Director of Development – Smart Museum, University of Chicago

About the Smart Museum:

The Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago is a site for rigorous inquiry and exchange that encourages the examination of complex issues through the lens of art objects and artistic practice.

Founded as the David and Alfred Smart Gallery in 1974, the museum was renamed to the David and Alfred Smart Museum of Art in 1990. The Museum has long served as a model for academic art museums by combining the University‘s deep seated commitment to intense creative and intellectual engagement and open dialogue with Chicago’s entrepreneurial spirit, the South Side’s robust creative communities, and global arts perspectives that bridge lines of culture, language, and lived experience. Over 51,000 visitors annually experience the Smart, with exhibitions and programs highlighting permanent collections, works by contemporary artists, and objects on loan from institutional partners and private collectors.

With the recent appointment of Vanja Malloy as the Dana Feitler Director of the Smart Museum and with the museum approaching its 50th anniversary in 2024 — now is an exciting moment to join the Smart Museum, and the University of Chicago is keen to support the Smart Museum’s dynamic role in expanding artist cannons, rethinking received histories, introducing new perspectives, and engaging diverse communities – locally, nationally, and internationally.

About Alumni Relations & Development at the University of Chicago:

Alumni Relations & Development (ARD) engages alumni, parents, friends, faculty and students of the University through intellectual, professional, and social activities on campus, around the world and online in support of the University’s mission and goals. ARD raises approx. $550 million annually in support of priorities in every division, school, department, and institute. The Smart Museum development team is part of the broader ARD Humanities and the Arts fundraising organization which also includes fundraising teams in: UChicago Arts, the Court Theatre, the Division of Humanities, the Divinity School, the Oriental Institute, and the University Libraries.

Job Summary:

The Director of Development (DoD) will be responsible for leading and coordinating comprehensive fundraising efforts for the Smart Museum of Art. The Director will design and implement holistic strategies and build relationships to identify, cultivate and solicit annual, major, and principal gift donors in collaboration with Smart Museum leadership, the Smart Museum Board of Governors, University leadership, and development colleagues. Working closely with the Smart Museum and ARD teams, the Director will identify and define funding opportunities, support individual and foundation donor engagement opportunities and solicitations, and collaborate with the Smart Board and the Dana Feitler Director to develop strategic approaches for fundraising growth. This Director is a senior fundraising position with management responsibilities for the Smart Museum fundraising team, and will work closely with other arts leaders across the University of Chicago and develop partnerships with other University of Chicago fundraising colleagues.

Reporting to the Assistant Vice President for Development-Humanities and the Arts and the Dana Feitler Director of the Smart Museum, the Director is a member of the Smart Museum’s senior leadership team and a member of the ARD Humanities and the Arts Directors group.

P rimary Responsibilities

  • Provide vision for and lead the Smart Museum’s fundraising activities including annual giving, major gifts, institutional giving, fundraising events, and campaigns;
  • Lead and manage the creation and implementation of a strategy for the identification, cultivation, solicitation, gift closure, and stewardship of individual and foundation major donor prospects in collaboration with Alumni Relations & Development (ARD) and Smart Museum staff and leadership;
  • Work closely with the Dana Feitler Director of the Smart Museum in supporting the Smart Board of Governors, including managing and overseeing individual relationships and board committees, as needed;
  • Build and manage relationships with a portfolio of 60-80 individual and foundation prospects, and partner with fundraising colleagues on multi-interest prospects to include Smart Museum solicitations in their overall solicitation plans; including solicitations at the six and seven figure levels;
  • Monitor progress against goals ensuring deadlines are met;
  • Manage, supervise, and lead the Smart’s development team–currently a team of two fundraising professionals with the possibility for growth in the future;
  • Hire, manage, develop, and evaluate development staff as needed and as assigned;
  • Actively encourage staff members’ professional growth and participation in the life of the University;
  • In partnership with the Assistant Vice President for Development-Humanities and the Arts establish annual performance goals, allocate resources, track and assess individual and team performance;
  • Monitor and manage the development team budget;
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

U nit-preferred Competencies

  • An ability to communicate effectively and with influence characterized by the ability to listen deeply, speak clearly, and effectively convey ideas in writing
  • Demonstrated experience fostering partnership and collaboration
  • The ability to be a brand ambassador for the Smart Museum and the University of Chicago
  • Strong organizational and analytical skills
  • Self-motivated and entrepreneurial mindset
  • Track record of meeting and exceeding goals
  • Passion for and comprehensive knowledge of art and art museums

Education, Experience, and Certifications

A bachelor’s degree is required for this position.

At least seven years of work experience in a related job discipline.

Preferred Qualifications

  1. Experience soliciting and closing major gifts
  2. Experience leading a high performing team
  3. Demonstrated record of organizing successful fundraising, marketing or membership programs
  4. A knowledge of and passion for the visual arts, art museums, and higher education
  5. Experience fundraising for an art museum, gallery, or arts organization

Required Documents

  1. Resume
  2. Cover Letter

To apply, please visit:– S mart-Museum-of-Art_JR19329

For inquiries or to learn more about the role contact:

Jason Smith, Assistant Vice President for Development – Humanities and the Arts at: j

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