Director of Museum Development

Maine, United States
Salary Not Specified
Apr 02, 2021
Employment Type
Full Time
Job Description
Office of Advancement
Pay Rate Type:
Employee Type:
Job Summary:College Advancement
Full-Time, Exempt, Salaried, Administrative Staff Appointment

Over the past five years, outreach efforts to communicate the value and impact of a Colby education have resulted in more than doubling the number of students seeking admission to Colby and setting several institutional records for funds raised. Major initiatives made possible through Colby’s campaign, Dare Northward, are enriching the student experience and positioning Colby’s home city, Waterville, as a destination for the arts and culture.

Propelled by visionary leadership, a compelling array of initiatives, and record fundraising in fiscal year 2017, Colby launched the largest fundraising campaign ever at a liberal arts college—$750 million—in October 2017. With the success of the Dare Northward campaign, the College will be known for a distinctive set of multidisciplinary academic offerings; an even more cohesive and accessible institutional culture for students from all backgrounds; the foremost art and athletic facilities in the educational sector; a welcoming, thriving, and dynamic surrounding community; increased global connections and resulting perspectives; the richest set of universal student experiences to enhance the Colby academic program; and the capacity to support the postgraduate success of every one of their students.

Thus far, more than 22,800 alumni and friends have made donations in support of initiatives such as the downtown Waterville revitalization, academic partnerships, financial aid, and global experiences and internships—collectively raising more than $600 million to date toward the Dare Northward campaign. Colby now ranks as a national leader among the nation’s colleges and universities in alumni giving participation. To learn about the Colby Dare Northward campaign, visit

The Colby College Museum of Art is a collecting and teaching museum dedicated to the preservation, display, and interpretation of the visual arts. We embrace within our collections works of art from diverse cultures and historical periods, with a focus on American art, and commitment to collecting and exhibiting contemporary art. We manage these resources for the benefit of the Colby College community, the region, and the nation, and we aspire to display works that embody the highest standards of achievement.

Working to advance equity and inclusion in the field of American art—and, by doing so, in the wider world—is core to our mission. We feel the urgency of national and campus conversations on inequality and are keenly aware of the unique responsibility that we have as an academic art museum—as a place where we can listen, ask questions, and challenge assumptions—to engage in this dialogue, and to act. We affirm the Colby Museum of Art’s commitment to multidisciplinary teaching and learning and our potential for deep engagement with students will be leveraged in this effort toward fighting racialized violence, injustice, and inequality; and we encourage inquiries from candidates who will contribute to the diversity of our College, including its cultural and ethnic diversity.

The College is seeking a highly motivated director of museum development at an exciting and defining moment in Colby’s history. This key position offers a unique opportunity to be part of an ambitious and transformational campaign, at a time of tremendous opportunity and growth in the arts, including its museum, and at a historic moment that requires a profound understanding of the arts and education as public goods. With a dual-report to the assistant vice president for college advancement and the Carolyn Muzzy museum director, the director of museum development brings an entrepreneurial spirit to the role of leading the Colby Museum of Art’s efforts to solicit, cultivate, and steward philanthropic support for the museum. The successful candidate will foster a culture of philanthropy to ensure that the museum can deliver on its mission, goals, and ambitions for years to come.

The director of museum development serves as part of the museum’s senior leadership team, helping to foster an equitable and inclusive culture; increasing the museum’s access and value to its communities—including Colby students, faculty, families, and alumni—and strengthening the Colby Museum of Art as one of the nation's leading academic museums. The position regularly advises the Colby Museum of Art’s director and Division of College Advancement leaders on donor strategy, and represents the museum on key donor relationships. The director determines the museum’s philanthropic priorities in collaboration with the Colby Museum of Art’s director, the assistant vice president for college advancement, and the Museum Board of Governors. The director of museum development will manage the museum development officer who is responsible for soliciting annual support, executing yearly engagement events, and providing critical research, stewardship, solicitation, and reporting assistance. We encourage inquiries from candidates who will contribute to the diversity of our College, including its cultural and ethnic diversity.


