The Akron Art Museum seeks a Development Officer.

The Development Officer is a full-time, exempt member of the Advancement Department. As part of the Advancement team, the position implements and provides support for various efforts as they pertain to fundraising. The Development Officers primary responsibilities are to generate new and increased revenue across all fundraising activities including but not limited to; endowment, sponsorships, capital, legacy, annual appeal and support of development efforts for membership and fundraising events. Tactics employed include; donor identification, cultivation and stewardship, solicitation, management of donor/prospect research, development operations including moves management and reporting plus supporting the planning and staffing of fundraising events. The position reports to the Director of Advancement and supports departmental strategy and tactics to attain financial goals set by the Museum Executive Director and the Board of Trustees.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Responsible for identifying, cultivating and soliciting gifts of significance from community of individual and institutional donor prospects securing support for a set of museum-wide priorities including; endowment, capital, sponsorship, annual, legacy, event fundraising and more

  • Manage relationships of 100 or more prospective donors and will be expected to qualify and report to Executive Director, Director of Advancement and others regarding gift opportunities from individuals and institutions alike

  • Builds productive relationships with individuals and institutions leading them through fundraising moves management resulting in new and increased gifts

  • Conducts new donor identification and prospect research and reporting

  • Monitors all prospect contacts working with Advancement Department and others to ensure positive and purposeful prospect and donor relations

  • Participates in all aspects of the gift cycle; initiate contacts with potential donors, develop appropriate cultivation, writes proposals, solicitation and stewardship efforts, making the ask and securing the gift

  • Provides staff assistance in the preparation of development proposals including grants and reports for senior management as needed

  • Works collaboratively with Executive Director and the Director of Advancement scheduling for all solicitations and other fundraising activities of the department as needed

  • Familiarity with Institutional Giving tactics including but not limited to; grant writing, RFP and proposal writing, and corporate relations development

  • Work with the Director of Advancement in establishing the annual operating budget and income forecast for operations, capital and endowment campaigns

  • Provide monthly and/or quarterly funding reports as requested by Executive Director, Director of Advancement or Chief Financial Officer for Finance Committee, Advancement Committee, Steering Committee and/or Board meetings.

  • Serve as a liaison with the region’s individual and business community and creatively use events and speaking engagements to increase their awareness of the museum.

  • Must be highly energetic professional with a track record of building donor relationships and generating new revenue totaling mid-to-high six-figures annually.

  • Other duties as assigned

Candidate Profile: The Development Officer will be a results oriented, energetic, enthusiastic, people-oriented team member who enjoys working in a fluid environment with minimal supervision. Successful experience in fundraising and/or sales is required. Experience in communications is highly desirable. Arts and cultural industry-related experience is preferred. Experience with government relations welcomed. Education that includes art history, arts management or a related field is a plus.

The ideal candidate would have the following personal competencies:
A Relationship Builder

  • A good listener and thoughtful communicator who enjoys building relationships and partnerships

  • The ability to work effectively and collaborate with a wide variety of people including volunteer board, senior management, donors, and sponsors

  • Excellent social skills including the ability to relate in a positive manner with all cultures and socio-economic audiences

  • An established network of contacts in Summit County preferred

  • Adheres to the highest ethical standards, reflects an optimistic and positive attitude, and conveys sensitivity to the needs of sponsors, donors, members, and volunteers


  • Demonstrated success building relationships and in negotiating and soliciting donations and closing significant gifts.

  • Highly organized with excellent follow-up skills

  • Self-starter, results-oriented, fearless solicitor

  • Able to manage stress

  • Demonstrates a keen sense of accountability

  • Polished professional presentation representative of a contemporary institution

Business Acumen and Skills

  • Recognizes and responds to challenges and demonstrate resourcefulness, diplomacy, tact, and creativity in problem-solving

  • Enjoys working as part of a team, with minimal supervision

  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills including oral, written, and presentation

Technical Savvy

  • Current and proficient in MS Excel, Word, and PowerPoint

  • Experience with donor databases, preferably e-Tapestry or similar, is desirable

Education and Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree in an appropriate field required.

  • Minimum of 3-years successful development experience required. Experience in the arts and culture industry with increasing areas of responsibility preferred

  • Ability to understand the needs and interests of donors in order to develop relationships between them and the museum

  • Interest in all aspects of arts and cultural institutions and a dedication to promoting the museums fundraising priorities through developing excellent relationships with museum staff, board of directors and committee’s

  • Successful experience in making cold calls as well as developing cultivation, stewardship and solicitations strategies

  • Must have excellent interpersonal skills and a demonstrated record of completing assignments on time

  • Must be willing to work nights and weekends regularly

  • Willing to travel regionally, limited travel beyond Northeast Ohio

Physical Demands/Working Conditions

  • Desk Work: sitting for extended periods of time, carrying, handling, fingering, talking, and hearing, eye/hand coordination, repetitive motions.

  • Events and Programs: Standing for extended periods of time, walking, speaking and hearing in noisy environment.

  • Visual Demands: near acuity, depth perception, able to see computer monitor. Must be physically able to drive and possess a valid driver’s license.

  • Mental Demands: oral comprehension, written comprehension, general mathematical ability. Working Conditions: typical non-profit office environment, subject to interruptions, multiple calls and inquiries, extra hours due to events and deadlines.

This list is meant to be illustrative of the usual types of activities and working conditions for this position and is not intended to be all-inclusive.

Salary range: 45k-55k

Job classification: full-time, salary

To apply: email [email protected]. For more information, visit

Posted: March 14, 2019