SMU DataArts - Cultural Data Profile


Director of Development and Partnerships

Job Summary:

Southern Methodist University seeks a Director of Development and Partnerships that will serve as the primary development officer and revenue-generating strategist for SMU DataArts, The National Center for Arts Research (“Center”).

This individual works very closely with the Director of SMU DataArts to develop a revenue-generating plan in support of Center priorities and securing contributed and earned revenue through fundraising and strategic partnerships.

The position will oversee the SMU DataArts Revenue Development (business development, philanthropic fundraising, and partner stewardship) team. She or he will work with the team and SMU’s Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations (CFR) to assure positive workflow of projects between SMU DataArts and the departments of Development and External Affairs (DEA) and Sponsored Research (SR).


Salary Range: 

Salary commensurate with experience and qualifications.


Essential Functions:

  • Leadership: Provide support and direction to philanthropic, business development and partner stewardship staff responsible for contributed and earned revenue generation.
  • Development of Philanthropic and Earned Income: Represent the organization to a range of funders and public audiences. Manage the creation and implementation of fundraising and business development proposals, including identifying, cultivating, soliciting (in-person contact, grant writing, and/or contract negotiation) and stewarding foundation, government, and corporate and individual donors, clients, and prospects. Work with DEA and SR to establish and oversee processes for consistent customer relationship management and data-driven business development and institutional fundraising. Expand the SMU DataArts national participation and funding footprint by working with the Director of Development for the Meadows School of the Arts establishing and advancing new relationships with prospective individual donors and grantmakers.
  • Planning and Strategy: Partner with the Director of SMU DataArts to establish development priorities and a revenue-generating strategy for the Center. Implement the strategy and manage the budget that supports it. Plan and execute short and long-term fundraising and business development strategies, projections, and performance targets to meet goals for annual operating income, special initiatives, and reserve funds, renewing and increasing levels of support and diversifying sources and types of revenue. Actively engage and support the Director, Deputy Director, Advisory Board, and staff of SMU DataArts in the resource development process, contributing to the development of a compelling case for support and strategies for effective solicitations.
  • Operations/Communications: Work closely with the Director of CFR, Office of Sponsored Research, Office of Donor Relations and Meadows School Director of Business and Finance, oversee stewardship, grant compliance, management, and reporting. Work closely with DEA and MSA Communications and Strategic Initiatives to plan and shape communications to reach key targets and expand the donor/client base. Ensure the confidentiality of privileged information in the solicitation process.
  • Frequent travel expected. Monthly trips to the Philadelphia office of SMU DataArts and travel to other locations as dictated by donor need. 


Education and Experience: 

Bachelor’s degree and seven years of progressive experience in nonprofit organizations or for-profits focusing on nonprofit services and sales are required. Experience supervising a professional staff is also required.

Experience with budget and project management is required. Proven direct and successful fundraising results; business development; and/or partnership building, with demonstrated success in crafting strategy, cultivating and soliciting prospects, closing asks and stewarding donors is also required. Corporate and Foundation experience is essential. 

Experience in national art and cultural, philanthropic, higher education, research, technology, policy-oriented organization or association of a similar or larger scale is preferred. 

Broad knowledge of resource development, nonprofit management, or grantmaking, including all aspects of institutional fundraising and grants management, is desirable. 

Familiarity with national arts and culture community is plus.


Knowledge and Skills:

Candidate must have experience successfully developing, articulating and executing long- and short-term funding and project strategies. Must also be a motivated, self-starter who takes initiative, anticipates challenges, and follows through. 

Candidate must be a consensus builder with success working in complex organizations; a proven administrator who is highly organized, detail-oriented, and produces high-quality work. Strong project management skills are essential. 

Candidate must demonstrate strong verbal and interpersonal communication skills with the ability to forge strong working relationships and manage the interests of multiple stakeholders. Must also demonstrate the ability to communicate effectively in writing. A strong customer service orientation is essential. 

Candidate must demonstrate strong problem-solving skills with the ability to identify, analyze problems and devise solutions. Strong analytical skills and the ability to think collaboratively, strategically and creatively is essential. 

Candidate must possess strong leadership skills with the ability to provide focus and motivation to professional staff in a goal-driven, fast-paced and changing environment. A strong commitment to the support of advancement is essential.

Candidate must have a strong knowledge of Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook). Experience with BBEC CRM and/or SalesForce preferred.

For full consideration, the candidate must include a cover letter detailing fundraising successes. 


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