Chief Advancement Officer

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Job Description

North Carolina Museum of Art

Position: Chief Advancement Officer

Hiring range is $175,000-$190,000 plus benefits.

Applications will be accepted until February 9 or until the position is filled.

Executive Summary

The North Carolina Museum of Art Foundation, Inc. (NCMA Foundation) seeks a dynamic Chief Advancement Officer (CAO) to serve as lead fundraiser of the North Carolina Museum of Art’s (NCMA) advancement team and a trusted member of Director and CEO Valerie Hillings, Ph.D’s executive team, which includes the Museum’s Deputy Director and the Foundation’s Chief Financial Officer. The NCMA is a nationally renowned arts institution with a collection spanning over 5,000 years and two locations that offer exhibitions, performing arts and educational programs, and inviting, multi-acre parks. As steward of the People’s Collection, the Museum proudly serves as a vital cultural resource for the entire state, educating, fostering creativity, and inspiring belonging and joy.

The new CAO will be a highly accomplished fundraiser who is an active and thoughtful listener, an experienced and persuasive communicator, and a relationship-builder with a passion for the arts. The new CAO will guide a major capital campaign, Reimagining the Possible, into its public phase, engaging donors of all levels and the broader community to realize the Museum’s strategic plan and vision and secure support for its future. 

The ideal candidate will be a proven leader capable of the following:

·       Strategic planning and management of the public phase of a significant comprehensive capital campaign

·       Cultivating and closing 5-, 6-, and 7- figure gifts

·       Building and maintaining strong relationships with existing stakeholders

·       Identifying and engaging new stakeholders to grow the donor base

·       Actively managing a talented team of fundraising professionals with a collaborative, team-building approach

·       Monitoring, evaluating, and reporting on fundraising metrics to inform annual and long-range planning

·       Bringing innovation and creativity to the Museum’s fundraising efforts 

The Opportunity

In 2019, the NCMA created a five-year strategic plan (2020-2025), pledging to serve the state of North Carolina as a vital cultural resource that reflects the changing world we live in and the diverse communities the Museum serves. The following four goals were identified: 

·       Goal 1: Forge a distinctive artistic path that honors diverse narratives, innovation, and excellence.

·       Goal 2: Create authentic, inclusive, and welcoming experiences that engage a broader audience with art, nature, and people. 

·       Goal 3: Advance ambitious campus plans to create cohesive, accessible, and interconnected experiences.  

·       Goal 4: Create inclusive systems, processes, and capacity for operational excellence.

Under the direction of Hillings and working with the executive and advancement teams, the next CAO will define fundraising strategies and targets to realize these strategic goals, in addition to supporting the Museum’s mission, vision, culture, and values. This position will oversee the effort to raise money for existing priorities and future opportunities and actively contribute to donor conversations and solicitations. This individual will coach and partner with the institution’s talented staff across the Museum, members of the boards and campaign committee, and other advocates of the NCMA to support prospect development, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship. The CAO will monitor, analyze, and report on performance metrics for annual fundraising and the campaign to Hillings, the executive team, and the boards, ensuring progress to goals.

The ideal candidate will have a proven track record of securing 5-, 6-, and 7-figure gifts and will understand the fundamental building blocks of successful and sustainable relationship-based fundraising.  This position will use knowledge of the local and statewide donor, foundation, and corporate communities to accelerate and expand the Museum’s base of support. The CAO will leverage existing relationships with donors, members, and partners, and actively seek to develop new relationships within and outside the state to generate a pipeline of future benefactors for the NCMA at all giving levels.  This person will have strong written and verbal communication skills, with a demonstrated ability to persuade and inspire others while remaining attentive to donors' specific interests and unforeseen opportunities. To this end, the ideal candidate will draw on past experiences and best practices while actively seeking to pilot and advance innovative practices and new ideas. 

The CAO will lead an experienced, fifteen-member team that raised nearly $13M last year and includes two direct reports: Director of Development and Director of the NCMA Campaign. The new CAO will have a presence on the NCMA campus and promote a collaborative approach that values diverse perspectives and open dialogue and prioritizes a keen understanding of Museum colleagues’ work and programs to be funded. The ideal leader will create a culture of accountability and inspiration, guiding the advancement team to attain and exceed fundraising goals.  Emotional intelligence, intellectual curiosity, and adeptness in steering through transitions underscore the desired candidate’s leadership qualities.

