Current Opportunities

Museum Development Officer


Job Description
Museum Development
Pay Rate Type:
Employee Type:
Job Summary:
College Advancement
Full-Time, Exempt, Salaried, Administrative Staff Appointment
Over the past five years, outreach efforts to communicate the value and impact of a Colby education have resulted in more than doubling the number of students seeking admission to Colby and setting several institutional records for funds raised. Major initiatives made possible through Colby’s campaign, Dare Northward, are enriching the student experience and positioning Colby’s home city, Waterville, as a destination for the arts and culture.


Propelled by visionary leadership, a compelling array of initiatives, and record fundraising in fiscal year 2017, Colby  launched the largest fundraising campaign ever at a liberal arts college—$750 million—in October 2017. With the success of the Dare Northward campaign, the College will be known for a distinctive set of multidisciplinary academic offerings; an even more cohesive and accessible institutional culture for students from all backgrounds; the foremost art and athletic facilities in the educational sector; a welcoming, thriving, and dynamic surrounding community; increased global connections and resulting perspectives; the richest set of universal student experiences to enhance the Colby academic program; and the capacity to support the postgraduate success of every one of their students.

Thus far, more than 24,000 alumni, parents, and friends have made donations in support of initiatives such as the downtown Waterville revitalization, academic partnerships, financial aid, and global experiences and internships—collectively raising more than $625 million to date toward the Dare Northward campaign. Colby now ranks as a national leader among the nation’s colleges and universities in alumni giving participation. To learn about the Colby Dare Northward campaign, visit


The Colby College Museum of Art is a collecting and teaching museum dedicated to the preservation, display, and interpretation of the visual arts. We embrace within our collections works of art from diverse cultures and historical periods, with a focus on American art, and commitment to collecting and exhibiting contemporary art. We manage these resources for the benefit of the Colby College community, the region, and the nation, and we aspire to display works that embody the highest standards of achievement.


Working to advance equity and inclusion in the field of American art—and, by doing so, in the wider world—is core to our mission. We feel the urgency of national and campus conversations on inequality and are keenly aware of the unique responsibility that we have as an academic art museum—as a place where we can listen, ask questions, and challenge assumptions—to engage in this dialogue, and to act. We affirm the Colby Museum of Art’s commitment to multidisciplinary teaching and learning and our potential for deep engagement with students will be leveraged in this effort toward fighting racialized violence, injustice, and inequality; and we encourage inquiries from candidates who will contribute to the diversity of our College, including its cultural and ethnic diversity.


The College is seeking a highly motivated museum development officer at an exciting and defining moment in Colby’s history. This is a pivotal moment that requires a profound understanding of the arts and education as public goods. This key position offers a unique opportunity to be part of a leading—and growing--academic museum, and to significantly contribute to an ambitious and transformational campaign, at a time of tremendous opportunity and growth in the arts at Colby, including its museum. Reporting to the director of museum development, the museum development officer will be responsible for engaging and broadening the Colby Museum of Art’s philanthropic pipeline through solicitation of annual and leadership gifts at the $5,000 through $50,000 level, executing yearly engagement events, and providing critical research, communications, stewardship, solicitation and reporting assistance. The museum development officer will serve as a staff member both within the Colby College Museum of Art and the Division of College Advancement. A highly visible representative of both the College and the Museum, the museum development officer has a deep appreciation for the liberal arts college experience, academic art museums, and a strong personal commitment to Colby’s core values. We encourage inquiries from candidates who will contribute to the diversity of our College, including its cultural and ethnic diversity.


