Director of Development

Company Name: 

Burke Museum

Job Description: 

About the Burke Museum:

The Burke Museum cares for and shares natural and cultural collections so all people can learn, be inspired, generate knowledge, feel joy, and heal. The Burke was founded in 1885 by the Young Naturalists, a group of curious teenagers inspired by seeing Seattle transform before their eyes. For 135 years, the museum has built upon this legacy, collecting objects that create pathways for understanding the Northwest and the world. 

Totaling over 16 million objects, the Burke’s collections help sustain cultural traditions, enable groundbreaking scientific research, and advance timely conversations that matter to us all. The collections are records of our past and investments in our future. The Museum’s curators—faculty members at the University of Washington—grow collections in the anticipation of change: continued disruption to ecosystems, shifting cultural landscapes and advances in technology we have yet to imagine. Our work is collaborative; we partner with institutions, students, communities and people around the world to understand our past and create positive change in the future.

As both a University and State museum, the Burke Museum is a public resource committed to building an inclusive environment that welcomes and values all people. We recognize that our history, from the founding to the present day, is built upon a colonial model of museums that consistently privileged collections, preservation, and research over cultural autonomy and community survival.

The Burke is committed to decolonization as a key institutional priority, and across the museum, we now work as facilitators and stewards, not as gatekeepers and sole authorities, in order to honor our mandate to truly be a museum for all.



In October 2019, the Burke opened a new building turning the work of a museum “inside-out” with visible labs, workrooms, collections storage, and an artist studio.  Removing these barriers enables us to make the collections and work that happens here daily accessible to everyone. Every visit to the New Burke is different because every day brings new work. And because we’re doing this work right out in the open, everyone can experience it and join in.

Under the direction of the Executive Director, the Director of Development is responsible for strategic leadership and management of the museum’s fundraising program including: major gifts, annual giving, planned giving, fundraising events, capital and endowment campaigns. The Director of Development serves as the Burke Museum’s senior major gifts officer, responsible for overseeing the identification, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship of the museum’s donors.

Duties and Responsibilities:


Fundraising & Stewardship 40%: Identify, cultivate and successfully solicit major gifts from a diverse group of individuals, corporations and foundations. 


Assist and support the Director with their portfolio of top donors and prospects. Assign, monitor and evaluate the portfolios of other team members and provide support and guidance when needed.


Collaborate with UW Advancement staff, and utilize UW Advancement’s system to track cultivation, stewardship and solicitation for a portfolio of major donors (Capacity rating of donors in the portfolio should be $50K+ with asks at $25K+). 


Provide strategic oversight and guidance to meet the museum’s annual unrestricted and restricted fundraising goals. 


Work closely with staff, trustees, and other volunteers to maximize the effectiveness of members and special events. Provide strategic oversight to the planning, production, and fundraising efforts of the fall and spring events. 


Management 25%: Responsible for hiring, supervising, and directing fundraising teams to meet annual goals of both restrictive and nonrestrictive funds. Lead team to effectively and ethically cultivate, solicit, and steward individual, corporate, foundation and government funders in support of the Burke. Supervise an Annual Giving & Stewardship Officer, Corporate and Foundation Relations Manager, Development Events Coordinator and Annual Giving Specialist to meet annual fundraising goals, steward and cultivate individual, corporate, foundation and government funders.


Leadership 10%: Serve as a member of the Burke leadership team and collaborate with other directors to move institutional and development priorities forward. Work closely with the Director of Communications to ensure effective partnership between Development and Communications. Model and uphold the institution’s commitment to equitable and inclusive practice.

Burke Museum Association 10%: Work with the Executive Director and board leadership to recruit and steward members and manage fundraising activities of the board. Serve as a liaison to the BMA’s Executive, Fundraising, Nominating & Governance and Curators Dinner Committees. Actively participate in planning for board and committee meetings and the annual retreat. Steward and work with board members to maximize personal giving and their effectiveness as leadership volunteers.

University of Washington Advancement 5%: Collaborate with appropriate colleagues across UW Advancement to ensure that the Burke Museum’s fundraising efforts are well-integrated and centrally supported. Utilize resources (Research, Planned Giving, Principal Giving, Gift Processing, etc) across Central Advancement to benefit Burke fundraising.

Public Outreach 5%: Serve as a visible spokesperson and advocate for the Burke Museum's mission and programs in the community.

Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, Inclusion & Decolonization 5%: Uphold the institution’s commitment to equitable and inclusive practice and follow the Burke Museum Code of Ethics.


Position Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree.
  • 5-10 years of progressively responsible experience in institutional or non-profit development.
  • Project management skills and experience.
  • Excellent written, and verbal communication skills, with the ability to persuade and move people to action
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills, including teamwork, collaboration. Ability to communicate clearly, diplomatically, and effectively.  
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team, and to be held accountable for results
  • Proven track record of successful solicitation and stewardship of six or seven-figure major gifts
  • Experience in staffing, motivating and supporting volunteer board and committee leaders to meet fundraising goals
  •  Demonstrated experience in managing budgets, (preparing financial spreadsheets, and tracking expenditures) within the resource constraints of a non-profit
  • Experience with prospect and donor management fundraising software applications.
  • Proficiency working with Microsoft applications
  • Experience handling sensitive, confidential material



  • Museum and (or) higher education experience
  • Knowledge of UW Advancement policies and procedures, including use of the Advance database
  • Graduate degree in a relevant field
  • A record of measurable results in running a major gifts program, annual giving campaigns, grant writing, fundraising events and capital campaigns


Condition of Employment:

  • Ability to travel independently to local or regional locations.
  • Able to work a flexible schedule that occasionally involves work on weekends and holidays
  •  Able to work in an environment visible to the public with visual and audible distractions
  • Wear required credentials at all times and work attire/uniforms and name tags as required by position

To Apply: Visit UW Hires and reference requisition #185648