Chief Advancement Officer at BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music)
About BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music)
Founded in 1861, the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) is the oldest continuously operating performing arts institution in the United States. BAM’s modern-day reputation as the center for progressive art was defined by the Harvey Lichtenstein era (1967-1999). The transformation of BAM continued in the 70’s and 80’s with the introduction of seminal programs - such as, DanceAfrica in 1977, the Next Wave Festival, and Dance Black America in 1983 - all of which expanded the dialogue with the performing arts: cross and interdisciplinary, professional, and amateur, visionary and performing. In every way, BAM was defining what audiences and artists thought of as “new art.”
As one of the city’s core cultural centers, today BAM serves the needs of a vibrant and diverse Brooklyn audience by programming international, national, and local artistic and cultural events. BAM exists as more than a venue for the arts; BAM is a convener of ideas, people, and established and emerging artists coming together, both in person and digitally.
With the appointment of its new President, Gina Duncan, BAM is enthusiastically moving into its next chapter, building on its history and looking ahead at its role as an organization that opens avenues to redefining the concept of what a performing arts organization like BAM is when it is re-centered in relationship to its surrounding community.
BAM operates on a roughly $55 million budget, with core funding from corporate donors, foundations, individuals, and government sources. Funding streams include membership, major gifts, government and philanthropic grants, bequests, and special events. BAM’s devoted Board of Trustees is a diverse mix of New York City’s corporate, civic, cultural, and educational leaders.
BAM continues to serve its home community of Brooklyn, first and foremost, during a moment of continued gentrification and development. As one of the largest institutions in Brooklyn, BAM’s staff, programming, and values mirror the diversity and vitality of the borough, constantly leading at the intersection of contemporary arts and social commentary. Community engagement and education are cornerstones of BAM’s work.
More information is available at bam.org.
About the Opportunity
BAM seeks a Chief Advancement Officer, reporting to the President and serving as an active member of the Senior Leadership team, who can build and execute an advancement strategy to match current and future opportunities for the organization. As Brooklyn evolves and the community deepens its commitment to the arts, BAM is best positioned to embark on a new advancement strategy that leverages partnerships and relationships.
Areas of Leadership
Passion for BAM’s Mission
Serve as an ambassador for BAM, representing the essence of Brooklyn and BAM’s place in the global and cultural landscape. Bring passion for a wide array of artistic work that raises and highlights voices from underrepresented communities and that sparks boundary-breaking conversation and thought.
Key Qualifications: Personal, lived experience in Brooklyn or deep familiarity with the social and political context of cities with characteristics similar to Brooklyn – diverse cities that center artistic expression against the backdrop of rapid development. Or, deep personal appreciation for or professional experience within contemporary arts, ideally across multiple disciplines. Ability to grasp and discuss extensive content related to artistic programming, including global trends in dance, theater, film, opera, and music.
Strategic Fundraising Expertise
Develop, communicate, and lead a visionary advancement strategy with an annual fundraising goal of $25 million (for 2023), ensuring that tactics are rooted in organizational values of equity, care, and belonging. Leverage BAM’s unique assets and mission to build on and go beyond traditional fundraising models, engaging new approaches to partnership, entrepreneurship, and engagement that will expand advancement opportunities. Apply funding trends and opportunities to BAM’s development and fundraising strategy.
Key Qualifications: Demonstrated experience and expertise serving in top leadership role(s) in fundraising, either as a senior development or advancement professional or as an Executive Director. Proven ability to manage high-performing and multi-channel portfolios that contribute to the organization’s growth and sustainability, including the ability to successfully secure multi-year, six- and seven-figure gifts through new and nontraditional approaches to fundraising.
Partner & Donor Engagement
Expand the BAM donor base and community of support, deepening donor relationships in Brooklyn and in other appropriate geographies. Personally cultivate and solicit gifts of at least seven figures, while leading a strategy that builds engagement from a diverse set of partners and donors across capacity levels and revenue streams, including individual donors, federal, state, and city government entities, corporate philanthropy, and foundation leaders. Represent BAM externally in the philanthropic, arts and culture, and nonprofit and business communities of Brooklyn and New York City, and serve as a delegate of the President, as needed.
Key Qualifications: Track record of successful relationship-building that has led to increased funding for a nonprofit organization. Outstanding interpersonal and mass communication skills, with ability to leverage storytelling and passion for the mission to engage new audiences and recommit existing supporters. Comfort utilizing existing networks and building new relationships to support BAM’s mission.
Serve as a core thought partner to the President and senior leadership team members, contributing to full organizational vision and culture-building to integrate organizational silos, in addition to advancing the fundraising strategy. Represent the needs of the Development team at the executive level and identify opportunities to further a culture of advancement throughout BAM’s entire staff and Board. Apply an anti-oppression model to fundraising, leadership, and partnership, both internally and externally. Actively build partnerships and relationships with staff across all areas of the organization.
Key Qualifications: Previous leadership team experience in an organization undergoing internal change and growth. Commitment to anti-oppressive leadership and cultures with an appreciation for a staff ethos that centers the arts, learning, community engagement, and sound business practices.
Serve as a key partner to the Board of Trustees and partner with the President to support and engage existing and new Board members, incorporating Board ideas and input into advancement strategy where appropriate. Partner closely with the President and the Board to develop and enact a plan of action that recruits and engages a diverse group of Board members.
Key Qualifications: Experience managing and partnering with an active Board or deeply engaged donor group. Previous history of building opportunities for key volunteers or donors to further their participation with an organization.
Partner with long-time leaders on BAM’s development team to support, mentor, and coach a team of 36 development professionals, with two direct reports at the Associate Vice President level. Further a culture that advances equity within the Development team and across the organization. Lead staff and volunteers to integrate fundraising and advancement within each part of the organization. Ensure the necessary systems, structures, and processes are in place to support BAM’s advancement goals.
Key Qualifications: Track record of collaborative leadership to manage a team, with experience serving as a mentor, motivator, and coach to develop staff. Commitment to supporting a creative, committed, and passionate team in service of a broader organizational vision.
Salary, Benefits & Location
The salary will range between $275,000-$300,000 annually, commensurate with level of experience.
This position is a full-time, exempt role that is eligible for benefits. Eligible employees receive a wide range of benefits, including:
- Medical, dental, and vision insurance
- Flexible Spending Account for healthcare, dependent care and transportation
- 401(k)—a powerful way to save for your retirement
- Pension Plan—While many employers are leaving retirement investment up to employees, BAM maintains a defined benefit plan that is fully vested after five years.
This position is based in Brooklyn, NY. Currently using a hybrid work policy, BAM staff are expected to be onsite at least two days per week. As the team transitions out of its post-pandemic, hybrid policy, team members will be expected to be on-site more often, especially those that work directly with donors (e.g. attending evening events, engaging with all that is happening on BAM's stages etc.). The Chief Advancement Officer can anticipate donor-related travel about 20-30% of their time, especially for ongoing donor receptions and gatherings.
Commitment to Equal Opportunity
Meaningful work, talented colleagues, and a shared passion for the arts make a career at BAM like no other. BAM is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. BAM recognizes that historic institutional practices lead to a non-inclusive environment and is working to address diversity and inclusion in all forms. Individuals in BAM are experiencing their own pace during this process, which is not uncommon when addressing power and privilege. The Development department and Leadership team support and continue to take part in this process.