The Organization

The NCMA is one of the premier cultural institutions in the Southeast with an internationally renowned art collection with core strengths in European and American painting and sculpture, modern and contemporary art, African art, and Judaic ceremonial art, as well as smaller collections of ancient Egyptian, classical Mediterranean, and ancient American art. The Museum has two campuses, one in Raleigh, NC, and the other in Winston-Salem, NC. The Raleigh campus welcomes more than one million visitors annually. It offers free access to the People’s Collection and the 164-acre Ann and Jim Goodnight Museum Park, connected to the Raleigh Greenway system. The NCMA presents educational and performing arts programming and special exhibitions at both campuses and organizes outreach projects to engage North Carolinians across the state. The Museum’s Winston-Salem program focuses on contemporary art, and its campus includes the historic Hanes House, exhibition galleries, an auditorium, and 22 acres of natural grounds. 

The NCMA is a division within the state of North Carolina's Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (DNCR). The Museum's director serves as a division director of the DNCR. The NCMA’s statutory mission is “to acquire, preserve, and exhibit works of art for the education and enjoyment of the people of the State, and to conduct programs of education, research, and publication designed to encourage an interest in and an appreciation of art on the part of the people of the State.” The Museum is governed by a 26-member Board of Trustees, with approximately 150 employees. 

Valerie Hillings, Ph.D., serves as the Director of the NCMA as well as the CEO of the NCMA Foundation, a separate 501(c)3 nonprofit organization whose purpose is to support the mission and goals of the NCMA. With a 27-member Board of Directors, the Foundation serves as a close, collaborative partner with the NCMA's Board of Trustees and DNCR in carrying out its strategic vision and plans. The Foundation employees (currently approximately 35 in total) include staff in the following areas: finance, advancement, and information technology. The CAO and the other fifteen members of the advancement team are employed by the Foundation. 

The NCMA is in a strong financial position. The Museum’s approximately $28 million FY24 operating budget is supported by the State of North Carolina and the NCMA Foundation. Of the projected revenues and funds to be raised by the Foundation in FY24, 59 percent will be through individual and corporate contributions, foundation, and corporate grants; 6 percent through memberships; and 35 percent from other income.  

The Location

The Triangle area of North Carolina is home to more than two million people and ten colleges and universities. In 2021, the Triangle area was ranked the No. 2 place in the country to live on an annual list from U.S. News & World Report, praised for a “strong sense of community” with residents who are “young, friendly, diverse and educated.”  

Research Triangle Park is home to hundreds of companies and is the largest research park in the United States. The City of Raleigh is the capital of North Carolina and home to abundant arts, culture, educational, and recreational opportunities. Raleigh is centrally located between the Atlantic Coast and Appalachian Mountains in North Carolina and less than an hour from world-renowned golfing communities in Pinehurst.

While our region continues to grow and offer a superior quality of life, our cost of living remains below the national average. 

Essential Responsibilities

Fundraising and Stewardship

•      In collaboration with Hillings, lead the identification, cultivation, and successful solicitation of major gifts from individuals, corporations, and foundations under the current comprehensive campaign and into the future 

•      Manage a portfolio of top donors and prospects and assist and support Hillings with her portfolio of top donors and prospects  

•      Assign, monitor, and evaluate the portfolios of other advancement team members and provide support and guidance as needed

•      Train, support, and empower the executive team, campaign committee, board members, Museum staff, and external advocates in prospect development, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship 

•      Work with Hillings to support the work of the Foundation’s lobbyist

•      Develop and implement innovative strategies for acquiring new donors from across the state and beyond, considering opportunities to engage with a generation of donors that is younger and more geographically, racially, and culturally diverse  

•      Maintain current knowledge of philanthropy best practices, trends, and innovations and ensure advancement team members receive the professional training and resources needed to stay current in their field and productive at work

