfully with numerous stakeholders, exceptional discretion and organization, an ability to successfully manage multiple deadlines, resourcefulness, and a thirst for learning. Strong writing skills and familiarity working with Microsoft Excel and presentation software such as PowerPoint and Keynote are required. Experience in a large, complex non-profit organization and/or experience working with high-level donors preferred.

The Office of Advancement oversees and guides the fundraising efforts of the entire Smithsonian and is home to the central development organization for the Institution. In addition to raising significant support for a variety of Smithsonian initiatives, the Office of Advancement provides support services to development offices across the Institution. The office engages with staff throughout the Smithsonian in accomplishing their goals.

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 to oastaffing@si.edu by October 6, 2019. Please include the title of the position in the subject line. 

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

Manager of Museum Advisory Committees, National Museum of American History / Grade: 11 / Location: Washington, DC / Open to all / Closing: October 8

The Star-Spangled Banner, Abraham Lincoln’s pocket watch, Ben Franklin’s suit, the First Ladies’ dresses, the Ruby Slippers—these are just a few of the more than 1.8 million objects collected and cared-for by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History (NMAH).  As the only museum dedicated to telling the entire story of America’s history, the museum uses its collections, its staff and its programs to help visitors explore what it means to be American. For more information about the museum visit http://www.americanhistory.si.edu

The Advancement Office at the National Museum of American History is seeking qualified candidates to serve as manager for a variety of fundraising-related volunteer activities including the Museum’s Advisory Board, various advisory committees, donor cultivation events, and fundraising events. He/she will assist with planning, managing and executing three regular meetings for the Museum’s Board along with a multi-year plan of strategic engagement activities for members and candidates.  The incumbent will support the Museum’s Smithsonian Council for American History membership group, of which the Museum’s Board is part and provide support to other annual giving activities as needed.  The position reports to the Deputy Director for External Affairs and works closely with the Associate Director.  The incumbent will work closely with all major gift officers to plan and execute a variety of programmatic activities including small dinners, advisory committee meetings, lectures/symposia, and panel discussions. This position will require interaction with high net-worth individuals.  Successful applicants must have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree and 3 years of demonstrably progressive experience in the field of development and/or board management.

Duties Include:

  • Management of a variety of advisory and fundraising committees to include membership development and orientation, development of program content and its execution, interaction with members and follow-up on requests and assignments. 
  • Planning and execution of logistics associated with a variety of types of events to include dinners, committee meetings, symposia, and others. 
  • Assistance with Smithsonian Council of American History membership group. 
  • Strategic development of invitation lists, program content and event follow-up.
  • Writing briefings, talking points, remarks and follow-up correspondence for Museum leadership. 
  • Development of fundraising proposals, stewardship reports, correspondence and other materials as needed by department. 

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 positon but has similar requirements and benefits. Interested candidates should submit their resumes and a cover letter to oastaffing@si.edu by October 8, 2019.

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

Advancement Assistant, Archives of American Art / Grade: 7 / Location: Washington, DC / Open to all / Closing: October 17

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 Archives of American Art seeks a skilled self-starter interested in art and the field of Advancement to join its team of dedicated staff. The Advancement Assistant supports the Associate Director for Advancement, as well as fundraising and external affairs colleagues, providing technical and administrative support, and assisting with a full range of advancement functions. These include gift processing; maintaining donor information; data processing; meeting coordination and support; event planning and support; creating spreadsheets, templates, documents and tools; managing mailings; facilitating donor services and stewardship; drafting correspondence and event briefings; and general administrative support. The incumbent will also be charged with supporting the planning and execution of the annual gala under the supervision of the director. Related duties include logistical oversight and preparation, and serving as a point of contact for vendors. This position provides an excellent opportunity to gain exposure to many facets of advancement, including individual giving, institutional support, events, donor relations, and operations.

The successful candidate will have previous experience in a fundraising office and event planning, demonstrate strong attention to detail, have the ability to multi-task and an interest in strengthening his/her skills in advancement. The ability to take initiative and ownership of projects and to work with minimal direction and supervision is critical. Candidates should possess strong interpersonal, writing and organization skills; an engaging manner; and the commitment to being a member of a strong team. A Bachelor’s degree is required.

The Archives of American Art is the largest resource for the study of American art in the world, with millions of primary sources that tell the stories behind our nation’s great art and artists. By preserving and providing access to these priceless documents, the Archives serves as a rich and enduring source of knowledge about the history of the visual arts and culture in the United States, informing and engaging scholars, art lovers, and inquisitive minds from across the nation and around the world. The Archives makes its collections easily accessible to a national and international audience through research centers in Washington, D.C. and New York, N.Y., and on its website, where almost 250 collections are fully digitized.

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. Interested candidates should submit their resumes and a cover letter to oastaffing@si.edu by October 17, 2019.

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

Director, Individual Giving, National Museum of American History / Grade: 14 / Location: Washington, DC / Open to all / Closing: October 18

Come join a team of dedicated staff at an exceptional time as the Museum implements a new strategic plan and continues to expand its programming, educational, and scholarly activity.  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 and the National Museum of American History (NMAH).

The Star-Spangled Banner, Abraham Lincoln’s pocket watch, Ben Franklin’s suit, the Ruby Slippers—these are just a few of the 1.8 million objects collected and cared-for by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. Through incomparable collections, rigorous research, and dynamic public outreach, NMAH explores the infinite richness and complexity of our nation’s history.

NMAH has an opening for an experienced and dynamic Director of Individual Giving to lead the Museum’s efforts in building the base of individual support for exhibitions, collections, educational and outreach activities, and endowment needs. The Director of Individual Giving will focus efforts on discovery, qualification, cultivation and solicitation of prospects with a giving capacity of $100,000 and higher.  He/she will supervise up to two major gift officers and manage a portfolio of 100 prospects.  The Director will secure 6-7 figure gifts that contribute toward the Museum’s annual fundraising goal of $15-$20 million.  This front-line fundraising position reports to the Associate Director for External Affairs.

Duties:

  • Manage a portfolio of at least 100 prospects rated at $100,000 and higher
  • Develop and implement strategies to solicit 6-7 figure gifts
  • Close 15-20 gifts per year toward an annual, individual dollar goal
  • Supervise up to two major gift officers
  • Oversee the management of the Museum’s high-end membership program—the Smithsonian Council for American History—for annual donors of $1,000 - $25,000
  • Oversee the management of the Museum’s annual giving programs
  • Manage the Museum’s planned giving program—the Star-Spangled Banner Society
  • Oversee the development of online fundraising for the Museum
  • Create written materials to support fundraising, including proposals, visit reports, letters, and stewardship materials
  • Design and execute visits and events for cultivation, solicitation and stewardship of major donors
  • Travel independently and with Museum leadership as required
  • Develop and staff a biennial Board and donor trip
  • Staff Museum executives and volunteer leadership by writing briefings, talking points, and follow-up letters
  • Maintain a comprehensive and detailed knowledge of the Smithsonian’s infrastructure, policies and procedures

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree is required; Master’s degree is highly desired
  • Five or more years of successful experience in major gift ($100K+) fundraising in a complex organization, preferably a museum or cultural institution
  • A demonstrated track record of building long-term donor relationships and closing 6 & 7 figure gifts
  • Successful experience in identifying prospects and making cold calls
  • Superior communication skills, both oral and written, as well as excellent interpersonal skills
  • Understanding of and dedication to the mission of the National Museum of American History
  • Willingness to travel nationally, approximately 4-6 days per month, to travel internationally when necessary and to work evenings and weekends as needed

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 October 18, 2019. Please include the position title in your e-mail subject line.

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