Computer History Museum Director of Individual Giving–Completed

Congratulations to Rupal Dandia and the Computer History Museum.

View PDF: Computer History Museum Director of Individual Gifts Position Description 

Computer History Museum Director of Individual Giving (Major Gifts) Position Description

Painter Executive Search is supporting The Computer History Museum in their search for an accomplished, intellectually curious Director of Individual Giving to actively broaden support for this unique cultural institution.

The Computer History Museum (CHM) is the world’s leading institution dedicated to telling the stories of the history of computing and its ongoing impact on global society. Located in the heart of Silicon Valley in Mountain View, California and digitally online, the museum is the premier cultural institution presenting the history and significance of the exponential changes brought about by the computer revolution. At the core of their mission is the celebration and teaching of the history of the technology and ingenuity of the people who have invented and continue to re-invent what is possible. The museum’s content including objects, exhibitions, live events, education programs and online projects, spans the earliest exploration of the power of computing to today’s newest voices in the ongoing revolution.

CHM is experiencing unprecedented growth including a 45% increase in visitation in the last year. Currently, CHM is developing a new exhibition, Make Software, Change the World that will tell the story of the game-changing software innovations that have altered our daily lives, our marketplaces and our culture. With the new programs, initiatives and exhibitions in development, CHM is poised for a significant expansion in reach and impact.


The Director of Individual Giving (Director) is responsible for the success of the individual giving program including the identification, cultivation and solicitation of major gifts, increasing annual giving and oversight of the overall individual giving strategy. The Director is expected to focus significant attention on developing major annual giving prospects of $25,000 or more as well as restricted giving above $100,000. Working in collaboration with the VP of Development, the CEO and the Board of Trustees, the Director will focus on building a strong pipeline of relationships with new prospective donors who have affinity with CHM’s mission. This role is not bound by restrictive layers of authorization and permissions. It requires someone intrepid who demonstrates both enthusiasm about the work of the museum and can seek out and connect with likely supporters throughout the sector. Savvy facilitation of the vast resources available through CHM’s significant ties to the Valley will be required.

The members of the Board of Directors of CHM are deeply tied to Silicon Valley and other technology centers around the country. Appropriately leveraging their knowledge and networks and facilitating their engagement in order to invite individuals to invest in the programmatic and operating needs of the museum is expected of the role. A strong comfort with the tech world, a natural curiosity, fearlessness and creativity in engaging individual donors are all important for success.

In addition to their individual contributions, the Director will manage a team of two fundraisers working with the annual fund and in fundraising operations including gift processing, record keeping and reporting.

CHM has a current annual budget of $7.5 million dollars, an endowment of over $29 million and, last year, exceeded expectations against its annual operating plan.

The Computer Revolution is the most significant human advancement since the invention of the wheel, outpacing even the Industrial Revolution in impact. The changes these technologies have brought have transformed everyday life all over the world and brought forward previously unimagined potential. The opportunity and challenge of the Computer History Museum is to collect and chronicle these advances, often in the words of the creators themselves, before the opportunity to hear the stories first-hand disappears—and to interpret each advancement even as the full story continues to be written. The museum is a place of ideas where innovation and creativity play out in each bit and byte of the storyline. At the heart of its work is the recognition that history is being made each day and the museum is a place to celebrate the past, advance the story and explore its implications for the future.

In 2011, the museum completed a $20 million renovation of its home–the award-winning former Silicon Graphics’ marketing headquarters building. The building contains 120,000 square feet of space including more than 30,000 square feet of exhibition space, the 370 seat Hahn Auditorium, a café and museum store as well as education facilities, administrative offices and collections storage. Plans in the design stage will build out the entire ground floor of this building with significant additions of hands-on interactive labs and exhibitions. Over 130,000 visitors walk through the doors each year, 2.5 million unique visitors peruse content on and CHM’s branded YouTube channel has logged 4.25 million unique views since its inception.

