The Art Institute of Chicago is a national leader in the visual arts and an important cultural partner in a dynamic city. Founded in 1879, the Art Institute is widely recognized for both its curatorial excellence and its popularity among visitors. Its exceptional collection and important exhibition schedule are complemented by cutting-edge curatorial and scientific research. The Art Institute welcomes 1.6 million visitors annually and has been ranked among the world’s top three art museums on TripAdvisor for the past four years. With a new senior leadership team, the museum is in an enviable position to reaffirm the importance of an art museum in our democracy and the role of the Art Institute in its city. A strong and generous base of members, leadership donors, and major/planned gift prospects support the museum’s operations, exhibitions, and special/capital projects.
Founded in 1977, the Sustaining Fellows play a central role in museum life. Their legacy of support constitutes the Art Institute’s premier annual giving campaign providing critical unrestricted support from Trustees as well as other leading philanthropists. Each fiscal year, approximately 1,000 Sustaining Fellows contribute more than $7,000,000 with gifts ranging from $2,500 to $250,000. Led by an Executive Committee of renowned civic and cultural influencers, Sustaining Fellows are recognized for their vital support with insider access to the museum’s leadership, curators, and globally acclaimed collection through highly tailored programs and travel, both internationally and domestically.
Basic Function: The Director of Sustaining Fellows oversees fundraising, cultivation, stewardship, programming, and metrics of the Art Institute’s leadership annual giving campaign. The Director of Sustaining Fellows works closely with the Prospect Development, Revenue & Strategy, and Information Strategy teams to identify prospects for new and upgraded Sustaining Fellows support and to move major gift prospects into portfolios. In addition, the Director works closely with the Sustaining Fellows Executive Committee to ensure a rewarding and motivating experience for the Sustaining Fellow membership.
Specific Duties: This position will be responsible for the following:
Grow, develop, and manage annual Sustaining Fellows solicitation plan to successfully increase unrestricted revenue. Create individual strategies to promote increased support from current Sustaining Fellows, as well as new support from various museum constituent groups, societies, committees, and event attendees, as well as external prospects.
Manage a team of three full-time direct reports.
Oversee a direct response fundraising program in collaboration with Revenue & Strategy focusing on donor retention, acquisition and reactivation via direct mail, telefund, digital, and relationship management.
Embrace metrics for effective tracking of solicitation activity, including qualification and major gifts identification. Ensure accuracy and efficiency of Sustaining Fellows progress reporting.
Write effective acquisition and solicitation templates and custom letters, working closely with Development colleagues to implement the acquisition and renewal process.
Oversee and execute strategies for all online and print communications branded for the Sustaining Fellows.
Oversee and participate in management of key volunteers including the Sustaining Fellows Executive, Membership, Program and Travel Committees.
Ensure the successful implementation of all Sustaining Fellows programs, events, and benefits in concert with Special Events & Affiliates
Participate as a member of the extended Major Gifts team. Manage a portfolio of 20 – 25 Major Gift donors.
Monitor Sustaining Fellows budget.
Build and maintain relationships with curatorial staff and the External Affairs Department including Major Gifts; Membership; Prospect Development & Information Strategy; Institutional Advancement; Special Events; Graphic Design; Marketing; and Communications.
Perform other special projects and duties as assigned.
Minimum five to seven year track record of progressively responsible experience in development.
Successful experience of developing strategies and managing implementation of premier donor annual giving programs, including solicitation of four and five figure annual gifts.
Proven track record of creating proposals and actively soliciting five and six figure gifts for special projects from high capacity individuals.
Experience in cultivation and stewardship of high capacity individuals.
Staff and volunteer management experience.
Excellent writing skills.
Adept and persuasive communication skills, including the ability to establish and sustain relationships with donors, co-workers, and museum leadership.
Experience navigating a multi-tiered and complex organization, with the ability to work quickly and effectively with senior leaders of the organization, high-level donors, staff, and volunteers.
Excellent project and time management, organization, attention to detail, and problem-solving skills.
Computer proficiency in Word and Excel required, Raiser’s Edge experience preferred; demonstrated ability to learn new software and databases essential.
Bachelor’s degree required.
The Art Institute of Chicago is an equal opportunity, equal access employer fully committed to achieving a diverse and inclusive workplace.
The Art Institute of Chicago is a world-renowned art museum housing one of the largest permanent collections in the United States. It is encyclopedic in nature with strong holdings across all media, all traditions and all ages. The Art Institute is particularly recognized for its extraordinary Impressionist, Modern, Contemporary and American collections, among other aspects of its holdings. In a...ddition to housing its permanent collection, it typically stages 35-40 special exhibitions a year. In 2014, it was named by TripAdvisor travelers as the number one museum in the world, a remarkable recognition that speaks not only to the quality of the collection but to the entirety of the visitor experience.
The Art Institute welcomes between 1,400,000 and 1,800,000 visitors a year and has a membership of 100,000. The museum has an annual operating budget of approximately $110 million.
Founded in 1879, the Art Institute grew with the success of Chicago and quickly attained world class stature given the strength of its collection. The Art Institute has expanded several times in its history, most recently and notably with the opening in 2009 of the 264,000 square foot Modern Wing designed by internationally acclaimed architect Renzo Piano. The addition has been critically important to the museum as it not only provided much needed gallery space, but also allowed the Art Institute to reorganize its galleries to present the collection in a more logical and accessible fashion. The new addition also includes one of the largest education facilities at any museum and this center has allowed the Art Institute to expand its already impressive array of offerings.