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Chief Development Officer

companyPalm Springs Art Museum
locationPalm Springs, CA 92262, USA
PublishedPublished: 5/24/2024
Full Time


Palm Springs Art Musuen | Chief Development Officer | Palm Springs, CA

About Palm Springs Art Museum

The Palm Springs Art Museum (PSAM) is a major museum in a small town. It is an 85-year-old institution in the exciting early stages of a new chapter in its evolution. The JoAnn McGrath Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer (ED/CEO), Adam Lerner, took the helm in July 2021 and the museum has been expanding its staff, operations, collections, and audience. PSAM is committed to being an institution that is both rigorous and community-oriented, committed to both artistic excellence and widespread participation.

The museum's operations and programing support its vision of being an inclusive, 21st-century museum. As the largest cultural institution in the Coachella Valley (Riverside County), the museum aims to foster a widespread sense of belonging among the diverse communities of a region home to both great wealth and enormous economic disparity.

The museum has launched a series of initiatives that align programming, audiences, and fundraising. Catalyzed by a transformative endowment gift, the museum launched Q+ Art in spring 2024, a comprehensive program that speaks to the large LGBTQ+ community in Palm Springs. The institution launched a similar initiative for Architecture and Design, which addresses the wide community of enthusiasts who are inspired by the rich heritage of modern architecture in the region. Initiatives focused on Latino/Latino/Latine audiences as well as youth and education programming will be launched in the coming year.

PSAM has a long and proud tradition as the cultural hub of Southern California's Coachella Valley. Established in 1938, the same year the city of Palm Springs was incorporated, PSAM has garnered an outsize reputation for the quality of its collections, exhibitions, educational programs, and events. Today, PSAM's permanent collection of more than 16,000 objects is centered around modern and contemporary art, architecture and design, and art of the West in the Americas.

The region—which includes nine cities in the Coachella Valley as well as the High Desert communities around Joshua Tree—has grown significantly over the past decade. The new desert explorers have chosen to leave cities and crowded environments to take advantage of the same attributes that have attracted newcomers to the area for generations: the distinctive light, majestic mountains, easy lifestyle, and open spaces that let the mind wander and creativity to ensue.

PSAM's physical presence comprises more than 150,000 square feet of space, including its main campus designed by architect E. Stewart Williams in the heart of downtown Palm Springs, as well as the other architectural gems: the Frey House II, the recently opened Aluminaire building, and the Architecture and Design Center, situated in a historically significant modernist building in downtown Palm Springs. In addition to its twenty-three gallery spaces, the main building includes a beautiful, 430-seat theater, as well as a bistro and educational spaces. PSAM is also the steward of the Palm Desert Faye Sarkowsky Sculpture Garden.

In the desert, newcomers find a robust LGBTQ+ community and a diverse population that includes several sovereign Indigenous Native American tribes, a large Mexican/Latinx population, and a significant African American community. Even freedom of gender expression took early root in Palm Springs and continues to be part of the mosaic. PSAM is committed to greater inclusion and representation of these communities.

About Philanthropy at Palm Springs Art Museum

PSAM is fortunate to be in good health, with robust visitation, strong financials, and a motivated Board and staff. The community is showing up at capacity numbers every day, with visitation significantly greater than pre-COVID levels. Many of its most generous and reliable supporters are contributing with a renewed sense of purpose.

Philanthropy is a key priority for the institution and will play a critical role in it achieving its mission and vision. With a committed, engaged, and energized Board, as well as dedicated ED/CEO, PSAM is set for significant fundraising growth in the immediate future. With steady and consistent growth over the last 3 years, PSAM raised over $6m from contributed revenue in FY2024. As the PSAM builds out its development program, the goals for contributed revenue will rise accordingly.

About the Position

Reporting directly to the ED/CEO, Adam Lerner, the new Chief of Development (CDO) will be a key member of the Museum's leadership team. This person will be responsible for the planning, management, and success of the comprehensive fundraising efforts to support the museum and its vision, which will shape the next chapter of its history.

This role is an exceptional opportunity for a motivated individual to partner with a visionary ED/CEO to further develop a high performing fundraising program through the implementation of proven methodologies as well as the application of innovative and enterprising strategies. The CDO will lead the development team and all aspects of fundraising for unrestricted annual support as well as programmatic, exhibition, capital, and endowment funds

This person will work to set annual targets and strategic long-term priorities for the development department in support of the Museum's mission, vision, goals, and objectives. The CDO will manage, motivate, and build a team of development professionals who are responsible for individual gifts, institutional giving, events, and development operations.

The ideal candidate will be a confident and accomplished fundraiser who is passionate about art and skilled at making a strong case for both restricted and unrestricted support in advance of the Museum's mission.

Key Responsibilities:

•As senior member of leadership team, partner with the ED/CEO on overall fundraising strategy in support of executing the vision for the PSAM.

•Actively cultivate, solicit, and steward a personal portfolio of donors from individuals and institutions.

• Create a comprehensive strategy for donor cultivation, solicitation, and retention based on the donor's giving history and capacity.

•Identify and engage new donor prospects through creative donor engagement strategies.

• Manage a current team of development professionals as well as hire additional development colleagues as needed.

• Work closely with the Board on their giving strategies as well as potentially engaging new donors through their network.

• Work collaboratively across the museum with the executive team including the Chief Curator, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Education & Community Engagement Officer and Director of Collections and Exhibitions.

• Use and analyze data to make effective, efficient decisions about donor strategy and process.

•Evaluate the effectiveness of fundraising initiatives, track key performance metrics, and provide regular reports to senior leadership and board members.

• Oversee the management and execution of donor events including the annual Gala.

•Consistently use the CRM (Tessitura) to accurately track and reflect donor information and contacts.

• Work closely with program and curatorial staff to achieve their fundraising priorities.

Key Qualifications

• At least eight years of fundraising experience at a non-profit, educational, or cultural institution of similar size to the PSAM.

• At least three years of managing and motivating high-performing and high-achieving teams.

• Experience working in a leadership role with boards, senior management, staff, major gift donors, and support organizations.

•Track record of soliciting and closing gifts at the 5-6 figure level gifts from individuals, corporate, government and/or foundations.

• Demonstrated ability and proven experience leading a department and managing staff, including organization of priorities, clear communication of expectations, training, and retention.

•Proficiency in donor management software and CRM systems; experience with Tessitura, or similar fundraising database, is preferred.

•Excellent verbal and written communication skills; ability to write effective correspondence and funding proposals for major gifts and creative solicitation materials.

•Demonstrated skill in recruitment, management and supervision of development and administrative personnel with a focus on diversity and equity.

•Skill in establishing and maintaining cooperative working relationships with staff across the institution.

• Excellent analytical and organizational skills.

• Passion for art, museums, culture, and social change.

• Ability to work evenings and weekends, as necessary.

• Travel as needed especially during the summer season when potential donors are not in Palm Springs.

Compensation: The annual salary range for this role is $160,000-$190,000 and is commensurate with experience, competencies, and skillset.

Palm Springs Art Museum strives to create an inclusive, equitable, and welcoming environment that honors all experiences and identities. They are committed to attracting and retaining a diverse staff and are looking for a candidate that represents the diversity of its staff, visitors, and community.

To express interest, please submit your cover letter and resume in confidence here.

For more information, please visit www.developmentguild.com.

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