San Francisco Museum of Modern Art- Director of Development–COMPLETED

Congratulations to David Blinder and SFMOMA on this successful search.

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San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)

Director of Development

Position Description


Painter Executive Search is supporting SFMOMA in their search for a seasoned Director of Development to lead all aspects of fundraising, maximize the success of their capital campaign by creatively stewarding donors and pursue the funding opportunities inherent within their dynamic new home.

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) will re-open in May 2016, after a 3-year expansion. A thoroughly transformed SFMOMA offers nearly three times the previous exhibition space and dynamic new public spaces. The inaugural installation will feature 260 works from the Doris and Donald Fisher Collection, highlights promised gifts from SFMOMA’s Campaign for Art, as well as debuts the new Pritzker Center for Photography, the largest gallery, research and interpretive space devoted to this medium in any U.S. art museum.

SFMOMA’s expansion, developed in collaboration with the architectural firm Snøhetta, weaves the museum into the daily life of the city, creating a dialog between the museum and the city streets. Conceived to present an outward-looking and engaging SFMOMA, the design creates pedestrian pathways, opens new entrances and views into the museum which integrate the museum more deeply into the South of Market neighborhood. The external physical transformation of SFMOMA is mirrored internally. Change across the organization is dynamic as programs integrate this exciting new space into the museum’s ambitious efforts to bring new and diverse audiences to the art of our time.

SFMOMA recently announced it has reached a capital campaign milestone of $610 million. In addition to covering construction costs, this campaign has more than tripled the museum’s endowment. To date, over 500 donors have supported the campaign. Fundraising continues for education, art commissioning and exhibition programs. The new annual operating budget for the museum is anticipated to be $65 million, with $17 million from contributed revenue and $6 million in membership gifts annually. Building effective stewardship programs to engage the many new donors through this important reopening phase and in the coming years is required to build a strong foundation of on-going annual support.


The Director of Development (Director) is the leader for all the fundraising activities including the development of fundraising strategy, execution of fundraising programs and overseeing development operations for the museum. Reporting to the Deputy Director of External Affairs and leading a team of 43 staff members, the Director will inspire, guide, and enhance a thoughtful and forward-thinking fundraising strategy across the museum. Working closely with a well-regarded team, the Director will be expected to build on the momentum of the successful campaign and the enthusiasm for the new building by developing new, effective ways to steward donors who are investing in the museum, many for the first time. Collaboratively working across the museum, the Director will spearhead the fundraising for the operating and accessions programs, while growing membership. This will require advancing a range of opportunities for supporters to engage more deeply with the museum at a variety of levels. Open, supportive relationships with peers across the museum need to be fostered and evolved so that all the assets of the museum are working together toward the overarching museum goals.

Being a visible, participatory leader will be important in building connections to new and established donors and in shaping the new fundraising and engagement programs that reflect the realities of the new facility. Being able to adapt and shift programs to grow and sustain a larger and more diverse membership while retaining the intimacy and engagement that current donors now enjoy, will be critical to the success of the Director. This role requires the ability to work seamlessly with deeply engaged volunteers, as well as experience leading a large, professional team.

The Director will oversee the daily activities of Individual Giving, Institutional (Corporate and Foundation) Giving, Membership and Upper Level Membership, Fundraising Events, Constituent Systems, and Gift Planning. During the first year, the Director will need to support the transition of key members of the campaign team as they shift from capital campaign goals to other institutional goals. Adapting the development department’s staff configuration to ensure retention of key relationships and information during this initial period of transition from the campaign will be very important.

Experience in campaigns and in developing lead and major gifts will be important. The Director needs to build upon the development department’s capacity to be an active resource partner for others throughout the museum. Engaging peers, Trustees, collectors, art interest groups, civic, business and cultural leaders together to build support and collaborative fundraising will be important. SFMOMA has a robust and active volunteer committee structure, and the Director of Development leads the activities of groups that focus on philanthropy and engagement. Personal interest and enthusiasm for the mission of making the art of our time a vital and meaningful part of public life is key.

Organizational History and Culture

Founded in 1935, SFMOMA was a pioneer as the first West Coast museum devoted to modern and contemporary art – championing the most innovative and challenging art for its time. Moving to its current location in the South of Market neighborhood in 1995, the original building’s bold design featured a soaring atrium topped by the signature turret and oculus skylight. The years since 1995 have been a time of tremendous growth at SFMOMA. The museum’s collection more than doubled in size, annual attendance was tripled, and membership had grown apace. The exhibition program has become one of the world’s strongest, organizing groundbreaking shows that travel to leading museums internationally. San Francisco’s SoMa district flourished; new hotels, retail spaces, restaurants, offices and residential properties continue to spring up in the revitalized neighborhood.

In 2009, SFMOMA announced plans for a major expansion and a landmark partnership to become the home of the renowned Doris and Donald Fisher Collection of postwar and contemporary art. Through this historic partnership with Fisher family, the renowned Fisher Collection will join SFMOMA’s expanded collection, to become among the most important modern and contemporary art museums in the world. As part of this expansion, an extraordinary collection campaign resulted in over 3,000 additional works of art promised to the museum, by over 200 donors. The new museum will feature not only additional collection and exhibition space but a range of performance spaces for live art and film, expanded conservation and research and expanded visitor amenities. An art-filled and free-to-visit ground floor with three exhibition areas will enhance SFMOMA’s reputation as a cultural hub in the center of San Francisco.

The leadership of SFMOMA is focused on being a world leader in contemporary art museums. The success of this campaign and the enthusiasm shared for this overarching goal will continue to influence the institution as it evolves its next strategic plan and goals.

