Job Board

Native Americans in Philanthropy is dedicated to increasing and nurturing Indigenous representation in the philanthropic sector. With that in mind, the opportunities on our Job Board fit one of the following criteria:    

  1. The position is within a philanthropic or nonprofit organization 
  2. The position itself is philanthropic in nature and/or focuses on roles essential to or valued by the philanthropic sector i.e. fundraising, grantmaking, gift processing or development, donor relations, nonprofit management and/or administration, social justice, equity, conservation, etc.  

Please submit your job opportunity here and note that assessment and approval of submissions can take up to 48 hours.

NOTE: Positions marked as "Featured" are either Native-focused roles or based at organizations focused on Native communities.

Director of Development

University of Minnesota Minnesota $100,000-$150,000
Fundraising/Development Full Time

Job Details

About the Job

Bell Museum  

Pay range: $130,000-$150,000 annually

This is a full time Academic Professional and Administrative (P&A) position. 

Benefit Summary for Prospective Employees 

Work Location: Bell Museum, University of Minnesota, St Paul Campus

Application Deadline: June 9, 2024

The Director of Development will lead the full range of fundraising efforts for the Bell Museum, Minnesota’s state natural history museum and planetarium and the gateway to the sciences at the University of Minnesota. This work is both strategic and hands-on. The Development Director will oversee the Museum’s significant and growing portfolio of philanthropy, including individual giving, annual fund, membership, and corporate/foundation giving in the forms of sponsorship and philanthropic grants, in partnership with the University of Minnesota Foundation (UMF) corporate and foundation relations team. They will also serve as an architect and principal leadership gift officer for Bell Museum fundraising efforts. They will lead a current team of four and directly supervise three full-time staff (Associate Development Officer, an Annual Giving Manager, and a Membership Manager). The Director of Development will serve as a member of the Bell Museum’s Executive Leadership Team. This dynamic role has a dual reporting structure to the Chief Development Officer of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS), the Bell’s home college, and the Executive Director of the Bell Museum.

 This individual is an entrepreneurial and seasoned fundraising professional with a passion for public education and cultural institutions. They embrace and represent the mission and vision of the Bell Museum, and inspire others with their enthusiasm, knowledge, and integrity.


We are looking for individuals to join our team who are inspired by our mission to ignite curiosity and wonder, explore our connections to nature and the universe, and create a better future for our evolving world. We believe that difference is a strength and are looking for candidates that reflect and respect diversity. We encourage you to apply for the position even if you do not believe you meet every qualification.



Front-line Fundraising and Strategy (70%)

●     Identifies and qualifies[1] a personal portfolio of 100 major gift prospects and donors with primary focus on qualifying prospects and closing major gifts of $50,000 to $1,000,000+

●     Performance expectations include: 15 solicitations per year at $50,000+ and total annual gift production of $2,000,000 to $4,000,000 and above

●     Leverages the resources of the University of Minnesota Foundation (UMF) with the public face and reach of the Bell Museum to expand the potential of museum fundraising and pipeline development

●     Serves as the primary architect and guide for Bell fundraising, including the development of case materials and collaboration with UMF on future campaign efforts

●     Leads with a strong commitment to a high-touch, donor-centered approach to fundraising that embraces collegiality and procedures of UMF

●     In coordination with the CFANS Chief Development Officer and Bell Executive Director, sets fundraising goals and objectives and develops and executes strategies for cultivating and soliciting major gifts, planned gifts, and corporate/foundation gifts

●     Identifies and expands opportunities for collaboration with the CFANS development team centered around donor stewardship

●     Manages a blended portfolio of prospects (individual, corporate and private foundation) with a focus on developing and implementing effective strategies to move donors through the pipeline (cultivation, solicitation, stewardship)

●     Participates in trips to key geographic areas as assigned to qualify and cultivate donors, and collaborate with regional development officers, other university development colleagues, and CFANS leadership as appropriate to maximize results, approximately 2-3 times per year

●     In collaboration with the CFANS stewardship coordinator, prepares and delivers progress reports for donors regarding the impact of their gifts/grants

●     Clears and coordinates prospective donors through appropriate UMF procedures to ensure effective solicitation of the donor that maximizes the gift to the University and the donor’s satisfaction with the institution

●     Updates regular reports on progress and results of the prospect solicitation process and portfolio in the donor management system (DMS). Completes and files thorough reports of all contacts in a timely manner. Review research reports and information from DMS on assigned donors and prospects

●     Ensures a cohesive and nuanced annual giving strategy

●     Ensures the Bell Museum membership program has a clear acquisition and retention strategy

●     Partners with the University of Minnesota Foundation’s staff and services, as necessary


Collaboration, Coaching and Supervision (30%)

●     Supervise, coach and evaluate development team members within the Bell Museum with a focus on professional development and team growth


●     Serve on the Bell Museum’s Executive Leadership Team, advising the Executive Director and playing a role in institutional decision-making, policy, budget, and strategy

●     Work collaboratively across museum departments – particularly Public Engagement and Science Learning, Statewide Engagement, and Research and Collections – to develop fundraising proposals and strategies that advance the museum’s programmatic and scientific initiatives

●     Serve as a liaison to the Bell Museum Community Advisory Board Nomination and Development Committee, leveraging networks, relationships, and corporate ties.

●     Support museum-wide initiatives related to diversity, equity, access and inclusion, ensuring these values are integrated into all aspects of the museum’s internal and external work.

