Contemporary Jewish Museum– Director of Development–Completed

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The Contemporary Jewish Museum (The CJM)

Director of Development

Position Description


Painter Executive Search is supporting The Contemporary Jewish Museum in its search for an experienced Director of Development to grow support, facilitate long-term financial sustainability and extend the reach of the museum.  

The Contemporary Jewish Museum (The CJM) is an original among Jewish and cultural institutions. With a mission to make the Jewish experience relevant for a 21st century audience, The CJM maps the intersection of contemporary art with Jewish culture, history, and ideas —energizing both domains. Located at the heart of the Yerba Buena cultural district in San Francisco, California, The Museum is a thriving hub of cultural discovery that draws a diverse audience. The CJM’s innovative exhibitions and programs educate, challenge, and inspire over 125,000 visitors annually, 44% self-identified as Jewish and 56% from the broader community.

At The CJM, new perspectives on contemporary culture, history, art, and ideas thrive. Working directly with local and international contemporary artists, The CJM fulfills its mission through exhibitions, scholarly work, education and public programs that inspire new ways of seeing, engaging, and repairing the world. The CJM is shaped by the Bay Area’s passion for innovation, a Jewish community rooted in the region’s affirmation of diversity, a commitment to contemporary art, and a bold, experimental approach to public programs. The CJM is not only in the vanguard of Jewish life, but also at the forefront of museum practice. As a non-collecting institution, it is a cultural agent that shares art and ideas as they evolve—activating dynamic and fun participatory experiences that today’s museum visitors seek.

Recently The CJM celebrated its first 10 years in its Daniel Libeskind-designed building. The organization is maturing and is now focusing on building out the relationships and base of support that will extend its programmatic reach and ensure its long-term organizational health. While many of the original supporters whose vision is reflected in the iconic building remain involved, the future requires a new generation of engagement with those who will leave their own mark on the future of the museum. The Director of Development will play a key role articulating the mission and vision of The CJM and in increasing the organization’s capacity for fundraising and deepening engagement.


Reporting to the Executive Director (ED), the Director of Development (DoD) is responsible for leadership, strategic direction and management of all fundraising efforts of the Museum. As a member of the senior management team, the Director will work closely with the ED, Board of Directors and key management across the organization to facilitate a culture of philanthropy and grow a sustainable base of support for the organization. The DoD will assess and execute fundraising strategies that systematically build capacity and grow new donors, sponsors, funders and members while renewing engagement among longtime supporters. Working with a strong, professional team, the DoD will be both a strategist and an effective fundraiser who can direct fundraising efforts toward specific goals and focus attention where it is needed most.

The DoD working with the Director of Marketing will ensure the case for giving appeals to a diverse donor base and invites a broader community into the work of the museum. Working closely with the Development Committee of the Board of Trustees, the Chair of the Board and others, the DoD will be an internal expert and mentor, developing comfort and commitment to fundraising activities and deepening Board engagement in support of the Museum. As an important external face of the organization, the DoD is expected to make a significant contribution to growing the visibility of the organization and to work closely with the ED to embed fundraising strategy into daily decision-making and operations.

The DoD will oversee the daily activities of the development department including individual giving, institutional giving, gift planning, museum events, and fundraising strategy, operations, research and analysis. The current team of professional fundraisers includes a Director of Institutional Giving, Assistant Director of Development, Annual Giving, Stewardship Events and Corporate Relations Manager, Grant Writer, and a Development Assistant. Positions for a Major Gifts Officer and additional support in Individual Giving are budgeted for hire in the coming year. In addition, two finance department professionals with development, finance and data experience provide support to the DoD and the Development team. The DoD will work closely with the Director of Finance on internal and external reporting requirements, data analysis, and monitoring and forecasting revenues.