Capital Campaign

Launched in early 2009 with lead gifts to support the museum’s building expansion, endowment and transitional programming, SFMOMA’s capital campaign has reached a milestone of $610 million raised, with contributions from over 500 donors. The funding covers the complete cost of the $305 million building expansion, adds $245 million to the museum’s endowment, and supports $60 million in program and operating costs needed during the museum’s three year “On the Go” period. Campaign fundraising, spearheaded by two trustee-led committees and supported by a team of 8 staff, continues for the museum’s endowment support for education, art commissioning and exhibition programs.

The museum’s physical and operating size is doubling, and annual support for the new museum will include $17 million in contributed revenue and $6 million in membership support. The annual operating budget of the new museum is projected to be $65 million, of with almost 30% will be covered by endowment growth, strengthened during the capital campaign. The campaign will conclude when the museum opens in late spring, 2016.




  • In consultation with the Deputy Director, External Relations, develop, plan, and implement all annual and long-range strategies to help SFMOMA achieve its funding goals;
  • Participate in the development of the museum’s strategic planning process;
  • Be the Chief liaison to the museum’s Trustee-led Development Committee, Exhibition Committee, Global Committee, Opening Events Committee, Membership, Art Experience and Auxiliary Committees overseeing the growth and support of the museum community;
  • Develop and sustain strong relationships with the 67 member Board of Directors;
  • Be visible and accessible to the donor community, represent the museum and department initiatives by cultivating and deepening relationships throughout the community;
  • Lead the effort to raise $17 million in annual contributed revenue and $6 million in annual membership support, stewarding the growth of community support secured during the Capital Campaign;
  • Communicate effectively across all levels of the organization, internally and externally in order to facilitate the effective use of staff resources;
  • Be an effective and supportive team leader; identify and acknowledge quality work, value and celebrate individual and collective success;
  • Support the development of corporate partners and sponsors;
  • Coordinate with Marketing and Communications colleagues the development and implementation of strategies for increasing membership and retaining current members;
  • Maximize shared CRM infrastructure and enable robust data collection for strategic decision making—be an evangelist for building institutional information;
  • Foster a culture of philanthropy across the museum; deepen internal partnerships to highlight and maximize support for department and institutional initiatives.


  • Manage the daily activities of the Development Department including Individual Giving, Institutional (Corporate and Foundation) Giving, Membership and Upper Level Membership, Fundraising Events, Constituent Systems, and Gift Planning;
  • Recruit, nurture and challenge a highly-qualified and motivated professional staff; delegate specific responsibilities with appropriate authority and establish accountability and clear lines of communication;
  • Manage scheduled staff transitions at the completion of the capital campaign;
  • Together with staff, plan and implement effective donor cultivation and recognition activities, special events, and volunteer programs;
  • Supervise and expand an effective prospect research program, continue to build a systematic effort to increase the base of support;
  • Establish performance measures, monitors results and evaluate the effectiveness of the fund development program, make recommendations for change or new efforts;
  • Oversee maintenance of the records management system, including gift and membership processing, donor acknowledgment, data maintenance, and development reports; coordinate these activities with the Finance Division as appropriate;
  • Maintain accountability and compliance standards for donors and funding sources.


  • Personally cultivate, solicit and secure major and lead gifts;
  • Support Trustee and Board members, chief executive, other fundraising volunteers and staff in identifying, cultivating and soliciting gifts.


A successful Director of Development candidate will likely have:

  • Successful leadership demonstrated by achieving fundraising goals in a nonprofit organization with annual support of at least $10 million;
  • Proven ability for bringing together different departments within an organization to work together towards a shared vision and goals—highly cooperative and collaborative;
  • A strategic thinker who will maximize the recent growth of the museum and continue to grow the community of support;
  • An ability to manage and implement change; someone who can motivate and mentor staff while increasing performance;
  • Experience with developing and maintaining achievable financial projections and budgets;
  • Ability and successful experience in conceptualizing a comprehensive strategy for institutional advancement; possesses a deep command of the fund development body of knowledge;
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills;
  • Flexibility and the demonstrated ability to think creatively and thrive in a fast paced, complex environment;
  • Ability to interact in an effective, tactful, and professional manner with the internal and external teams, the media and the public;
  • A history of strong collaboration; someone who actively seeks strategic partnerships and develops effective relationships;
  • Experience fostering deep relationships with volunteers and valuing their contributions of time, expertise and passion;
  • Ability to work well under pressure and adapt easily to changing situations and priorities; exercises good judgment and stays focused on overarching goals;
  • Knowledge of museum operations, the arts industry and contemporary art is preferred;
  • Bachelor’s degree;
  • Knowledge of PC-based software, including Word, PowerPoint, Outlook and Excel. Tessitura experience helpful.


  • Genuinely enjoys engaging donors and the fundraising process;
  • Comfort interacting with high-level donors and patrons;
  • A warm and approachable person interested in learning—open to new ideas and change;
  • A strong manager able to nurture both comradery and accountability;
  • Inspires confidence and trust; able to celebrate successes and build upon challenges;
  • Ambitious and focused on the success of the department in service to the museum’s mission;
  • Holds a genuine respect for academic quality and curatorial excellence;
  • Patient; able to listen with a true desire to establish mutual agreement;
  • High integrity and commitment to goals;
  • Possesses a high degree of emotional intelligence and self-awareness;
  • Demonstrates strong problem-solving attributes—drive, flexibility and creativity.

For additional details or to submit your experience for review, please contact;