As one of the world’s renowned art museums, the MFA boasts a collection that spans nearly all cultures and time periods—ranging from the art of ancient Egypt to French Impressionism to Contemporary. The original MFA opened its doors to the public on July 4 of 1876, the nation’s centennial. Built in Copley Square, Boston, the MFA was then home to 5,600 works of art. Over the next several years, the collection and number of visitors grew exponentially, and in 1909 the Museum moved to its current home on Huntington Avenue. Today the collection encompasses nearly 500,000 works of art and we welcome more than one million visitors each year.

We thrive in creating exhibitions and programs that attract, intrigue and engage all audiences. The Museum is a lively social destination that offers concerts, films, and lectures while also serving as an important community and learning resource for schools, families and visitors near and far. While we are deeply rooted in our community, we are an international institution with programming and research partnerships throughout the world.

In July 2017, the Museum launched MFA 2020, a visitor-focused Strategic Plan that outlines our priorities and goals over the next three years. The Plan articulates our ambitions and will serve as a catalyst for undertaking a broad range of projects through a strong spirit of collaboration. Projects are designed to deepen our connection with our current audiences but also engage new and diverse communities, specifically students, multi-generational families, and professionals in creative industries. Many projects will mark new opportunities for the Museum while others are expansions of successful programs. All are designed to actively cultivate conversation, engagement, connection, and understanding through art, both externally for our visitors as well as internally for staff.

Our mission is to collect and preserve our collections thoughtfully and share the works of art in our care with Boston and beyond while creating and providing engaging and memorable experiences. This is all possible through the efforts and dedication of our talented staff, volunteers, donors, members, and community partners. Our culture is built on collaboration, generosity, trust and service.

The Position – Overview

Reporting to the Museum’s Director, the Chief Development Officer will foster a culture of philanthropy that assures fundraising success while subscribing to the highest standards of cultivation, stewardship and staff management. The Chief Development Officer will be a member of a collaborative Leadership Team and will be expected to contribute to the strategies and direction of institutional decisions and priorities, in accordance with our Strategic Plan. The Chief Development Officer will work closely with the Museum’s Director in setting Museum-wide fundraising strategies and priorities.

The Position – Primary Functions:

The Chief Development Officer will have overall leadership responsibility for institutional advancement through the management of a portfolio that encompasses all Development program areas: Leadership Gifts, Planned Giving, Institutional Relations (Corporate, Foundation and Government), Stewardship and Events, Prospect Research, Development Operations, and Gifts of Art. The CDO will:

Contribute as a member of the Leadership Team, to discussions of strategies and decisions that impact the overall management and direction of the Museum.

Ensure that the division’s infrastructure is positioned to successfully meet the Museum’s fundraising and overall financial goals and objectives.

Strategically create, develop and implement goals for annual fundraising, long term goals and future capital campaigns.

Initiate and oversee conception of fundraising programs involving budget, timing and organizational plans to achieve set goals. Develop and recommend all policies relating to gifts to the Museum.

Hire, mentor, lead and inspire a diversified staff that embraces our Museum values. Prepare and review goal-based performance evaluations. Maintain clear and open communication with direct reports to oversee goals, plans and metrics and provide advice and direction regarding department initiatives and programs. Set clear expectations and monitor progress of both established and new programs/initiatives.

Collaborate with Marketing and Communications colleagues to ensure that the Museum’s integrated marketing/public relations programs are aligned with the Museum’s philanthropic efforts and goals.

Develop and sustain a strong understanding and appreciation of the Museum. This includes, but is not limited to, the collections, programs, departments, staff, governance, volunteers, as well as the Museum’s overall culture, programs and policies.

Serve as a key institutional liaison between and among Board leadership, Trustees and Overseers. Provide executive level support to Board committees, working groups and task forces in the areas of Development/Campaign, Governance and Nominating.

Stay abreast of the latest philanthropic trends and ensure that the Development staff is granted the proper tools and support for fundraising success.

The Ideal Candidate – Experience and Skills:

• Bachelor’s degree required; advanced degree preferred

• Minimum of 10 plus years of significant non-profit fundraising experience in a leadership position with a demonstrated track record of meeting fundraising goals and working successfully with volunteer boards

• Experience in a Museum or other cultural organization

• Extensive knowledge of fundraising principles, strategies and approaches that span capital and endowment campaigns, as well as annual giving, planned giving and gifts of art

• Creative, sophisticated and strategic fundraiser accustomed to working with a complex fundraising portfolio

• Proven success in building strong and lasting relationships; personal experience in strategizing, presenting, negotiating and closing high-level gift arrangements

• Strong leadership qualities including a successful history of building and motivating a large, diverse staff that embraces the values of the organization

• A management style with a strong orientation of teamwork and collaboration; a work style characterized by visibility, accessibility, transparency and responsiveness

• Knowledgeable of Boston’s philanthropic landscape

• Exceptional communication skills, both verbal and written, including excellent presentation skills

The Character:

• An outgoing flexible nature with a high degree of emotional intelligence

• Friendly and social with the gravitas and charisma to engage and influence others

• A positive, collegial attitude with the ability to balance many demands

• Flexible and open to new concepts with the willingness to take risks

• A sophisticated and creative thinker

• Goal driven

• A professional who places high value on the importance of mentorship and coaching

We have retained Isaacson, Miller to handle this search. Please send your credentials directly to:

The MFA is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer that is committed to building a culturally diverse staff and strongly encourages applications from diverse candidates.




Full Time


September 20, 2017


External Relations