Museum Hue

Head of Major Gifts - The Rubin Museum of Art

Head of Major Gifts - The Rubin Museum of Art

About the Museum

The Rubin Museum of Art is a dynamic environment that stimulates learning, promotes understanding, and inspires personal connections to the ideas, cultures, and art of the Himalayas.

Now in its second decade, the Rubin has welcomed over 190,000 visitors in 2016 and has a growing membership of more than 4,000 households. Contained within five floors of galleries are several long-term rotating installations drawn from the permanent collection as well as frequent short-term exhibitions that are more broadly conceived. The Museum presents films, performances, and on-stage conversations as well as a robust roster of other educational initiatives. The ground floor is free-to-all and is a lively nexus for conversation, shopping, and refreshment.

The Museum’s collection includes over 3,500 objects spanning more than 1,500 years up to the present day. Renowned for its quality and depth, the collection focuses on art from the Tibetan Plateau and is broadened by a significant number of important examples from surrounding regions.

About the Position

The Head of Major Gifts will lead the museum’s efforts to deepen, broaden, and increase support from major donors. The incumbent will lead the strategic vision for major gifts and expand the portfolio of major donors who support the Rubin Museum’s exciting exhibitions and programs, and other priorities, increasing philanthropic support from $1-2 million over the coming years. The Head of Major Gifts will personally visit with donors and lead a team that identifies, cultivates, solicits, and stewards a portfolio of prospective and current major donors. The team also crafts and executes a robust schedule of events that both raise philanthropic support and engage donors and prospective donors.

The Head of Major Gifts will supervise a 2-person team comprising of a Major Gifts Manager and a Fundraising Events & Special Initiatives Manager. She/he will interface with all levels of the organization, including with members of the Board of Trustees; Executive Director; Executive team; and across departments.

The Head of Major Gifts will be part of a 17-member team that includes Major Gifts & Fundraising Events; Membership & Development Operations; and Marketing & Communications departments.

The incumbent will report to the Director, External Affairs.


  • Crafts a vision and plan to build a pipeline of major donors and major donor families and building an increasingly generous stream of philanthropic support from major donors.

  • Leads major gifts prospecting, using research to source promising individuals and families, and also collaborating with Trustees, existing donors, and others who might introduce promising newcomers not already part of the Rubin Museum.

  • Meets regularly with donors and prospects to engage, cultivate, solicit, and steward their relationships, and facilitating meetings with other members of the Rubin staff and board. Preparing briefings for Board members and other colleagues will be an important part of this work.

  • Creates engagement strategies, gift ideas, messaging and a case for support – from challenges to matches to auctions to naming opportunities.

  • Collaborates with the Directors of Exhibitions and Programs and Engagement to prioritize and package ideas to inspire support and help colleagues realize their visions.

  • Tracks, analyzes and prepares reports on progress of major gifts for internal cohesion and for engaging the Board.

  • Builds goals and measurable outcomes that speak to both financial and non-financial results.  Creates a moves management approach that ensures a sustainable and strategic approach to top donors and prospects.

  • Supervises and manages both the Major Gifts Manager and Fundraising Events Manager and building an effective team through collaboration; guidance; and coaching.

  • Serves as an ambassador at events that present opportunities for donor cultivation.

  • Builds a pipeline of candidates for the Board of Trustees.

  • Works with Trustees to engage their most promising relationships and to help them work with donors, give their own gifts, and serve as role models to other philanthropists.

  • Advances an already strong fundraising event strategy to engage donors, prospects and other influential individuals of import to the Museum.

  • Builds and manages departmental budget, including revenue and expenditures.

  • Initiates and implements new ideas such as trips and other techniques specifically to engage promising individuals.

  • In collaboration with key members of the External Affairs team, develops short- and longer-term strategies to increase philanthropy, audience, and profile.

  • Uses database to maximum effect.

  • Contributes to an internal culture of philanthropy.


    • Bachelor’s degree required; Masters preferred.

    • 6-10 years of experience in a non-profit setting, with solicitation of major donors and managing teams and budgets.

    • Must have excellent written, verbal, and interpersonal skills.

    • Demonstrated supervisory and budgetary skills.

  • Must have superb time management skills; be detail-oriented; highly organized and be able to handle multiple tasks, adhere to deadlines and work independently and as part of a team.  A motivated self-starter who is flexible, courteous and tactful in dealing with staff and others.

    • Creative, resourceful, entrepreneurial mindset, with roll up your sleeves mentality.

  • Ability to act with diplomacy and discretion at all organizational levels and across departments, including maintaining confidentiality.  

  • Passion for the Rubin Museum, Himalayan art, New York City cultural organizations, Buddhism or Asian philosophies and worldviews.

  • Proficiency in Microsoft, Excel/Word/PowerPoint; Raisers Edge or other donor databases; Google Drive experience a plus.

The Rubin Museum offers a competitive salary and benefits package.

Please provide the following as part of your application:

• Complete resume.

• A cover letter addressing both your interest in the Rubin Museum, and your

  qualifications for this position.


  • Please indicate Head of Major Gifts on Subject Line of email or in body of cover letter.

  • Applications in electronic format preferred, and accepted at

  • Mailed applications – Manager, Human Resources, Rubin Museum of Art, 150 West 17th Street, New York, NY 10011.