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Discovery Officer

  • Full Time
  • Washington, DC
  • $78,592 - $89,069/Annually USD / Year
  • Salary: $78,592 - $89,069/Annually

Website Smithsonian Institution

Come join a team of dedicated staff at an exceptional time in the Smithsonian’s history as we prepare for the Smithsonian Campaign for Our Shared Future. This ambitious fundraising campaign’s public phase will run from 2024 to 2026, culminating with the nation’s 250th anniversary. It will expand the Smithsonian’s reach and impact, empowering the Institution to find solutions to today’s most pressing challenges. The Smithsonian is also planning two exciting new museums. The National Museum of the American Latino and the Smithsonian American Women’s History Museum share the experiences and perspectives of Latinos and women across history and deepen our shared understanding of what it means to be an American. The Smithsonian has built a model fundraising organization, driven by talented staff across our many museums, research centers and cultural centers. This position offers an exciting opportunity for the successful candidate to make a significant impact on the future of the Smithsonian. There is no better time to join this amazing Institution.

The Office of Advancement oversees and guides the fundraising efforts of the entire Smithsonian and is home to the central development organization for the Institution. In addition to raising significant support for a variety of Smithsonian initiatives, the Office of Advancement provides support services to advancement offices across the Institution. The office engages with staff throughout the Smithsonian in accomplishing their goals.

Key Responsibilities

The Smithsonian’s Office of Advancement seeks a creative and energetic Discovery Officer (DO) as a member of its Major Gifts and Discovery team. This position offers an exciting opportunity for the successful candidate to make a significant impact on expanding the scope and scale of the Smithsonian’s vision through philanthropic efforts. The DO will play a critical role in identifying and engaging constituents with both larger gift potential and an interest in the Smithsonian. This is a fantastic role for anyone interested in pursuing a career as a Gift Officer.

Skills, Knowledge, and Expertise

Successful candidates will demonstrate passion for the Smithsonian and an ability to cultivate new relationships for the Institution with people across the country. Strong organizational, relationship, collaboration, and communication skills as well as the ability to work effectively within a data-driven team are essential. The DO will execute discovery outreach under the direction of the Manager of Operations and Data Strategy. Through personalized communication efforts the DO will identify constituents with larger Smithsonian gift potential, determine the constituents’ interest areas, and work with Advancement colleagues from across the Institution to develop short- and long-term engagement strategies to inspire the constituents’ enhanced philanthropic investment.

A minimum of three years’ experience within an advancement team, a passion for learning and exploration, and the desire to join a dynamic and growing data-driven operation should be demonstrated in your application. Experience in complex higher education or a large cultural or environmental organization is preferred. Travel is required and work during the evenings and weekends may be necessary.

Applicants, who wish to qualify based on education completed outside the United States, must be deemed equivalent to higher education programs of U.S. Institutions by an organization that specializes in the interpretation of foreign educational credentials. This documentation is the responsibility of the applicant and should be included as part of your application package.

Any false statement in your application may result in your application being rejected and may also result in termination after employment begins.

Benefits and Application Instructions

The Smithsonian Institution values and seeks a diverse workforce. Join us in “Inspiring Generations through Knowledge and Discovery.” Interested candidates should submit their resumes and a cover letter to this link by November 24, 2023. Resumes should include a description of your paid and non-paid work experience that is related to this job; starting and ending dates of job (month and year); and average number of hours worked per week. Relocation expenses are not paid.

What To Expect Next: Once the vacancy announcement closes, a review of your resume will be compared against the qualification and experience requirements related to this job. After review of applicant resumes is complete, qualified candidates will be referred to the hiring manager.

Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

The Smithsonian Institution provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities where appropriate. Applicants requiring reasonable accommodation should contact  Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.  To learn more, please review the Smithsonian’s Accommodation Procedures.

The Smithsonian Institution is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We believe that a workforce comprising a variety of educational, cultural, and experiential backgrounds support and enhance our daily work life and contribute to the richness of our exhibitions and programs. See Smithsonian EEO program information:

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