The Collection

The Computer History Museum is home to the world’s largest collection related to the history of computing and includes over 100,000 artifacts, including hardware, software, documents, ephemera, photographs and moving images. From early devices used for counting and examples of pre-digital analog computers, all the way through to the history of gaming and the development of the Web, the museum has the most complete collection of rare examples of hardware and software. Included among the iconic machines are the first Google server, the Cray-1 supercomputer, the Apple I, the WWII ENIGMA, the Atari Pong Prototype, the PalmPilot prototype, and the 1969 Honeywell ”Kitchen” Computer. Only 2% of the collection is currently on display at the museum but over 75% can be accessed online. The museum is continually considering additions to the collection, and it reviews its policy for contemporary collecting routinely. Additionally, the Collection is enriched by an ongoing oral history project that includes over 500 videotaped conversations with famous tech pioneers and unknown geniuses. CHM currently holds a digital collection of over 84 terabytes, growing at a rate of 12- 15 terabytes annually.

The Exhibitions

In January 2011 the museum opened its signature exhibition: Revolution: The First 2000 Years of Computing. “Revolution” is the only historically and technically authoritative exhibition exploring the explosive growth of computers, software and networking and their impact on the way we live, work, think, and play. The 25,000 square foot exhibition is a richly layered, multi-media experience that tells the stories of the technology, people, companies and impact of computing. Revolution features more than 1,000 artifacts from the collection, enriched by dramatic graphics, hands-on displays, period settings, machine demonstrations and more than 100 multi-media stations. Other exhibits include “Charles Babbage’s Difference Engine No. 2,” and “Going Places: The History of Google Maps With Street View.”

Make Software, Change the World and the Software initiatives

“Make Software, Change the World” the new exhibition opening in 2015 will inspire and educate visitors about software’s dramatic impact on society by showing the interplay between software applications and daily life around the world. Designed for technical and non-technical visitors alike, the exhibition will allow a hands-on exploration of how software is made and illuminate the rich interaction that occurs between makers and users of software and applications.

CHM is also creating and implementing a digital repository infrastructure for their software collection. This infrastructure is being designed to provide reliable, long-term access to the digital asset collection that preserves digital objects in their created native formats and also migrates these digital assets through time as differing technologies emerge in order to guarantee that these digital assets will be recognizable and authentic.

The Digital Museum is becoming one of the world’s great destinations for computing history and research. More than 2.5 million people worldwide visit each year, experiencing more than 75% of the Museum’s collection. In addition to the online version of “Revolution: The First 2000 years of Computing,” which includes all of the material in the physical exhibition, there is an ever- growing body of related content including stories, oral histories, artifacts, and videos. Additionally, the museum offers specialized material through a dedicated YouTube channel ( currently offering more than 1,400 presentations. In the last year, traffic to the Museum’s channel increased by 58%.


Revolutionaries, CHM’s acclaimed speaker series, is distributed throughout the world on multiple platforms. It features renowned innovators, business and technology leaders and authors in enthralling, educational conversations. The Revolutionaries series launched with 13 lectures in 2011 and won such acclaim that it now in its third season with another 14 episodes. Every lecture is distributed around the world on the CHM’s branded YouTube channel and has now become a broadcast TV series on three KQED channels and has been syndicated on Minnesota Public Radio. Additionally, most lectures are carried on KQED-FM reaching over half a million radio listeners.

Education Programs

The Computer History Museum has a rich and growing set of educational opportunities—from self-guided and docent led tours for students and adults, to workshops, teacher training and innovative programming. In 2012 CHM was honored for excellence in education with a STEM Innovation Award from the Silicon Valley Educational Foundation for the Get Invested program, which guides teams of students to use historical inquiry to identify contemporary issues related to technology and to propose innovative solutions to problems those issues raise. Supporting educational efforts, CHM has nearly 100 highly trained volunteer docents prepared to deliver age appropriate educational experiences and tours.

