Small Museum Association

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Levine Museum of the New South seeks Chief Development Officer

13 Mar 2024 10:33 AM | Bruce Thibodeau

The Chief Development Officer (CDO) is responsible for planning, implementing, overseeing, and assessing the LMNS’s fundraising plans in support of the organization’s strategic vision and growth. The CDO will effectively represent the organization’s philanthropy interests to all constituencies to establish and advance ambitious goals in support of LMNS’s operations and endowment. Reporting to the CEO and serving as a strategic thought partner and member of the senior leadership team, the CDO will lead LMNS’s annual fund, major gift, membership, planned, corporate, and foundation giving, events, and government relations, including the development of a capital campaign.


Collaborating with the CEO, Board of Directors, and leadership team, the CDO will contribute to LMNS’ strategic planning process, deliver innovative strategies, and lead by example in a mission-driven work environment balancing the need and relevance of programs with fiscal accountability and organizational impact in keeping with LMNS’s values, mission, and vision.


Roles and Responsibilities

Strategic Leadership

  • Lead, oversee, and integrate a fundraising plan, with goals, objectives, timelines, and assignment of responsibilities to achieve and support initiatives within the museum’s strategic plan.
  • Serve as a strategic and innovative thought partner and member of the leadership team to secure necessary funding for exhibitions, programs, and experiences, that are vital to community engagement and the national and international reputation of the museum.
  • Cultivate and maintain strong partnerships with the board, major donors, foundations, public agencies, and corporate funders to grow substantial contributed revenue opportunities.
  • Identify, cultivate, solicit, and steward a personal portfolio of current and new funding sources, and explore innovative opportunities for expanding individual, foundation, and corporate philanthropy.
  • Guide, enhance, and increase the membership base, creating compelling programs and opportunities for members while developing a pipeline for community engagement and support.
  • Increase working capital reserves and endowment to support long-term financial stability for the organization as part of the comprehensive campaign for a new facility.
  • Maintain best practices and knowledge of significant trends in philanthropy and adapt fundraising strategies as necessary.
  • Embrace other strategic leadership responsibilities as needed.


Board and Donor Engagement

§  Identify and recruit new board members, educate members about their role in advancing a culture of philanthropy, cultivate and solicit their financial support, maximize their engagement with the museum, and leverage their respective networks to expand the donor base and support for the museum, in partnership with the CEO.

§  Devise strategies with the Development Committee that allow the museum’s community to engage with the museum as donors, sponsors, partners, advisors, and community ambassadors.

§  Ensure high-quality, individualized, and meaningful stewardship of donors, coordinating with colleagues throughout the museum and personally stewarding donors as needed.

§  Speak skillfully and persuasively about the museum’s vision for the future with current and prospective board members and donors.

§  Lead and mentor the development team, creating and promoting effective cultivation and solicitation opportunities that involve the director, board, and staff team members as needed.

§  Advise board members individually and collectively, on best practices in community ambassadorship and donor cultivation.

§  Embrace other board engagement and recruitment, and donor engagement responsibilities as needed.


Team and Organizational Oversight

§  Recruit, diversify, coach, inspire, and motivate a strong fundraising team that represents LMNS’s communities.

§  Ensure sound fiscal operation of the fundraising function, including timely, accurate, and comprehensive budgeting, monitoring, forecasting, and reporting of charitable contributions and department expenses in partnership with the Director of Finance.

§  Maintain consistent messaging and outreach strategies with Marketing and Communications as they relate to all fundraising efforts.

§  Create a supportive, collaborative, productive, and healthy work environment based on respect, teamwork, and the equity, diversity, and inclusion values of the LMNS.

§  Set performance standards and provide timely, constructive feedback while supporting opportunities for professional development.

§  Support team ingenuity and innovation with appropriate human resources, structures, systems, and technological platforms that align with current and future trends in fundraising.

§  Enhance and ensure the strategic use of the database and other development communication tools, coordinating communications with existing and potential donors to ensure the highest level of donor engagement, satisfaction, expressions of appreciation, and active stewardship.

§  Embrace other team and organizational oversight responsibilities as needed.


Traits and Characteristics

The CDO will be an experienced fundraising professional with a demonstrated capacity to achieve contributed revenue goals, an affinity for the LMNS’s mission, collection, and programs, and a passion to positively impact the organization’s long-term success. The successful candidate will be goal-oriented and highly self-motivated, balancing both individual and team autonomy and collaboration with finesse. The CDO will be highly accountable with strong attention to detail and exceptional follow-through in partnership with the CEO, board, and senior leadership team. An effective communicator and authentic relationship builder, they will show sensitivity and a strong commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in all its forms. 

Other key competencies include:

§  Leadership and Diplomacy – The dexterity to anticipate, meet, and exceed a variety of stakeholder needs and expectations, inspiring others in effectively handling difficult or sensitive issues.

§  Teamwork – The agility to cooperate with others to meet objectives; and to organize and motivate others while creating of sense of trust, order, direction, and active participation among the board, staff, and other stakeholders to achieve collective goals.

§  Flexibility and Creativity – The capacity to respond quickly and adapt to change with minimal resistance, adapting to change and creating new approaches to achieve desired results.

§  Stakeholder Focus The sensitivity to anticipate, meet, and frequently exceed patron and stakeholder needs, wants, and expectations.

§  Planning, Organizing and Project Management – The capability to build trust and cooperate with others to meet objectives, establishing courses of action to ensure that work is completed effectively.


A minimum of eight years of progressive experience in development leadership roles with a comprehensive understanding of functional areas is essential, including individual giving, institutional giving, annual appeals, foundation and government grants, membership programs, planned and endowment gifts, stewardship, and board relations. Participation in a major capital, endowment, or comprehensive campaign is preferred, but no required. Demonstrated acumen and commitment to the intersection of art history and social justice is essential. Genuine enthusiasm for art and its transformative power, exceptional written and interpersonal skills, and a high degree of professionalism and integrity are needed. A record of recruiting and developing exceptional people and fostering a transparent and collaborative work environment is a key to success. Educational credentials and demonstrated professional experience supporting leadership intelligence, organizational growth, arts and culture experiences, and community engagement, are highly desired.

Compensation and Benefits

Levine Museum of the New South offers a competitive and equitable compensation package, with an anticipated annual salary range between $125,000 to $150,000. Employee benefits include paid vacation, sick leave, personal days, and holidays; health, long-term disability, and life insurance; and a voluntary 401(k) retirement plan.


Applications and Inquiries

To submit a cover letter and resume highlighting relevant and demonstrable accomplishments (electronic submissions preferred), please visit For questions or general inquiries about this job opportunity, please contact:


Renée Danger-James, Vice President

1040 First Avenue, Suite 352

New York, New York 10022-2991

Tel       (888) 234.4236 Ext. 212



Levine Museum of the New South is committed to sharing the stories of historically underrepresented people and cultures and acknowledging and addressing systemic inequities and wrongdoings both internally and externally.


Levine Museum is in a unique position to expose injustices in our community, past and present, and to raise awareness of DEAI issues. We value differences and work to remove and reduce emotional, cognitive, physical, and financial barriers to Levine Museum’s offerings.


We will commit to fearlessly facing and addressing historical inequities, and we will continue to foster conversation, inspire empathy, and celebrate communities in everything we do.

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