Assistant Director of Stewardship




The Art Institute of Chicago, founded in 1879, is a world-renowned art museum housing one of the largest permanent collections in the United States. An encyclopedic museum, the Art Institute collects, preserves, and interprets works in every medium from all cultures and historical periods. With a collection of approximately 300,000 art works and artifacts, the museum has particularly strong holdings in Impressionist and Post-Impressionist painting, contemporary art, early 20th century European painting and sculpture, Japanese prints, and photography. The museum’s 2009 addition, the Modern Wing, features the latest in green museum technology and 264,000 square feet dedicated to modern and contemporary art, photography, architecture and design, and new museum education facilities. In addition to displaying its permanent collection, the Art Institute mounts more than 30 special exhibitions per year and features lectures, gallery tours, and special performances on a daily basis


Position Summary


The Assistant Director of Stewardship is a key member of the Development Communications team, responsible for written stewardship activities for the museum’s closest supporters, including principal, major, planned giving, and campaign donors. The AD Stewardship is a stellar writer, editor, storyteller, project manager, and strategic thinker.

The AD Stewardship reports  to the director of development communications and interacts with all development teams and other museum departments that participate in elements of stewardship, including curatorial staff and museum leadership, to execute inspiring, consistent, and impactful communications. S/he will be comfortable and effective managing and coaching up in order to obtain information and honor deadlines. S/he will distill and synthesize research from disparate sources and shape into clear and persuasive prose that addresses donor motivations that fuel long-term support.


Stewardship Reporting/Writing and Editing

  • Serve as the team’s expert on stewardship reports;  advise colleagues at all levels of the organization; coach others using sound judgement; set, model, and hold self and others accountable to best practices and standards for stewardship, reporting, grammar, and style
  • Manage a portfolio of individual and family foundation endowment reports; produce thoughtful, meticulously researched, independently written and edited reports, typically submitted under the signature of museum leadership
  • Serve as a primary editorial consultant for the department; maintain Development Communications Style Guide with an eagle eye for common grammatical errors, inconsistencies across platforms, and approved messaging
  • Research, write, and edit reports and other individualized communications that inspire continued philanthropy, promote a culture of gratitude, and exhibit impact of giving at the highest level; exhibit versatility in formats and voices.
  • Edit exhibition, grant, corporate, and additional reports generated by others in a manner that reflects pride in one’s work, high expectations of colleagues, and commitment to the long-term engagement of the donor
  • Consult with gift officers to ensure the successful production of stewardship reports to high-level donors; create and enforce consistent, accurate, and appropriate documentation and information sharing mechanisms
  • Build strong and effective relationships with individuals and departments throughout the museum that provide or benefit from information used in stewardship reports (curators, education staff, gift officers, finance staff)
  • In cooperation with director of development communications and gift officers, create and enforce reporting calendar with respect to editorial priorities and impact on donors’ philanthropy
  • Proactively seek learning opportunities to build expertise related to best practices for stewardship and donor communications, and incorporate skills and feedback to improve communications

Project Management

  • Serve as a primary user of the team’s editorial project management tool, Wrike; model consistent, complete Wrike practice; manage stewardship reports in Wrike
  • Manage the annual update of the donor wall, including liaising with donor wall vendor, Facilities Management, Finance, and Development; oversee timeline, list production, review, and approval.




Bachelor’s degree required. Three+ years of professional experience in relationship management, major gifts, individual giving, writing, or communications. Mature writing style and impeccable editing skills are critical; familiarity with Chicago Manual of Style a plus; writing samples and exercises will be required. Experience developing content and writing persuasive non-profit communications preferred. Demonstrated success as a self-directed leader, collaborator, and project manager in a deadline-driven environment required. Acute attention to detail and sound decision-making skills are essential. Graphic design experience a plus. Proficiency with Wrike project management system and Raiser’s Edge database, or similar, strongly preferred.

***For full consideration, a cover letter and resume are required*** (submit as one attachment, system will only permit one document upload)


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Basic Info
Deadline Type: 
Deadline or Post Expiration: 
Thursday, March 8, 2018
Contact Information
Contact Address: 
United States