Director of Individual Giving (Major Gifts) RESPONSIBILITIES

Reporting to the Vice President of Development and functioning as a senior staff member, the Director will join a talented team working across the museum to build out the vision for CHM’s curatorial and programmatic work and continue its history of financial and operational excellence. The Director’s core role is to activate all the networks affiliated with the museum to ensure that the financial resources to build upon that vision are available when they are needed. Specifically the Director will work independently, and as part of a fundraising team, to build annual and major gift funding for key initiatives including Make Software, Change the World, programmatic funding for The Revolutionaries as well as other education programming, and key infrastructure projects. Goals for the Director include building the engagement of a broader and more diverse donor base of individuals and personal foundations capable of making annual gifts of $25,000+, and restricted gifts at the 6-figure level. The Director, with the assistance of the Associate Director, Annual Giving, will also be responsible for launching a new leadership giving council of individuals giving annually at the $10,000+ level. Additional goals include building the capacity for a future capital campaign and growing unrestricted funding at $25,000 or more to an annually sustainable $500k+. The Director currently supervises 2 direct reports including the Annual Fund Manager and the Associate Director and will be expected to mentor and develop their capacity as well as future additions to staff.

Specific Duties

  • Become knowledgeable and conversant in all aspects of CHM’s mission, exhibitions, programs, long range plans;
  • Partner with the President, Vice President of Development, the Board of Trustees and other staff and volunteers in the cultivation, solicitation and stewardship of an increasing number of prospective and current individual donors;
  • Work together with the CHM’s researcher to identify new prospective donors and develop a robust pipeline of contacts who are aligned with key initiatives in CHM’s strategic plan;
  • Cultivate and maintain a personal fundraising portfolio of donor prospects with the capacity to give $25,000 annually or 100k in restricted giving;
  • Craft and execute solicitation strategies for individual donors – write briefings, prepare correspondence, set meetings, make the ask (or prepare an appropriate solicitor), follow up all solicitations and steward the donation and the ongoing relationship;
  • Work with colleagues to create and implement a long term stewardship plan involving written communications to donors, including specific reporting on outcomes achieved as a result of individual philanthropic support;
  • Develop, manage, and motivate a high caliber team, creatively organizing them to maximize their effectiveness and clearly define their roles, relationships, and expectations;
  • Oversee Raisers Edge as primary donor management system, which includes ensuring accurate database of donors, relationships, donations, campaigns, events, etc.;
  • Ensure the integrity of donor relationships and philanthropic agreements;
  • Assist with the implementation of recognition and cultivation events Museum-wide;
  • Participate in fundraising events and other opportunities to network with prospective and current donors.


A successful candidate will likely have:

  • Demonstrated success in identifying, cultivating and soliciting individual donors which resulted in a robust pipeline of new relationships and significant increases funding;
  • A genuine interest and enthusiasm for all things techie;  Excellent relationship-building skills and agility to build rapport with internal and external stakeholders around innovative ideas and programs;
  • Comfort with a start-up like culture where multiple priorities and agendas evolve through collaboration and can emerge opportunistically;
  • Exceptional communication skills; articulate, with proven ability to write effectively and speak persuasively;
  • Basic knowledge of planned giving instruments;
  • Superior organizational skills, with a strong sense of detail-orientation;
  • A Bachelor’s degree.


  • Genuinely enjoys engaging donors and the fundraising process;
  • Understands and embraces the Silicon Valley culture of innovation and risk;
  • Inspires confidence and trust; demonstrates an affinity with the interests of engineers and entrepreneurs;
  • Ability to synthesize information quickly and engage effectively with successful and opinioned leaders;
  • High integrity and commitment to goals;
  • Possesses a high degree of emotional intelligence and self-awareness;
  • Demonstrates strong problem-solving attributes—drive, energy and creativity;
  • Intellectually curious, with demonstrated interest across a broad range of ideas and disciplines, active in one’s personal pursuits and open to learning.


For additional information or to be considered for this role contact:

Nancy Painter

(415) 202- 6240