Director of Philanthropy

Company Name: 

The High Desert Museum


59800 Hwy 97
Bend, OR 97702

Contact Name: 

Shannon Campbell




Job Description: 

High Desert Museum – Organization Description

Since opening in 1982, THE HIGH DESERT MUSEUM has brought together wildlife, culture, art and natural resources to promote an understanding of the natural and cultural heritage of North America's High Desert country. We do so through indoor and outdoor exhibits, wildlife in natural habitats, living history demonstrations and dynamic programs on a beautiful, 135-acre campus in the pine forest. The Museum is a nonprofit organization accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, was a 2018 National Medal for Museum and Library Sciences finalist and is a Smithsonian Affiliate. During the 2018-19 fiscal year, 195,000 visitors enjoyed the Museum.

The Museum is located in Bend, Oregon, a fast-growing, charismatic city nestled against the Cascade Range at the edge of the High Desert. We strive to be inclusive, culturally humble, relevant, curious and mindful. As a team, we work together to wildly excite and responsibly teach, creating connection to and dialogue about the High Desert.

Job Summary – Director of Philanthropy

The Director of Philanthropy creates and oversees the implementation of a strategic approach to fundraising which may include major gifts, annual fund, planned giving, corporate donations, grant solicitation, capital campaigns, special events, membership and in-kind resources in collaboration with the Associate Director, Executive Director, and Board of Trustees.  This key position is one of four department directors reporting to the Executive Director, each of whom uses their extensive experience to provide strategic and practical leadership to the Museum.

The Director of Philanthropy is responsible for leading the Museum’s advancement program and managing the Development department. The Director of Philanthropy will also be responsible for developing and maintaining active and productive relationships with board members, donors, and members.


  • Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration, Communications, Nonprofit Management or related field.  Master’s Degree preferred.
  • A minimum of 5 years professional, non-profit fundraising experience including having previously led a development department
  • Proven experience in designing and managing major capital and endowment campaigns
  • Demonstrated major gifts experience with a successful track record of securing six to eight figure gifts
  • Ability to interface directly and frequently with donors, board members, volunteers and other constituents at all levels and the to build and maintain productive working relationships with them
  • Adept at creating and implementing strategic fundraising plans
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Ability to collaborate and work strategically as a leader and as part of the Museum team
  • Ability to work well in a small, entrepreneurial team environment
  • Experience working in an arts/cultural setting strongly preferred
  • Flexibility to work some evenings and weekends
  • Display a positive attitude, show concern for people and community, demonstrate presence, self-confidence, common sense and good listening ability
  • Foundation relationship and grant writing experience
  • Must possess excellent project management skills, strong teamwork and interpersonal skills
  • Demonstrate commitment to Museum’s mission and to department funding goals
  • Ability to develop and manage procedures and systems based on best practices
  • Must demonstrate organization, attention to detail, analytical and problem-solving skills
  • Ability to prioritize, meet deadlines and manage multiple tasks simultaneously
  • Ability to respond to unanticipated situations and shift priorities while remaining poised and calm under pressure
  • High ethics, integrity and sound professional judgment
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality with tact and discretion
  • Proficient in MS Outlook, Excel, Word and PowerPoint, Blackbaud software or equivalent donor database and event management software
  • Tolerance for dynamic work environment as museum continues to grow and management roles evolve and shift
  • Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) certification preferred

Responsibilities and Tasks


  • Manages their own portfolio of prospects and is responsible for soliciting major gifts from individuals, corporations and some foundations. Area of focus will be primarily individual major campaign gifts.
  • Directs all fundraising activities including trustee and large donor giving, membership, annual giving, endowment and capital campaigns, special projects, and other museum-related solicitations in collaboration with Executive Director
  • Manages all strategies and activities for donor cultivation, solicitation, and relations
  • Oversees fundraising programs for corporate donors and general members
  • Manages a planned-giving program

Planned Giving

  • Grows endowment to support operations
  • Secures transformational gifts for facility in alignment with master plan
  • Develops a marketing plan to include networking with financial planners, hosting an annual R.W. Chandler Society event, presentations at civic meetings, donor recognition, etc.
  • Plans and executes semi-annual planned giving information meetings with area partners (i.e. Oregon Community Foundation and estate planners)
  • Stewards existing R.W. Chandler Society members
  • Mines data to identify best prospects
  • Utilizes Moves Management to create portfolio of candidates

Board of Trustees Relations

  • Works with the Board of Trustees and the Executive Director to develop strategies to initiate and meet fundraising goals
  • Develops fundraising training for Trustees and other leadership volunteers
  • Assumes responsibility for all Development reports to the Board and other agencies, and attends all Board meetings
  • Assists the Board with recommending and researching potential new donors

Development Office Infrastructure

  • Oversees office systems to support all Development projects and operations
  • Supervises donor and gift record-keeping
  • Coordinates development research activities
  • Directs the pledge reminder and acknowledgement program

Management and Budgeting

  • Supervises three development staff members: Assistant and Associate Directors of Development and Member Relations Manager
  • Promotes team environment 
  • Establishes performance objectives and evaluates development staff
  • Develops and monitors the fundraising annual operating budget and revenue goals


  • Embraces, supports and helps implement the Museum’s continued learning and commitment to diversity, equity, accessibility and inclusion
  • Executes other duties as assigned as needed to help abide by the Museum’s values, drive our vision and fulfill our mission.

The Museum provides an equal employment opportunity to all persons without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity/transgender status, age, disability, veteran or marital status, genetic information or any other characteristic protected by applicable law.


Please send resume and cover letter to the High Desert Museum