  • Solicit and provide strategic leadership for museum development
    • In concert with Colby's Division of College Advancement team and the Colby Museum of Art’s director, establish priorities for pursuing individual giving as well as foundation, corporate, and government funding
    • Develop and execute annual and multi-year fundraising plans to ensure a robust and sustainable pipeline of support from individuals, foundations, corporations, and government entities, as appropriate
    • Manage a targeted prospect portfolio of the museum’s top supporters capable of making principal and leadership gifts
    • Lead donor and prospect stewardship, managing a portfolio of donors and advising the Colby Museum of Art's director and others at the museum and across Colby in the ongoing process of relationship cultivation and stewardship
  • Manage relationships involving highly-rated individuals effectively
    • Lead identification, qualification, cultivation, and solicitation strategies for the museum’s most highly-rated prospects
    • Cultivate strong relationships with the Museum Board of Governors and key supporters
    • Partner with Leadership Gifts, Family Philanthropy, Gift Planning, and Prospect Research & Analysis colleagues on solicitations
    • Collaborate with donor relations to develop effective stewardship strategies and to continually strengthen systems that result in accurate and timely documentation of relationships as well as compelling, accurate, and consistent project and stewardship reporting
  • Collaborate with Colby Museum of Art and Division of College Advancement colleagues to identify and pursue major funding from foundations, corporations, and government entities; help to cultivate and manage those relationships
  • Serve as a Colby Museum of Art senior staff member
    • Advise on ongoing institutional matters and shares responsibility for communication and execution of museum goals
    • Cultivate relationships with College senior leaders, colleagues in the Division of College Advancement, and Colby Museum of Art staff
  • Oversee the strategic vision for annual support through the Friends of Art, key fundraising events, and Museum Board of Governors Fund
    • Serve as primary staff liaison to the Museum Resources Committee of the Board of Governors, providing strategic leadership, effective management, and inspiration to volunteers as they secure higher levels of unrestricted support from an increasingly diverse constituency
  • Inspire, supervise, and mentor the museum development officer in alignment with goals; supervise or work with consultants, as needed
  • With support from the museum development officer and in collaboration with communications staff at the Colby Museum of Art as well as colleagues in the Division of College Advancement and across Colby, develop and implement strategies that attract, welcome, and engage diverse donors, growing the museum's philanthropic networks and public reach
    • Work continually to better understand cultural nuances that might influence philanthropy or participation
    • Seek to proactively identify individuals and organizations that can help the museum advance its goals
    • Authentically and accurately convey the museum’s mission, values, and activities to varied constituencies, fostering a sense of belonging among all, especially, those who have been underrepresented in Colby’s philanthropic circles
  • Participate in professional development training programs to enhance expertise and skills
  • Perform additional duties as assigned; duties, responsibilities, and activities may change at any time with or without notice


  • Bachelor’s degree or the equivalent in education and experience
  • Minimum of five years of experience envisioning, shaping, and implementing a successful philanthropic program
  • Demonstrated ability to think strategically and long-term while successfully attending to more immediate goals and tasks; strong critical thinking and problem-solving skills
  • Excellent oral, written, and interpersonal communication skills, including strong relationship skills and ability to work with people across a wide range of levels of power and influence
  • Demonstrated ability to synthesize information and tailor key points to a variety of constituencies, including ability to prepare succinct and clear financial reports
  • Excellent organizational skills, ability to consistently meet deadlines and follow-through on assignments, and attention to detail
  • Ability to handle confidential information tactfully and exercise discretion
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office software, Google applications, and with donor database systems
  • Strong, self-motivated work ethic; flexibility; and proven ability to work both independently and collaboratively and constructively as a member of a diverse community
  • Deep appreciation for the value of art museums and of a liberal arts education
  • Unwavering commitment to fostering an anti-racist, equitable work environment supportive of people from different cultures, backgrounds, and life paths


Reporting to the Colby College Museum of Art’s Carolyn Muzzy director and the assistant vice president for college advancement, the director of museum development will also work closely with the museum’s deputy director, executive assistant, coordinator of institutional initiatives and board affairs, curators, Lunder Institute director, collections manager and registrars, and museum development officer. The position also interacts frequently with the Museum Board of Governors Chair and Vice-Chair and key members of the board. Within the Division of College Advancement team, the director of museum development will work closely with the vice president, chief campaign officer, as well as peers, and reports to the assistant vice president for college advancement.


General open office and campus environment. Position involves sitting, although frequent movement is necessary. Computer usage involving repetitive hand/wrist motion is also necessary. Ability to move around campus and interact with faculty, staff, students, parents/alumni, and external constituencies regularly is crucial. Travel and work outside of normal business hours are required. The option to work remotely will be considered on a case-by-case basis.


Interested candidates should apply electronically by clicking the "Apply" button on the Colby Careers website. Please submit a letter of interest including salary requirements, resume, and the contact information of three professional references. Materials should be addressed to:

Director of Museum Development - Search Committee
Office of Human Resources
Colby College
5500 Mayflower Hill
Waterville, ME 04901-8855

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