Engagement and Friends of Art

Conduct research and recommend strategies for sustained engagement of prospects and current donors, advancing a culture of philanthropy among the Colby Museum of Art’s audiences
Solicit, cultivate, and assess museum prospects to grow and deepen the Colby Museum of Art’s annual philanthropy through Friends of Art and other leadership gifts
Visit virtually and in-person with museum prospects to achieve annual personal and team revenue goals; visits to include annual and leadership gift solicitations, as well as cultivation and stewardship visits
Work closely with the director of museum development to create, execute, and refine yearly Friends of Art appeals
Collaborate with Office of Advancement Communications and Office of Colby Fund as well as the Colby Museum of Art’s director and communications staff to ensure cohesive messaging and mutual financial gains
Develop and manage written solicitations including at minimum four fundraising appeals throughout the fiscal year
Collaborate with the Office of Colby Fund to secure 1813 Society level Friends of Art gifts
Events and Communications

Design and produce virtual and in-person events, at the Colby Museum of Art, in Maine, and in key locations across the country, in collaboration with Museum and College Advancement staff, to maximize impact and inspire philanthropy through the judicious use of resources
Facilitate Museum content, expertise, and networks into College and campaign events and donor-focused communications
Design and manage special mailings and email campaigns, such as the annual museum holiday mailing and bespoke opportunities
Oversee and facilitate event communications, data requests, and follow up materials in collaboration with the Museum’s communications staff and other College Advancement colleagues
Summer Luncheon

Serve as event manager for all aspects of the Colby Museum of Art’s annual Summer Luncheon
Solicit event sponsorship with a focus on securing new sponsors and increasing previous sponsor support
Manage data for external communications, guest list, and event briefing materials
Museum Board of Governors

Assist the director of museum development to strategically engage and inform the members of the Museum Resources Committee
Partner with key members of the committee to secure support for Friends of Art, Summer Luncheon, and additional gifts
Additional Functions

Participate in professional development training offered by the College, Division of College Advancement, Colby Museum of Art, and professional associations to enhance expertise and skills
Perform additional duties as assigned; duties, responsibilities, and activities may change at any time with or without notice

Bachelor’s degree or the equivalent in education and experience
3-5 years of fundraising experience in a college, university, museum, cultural or complex institution with demonstrated success in making and closing annual and major gift solicitations from individual donors
Superb verbal and written communication skills
Proficiency with fundraising/alumni relations databases and technology
Excellent organizational skills, ability to consistently meet deadlines and follow-through on assignments, and attention to detail
Prior experience working with staff and volunteers, the ability to manage complex relationships, and proven collaboration and teamwork skills in a diverse community to leverage activities, initiatives, and programs for multiple purposes
Understanding of the Moves Management process and ability to think and work strategically
Appreciation of Colby’s and Colby College Museum of Art’s missions and the ability to effectively communicate them
Strong, self-motivated work ethic; flexibility; and proven ability to work both independently and constructively as a member of a diverse community
Unwavering commitment to fostering an anti-racist, equitable work environment supportive of people from different cultures, backgrounds, and life paths
Willingness and ability to work outside normal working hours (i.e. nights and weekends)
Must be willing to travel; valid driver’s license required and must meet the College’s Fleet Safety Policy requirements

Reporting to the director of museum development, the museum development officer will work closely with the Colby College Museum of Art’s Carolyn Muzzy director and the assistant vice president for college advancement. The museum development officer will have direct contact with the Museum’s deputy director, executive assistant, coordinator of institutional initiatives and board affairs, curators, Lunder Institute director, collections manager and registrars, as well as College Advancement leadership, president, trustees, campaign cabinet, senior administration, key faculty, and staff members across campus. The position also interacts with the Museum Board of Governors Chair and Vice-Chair and key members of the board.


General open office and campus environment. Position involves sitting, although frequent movement is necessary. Computer usage involving repetitive hand/wrist motion is also necessary. Ability to move around campus and interact with faculty, staff, students, parents/alumni, and external constituencies regularly is crucial. Frequent travel and work outside of normal business hours are required.


Interested candidates should apply electronically by clicking the "Apply" button on the Colby Careers website. Please submit a letter of interest including salary requirements, resume, and the contact information of three professional references. Materials should be addressed to:

Museum Development Officer - Search Committee
Office of Human Resources
Colby College
5500 Mayflower Hill
Waterville, ME  04901-8855

Salary Range: 
Commensurate with experience

About This Job

  • Colby College Museum of Art
  • Waterville, ME
  • Category: Professional
  • Salary Range: Commensurate with experience
  • Posted: January 17, 2022