Strategic Vision and Leadership

•      Provide visionary, strategic, and effective leadership as the Museum’s chief fundraiser

•      Serve as an active and collaborative member of Hillings’ executive team, working closely with her, the Deputy Director, and the CFO to set and achieve strategic and financial goals and ensure accountability to the boards and the DNCR

•      Lead, motivate, guide, and mentor advancement staff members, ensuring open and transparent communication among team members and between advancement and other Museum departments 

•      Be a passionate, visible, and informed advocate for the NCMA, drawing on a thorough knowledge of the NCMA’s history, programs, and major milestones; key leaders, volunteers, and donors who have contributed to its success; current goals and needs, and future aspirations 

•      Actively seek opportunities to participate in events that position the organization for improved fundraising or visibility 

Planning and Management

•      Monitor, analyze, and report on campaign and annual fundraising performance metrics, ensuring progress toward goals

•      Provide day-to-day leadership of the public phase of a significant comprehensive campaign

•      Support the Director of the NCMA Campaign to ensure campaign activities are guided by a robust and comprehensive plan and calendar with clearly defined goals, objectives, timelines, and assignment of responsibilities  

•      Support the Director of Development in overseeing and evaluating all processes and procedures related to annual fundraising, including membership and stewardship activities, prospect identification, and contributions management

•      Actively manage a talented team of fundraising professionals with a collaborative, team-building approach, and create a supportive, productive, and healthy work environment based on respect, teamwork, and clear expectations and responsibilities 

•      Collaborate with the Director of Development, Director of the NCMA Campaign, Director of Marketing and Communications, and CFO to provide input and oversight to key advancement business functions in the areas of marketing and budgeting  

•      Meet with the NCMA department leads to inform assessment of fundraising needs and priorities and to support staff in their advocacy of the Museum and their projects

Minimum Requirements 

•      At least eight years successfully leading a fundraising program preferably in a nonprofit organization, cultural or educational institution, or equivalent, with a working knowledge of all areas within development, including major gifts, annual giving, membership, corporate and foundation giving, planned giving, campaigns and research; experience with arts-related organizations a plus

•      A proven record of success achieving or exceeding ambitious revenue targets, including the successful solicitation of 5-, 6-, and 7- figure gifts 

•      Demonstrated ability to lead and develop a motivated and talented team of fundraisers. 

•      Experience with motivating and supporting efforts of board members and institutional advocates in the areas of prospect development, cultivation, and solicitation 

•      Excellent written and oral communication skills; active and thoughtful listener; and engaging storyteller

•      Skilled at developing relationships with a wide range of individuals

•      Experience with and commitment to using donor database and other tools to track performance metrics, report progress on a regular basis, and use results to inform strategy and actions

•      Ability to plan and execute strategic communications to advance philanthropic initiatives and achieve goals

•      Demonstrated commitment to the NCMA’s mission and a passion for art and its importance to the people of North Carolina; specific knowledge of North Carolina’s philanthropic landscape is a plus 

•      Based in Raleigh, NC with expectation of working some evenings and weekends; some travel expected 

•      A bachelor’s degree required, advanced degree a plus


The NCMA is committed to attracting and retaining an outstanding CAO through a comprehensive package that includes a salary range of $175,000-$190,000 and an employee benefits package that includes health and dental insurance, life insurance, disability insurance, retirement plan with a match, and paid leave.

Diversity Policy 

The North Carolina Museum of Art is an equal-opportunity employer. We strive to create a working environment that includes and respects cultural, racial, ethnic, sexual orientation, and gender identity diversity. Women, racial and ethnic minorities, persons with disabilities, persons over 40 years of age, disabled and Vietnam-era veterans, and people of all sexual orientations and gender identities are encouraged to apply. Persons needing accommodation in the application process or in need of this announcement in an alternative format may contact Human Resources or call 919-664-6835.

The firm of moss+ross has been retained to help with the search. 

Please click here to apply. 

Applications will be accepted until February 9 or until the position is filled.

Posted 6 months ago
Raleigh, North Carolina
Education Requirement
Bachelor's Degree
Experience Requirement
5-10 years