Natural History Museums of Los Angeles County

Associate Vice President of Advancement

Natural History Museums of Los Angeles County
Los Angeles, CA
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The Natural History Museums of Los Angeles County (NHMLAC)—the Natural History Museum (NHM) in Exposition Park, La Brea Tar Pits in mid-Wilshire/Miracle Mile, and the William S. Hart Museum in Newhall—occupy an unrivaled position in the exploration of L.A., and the world. As home to over 35 million specimens and artifacts, they have the largest natural and cultural history collection in the western United States, a range of indoor and outdoor experiences across three sites that serve 1.3 million visitors a year, and the only active urban paleontological excavation site in the world at the Tar Pits.

With the vision to inspire wonder, discovery, and responsibility for our natural and cultural worlds, the NHMLAC are a public-private partnership between the nonprofit Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History Foundation and the County of Los Angeles.

The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County was the first museum in L.A., opening its doors in 1913, and is poised for an exciting new era as it plans for the future. In 2018, the institution completed a strategic framework, which defines how the Museums, through their research and unparalleled collections, interact with their communities—onsite and beyond their walls, through new building projects, campaigns, exhibitions, community outreach, and innovative audience engagement. Centered on principles of accessibility and engagement, the NHMLAC are a hub for discoveries and dialogue around critical issues of global significance and local impact.

In 2021, the NHMLAC instituted the Inclusion, Diversity, Equity & Access Framework, aspiring to become an actively intersectional anti-racist institution which performs the entirety of its work through the lens of inclusion, diversity, equity and access (IDEA), enabling its mission through stronger connections with staff and community.

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THE OPPORTUNITY                                     

The Associate Vice President of Advancement role represents an exciting and distinctive opportunity to experience deep purpose and joy in leading the growth and success of advancement programs and operations that will positively impact the lives of thousands of children, families, students, teachers, and friends of the Natural History Museums of Los Angeles County, one of our nation’s most important museums in natural history and culture. The Associate Vice President of Advancement, a creative strategic thinker, skilled manager, and exceptional relationship builder, will join a dynamic, committed, and talented team and will serve as a strategic partner to the Chief Advancement Officer and other executive and programmatic leadership involved in the NHMLAC’s fundraising.

Reporting to the Chief Advancement Officer, the Associate Vice President will oversee NHMLAC’s Individual Giving, Advancement Services, and Major Gifts/Planning Giving programs and lead by example with exceptional major gift fundraising. Both a goal-driven individual contributor and an empathetic manager of people, the Associate Vice President will mentor a talented team of advancement professionals and support the fundraising activities of the Chief Advancement Officer, Board of Trustees, and NHMLAC’s President and Director. 

As the Opening New Doors campaign reaches a successful close in 2024, NHMLAC is planning its next dynamic phase of future growth, which includes an ambitious initiative to Reimagine La Brea Tar Pits, requiring the Associate Vice President to be a strong strategic thinker, a detail-oriented planner, and a gifted systems builder who can assist the Chief Advancement Officer in developing robust advancement programs and operations. This dynamic, highly motivated leader will be expected to continue innovating and refining the Museums’ advancement structure, systems, and programs cross-organizationally to support the needs for funding a range of scientific research, collections, exhibitions, and programs. The Associate Vice President, an active listener with high emotional intelligence and a passion for organizational transformation, will focus on partnering with the Chief Advancement Officer to grow a best-in-class, achievement-oriented environment built on aspirational goals, accountability, and fundraising excellence.


The Associate Vice President of Advancement will have the following primary responsibilities:

