Director of Philanthropy, Oakland Museum of California

  • Cook Silverman Search
  • Oakland, CA, USA
Full Time Fundraising

Job Description


The Oakland Museum of California (OMCA) first opened its doors fifty years ago in 1969. It brought together three historically independent disciplines—art, history, and natural sciences—under one roof. This progressive multidisciplinary approach celebrates the many facets of California. OMCA’s collections—comprising more than 1.9 million objects including seminal art works, historical artifacts, ethnographic objects, natural specimens, and photographs—and its exhibitions and programs explore and reveal the factors that shape California’s character and identity, from its extraordinary natural landscapes, to successive waves of migration, to its unique culture of creativity and innovation.

Ten years ago, OMCA undertook a major renovation and transformed its collection galleries in order to build on the Museum’s original multidisciplinary and civic-minded intent by improving integration of OMCA's collections and programs, strengthening its role as a public forum, and creating new opportunities for visitor participation. The collections are animated by innovative interpretive tools and interactive features; and new gathering spaces and program areas engage visitors and encourage them to share their own perspectives, questions, and stories. OMCA is currently completing another phase of its campus renovation with the transformation of its landmark gardens and creation of two new entries that connect the campus with the surrounding neighborhood. The $15 million renovation was funded through the $85 million “All In: The Campaign for OMCA,” which also included $30 million for operating support over five years and $40 million for growth of endowment and investment funds. The campaign will conclude on June 30, 2021 and has already surpassed the goal

OMCA nurtures its deep ties to the community by offering many educational and outreach programs. OMCA welcomes schools, scholars, local audiences, and all visitors to participate in its events and activities and to discover their place in California's past, present, and future. In the most recent year prior to its closing in March 2020 due to the pandemic, more than 25,000 K-12 students experienced OMCA’s programs and more than 350,000 people visited the museum, 30% of whom were first-time visitors and 56% of whom are people of color.

OMCA has recently undertaken a staff organizational redesign that places equity, inclusion and anti-racism at the center of its organizational structure. This position will be a key member of the senior leadership team that will support, mentor and coach colleagues within the department and throughout the Museum in advancing these values and commitments.

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The Director of Philanthropy is responsible for all philanthropic activities of the Museum including but not limited to annual giving and membership, planned giving, institutional giving, and major gifts.  The Director of Philanthropy drives strategies for acquisition and retention of all contributed revenue through innovative and traditional methods in order to achieve OMCA’s goal for social impact and financial sustainability. As a member of the senior leadership team, the Director of Philanthropy works collaboratively and with shared responsibility with other executive level staff to ensure achievement of the Museum’s strategic goals and to support the work of the Board of Trustees and appropriate committees.


The Director of Philanthropy is a member of the six-person Senior Leadership Council and reports to the Executive Director.  The position oversees and manages a talented staff including four direct and nine indirect reports. The direct reports include an Associate Director of Membership, an Associate Director of Individual Giving, an Associate Director of Development Operations, and an Associate Director of Institutional Giving.  The position works in partnership with the Director of Marketing of Audience Engagement to co-lead the Advancement and Engagement unit within the new organizational structure.  The position also staffs the Advancement Committee of the Board.


Leadership Council/Organizational Responsibilities

  • Develop, embrace, model, inspire and communicate institutional mission, vision and goals, sharing leadership of the entire Museum as well as advocating for and directing department functions.
  • Demonstrate exceptional leadership skills in motivating and nurturing staff, delegating tasks, encouraging independent problem-solving by individuals and teams, and providing an understanding of the institutional vision as a context for individual and department work plans.
  • Employ innovative and forward-thinking leadership, including actively anticipating changing trends and analyzing implications and consequences of changing business needs and circumstances.
  • Contribute as a member of the Senior Leadership Council to the policymaking for and management of the Museum including supporting the Museum’s mission, values, vision, and core commitment to the visitor experience, community engagement, and institutional relevancy for the future.
  • Contribute to the prudent and ongoing monitoring of OMCA annual budget and financial demands to ensure a sustainable future.
  • Provide data-driven decision-making, goal setting, clear communication, knowledge sharing, collaboration, guidance, mentorship and coaching of department leaders.
  • Partner with colleagues across the institution to develop institutional funding opportunities and priorities.
  • Serve as Acting Director in the absence of the Executive Director, as requested.


  • Develop and implement a long-range donor-centric development plan to include goals and objectives for annual operations and capital and endowment initiatives, including, but not limited to, a major individual gifts program, annual fund, foundation and government grants, corporate sponsorships and gifts, planned giving, membership, and special events.
  • Lead efforts to build a Culture of Philanthropy throughout the organization, engaging the full staff and Board in understanding the importance of philanthropy to the Museum’s mission, sharing information transparently and inclusively with the organization about OMCA’s fundraising strategies and approaches, and connecting OMCA’s values to philanthropic efforts so that all OMCA stakeholders understand the role they can play in fostering donor and member relationships and support.
  • Develop and oversee a comprehensive donor and member cultivation and stewardship program including special events and other engagement opportunities that strategically boost fundraising efforts.
  • Oversee a robust membership program designed to build overall Museum attendance, develop members into long-term and higher-level supporters, and provide repeat and sustained participation in Museum activities.
  • Guide the development and administration of the department budget including supervising the preparation of the budget, monthly and quarterly contributed income report, projections, analyses, and reconciliations with the Finance Department, writing support narratives for budgets, and monitoring performance against budget and collection of outstanding pledges in conjunction with the staff.
  • Oversee gift tracking systems and donor reporting mechanisms, donor acknowledgement and recognition efforts and ensure ongoing reconciliation with financial systems.
  • Work with the Board of Trustees to develop strategies to initiate and meet aggressive fundraising goals.
  • In partnership with Marketing and Communications, ensure strategic alignment related to external communications initiatives about fundraising and membership efforts.
  • Develop fundraising training for Trustees and other leadership volunteers.
  • Serve as the primary liaison to the Board Advancement Committee and support the work of the Governance Committee.


  • Ability to display the competencies of strategic thinking, development of self and others and ability to deploy and align organizational strategies and objectives
  • 10+ years of fundraising experience with progressive growth towards senior leadership
  • 5+ years supervisory experience
  • A. degree in relevant field required; M.A. or M.B.A desirable; fundraising certifications appreciated
  • English language proficiency in both spoken and written form
  • Demonstrated knowledge of fundraising trends and progressive practices
  • Demonstrated achievements as an adaptive change agent, collaborator, coach, and team and coalition-builder
  • MS (Word, Excel, PowerPoint), Google Suite, Raiser’s Edge, and tools for measuring fundraising campaigns
  • Excellent leadership, supervisory, planning, and organization skills
  • Effective communication, problem solving skills, and presentation skills including public speaking
  • Team building skills with a collaborative management style
  • Self-awareness and openness to new philanthropic trends and practices
  • Commitment to working collaboratively in an anti-racist organization
  • Commitment to and passion for the mission of Oakland Museum of California
  • Creative, conceptual, and analytical thinker, with a sensitivity to both the cultural and business sectors



Education Requirements

Bachelor's Degree


$125,000 to $150,000 plus full benefits