The Chief Development Officer leads the Development Department and directs Oklahoma Contemporary’s fundraising efforts in support of its institutional mission, programs, special projects and operations. The position focuses on expanding philanthropic support of Oklahoma Contemporary through stewardship of meaningful relationships. The Chief Development Officer is responsible for all aspects of development, membership and fundraising events and supervises a Development team of five along with the organization’s Visitor Experience team.
The ideal candidate has a proven track record of nonprofit fundraising and successful stewardship of relationships with individual donors, foundations, corporations and government partners. The Chief Development Officer is a key member of the arts center’s senior staff and an ambassador to its audience and community. The successful candidate will bring excellent interpersonal and communication skills and a keen ability to prioritize within a creative work environment.
- Meet or exceed annual fundraising goals as set in the approved budget.
- Direct and execute all aspects of Oklahoma Contemporary’s development program, including major gift cultivation and stewardship; foundation and government grants; corporate giving and sponsorships; and endowment, individual, annual fund, planned giving and membership programs.
- With the Director, Board of Trustees and Development Committee, oversee the approved Development strategy for fiscal years 2023-25.
- Create and implement a big-picture, integrated strategy for development initiatives across the institution’s programming and engaging the organization’s many audiences.
- Expand and diversify Oklahoma Contemporary’s donor base; work with the Director and the Board of Trustees to identify and nurture new relationships, as well as steward current donors.
- Develop and manage a portfolio of major gift donors.
- Engage Trustees in fundraising efforts, including serving as primary staff liaison to the Development Committee. Develop and implement a strategy to engage the committee fully in support of major gift fundraising.
- Secure multiyear funding/underwriting for operations and programming.
- Oversee additional fundraising for special projects and the planning of future fundraising campaigns, including endowment.
- Oversee the management of membership, Contemporary Society, Planned Giving Society and the Corporate Council.
- Work with the Communications Department to develop a common strategy and language to support development goals.
- Plan and supervise electronic and mailed appeals and communications, grant writing and applications, corporate sponsorship proposals, planned giving and other fundraising initiatives.
- Work with the Finance Department to ensure regular and efficient gift reconciliations and appropriate grant reporting.
- Oversee planning for and attend donor cultivation events, including exhibition openings, dinners, member tours and other special fundraising opportunities.
- Hire, train, supervise, guide and mentor Development Department staff. Hire and oversee contract grant writers as necessary.
- Ensure the efficient organization and maintenance of the donor database and timely entry of contact reports and other relevant details.
- Ensure that the Development Department operates in alignment with Oklahoma Contemporary’s values, mission and vision and perform all duties in accordance with the Code of Ethics of the Association of Fundraising Professionals.
Education and Experience
- Seven or more years of proven professional experience in a leadership role in a nonprofit environment, including supervisory experience (experience working for a museum, arts center or other cultural institution is a strong advantage). The successful candidate’s range of experience should encompass major gifts, campaign development, corporate and foundation relations, and annual giving programs.
- Bachelor’s degree required; master’s degree preferred.
- Experience using fundraising software, such as Tessitura, Raiser’s Edge, etc., as well as productivity software, like Asana.
Qualifications, Skills and Abilities
- Demonstrated success in managing and forging relationships with multiple donor sources; an established record of networking with community stakeholders and funders in the greater Oklahoma City area is helpful.
- Knowledge of a broad base of principles for fundraising and planned giving, applying best practices and ethical standards.
- Able to communicate Oklahoma Contemporary’s mission and interests to a broad audience with genuine enthusiasm.
- Strong leadership, management, supervisory, training and mentorship skills.
- Exceptional planning and project management skills.
- Excellent writing, speaking and organizational skills.
- Proficiency with budgeting and fiscal oversight.
- Accountability, attention to detail and the ability to complete assignments in a fast-paced environment.
- Ability to work independently and collaboratively in a team and to balance competing priorities.
- Knowledge of contemporary art is a plus.
- Fluency in Spanish or Vietnamese is a plus.
- Positive attitude and enjoyment working with a range of organizational stakeholders, including high-level corporate and community leaders.
Limitations and Disclaimer
The above job description is meant to describe the general nature and level of work being performed. It is not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties and skills required for the position.
Other Requirements and Working Conditions
- Use of a car required; legally registered and insured for daily use.
- Use of a computer, telephone and printer/copier daily.
- Team environment with frequent group meeting participation.
- Physical requirements: combination of sitting, standing, walking and driving on a frequent basis. Lifting modest weights (up to 40 pounds) may be required occasionally.
Oklahoma Contemporary is proud to be an equal opportunity workplace and is an affirmative action employer. We are committed to equal employment opportunity regardless of race, color, ancestry, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, age, marital status, different abilities, gender identity or veteran status.
Submit a cover letter and resume here to apply.
About Oklahoma Contemporary
Oklahoma Contemporary is an inclusive center for the arts where people of all ages and backgrounds can experience art, encounter new ideas and ignite their creative potential. Through visual art exhibitions, performances, public programs, community-building initiatives, outdoor installations and special events, Oklahoma Contemporary creates opportunities for everyone to come together in celebration of contemporary culture and artistic expression. With year-round classes and seasonal youth camps across multiple disciplines, the arts center’s education programs encourage youth and adults to express their ideas across a variety of media and learn new skills. Oklahoma Contemporary believes that art is for everyone and places accessibility and education at the center of all programming. Admission to exhibitions is always free. Oklahoma Contemporary is a regional 501(c)3 nonprofit organization founded in 1989 by businessman and philanthropist Christian Keesee and Kirkpatrick Foundation Director Marilyn Myers.
Oklahoma Contemporary strives to demonstrate leadership by modeling excellence and best practices for inclusion, diversity, equity and accessibility. We believe in the power of human creativity and value the opportunities for connection and learning that exist when cultures and communities come together in collaboration and understanding.
We commit to championing policies and practices that value diversity, foster cultural equity and create an accessible and inclusive environment. Oklahoma Contemporary does not discriminate based on race/ethnicity, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, socioeconomic status, geography, citizenship status or religion. We recognize our strengths lie in the broad range of people who contribute their time and talents to our mission and are dedicated to creating a safe, inclusive place for them to explore creativity.
About Oklahoma City
In the middle of its third decade of economic and cultural expansion, Oklahoma City is a surprisingly lively and diverse American city. Recent growth has spurred exciting developments in the city’s recreation and nightlife, with the construction of new parks, a streetcar system, bike trails, shops, restaurants, breweries and bars. The construction of Oklahoma Contemporary’s new building in the urban core, originally scheduled to open in March 2020 prior to the outbreak of COVID-19, represents a significant commitment on the part of the city and its inhabitants to a new era in contemporary culture.