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Associate Director of Advancement

Smithsonian Institution
Washington D.C.
$126,233 – $164,102
Posted Date
Sep 27, 2022

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Position Type
Jobs Outside Academe, Non-profit & Government Organizations
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time
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Come join a team of dedicated staff at an exceptional time in Smithsonian history. With our Secretary, Lonnie G. Bunch III, who was previously the founding director of the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture, we are positioned to realize our goal of being a truly 21st century museum, libraries, and archives complex. The Smithsonian is dedicated to its founding mission, “the increase and diffusion of knowledge” and as such we use our resources to encourage curiosity, ignite wonder and spark the joy of learning. Following the success of the Smithsonian’s first comprehensive capital campaign, the largest ever undertaken by a cultural organization, the Smithsonian has built a model fundraising organization. This position offers exciting opportunities for the successful candidate to make a significant impact on the future of the Smithsonian.  There is no better time to join this amazing Institution.




The Smithsonian Libraries and Archives (SLA) has an opening for an experienced and dynamic Associate Director of Advancement responsible for developing and managing the fundraising program and generating private support for the acquisition of library materials, conservation, digitization, fellowships, exhibitions, and educational programs. This position reports directly to the Director of the Smithsonian Libraries and Archives and serves a member of the SLA Executive Leadership Team. The Associate Director of Advancement supervises a team of Advancement members that assist with programs and manage special events, annual giving, and public affairs. The Associate Director of Advancement engages with staff and Advisory Board, pulling in and developing the SI wide and SLA strategic goals and visions into actionable fundraising goals and programs. 




About the Smithsonian Libraries and Archives


SLA serves as the chief research arm and institutional memory of a unique cultural organization known as the Smithsonian Institution. SLA develops policies, provides guidance for the stewardship and preservation of the Smithsonian Institution’s vast research collections, and offers a range of reference and research services to the Smithsonian community and beyond to global researchers. SLA’s library research and archival collections play a dynamic role in advancing the scientific and cultural understanding of our universe.  Collections acquired and managed by SLA on behalf of Smithsonian researchers provide the resources and infrastructure needed to actively participate in the research infrastructure and ecosystem of scholarly communications.  SLA’s institutional archives document the history of the Smithsonian, from its founding in 1846 to the present, and supports the Smithsonian community of scholars and the general public by acquiring, evaluating, and preserving the records of the Institution and related documentary materials.  SLA manages the care, storage, and retrieval services for the Institution’s records in a wide variety of analog and digital formats.  The expert staff who manage and preserve these collections are a crucial resource for research and education communities at the Smithsonian, within the United States, and around the world. 




SLA is a critical partner in fostering collaboration across the Smithsonian environment, through access, collections, consultations, digital scholarship support, events, instruction, reference, services, and technology. As the world’s largest museum library and archives system, SLA is fearlessly at the forefront of research at the Smithsonian and serves as catalyst for knowledge production. We foster and embrace agile and innovative approaches to meeting the changing information needs of the Smithsonian community.




Roles and Responsibilities of the Associate Director for Advancement


The Associate Director of Advancement oversees the advancement program strategies for the Smithsonian Libraries and Archives with responsibility for planning, generating, and executing fund-raising initiatives with an emphasis on major gifts. She/he/they manages a portfolio of prospects including qualification of new prospects, and the cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of donors through in person visits and communications. The Associate Director oversees the Smithsonian Libraries and Archives Advisory Board activities. The incumbent strengthens relationships and develops opportunities with Board members, donors, and supporters of all levels and members of the SLA staff to further organizational goals and vision. The incumbent develops written annual work plans, visit and solicitation goals in conjunction with the Unit’s Director, and prepares reports on activities. The Associate Director collaborates with libraries and archives staff, various museum staff and other Smithsonian units on programs and solicitations. The incumbent must have both strategic vision and hands-on expertise in executing campaigns related to gift planning, major gifts, and grant proposal writing. The ability to cultivate a culture of philanthropy at SLA among staff is essential.




The successful candidate will have at least five years of successful experience in major gift fundraising, preferably in a major, arts-related institution, non-profit organization, or educational institution. Application materials should show experience in building long-term donor relationships and closing 5-7 figure gifts.  Hands-on board management experience with a proven history of fundraising success, including cultivation through solicitation and stewardship as well as experience working with planned giving, grant writing, and annual fund strategies should be demonstrated in application. Candidates must have superior oral and written communication skills, as well as excellent interpersonal and negotiation skills. Application materials should show experience building an advancement program for a cultural organization.  A bachelor’s degree is required; an advanced degree is preferred.




Key Relationships


As a member of the SLA Executive Leadership Team the Associate Director of Advancement works in partnership with the SLA Director and Executive Leadership Team to achieve goals by developing an annual fundraising plan. The Associate Director serves as a liaison to the SLA Advisory Board Development Committee and recruits additional members as necessary and appropriate. The Associate Director assesses progress toward benchmarks, recommending changes to annual fundraising priorities as needed.




The Associate Director for Advancement works in collaboration with the SLA Associate Director of Finance and Administration to reconcile the advancement budget and reports fiduciary communications related to advancement regularly to the Library Director and Advisory Board Chair.




The SLA Associate Director for Advancement works closely with the SLA Associate Director of Strategic Initiatives and Programs (SIP) to oversee strategic initiatives, communications, education and programming associated with fundraising and advancement. Additionally, the Associate Director provides leadership for all special events related to the Board and fundraising. Works with Associate Director of SIP when appropriate to develop funding streams for SLA strategic initiatives and programs




Benefits and Application Instructions

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 by October 28, 2022. Please include the position title in your e-mail subject line. Resumes should include a description of your paid and non-paid work experience that is related to this job; starting and ending dates of job (Month and year); and average number of hours worked per week.




Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion


SLA is committed to an inclusive library and archival research environment that prioritizes cultural intelligence, equity, and diversity; responsive and culturally inclusive acquisitions, reparative descriptive practices, and equitable information resources; assessment; and marketing of library and archival services.




The Smithsonian Institution ensures its employees (federal and trust), applicants, and affiliated persons (interns, research associates, fellows, and volunteers) are protected from discrimination and unfair treatment in the workplace regardless of their race, color, religion, national origin, sex (including gender identity, gender stereotyping, pregnancy, and sexual orientation), age, disability, genetic information, marital status, parental status, or political affiliation and are free from reprisal against protected activities. In addition, other Smithsonian policy prohibits discrimination based on membership in an employee organization or other non-merit factors, and political affiliation.”




The Smithsonian provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities. If you need an accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, please notify the contact person listed in this announcement. The decision on granting a reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.


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