Senior Director for Development, FSU/Ringling Center for the Arts
Florida State University Foundation - Tallahassee, FL

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Florida State University Foundation

Senior Director for Development, FSU/Ringling Center for the Arts
FSU/Ringling Center for the Arts Regional Office

The Sr. Director for Development will oversee the fund raising operations for the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art and participate in development activities for the FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training located nearby in the FSU Performing Arts Center. The Sr. Director will strategically execute a personal and corporate solicitation program resulting in philanthropic support by maximizing the identification, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship of prospects for gifts at the $100,000 and up level. This individual will secure, on an annual basis, private support at the annual, major and principal gift levels and will be responsible for identification of potential individual, foundation and corporate prospects while supervising a team of development professionals. The incumbent will be expected to uphold and exemplify the operating practices and mission of the Foundation and Museum.

Based in Sarasota, Florida, the Ringling Center for the Arts includes the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, one of the largest university/museum complexes in the U.S. Designated as the State Art Museum of Florida, the Museum holds a world-class collection of Renaissance and Baroque paintings, a dynamic contemporary art program, and a new Center for Asian Art. Also on its 66 acre campus are the Ringling Circus Museum, the Ringling’s Venetian inspired-residence, Ca’d’Zan, the Historic Asolo Theatre and the FSU Performing Arts Center. The Museum and the Ringling Center for the Arts are under the oversight of Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida and the Sr. Director of Development is an employee of the FSU Foundation.

The Sarasota Community is a vibrant arts-oriented community on Florida’s Gulf Coast. Both full-time and seasonal residents participate in and support a wide variety of programs. The Ringling Museum staff enjoys collegial relationships with both a major regional theatre and professional ballet company that share space in the FSU Performing Arts Center. There are also two state university campuses and the unaffiliated Ringling College for Art and Design located within one mile of the Ringling Museum Complex. The Community has demonstrated its interest and commitment to providing philanthropic support for its community organizations. The Senior Director for Development, FSU/Ringling Center for the Arts will be expected to uphold and exemplify the operating practices and mission of the Foundation.

Principal Responsibilities

  • Works with the Executive Director of the John and Mable Museum of Art, the Assistant Dean of Fine Arts Development for the FSU Foundation, the Dean of the College of Visual Arts, Theater and Dance, and the FSU Ringling Center for the Arts Development team to develop and execute strategic fundraising initiatives on behalf of the Museum, the College, the University and the Foundation
  • Establishes new relationships resulting in philanthropic revenue, maintains existing relationships in order to generate new philanthropic revenue, and provides prospect/donor-related assessments for the Museum, College and the FSU Foundation
  • Develops and coordinates an annual major gift plan of the Ringling Center, implementing fund-raising activities designed to meet an established goal of $1,000,000 or more
  • Identifies, qualifies and sustains a donor prospect pipeline with a giving capacity of $100,000 or more, at a ratio of three times the established dollar goal
  • Supervises Development Team that includes Associate Director for Development (Planned Giving), Senior Development Officer (Circle membership and sponsorship) and Donor Services Coordinator. Also supervises activities of Ringling Museum Membership Team and the Museum’s Grants Writer in coordination with Museum leadership.
  • Works closely with the Development team to solicit Members and/or Annual Fund Contributors while establishing a cultivation strategy for increased giving.
  • Serves as a member of the Museum’s senior management team and helps to shape the strategic direction of the Museum.
  • Secures gifts and pledges from members and friends of the Ringling Museum.
  • Coordinates with Foundation central development staff and other cross-functional team members to identify prospects and develop team solicitation plans for planned giving, corporate and foundation relations and principal gifts.
  • Exhibits and promotes a comprehensive understanding of the philanthropic priorities of the Museum and the Ringling Center, effectively matching the specific interests of prospects to those specific needs.
  • Assists in the facilitation of meetings, communications, informational exchanges and project / philanthropic coordination with senior staff of the Museum, the Conservatory Director, the faculty and faculty chairs.
  • Plans for and initiates direct activities with prospects that are designed to enhance the affiliation between the prospect and the Museum and University.
  • Negotiates gift agreements, prepares and presents proposals.
  • Prepares correspondence with prospects and documents communications, solicitation activity and gift information in compliance with Foundation reporting guidelines.
  • Creates, inspires and maintains donor loyalty, interest and enthusiasm through stewardship communication and activities designed to express recognition, appreciation and the impact of their gift(s). Implementation of such a stewardship plan may include but should not be limited to letters, communication of unit or university initiatives, invitations to appropriate activities, meetings, events, student engagement or the facilitation of campus visits
  • Assists in the management of all volunteer boards associated with the Ringling Center.
  • Protects confidential information.
Special Skills

  • A self-starter, comfortable working independently
  • Ability to work autonomously
  • Ability to maintain consistent and constructive communication with the Executive Director, and Foundation
  • Excellent communication skills to include effective and persuasive writing, public speaking and interpersonal skills
  • Facilitate strong communications with colleagues, donors, prospective donors, members and alumni, including letters, surveys and telephone solicitation programs
  • Team work approach and a can-do, assertive philosophy
  • Creative thinking and a recognition of the impact of meaningful stewardship
  • Professional demeanor
  • Ability to prioritize multiple responsibilities
  • Careful attention to detail
  • Ability to listen

  • Five to seven years of experience in gift development in a museum, not-for-profit, arts related or university setting.
  • Management experience in a related field with basic knowledge of personal solicitation methods will also be considered.
  • General knowledge of the Sarasota philanthropic community and have a passion for the arts.
  • Demonstrated, progressive experience in seeking financial support for multi-million dollar programs or initiatives required.
  • Knowledge of Microsoft Office and Blackbaud products, Internet navigation and research.
Educational Requirements
  • Baccalaureate degree required, advanced degree preferred.
  • Position requires individual to be conversant with a constituent base with similarly qualified educational backgrounds.
  • Ability to work flexible hours, including evenings and weekends. Some travel is required.
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