  • Lead, manage, and mentor teams in a supportive and nurturing manner that ensures a proactive, achievement-oriented environment.
  • Support the Chief Advancement Officer’s efforts to build an infrastructure that supports and helps to optimize the NHMLAC’s fundraising opportunities.
  • Work in close partnership with the Chief Advancement Officer in setting bold yet achievable goals, with clear strategies, tactics, and key performance indicators that ensure greater accountability.     
  • Develop and implement an integrated strategic cultivation, donor acquisition, stewardship, and communications plan that will generate significant gifts from individual donors, members, and treasured Fellows.
  • Establish and strengthen department-wide organizational processes and management systems and participate in major gift donor strategy development and implementation.
  • Serve as the primary leader in the cultivation of high-capacity donors in the Museums’ Major Gifts, Planned Giving, and Fellows programs; manage a portfolio of approximately 50 high-level individual donors.  
  • Oversee the planning and execution of the Museums’ signature and annual event fundraising activities.
  • Drive and manage an overall Advancement communications effort to create and distribute Advancement news and progress to the Board of Trustees, museum staff, donors, and members.  
  • Oversee the creation and design of compelling donor communications materials for individual and institutional donors in close coordination with the Marketing and Communications division.  
  • Supervise the Advancement Services team ensuring timely, accurate record keeping, donor acknowledgments, and effective management of the donor database.  
  • Support the Chief Advancement Officer and other directors in staffing the President/Director and Trustees in their fundraising activities, including preparing and strategizing for fundraising calls and meetings, accompanying them on solicitations, and debriefing with them on donor outreach.  
  • Develop and maintain strong, collaborative working relationships that elicit trust with members of the Executive Leadership Team, Board of Trustees, museum staff, curators, educators, community partners, donors, volunteers, and external stakeholders.  
  • Represent the Museums at public functions and events to raise the visibility of the organization as a strong, viable philanthropic entity.
  • Travel regionally as needed for donor solicitations and cultivation events; attend program and fundraising activities as needed including occasional evenings and weekends. 


The successful candidate will be an experienced advancement professional with a track record of success as a fundraiser and team leader within a complex, dynamic environment, demonstrating:              

  • A passionate, enthusiastic commitment to the vision and values of the Natural History Museums of Los Angeles County. 
  • A minimum of five to seven years of professional experience in managing high-performing advancement teams. Experience with major capital campaigns at a museum, cultural institution, or higher education institution would be an advantage.
  • The ability to hire, manage, motivate, and retain a diverse advancement team that strives to achieve excellence and exceed goals.  
  • Proven drive and achievement in the successful solicitation of six-figure and greater gifts.
  • Demonstrated success in building productive, long-term relationships with executives, teams, boards, volunteers, and donors. 
  • Abilities in strategic planning, creative design, and systems change.  
  • Exceptional communication skills including strong written, verbal, and presentation skills.  
  • A capacity to acquire an understanding of the Museums’ work in natural science and cultural research with the ability to translate this work into compelling reasons to give funding support.  
  • Solid financial management skills with experience in fundraising and budget analysis, forecasting, and managing bid solicitations, contracts, and external contractors.  
  • Experience with a range of prospect and donor management fundraising software applications.


The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (NHMLAC) values diversity, equity, inclusion, and access (IDEA) within its organization and communities. NHMLAC strives to provide a welcoming, safe, and respectful environment in which all staff, including those who identify as Black, Indigenous, or a Person of Color (BIPOC), neurodiverse, a woman, a person with a disability, a veteran, and/or a part of the LGBTQAI+ community, can thrive. As such, all employees are expected to be knowledgeable of and actively in alignment with NHMLAC's IDEA Transformational Framework, which expects staff to be: antiracist, intersectional, accountable, equitable, and collaborative. These values must manifest not only in employees' conduct with one another and the communities they support but also in the work they perform. 


The Natural History Museums of Los Angeles County offers a highly competitive salary and a wide range of benefits as part of a total compensation package. The compensation range for this position is $200,000 to $220,000.  

Benefits include Medical, Dental, and Vision Insurance; Commuter Transit Benefits; Basic Life, AD&D and Long-Term Disability benefits; Employee Assistance Plan (EAP) with travel assistance; Voluntary Supplemental Life and AD&D insurance for Employees and/or Dependents; Voluntary Group Critical Illness or Group Accident Benefits; Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA); Pet Insurance; Credit Union (USC); Paid/Floating Holidays, Paid Vacation and Sick Leave; and a 403(b) Retirement Plan with Employer Contributions. As an active player in Southern California’s vibrant and diverse natural history and cultural communities, the NMLAC also offers a supportive, family-friendly, and inclusive work environment. Relocation assistance will be provided for the successful candidate. 

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