Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University – Position Announcement: Director of Development and Major Gifts

Position Summary

The Director of Development and Major Gifts sets the strategy and manages the museum’s development activities, including individual, corporate, and foundation giving. Reports to the Director of the Nasher Museum.

Work Performed

Development Strategy

  • Strategize and direct all fundraising activities, including major gift cultivation and stewardship, individual annual giving, membership programs, corporate giving and sponsorships, and foundation and government grants.
  • Collaborate with the museum director to create a development plan which increases revenue to support the strategic direction of the Nasher.
  • Monitor and evaluate all fundraising activities to ensure that the fundraising goals are being achieved.
  • Advise the museum director on overall development strategy, and on major gift cultivation and stewardship in particular.
  • Cultivate relationships with major donors and other key supporters (with a portfolio averaging 50 top prospects), including national Board of Advisors.
  • Serve as main point of contact with University Development and collaborate closely with University colleagues on shared prospects. Represent the Nasher Museum and its development strategy in University-wide settings. Equip University Development gift officers to solicit gifts on the Nasher’s behalf.

Team Management

  • In consultation with the museum director, recruit, interview, and select well-qualified development staff.
  • Supervise and manage the work of the museum’s assistant director of development, especially the research and writing of grant applications to foundations, corporations, and government funders.
  • Supervise and manage the work of the museum’s annual fund and membership officer, and provide strategic leadership and guidance for annual fund strategy, direct marketing/solicitations, membership programs and new initiatives.
  • Collaborate with the museum’s special events coordinator for development-oriented events.
  • Work closely with Business office to assure funds are allocated, spent, and reported upon accurately.
  • As a member of the museum’s senior management team, participate in strategic planning across departments. Represent the museum to key internal and external constituencies.

The above statements describe the general nature and level of work being performed by individuals assigned to this classification. This is not intended to be an exhaustive list of all responsibilities and duties required of personnel so classified.


  • Proven ability to cultivate, solicit, and close major gifts ($100k+).
  • Exceptional ability to think strategically and analytically.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, sound judgment, and experience handling confidential information.
  • Strong initiative, creativity, and attention to detail.
  • High energy level, sense of humor, enthusiasm, and flexibility are a must.
  • Ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously, working both independently and as a team member.
  • Experience interviewing, hiring, and supervising teams.
  • Ability to travel regularly and work weekends and evenings.

Minimum Qualifications

Education/Training: Work requires communications, analytical and organizational skills generally acquired through completion of a bachelor’s degree program.
Experience: Work requires a minimum of five years’ experience in development and management. Experience in museum or university development preferred; knowledge of the visual arts a strong plus. OR an equivalent combination of relevant education and/or experience.

To Apply

Cover letter and resume required. Candidates must apply at Use Requisition Number: 401444694; No Phone inquiries, please.

Duke University is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer committed to providing employment opportunity without regard to an individual’s age, color, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status.

Duke aspires to create a community built on collaboration, innovation, creativity, and belonging. Our collective success depends on the robust exchange of ideas-an exchange that is best when the rich diversity of our perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences flourishes. To achieve this exchange, it is essential that all members of the community feel secure and welcome, that the contributions of all individuals are respected, and that all voices are heard. All members of our community have a responsibility to uphold these values.

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