Organizational History and Culture

Founded in 1984, The CJM’s institutional model has continuously evolved since The Museum’s humble beginnings in the Jewish Federation of San Francisco’s building. In 1995, the Board seized an opportunity offered by San Francisco’s Redevelopment Agency to create a new museum in a former power substation that had stood vacant for years. The CJM opened its bold 63,000-square-foot Daniel Libeskind-designed building in San Francisco’s Yerba Buena arts district in 2008. The renovated landmark incorporates spectacular additions that reference, in constructed form, Hebrew letters symbolizing “life” and “a garden of meanings.” Its very structure communicates the vibrancy of Jewish life.


Over the past decade, on-site attendance has grown to over 125,000 visitors annually. The CJM’s changing exhibitions and public programs provide a dynamic canvas for new ideas. The Museum’s curatorial strategy of originating exhibitions and bringing to San Francisco exhibitions from other venues that would not travel here otherwise has proven to yield strong results in public engagement, visitor loyalty, and contribution to scholarship. Since its opening, The CJM has presented hundreds of original and traveling exhibitions as well as associated educational programs, community events and opportunities for engagement. More than million visitors have walked through its doors.

The CJM embraces inclusiveness. Abraham’s “open tent” and tikkun olam (literally, “repair of the world”) are guiding concepts for how it engages the public. The CJM is a museum where audiences from all backgrounds can find meaning and community—and strives to be a model for how culturally-specific organizations can speak to diverse audiences, build community, and enable all people to see their own experiences reflected through a Jewish prism.

Without the challenge of housing a permanent collection, the museum has the flexibility to utilize every part of the interior to be reorganized for new creative purposes. Video installations, educational activities and public events, such as “Night at the Jewseum,” a regular social gathering which draws 300-500 young adults to the museum, activate the space and introduce a diversity of visitors to the museum and its programs. Lunchtime gallery chats with scholars, theologians and artists offered in tandem with exhibitions also are well attended. The museum also offers “Family Sundays” featuring a drop-in art studio, art pushcarts and more activities.

Additionally, education is core to The CJM’s mission. Programs developed for toddlers, school-age students, teens to graduate students, as well as the general public, provide range of educational and entertaining experiences. Attention to access and diversity have resulted in thoughtfully developed programs and events for visitors with disabilities, people who are often isolated from the experience of art. Additionally the museum also developed the Teen Art Connect program which offers high-schoolers paid, yearlong internships and establishes their place within the museum and its future.

The CJM’s exhibitions are distinguished by an international roster of artists, loans from major collections, and recognition ranging from The Atlantic and The New York Times to Domus and Architectural Record. In recognition of The CJM’s innovation, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts have awarded grants to support the 2017 and 2018 exhibitions and public programs. Recent accolades and awards affirming The CJM’s distinction include an Excellence in Museum Education award from the California Association of Museums, inclusion in the prestigious Slingshot awards of inspiring and innovative Jewish organizations, and recognition as “a must-visit stop in San Francisco.”

Director of Development



  • Serve as a member of The CJM’s senior management team providing guidance and expertise to inform decisions with fundraising expertise in order to achieve the museum’s overarching strategic and operational priorities;
  • Foster a culture of philanthropy across the organization through stronger internal relationships; infuse daily work with an enthusiastic invitation to include everyone in supporting the mission of the museum;
  • Together with development department staff and other internal leaders, develop, plan, and implement annual and long-range strategies to ensure The CJM achieves its funding goals for annual operating needs, critical projects, and prepares The Museum for successful future capital initiatives;
  • Be a trusted partner to the ED and the Board; ensure maximum value from their diverse connections, effectively utilize their time and personal participation in fundraising efforts;
  • Support and mentor the Development Committee of the Board of Trustees; together with the ED and Board Chair, and Development Committee Co-Chairs, build the Board’s fundraising capacity and comfort with solicitations;
  • Communicate clearly and openly across all levels of the organization to facilitate the effective use of staff resources, alignment of efforts toward mutual goals and appropriate information flow;
  • Be an inspiring and supportive team leader; identify and acknowledge quality work; value and celebrate individual and collective success;
  • Be a reliable and valued colleague who offers thoughtful analysis, thinks strategically and is practical and approachable;
  • Be visible and accessible to the donor community; represent The CJM and department initiatives by cultivating and deepening relationships throughout the San Francisco Bay Area philanthropic community;
  • Coordinate with marketing and communications colleagues to ensure that development communications reflect and amplify The CJM’s brand and effectively engage current and prospective donors;
  • Support the Board and ED in the identification, cultivation and recruitment of new Board members and assist in Board orientation, onboarding and continued mentoring.

