Senior Director of Philanthropy

Jan 24 2024
Bishop Museum |Honolulu|Full Time
Job Description

The Senior Director of Philanthropy will develop programs and strategies to identify, cultivate, solicit, and steward prospective major and principal gift donors to Bishop Museum for significant gifts to fund a broad range of institutional priorities, including its collections, educational programs, and research throughout Hawai‘i and the Pacific.


The successful candidate will demonstrate proven success in major and principal gifts fundraising, superior organizational and communication skills, and the initiative and ability to work collaboratively with senior management and staff across the organization. The successful candidate must be a critical thinker, conversant with current technologies, comfortable with public presentations, and able to serve as a spokesperson and champion for the Museum's mission and priorities.


A minimum of seven years of progressive fundraising experience, proven success in cultivating donors and securing large gifts, prospect management experience, a passion for learning and exploration, and the desire to join a dynamic and growing organization must be demonstrated. Experience in an educational or a large cultural or environmental organization is preferred. Knowledge of and passion for indigenous culture and the sciences is a plus.


and responsibilities
  • Identifies, cultivates, solicits, and stewards major and principal gift donors and prospects; recommends and implements cultivation and solicitation strategies of individual donors and members currently engaged with the museum and identifies, engages and cultivates new donor prospects.
  • Oversees maintenance of records, reports, documents, and contact details through a CRM platform, planning activities involving prospects and administration.
  • Manage a portfolio of fundraising prospects and relationships through face-to-face visits to bring major and principal gift solicitations to closure.
  • Develop and implement a comprehensive communications plan to inform constituents and identified markets about the mission, vision, and values.
  • Support and collaborate with all departments on programmatic planning and effective communication.
  • Ensure established goals and objectives are achieved, including budget and strategic planning, fundraising, and stewardship.
  • Works with senior management to support the coordination of cultivating and soliciting major and principal gift donors.
  • Develops and maintains a prospect management tracking system and communication strategy that supports proactive major and principal gift fundraising.
  • Works collaboratively with the VP of Advancement on developing strategies for successful major and principal gift fundraising and achievement of departmental goals.
  • Assists senior and unit management in the recognition and prioritization of institutional and departmental funding needs. Keep abreast of institutional and departmental priorities, public programs, events, and key initiatives.
  • Maintains working knowledge of current tax laws, investments, and planned giving opportunities; applies knowledge for prospect cultivation as appropriate.
  • Helps to maintain a sophisticated planned giving program for the Museum; cultivates prospects through targeted marketing efforts and educates prospective donors on planned giving vehicles.
  • Collaborates with others on the Advancement team on donor cultivation, stewardship, and recognition events/ activities.
  • Ability to meet and exceed set goals as agreed upon annually.
  • Performs other duties as required.


  • Bachelor's Degree required. Master's Degree desirable.
  • At least 7 years of progressively responsible experience in the development activities of a nonprofit organization with a proven track record in major and principal gift fundraising
  • Planned giving experience desirable
  • Strong writing skills required, including the ability to write standard development communication pieces including direct solicitation proposals, acknowledgments, letters of inquiry, and general correspondence
  • Working knowledge of MS Office Suite and customer relationship management system software is required
  • Organized and detail-oriented, with ability to meet tight deadlines and to work on multiple projects simultaneously
  • Energetic and enthusiastic team player with the ability to work independently to accomplish tasks/goals of the department
  • Flexibility to work some weekday evenings and weekends as needed
  • Excellent interpersonal skills; positive attitude; ability to interact and develop rapport with people with varied backgrounds/interests
  • Ability to maintain composure under time constraints; ability to maintain a professional demeanor when dealing with others.


Other Requirements

  • Valid driver's license and car with proof of insurance required
  • Professional business-like appearance
  • Good Attendance


Direct reports:

Director of Donor Relations, Donor Database Manager

Working Conditions:

Normal office environment with some flexibility for remote work