Career Profile of Art Museum Donor Relations Director

Abramovic and Harry, Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for MOCA
Singer Deborah Harry of 'Blondie' performs onstage at the 2011 MOCA Gala, An Artist's Life Manifesto, directed by artist Marina Abramovic at MOCA Grand Avenue on November 12, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for MOCA

Job Description of Art Museum Donor Relations Director

An Art Museum Donor Relations Director works full-time in an art museum, and creates and implements a cohesive fundraising program seeking both individual and corporate contributions to the museum’s annual giving programs and to its special fundraising capital projects.

The Donor Relations Director creates innovate strategies and helps to build a strong donor base and tries to meet its annual fundraising goals.

Often setting a target monetary goal for the fiscal year, the Donor Relations Director manages a major portfolio of the museum’s donor base and prospects.

Education Needed to Be an Art Museum Donor Relations Director

To work as an Art Museum Donor Relations Director typically requires at least a Bachelor’s degree in art history, arts administration, humanities, communications, or other related field.

Duties Required to Be an Art Museum Donor Relations Director

An Art Museum Donor Relations Director liaises with other museum departments such as the curatorial and programming, in order to cultivate and garner more donor solicitation, and collaborating all donor events.

Some museums will have special annual donor events like a gala dinner or costume ball. The Donor Relations Director initiates the planning, the design and carrying out of such grand fundraising events.

The Donor Relations Director also travels both domestically and internationally in donor travel, overseeing the upper-tier donor groups.

Additionally, the Donor Relations Director attends all the donor functions that the museum holds.

Skills Required to Be an Art Museum Donor Relations Director

An Art Museum Donor Relations Director enjoys networking and communicating with a diverse range of people.

The Donor Relations Director excels in communication and is eloquent in both the written and the spoken word, as the job entails communicating with donors, benefactors, board members, potential donors, museum staff, interns, and volunteers.

The Donor Relations Director will work directly with the Museum Director on fundraising projects or other special events, and will also work with the museum’s Membership Department in order to seek innovative ways to grow new membership for the museum.

The Donor Relations Director is knowledgeable about art history, cultural trends, and how arts institutions operate. In addition, knowing how to plan special events, and having the ability to cultivate and solicit new donors for the museum are all part of the skills set for this position.

Experience Required to Be an Art Museum Donor Relations Director

An Art Museum Donor Relations Director will have at least three to five years’ of experience working in development and fundraising in a museum, a cultural institution, or related organization.

Career Opportunities for Art Museum Donor Relations Director

There are jobs in art museums available for Art Museum Donor Relations Directors. According to the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics, overall employment of museum staff is “projected to grow 11 percent from 2012 to 2022, about as fast as the average for all occupations.” 

The Bureau does not post specific statistics for Museum Donor Relations jobs, but the available jobs would just be a small portion of the amount the BLS posts on their site.

More Info on Art Museums

Art museums need a large competent and varied staff. Learn more about careers in the field of art museums.

 

Further Resources

The following weblinks are for online job listings for the visual arts field. Please note that these job listings have deadlines, and that the data is constantly changing.

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