Operational and Staff Management

  • Recruit, nurture and challenge a highly qualified and motivated professional staff and support their development individually and as a team;
  • Work in partnership with the Chief Operating Officer to develop contributed revenue goals, track variances and develop forecasts, as well as develop and manage departmental operating budgets;
  • Manage the daily activities of the Development Department including individual giving, institutional (corporate and foundation) giving, fundraising events, fundraising systems, and planned giving;
  • Establish a strategic framework for fundraising activity so that individual staff and collective department goals can be established, attained and celebrated;
  • Institute moves management and other effective fundraising processes and measures; build predictable results built upon best practices and intentional action;
  • Ensure that effective donor cultivation and recognition activities, special events, and volunteer programs are well-received, achieve stated fundraising goals, and stay within established budgets;
  • Supervise and expand an effective prospect research program and build a systematic effort to increase The CJM’s base of support;
  • Oversee records management: including gift processing, donor acknowledgment, and development reports; coordinate these activities with the Finance team members dedicated to data reporting and system maintenance. Build data analysis capabilities and maintain accountability and compliance standards for donors and funding sources.


Personal Fundraising

  • Embrace the priorities, goals and vision of The CJM and effectively represent the organization to a wide range of prospects, donors and the general public;
  • Personally identify, cultivate and successfully solicit major gift prospects;
  • Mentor staff and volunteers and facilitate appropriate preparation for fundraising solicitations, including planned gifts; be a partner to The CJM leadership; develop methods for best using their talents and networks.


A successful Director of Development candidate will likely have:

  • Successful leadership demonstrated by achieving fundraising goals in a nonprofit organization of similar size and complexity, preferably in a museum or performing arts organization;
  • Strong strategic skills with an ability to manage and implement change; someone who can motivate and mentor staff while increasing individual and team performance;
  • Personal success in identifying, cultivating and soliciting individual major gifts;
  • Experience with developing and maintaining achievable financial projections and budgets;
  • Technical knowledge in a variety of fundraising areas, including major gifts, annual giving, gift planning, foundation and corporate grants, capital campaigns and endowments;
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills; ability to influence and engage a wide range of donors and build long-term 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, exercise good judgment and stay focused on overarching goals;
  • Knowledge of local, federal and state legislation, and of accounting and tax laws, regulations, and rules affecting charitable giving;
  • Bachelor’s degree; an advanced degree is preferred.


  • Deeply mission-oriented and aligned with The CJM’s vision;
  • Strong affinity for, and understanding of, Jewish heritage and culture; familiarity with the Bay Area Jewish community a plus;
  • A gifted mentor and team-builder; able to encourage and grow talent and collaborative work in service to great ideas;
  • Able to motivate and direct diverse partners while establishing systems, accountability and overarching success;
  • A good listener; inspires trust, creativity and cohesiveness;
  • Superb poise; substantial communications, presentation, and public speaking skills;
  • Demonstrates an effective project-management orientation; facilitates and models clear communication, flexibility and a solutions-focus approach;
  • A hard worker; a ‘doer’ with a willingness to work hands-on with a high energy level;
  • Exercises high ethical standards; demonstrates intellectual depth, moral integrity, creativity and entrepreneurship;
  • Genuinely enjoys engaging donors and the fundraising process;
  • A strong intellect; able to contribute to discussions on a wide range of topics;
  • Superior organization and time-management skills;
  • Strong work ethic and the willingness and ability to regularly participate in evening events and to travel, as required.


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

Nancy Painter

(415) 202- 6240