Director of Development Operations: Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts


Founded in 1805, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) is America’s first school and museum of fine arts.  Located in center city Philadelphia, PAFA is intimate in scale with a strong sense of community.  PAFA’s undergraduate degree offerings include a BFA in Studio Art and a coordinated BFA with the University of Pennsylvania. Graduate programs include an MFA and Low-Residency MFA degree, and a Post-Baccalaureate certificate. PAFA’s museum has an outstanding collection of American art, and the museum actively collects and exhibits contemporary art, including work in new media.  Additionally, PAFA is home to the Brodsky Center, a print and papermaking center focused on the creation of innovative editions by contemporary artists.


Because we were the nation’s first art museum and art school, we believe PAFA has a moral obligation to ensure that every member of our community can study and work in an environment where they feel a sense of belonging.  We have the additional obligation of ensuring that our community reflects that rich tapestry of beauty and diversity that surrounds our world.  We are committed to modeling diversity and inclusion for the entire arts, cultural and educational sector, and to maintaining an inclusive environment with equitable treatment for all.  PAFA is committed to maintaining an inclusive learning environment, and a diverse community of students, faculty and staff.

PAFA is an equal opportunity employer. Women and diverse candidates are strongly encouraged to apply to work in our pluralistic community.

POSITION: Director of Development Operations

Reporting to the Chief Development Officer and Senior Vice President of Development and working closely with the President & CEO, the Director of Development Operations will support the strategic direction of PAFA’s development efforts and manage department operations. Managing a team of three to five, primary responsibilities will include achieving financial goals set with the CDO, strategic and coordinated pipeline growth for all giving areas with a focus on major/principal gifts and campaigns, directing fundraising and stewardship events, and oversight of donor database and development communications.

Department Operations and Information Management

  • Develops and implements a comprehensive strategy for pipeline growth, wealth screening and the identification and research of donor prospects.
  • Working with the CDO, develop protocol and reporting to monitor departmental activity and track progress towards goals.
  • Act as the architect of donor database to streamline processes and reporting, working in close concert with Database Manager and Director of IT as needed or outside vendors. Train staff accordingly.
  • Serves as central pipeline manager and clearinghouse for development-related actions and tracking across the institution.
  • Manages timeline/calendar, list development, and logistics for fundraising and cultivation events.
  • Works with the Database Administrator to maximize coordination between Raiser’s Edge and other systems, including SIS, data capture methods, and e-communications software to advance fundraising outcomes and tracking/analysis of constituent participation.
  • Directs and monitors database management, maintenance and data health for efficiency and accuracy of donation processing and constituent data management.
  • Develops protocols and supervises the processing and acknowledgment of gifts, pledges, pledge payments, and other contributions
  • With Database Administrator and Prospect Research Analyst, creates and updates constituent management policies and procedures to ensure consistency across the institution and promote best practices.

Revenue Goals

  • Develops and achieves budget projections for fundraising events. Develops related expense budgets as well as general development expense budget.
  • Develops and implements ticket sales strategies and oversees expense budgets to meet goals for fundraising events including the Annual Student Exhibition and Bacchanal.
  • Conducts and directs analysis on the effectiveness of solicitation, cultivation and stewardship strategies, including comparative data reporting.
  • Ensure that reporting is in place to track progress towards goals and departmental activity, and database usage supports this and best practices.

Cultivation and Stewardship

  • With Director of Development Events, plans calendar of stewardship events, directs research on event attendees and maximizes opportunities for donor cultivation during events (assignments, seating, introductions, etc.).
  • In collaboration with the VP of Major Gifts, ensures that cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship activities are recorded consistently and accurately for efficient portfolio management, coordination and reporting across the school and museum.
  • Leads prospect review meetings and contributes to prospect strategy development and stewardship planning. Prepares briefing materials and follow up reports for executive staff, curators, trustees, and other fundraisers as needed.
  • Ensures accuracy of donor recognition credits, including exhibition signage, website, printed materials with Donor Relations Coordinator.

Donor Communications

  • Working with the Senior Vice President of Enrollment and Strategic Communication, directs the creation and execution of donor publications and communications including the annual report, e-newsletters, donor stories and website.
  • Oversees list generation for all mailings and development events.
  • Manages personalized communications including visit letters and stewardship reports from the President and CEO and CDO.
  • Create gift agreements, and ensure agreements meet Gift Acceptance Policy standards and institutional priorities.
  • Serves as development department communications liaison between marketing, the college and museum.


  • Bachelor’s degree and 7-10 years of development experience.
  • Prior management experience with multiple direct reports.
  • Excellent written and verbal communications skills.
  • In-depth knowledge of development tracking systems, specifically Raiser’s Edge, as well as research analytics and screening tools.
  • Excellent interpersonal relationship and management skills.
  • Ability to represent PAFA well in a variety of settings.
  • Willing to perform other duties as assigned.
Education Level:
Bachelor’s Degree required, Master’s Degree preferred
To Apply


The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts accepts digital applications only. Please use the “Apply Now” link to apply for the position. A complete application should include the following:

  • Resume
  • Cover Letter


When submitting your application online, please save your documents as Microsoft Word (.doc, .docx) or PDF (.pdf) files. To help us process your applications as efficiently as possible, please save your files with the following filename format:

  • LastName_FirstName_Resume
  • LastName_FirstName_CoverLetter

*Due to the amount of potential applicants, we do not respond to voice calls or messages about the status of your application. Based on the criteria for the position, the most qualified candidates will be contacted directly. Thank you for your interest in PAFA.