Director of Advancement - Kalamazoo Institute of Arts

Posted on 1/19/24      

Reporting To: Executive Director

Direct Reports: Marketing Officer, Advancement Officer, Advancement Liaison, and Membership Associate; indirectly supervises volunteers in accordance with the organization policies and applicable laws.

Location: Kalamazoo, Michigan

Company Description

Kalamazoo Institute of Arts

Founded in 1924, with a vision “that the visual arts are for everyone,” the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts (“KIA”) continues to serve its community as a valued cultural resource and has earned international praise for the quality of its collection and presentation of diverse and important artworks. Occupying 72,000 square feet within its Mies van der Rohe-inspired building, the KIA encompasses a two-story lobby gallery, auditorium, classrooms and galleries, a gallery shop featuring artwork by area artists and international artisans, library, offices, and an interactive gallery for children. The KIA holds nearly 5,000 fine artworks in its permanent collection, with an emphasis on 20th-century American art and a significant number of 18th- and 19th-century American works, European works on paper, as well as African, Chinese, Japanese, pre-Columbian, and Oceanic works. Through its 10 galleries, the KIA presents a robust schedule of exhibitions organized by partner institutions from across the nation, original exhibitions exploring the depths of its permanent collection and the diversity of cultures represented in the U.S., as well as juried exhibitions of regional artists of all ages.

Since 1931, the KIA has also been home to the Kirk Newman Art School, a beloved community-based, non-degree center of visual arts instruction. The Art School reaches 3,000 students of all ages and backgrounds annually through a wide range of classes and camps, including photography, digital media, design, sculpture, ceramics, jewelry, painting and drawing, printmaking, fiber, glass fusing, foreign language, creative writing, and wellness. Since 2015, the Art School has offered a nine-month post-baccalaureate residency for aspiring artists who want to grow and strengthen their art practice in a supportive community with access to professional studio facilities and guidance. In 2022, the Art School began offering a “gap year” for recent high school graduates. Qualified students can earn a certificate in Global Creative Studies and earn credits toward a degree at Kalamazoo Valley Community College through this unique nine-month curriculum.

Today, the KIA has grown to a $4.2 million operating budget with a strong endowment. Highly regarded in the region for its exceptional collection, the KIA reinstalled its American art galleries in 2020, presenting 50% women artists and 40% artists of color in the installation entitled Unveiling American Genius. The KIA’s Joy Light East Asian gallery is the only exhibition space in Southwest Michigan committed to the ongoing presentation of traditional and contemporary arts of China, Japan, and Korea. The KIA’s 10,000-volume art library is also an integral part of the Institute’s programs because it is a lending library for students and the community and hosts a series of book discussions annually. Sightlines, the official art magazine of the art museum at KIA is produced quarterly and available online.

The KIA will celebrate its centennial in 2024 with a series of events throughout the year. The KIA is also preparing to embark on a consecutive pair of capital development projects that will transform the institution, creating new opportunities for mission fulfillment and improving the overall experience of guests, staff, and students. The first, an approximately $5 million project to be completed by July 2024, will expand and repurpose a section of the ground floor of the current building and add tasteful landscape architecture to the outside. The second, likely a $40-60 million project, will acquire property adjacent to the current building, construct a brand-new building, and add to the KIA endowment.

About the City

Kalamazoo is conveniently located in West Michigan, approximately a two-hour drive to Detroit or Chicago either direction. The community boasts three colleges and universities – Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo College, and Kalamazoo Valley Community College – and a prodigious healthcare sector. The low cost of living attracts people from around the country, and residents can enjoy all four seasons of the year. The Kalamazoo Promise offers graduates from the Kalamazoo Public Schools who meet the basic requirements up to 100% of tuition and mandatory fees for any in-state public community college or university. For the second consecutive year in 2023, SMU DataArts ranked Kalamazoo as a Top 40 Arts-Vibrant Community.

Scope and Responsibilities

As the most senior advancement officer, and in conjunction with the Executive Director, the Director of Advancement is responsible for creating, planning, organizing, implementing and advancing all strategic fund development programs and strategies to further the mission and goals of the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts (KIA), including but not limited to, annual memberships, donor engagement, planned giving, annual fund, corporate sponsorships of programs and exhibitions, fund development events, public relations outreach, endowment, and capital campaigns while promoting the museum’s visibility, as well as providing centralized gift processing and donor relations services that are in constant alignment with broader organizational objectives. The Director of Advancement will design and implement both short- and long-term engagement strategies to maximize relationships with existing and new donors with the capacity to make major gifts.

As the Centennial Project Manager, and in conjunction with the Executive Director, the Director of Advancement will oversee and provide operations/project management, implementation, and fund development support for the centennial as appropriate with solicitations.

The Director of Advancement is a key member of the Senior Leadership Team and has substantial contact with the Board of Trustees and various subcommittees.