●     Collaborate with the Bell Marketing team and external vendors on the development of materials and coordination of events that support fundraising objectives and donor recognition



Required Qualifications:

●     Bachelor’s degree and five years demonstrated ability to successfully solicit major gifts; or experience in marketing, sales, public relations, financial advisement or related field with emphasis on relationship cultivation and solicitation of individuals/businesses

●     Demonstrated track record of securing gifts of $100,000 and above

●     Supervisory experience with demonstrated ability to lead, motivate, and/or coach a team in a professional or volunteer setting

●     Demonstrated ability to promote and successfully solicit gifts, manage a prospect portfolio, design and implement cultivation and solicitation strategies, and ensure follow-up activities and stewardship

●     Proven ability to work effectively and tactfully with a diverse group of internal and external constituents

●     Ability to work independently and with excellent judgment and attention to detail

●     Master storyteller - excellent written and oral communication skills

●     Impeccable and detail-oriented organization, planning, and problem-solving skills

●     Thrives in a collaborative environment

●     Operates with integrity and discretion

●     Willingness to participate in occasional regional travel and attend approximately 1-2 evening and 1-2 weekend events per month

●     Access to reliable transportation and ability to travel for donor visits is required


 Preferred Qualifications:

●     Fundraising experience in cultural or nature/environment/science-based institutions

●     Capital campaign experience

●     Events development and management experience

●     Experience working with advisory or other board structures and members



About the Department


 The mission of the Museum is to ignite and sustain curiosity for nature and the Universe, to achieve our vision of a hopeful future where all are inspired by nature and empowered by science.

 The Bell Museum is Minnesota’s official natural history museum, established by the legislature in 1872 and held in trust by the University of Minnesota. For over 150 years, the museum has preserved and interpreted our state’s rich natural history and served learners of all ages. Our scientific collection 

contain over one million specimens, representing every county in Minnesota and various locales around the globe, and the Whitney and Elizabeth MacMillan Planetarium expands the mission to the universe and points beyond. We moved to a state-of-the-art public facility on the St. Paul campus in 2018, and expanded our role to become a gateway to science and research at the University of Minnesota. While natural history remains a bedrock for the Bell, opportunities in astronomy and space science, health and medicine, the environment, the arts, and other areas afford the Bell opportunities for new partnerships and the development of new experiences for public science engagement, taking place in the public facility and increasingly across the state. 

The Director of Development plays a leading role in creating broad-based support for the Museum’s mission and aligning donor interests with strategic objectives.  The Bell Museum development team embraces new ideas and perspectives as it raises philanthropic support for the Bell Museum’s key priority areas including: Research & Collections, Museum without Boundaries, Curiosity Catalyst, Minnesota’s Astronomy Classroom and Creative by Nature. This role also plays a critical role in the Bell Museum’s diversity, equity and inclusion efforts as we aim to remove barriers to engagement with the museum.

A successful candidate will be a committed collaborator and strategic partner who has the vision and drive to bring the Bell Museum’s initiatives to life while building a strong pipeline for a sustainable future.


Working at the University

At the University of Minnesota, you’ll find a flexible work environment and supportive colleagues who are interested in lifelong learning.  We prioritize work-life balance, allowing you to invest in the future of your career and in your life outside of work.

The University also offers a comprehensive benefits package that includes:

  • Competitive wages, paid holidays, and generous time off
  • Continuous learning opportunities through professional training and degree-seeking programs supported by the Regents Tuition Benefit Program
  • Low-cost medical, dental, and pharmacy plans
  • Healthcare and dependent care flexible spending accounts
  • University HSA contributions
  • Disability and employer-paid life insurance
  • Employee wellbeing program
  • Excellent retirement plans with employer contribution
  • Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) opportunity
  • Financial counseling services 
  • Employee Assistance Program with eight sessions of counseling at no cost

Please visit the Office of Human Resources website for more information regarding benefits.

How To Apply

Applications must be submitted online.  To be considered for this position, please click the Apply button and follow the instructions.  You will be given the opportunity to complete an online application for the position and attach a cover letter and resume.

In addition to the online application, we ask that you submit a CV and a cover letter.

Additional documents may be attached after application by accessing your "My Job Applications" page and uploading documents in the "My Cover Letters and Attachments" section.

To request an accommodation during the application process, please e-mail or call (612) 624-8647.

Questions about the position can be directed to Kate Sigurdson,


We believe it is essential to create an environment that welcomes and empowers people from historically underrepresented and marginalized communities to have equitable access to the museum’s resources as well as opportunities to transform our work.  We are committed to upholding the diversity, equity, and inclusion definitions and values set forth by the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences and the University of Minnesota.

These values will be integrated in all aspects of the museum, including:

  • Hiring, recruitment, retention, and advancement of staff and volunteers
  • Selection and evaluation of program and exhibition content
  • Providing meaningful opportunities to participate in planning and leadership

Employment Requirements

Any offer of employment is contingent upon the successful completion of a background check. Our presumption is that prospective employees are eligible to work here. Criminal convictions do not automatically disqualify finalists from employment.

About the U of M

The University of Minnesota, Twin Cities (UMTC), is among the largest public research universities in the country, offering undergraduate, graduate, and professional students a multitude of opportunities for study and research. Located at the heart of one of the nation's most vibrant, diverse metropolitan communities, students on the campuses in Minneapolis and St. Paul benefit from extensive partnerships with world-renowned health centers, international corporations, government agencies, and arts, nonprofit, and public service organizations.

At the University of Minnesota, we are proud to be recognized by the Star Tribune as a Top Workplace for 2021, as well as by Forbes as Best Employers for Women and one of America’s Best Employers (2015, 2018, 2019, 2023), Best Employer for Diversity (2019, 2020), Best Employer for New Grads (2018, 2019), and Best Employer by State (2019, 2022).

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