Director of Development – Weisman Art Museum, University of Minnesota

Supervises:       Development Associate & Assistant and development interns

Reports to:        WAM Director

Salary Range:    $105,000 to $115,000

Are you a seasoned nonprofit leader with a keen sense for how the philanthropic landscape is shifting for cultural organizations? Do you love the work of relationship-building that connects diverse communities of support with creative projects and big-picture institutional vision? Maybe you’re a geek about the potential of the institution-as-changemaker, eager to roll up your sleeves and help position the museum at the forefront of advances in the field. Certainly, you’re no stranger to the power of one-on-one friendraising, affinity building, and donor cultivation. Join the team at the Weisman, and you’ll be a part of a tight-knit, collaborative and interdepartmental crew — all working to bring an ethos of research and service, creative vision and collaboration, fueled by critical donor support, to the work of reimagining what a campus museum can be for, and do with, its communities.

Reporting to the Director of the Weisman Art Museum (WAM) and the Vice President for Development, College and Campus Programs at the University of Minnesota Foundation (UMF), the Director of Development serves as the chief fundraising officer for all aspects of WAM. The person in this position is responsible for establishing an overall development strategy and implementing a fundraising and membership plan. The Director of Development works closely with communications staff at the museum to ensure the museum’s external messaging aligns with and supports the museum’s development efforts.



Program Leadership and Major Gifts (60%)

  • Develop, implement, and evaluate a comprehensive fundraising program that aligns with the Museum’s philanthropic aims. This includes setting the fundraising goals and objectives and developing and executing strategies for cultivating and soliciting major gifts, planned gifts, and corporate/foundation gifts.
  • Identify, prioritize, cultivate, solicit, and steward a major gifts portfolio that includes individuals, corporations, foundations, and government with an emphasis on major gifts of $50,000+ supporting specific programs and general operating support.
  • Develop and implement strategies in support of program fundraising priorities; identify opportunities for support with interdisciplinary programs that currently exist or will emerge in future planning.
  • Work collaboratively with the University of Minnesota Foundation (UMF) on annual work planning and effective coordination of donors and prospects with multi-unit interests. Be an active and engaged user of UMF’s central development services on research, stewardship, and the Donor Management System (DMS).
  • Complete and file contact reports in a timely manner. Provide regular reports on progress and results with prospects in portfolio.
  • Generate proposals, budgets, and other materials in support of all fundraising.
  • Oversee grant processes,  from federal, state and local entities, corporations, foundations and family foundations.

Staff Supervision, Volunteers, and Museum Partnerships (25%)

  • Work closely and in collaboration with communications and events staff to create and operate appropriate strategic donor recognition activities and fundraising promotional materials.
  • With WAM’s senior team and support staff, assist in the activities of the museum’s Colleagues Advisory Board and its executive committee. Focus to include cultivating board member relationships so as to develop their personal philanthropic giving and personal networks, develop annual board fundraising activities, guide CAB recruitment, and lead the CAB development committee. Work with board members on CAB fundraising  initiatives and priorities.
  • Create a compelling case for philanthropic support in collaboration with the museum’s director.
  • Manage development staff members and student interns including hiring; training; setting goals and performance expectations; and providing feedback (recognition, coaching, performance reviews).
  • From a fundraising perspective, participate as a member of the senior staff in exhibition and program planning with other key museum staff, including long-range planning for the institution.

Membership Program (10%)

  • Develop policies and strategies to enhance and expand museum’s membership.
  • Work with the museum’s communications staff to ensure that marketing and media relations including marketing materials, events, press releases, and membership promotional campaigns support membership growth.
  • Direct a program of solicitation to prospective members and ensure that consistent messages reach members, and the general public.

Other duties (5%)

  • Educate, train, and supervise interns and other students.
  • Represent the museum on a variety of campus-wide committees or community organizations as requested by or with the approval of the director.
  • Represent the museum by collaborating with colleagues in other departments as requested by or with the approval of the director

The successful candidate will be prepared to travel on occasion outside the Twin Cities area to advance the development program, in addition to attendance at some evening and weekend events. This position is hybrid with working on site Wednesdays and Thursdays and one other day of your choice.

Essential Qualifications and Selection Criteria

  • Bachelor’s degree required.
  • A minimum of five years demonstrated success in development and/or comparable professional experience in the arts, sales/marketing, or higher education; strongly prefer success in securing major individual gifts
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, particularly the ability to work effectively with a diverse group of individuals
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently and with good judgment and attention to detail
  • Evidence of strong organizational and management skills, including training and performance management of staff; experience developing and managing budgets; and skills relevant to managing the prospect cultivation and solicitation process. Demonstrated ability to work as part of a team to support the strategic directions of the institute and the overall vision of the director
  • Ability to manage complex projects from conception to execution, with attention to details
  • Professionalism, integrity, and discretion
  • Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively with management and colleagues

Preferred Qualifications

  • Advanced degree
  • Affinity with the visual arts
  • One year experience managing staff including the selection, training and performance management of staff
  • Three to five years of demonstrated success in development and major gift work
  • Evidence of entrepreneurial approach to fundraising and development.
  • Experience with planned giving and capital campaigns

Please include a cover letter, resume and writing sample with your application.

About Weisman Art Museum

Since its origin in 1934, Weisman Art Museum has been a campus museum for the University of Minnesota. Today, our mission as a university art museum is to create and advance inclusive arts experiences to broaden understanding of ourselves, our communities, and our world. The Weisman is located at 333 East River Road, Minneapolis, on the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus. Gallery admission is always free and open to the public. For more information, visit

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