Specific Responsibilities

  • In conjunction with Executive Director and Board of Trustees, assists in the development, implementation and continual modification of a strategic fund development plan to support the annual operating budget that includes a vigorous recruitment for museum memberships at various levels and several special events that generate revenue and visibility.
  • In conjunction with Executive Director and Advancement team, develops and evaluates short- and long-range fund development goals and priorities that support and align with broader short- and long-range objectives.
  • Along with Executive Director, assists in the development and implementation of fund development strategies, including raising sufficient annual operating funds and working with the staff to develop and implement capital and endowment campaigns.
  • On-going will evaluate KIA’s progress towards achieving those goals, ensuring proper reporting of the results to the Executive Director and the Board of Trustees.
  • Directs and oversees all fund development activities including annual memberships, planned giving, annual fund, major gifts, donor recognition and sponsorship of programs and exhibitions, and special fundraising or fund development events.
  • Works with the team to identify, cultivate, solicit, secure and steward gifts, ensuring that a donor-centered strategy is designed for each team member.
  • Serves as principal advancement liaison to the Advancement Committee and other Board Committees as assigned.
  • Assists in the development of a fund development plan that includes objectives for endowment funding, centennial campaign, capital acquisition and program support.
  • Oversees all annual gifts and pledge acknowledgement processing and reporting, and the distribution of donor benefits.
  • Plans and attends donor events.
  • Develops and manages donor recognition program.
  • Works with Executive Director and Development team on preparing and administering annual department budgets and income assumptions facility rentals and signature events such as ArtsFair and other special events; accountability for budget maintenance and reporting.
  • Assists and coordinates with the Marketing department staff to fulfill sponsorship and donor benefits, and to recognize their support.
  • Collaborates with all areas and departments of KIA and Kirk Newman Art School to promote and support as needed with annual fund development goals.
  • Provides diversified and increased sources of revenue and indirect support for permanent collection and its care and special exhibition programs.
  • Identifies potential contributors to strategic project funds and annual ongoing operations through examination of past records, individual and corporate contracts and knowledge of community.
  • Oversees maintenance of donor database as well as donor and prospect hard files.
  • Oversees the utilization and monthly reconciliation of Altru, with the data recorded by the Finance Department, to manage pipelines, delegate responsibilities, measure goals, and automate donor communications.
  • Establishes advancement policies, systems and procedures.
  • Ensures the fulfillment of the mission, strategic plan, adherence to established policies and the maintenance of the museum’s integrity and public trust.
  • Participates actively in professional and community related associations.

Key Selection Criteria

  • Bachelor’s degree; Master’s degree and/or CFRE preferred or the equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Minimum of 10 years related experience in all areas of fund development to include campaigns, major gifts, corporate sponsorships, memberships, planned gifts, etc.
  • Demonstrated senior level experience in a small to medium size organization, preferably in a non-profit and/or arts related organization.
  • Proven success in building and leading nonprofit advancement operations, including securing multi-year and annual six figure gifts.
  • Demonstrated success identifying and cultivating new prospects, managing and personally soliciting major gifts, and leading the team in efforts to significantly increase the numbers and size in all areas across the department.
  • A generalist, experienced in all facets of fund development, including corporations, foundations and government entities, campaigns, planned giving, individual and institutional fund development, grants, events, and memberships; success building, leading, and mentoring fund development teams.
  • Experienced manager of a team with proven success in training, leading, coaching, developing, and managing the performance of direct reports.
  • Clear communicator of goals and priorities inwardly and outwardly, engaging staff in the execution of responsibilities, and creating open channels of communication and feedback while ensuring team members are accountable for achieving outcomes.
  • Demonstrated track record of communicating organizational decisions, policies, and processes in perspective, keeping the organization’s best interest at the heart of all communications, decisions, and actions.
  • Experience using Altru or a comparable fund development software package desirable.

Personal / Professional Attributes

  • Demonstrated experience in fiscal management, budget oversight and financial analysis.
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate and work effectively with wide range of target audiences including board members, donors, current and prospective members and volunteers to strategize for the future, tap into new opportunities and employ new approaches all while assuring day-to-day operations are effective.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills – must possess an attitude and personality that exudes a charismatic and engaging image to the public.
  • A track record of building effective and positive relationships with others, internally and externally and at all levels, incorporating relationship building as fundamental to success. Demonstrated ability to explain complex concepts in a way that prospective donors can understand.
  • Excellent project/time management skills - able to plan and organize multiple projects simultaneously.
  • Must be results-oriented and have a strong internal drive to take initiative and achieve fund development and membership goals, as well as a team player.

Compensation and Benefits

  • $120k to $150k based on experience. KIA offers a competitive salary and benefits package that includes medical, dental, life, retirement savings, and more.

Contact Information

Please direct all applications, nominations, and inquiries to DHR Global/Jobplex via Applications should include a comprehensive resume and any key credentials and accomplishments.

Renato T. Amador


Washington, DC

T: +1 202 683 7230

M: +1 773 316 8701


Mariana Ochoa


Charlotte, NC

T: +1 312 631 2292


Philip DeBoer


Miami, FL

T: +1 786 558 2636


Thank you to our Partners!

Michigan Museums Association       313-334-7643       PO Box 5246, Cheboygan, MI 49721

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