Donor Relations Associate

Full-time position with Walker Art Center in Minneapolis
Job posted February 9, 2023

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About The Role

The Walker Art Center empowers people to experience the transformative possibilities of the art and ideas of our time and to imagine the world in new ways. In our over 125-year history, we have become one of the most celebrated art museums in the country and we are known for our innovative presentations and acclaimed collections of contemporary art across the spectrum of the visual, performing, and media arts.

Job Summary:
Reporting to the Director of Major Giving and Institutional Relations, the Donor Relations Associate works closely with the Development team to implement fundraising strategies, with a focus on building a strong major gift pipeline and expanding meaningful engagement with institutional donors (corporations, foundations, and government agencies). The Donor Relations Associate provides excellent customer service to the Walker’s institutional donors; manages logistics for the Corporate Partner Program and corporate/event sponsorships including benefits fulfillment, tracking, and communications; oversees all donor recognition requirements, funding credits, and logo usage; and works closely with the Director of Major Giving and Institutional Relations and staff across departments on the development of a wide range of fundraising materials. In addition, the Donor Relations Associate builds and manages a small portfolio of institutional donors and prospects; creates compelling proposals, agreements, and reports; and engages appropriate staff, vendors, partners, and volunteers to support fundraising strategies. Excellent customer service, project management, communication, and interpersonal skills are required in order to serve as a representative of the Walker with donors and prospects and persuasively convey the Walker’s mission, programs, and impact.


I. Corporate Partner and Sponsorship Logistics Management
Manage customer service, logistics, and benefits fulfillment for the Corporate Partner Program, corporate sponsorships, and event sponsorships (the Walker’s annual benefit Avant Garden), including but not limited to:
Appreciation days, discounts, ticket offers, and complimentary tickets and passes.
Recognition (text and logo) in funding credits, annual reports, and thank you listings.
Room rental waivers, promotional credits, and sponsor activations.
Proposal and report templates for event sponsorship solicitations.
Avant Garden event sponsorship logistics, including sponsor guest RSVPs, event check-in, recognition, and other benefits.
Serve as the primary point person on the Development team to manage all donor recognition preferences and funding credits (text and logo) for all Walker materials.
Coordinate and approve donor recognition in verbal remarks, press releases, print and digital materials, advertisements, website, on-site signage, and other materials.
Confirm and track all donor recognition preferences in Tessitura and manage all funding credit files on the Logo-Land server.
Review/approve all proofs of Walker materials and ensure accuracy of all funding credits.
Coordinate proof reviews/approvals directly with donors, sponsors, and partners as needed.
Coordinate all proof reviews with staff in Development, Design/Editorial, Marketing/PR, Digital Media, and other departments to ensure complete and accurate funding credits.
Implement annual communications plans and e-newsletters for the Corporate Partners Program to raise awareness of the value of corporate partnership with the Walker, increase activation of partner benefits and engagement, and tell inspiring stories about the impact of the Walker’s mission and work.
Ensure accurate records and contact information for institutional donors in the Tessitura database, and share updates and reports with Development team and other departments as needed.
Maintain calendar to ensure all deadlines for institutional donors are current and accurate, and all proposals and reports are submitted on time.

II. Fundraising Materials Development
Work closely with the Director of Major Giving and Institutional Relations and with staff across departments to gather and synthesize information to inform a wide range of fundraising materials, including but not limited to campaign case statements, fundraising presentations, proposals, agreements, reports, exhibitions menu, and other materials.
Gather information on the Walker’s multidisciplinary artistic programs, public engagement and lifelong learning initiatives, cross-departmental projects, special events, other institutional priorities, and fiscal year accomplishments.
Assemble and maintain program information, including impact stories, artist quotes, audience data and feedback, attendance, goals and outcomes, deliverables, institutional vital signs, evaluation metrics, budgets, and financial reports.
Maintain up-to-date information for use by Development leadership, Gift Officers, and consultants in a wide range of fundraising materials and donor communications.
Serve as a primary liaison to the Marketing/Public Relations team to gather and synthesize information to support corporate fundraising:
Marketing plans and impressions to inform sponsor proposals and valuations.
Detailed records of marketing collateral and sponsorship recognition to inform reports.
Media partnership proposals and agreements managed by the Marketing team.
Generate copy for a variety of communications vehicles to cultivate, solicit, acknowledge/thank, and steward corporate partners and sponsors, including but not limited to appeal letters, template proposals and reports, e-newsletters, web copy, donor profiles in WALKER magazine, and other correspondence.

III. Annual Gifts Development
Build and manage a small portfolio of institutional donors and prospects as assigned.
Manage annual campaigns for corporate member acquisition and retention, including Fall and Spring campaigns for new, renewal, upgrade, and lapsed gifts.
Prepare and manage the timely submission of compelling fundraising materials for institutional donors.
Grow and manage donor relationships through ongoing communication, anticipation of donors’ needs, and full understanding of benefits and opportunities.
Ensure donor information, strategies, and initiatives are recorded in the Walker’s database (Tessitura), including actions, contact reports, and follow-up activities.
Follow best practices in donor development and moves management.
Communicate on activities and provide timely and accurate progress reports.

IV. Donor Identification, Cultivation, and Stewardship
Actively participate in fundraising strategy meetings to identify/qualify prospective donors and opportunities for support, align fundraising activities with the Walker’s priorities, and strategize fundraising approaches.
Maintain an active, current body of knowledge of the Walker, its mission and history, programs and activities, institutional needs, and fundraising priorities.
Cultivate and network with donors and prospects and represent the Walker at events, including some evenings and weekends.
Create opportunities for Walker leaders, curators, and staff to interact with donors and prospects in assigned portfolio, including participation in events and site visits.
Partner with members of the Development team to maintain accurate donor records; fulfill benefits, deliverables, and agreements; and ensure accurate tracking, reporting, and financial forecasts.
Work with the Finance team to ensure compliance, accountability, and transparency.
Serve as a liaison to and collaborate with institutional giving colleagues at peer organizations, including the Twin Cities Large Cultural Organizations Forum (TCLCOF).
Participate in trainings and professional development.
Stay up-to-date on trends and vehicles for government grant programs, foundation grantmaking, corporate giving, and sponsorship.
Assist with other departmental duties as needed or assigned.

Required Experience:
Bachelor’s degree.
4+ years’ experience working with institutional donors, including corporate donors/sponsors and grant-making foundations.
Experience using a donor or customer database and demonstrated database management skills.
Proficiency with computers including Microsoft Office, Adobe, and email marketing (Wordfly) applications.
Availability to work weekends and evenings as needed.

Preferred Experience:
Experience working in a museum or arts/non-profit setting.
Tessitura experience.
Job Specifications

This position is considered full-time, exempt. As an exempt position, it is not eligible for overtime pay. The minimum compensation for this role is $45,000 annually. The Walker offers a wide range of benefits for both part-time and full-time employees.
This position is not eligible for relocation assistance.
All applicants must be eligible to work in the United States without the need for employer sponsorship.

Vaccination Expectation
The Walker Art Center’s COVID vaccination policy requires staff to be fully vaccinated or to supply a negative test every 6 days. We will consider requests for reasonable accommodations based on disability or sincerely-held religious beliefs

Walker’s DEI commitment
The Walker is committed to being an employer with a staff who, at all job levels, reflects the rich diversity of the communities and audiences we serve. We are dedicated to ensuring inclusion and equity in all our employment practices. We deeply value and welcome all the unique lived experiences in our applicants and encourage anyone meeting the minimum requirements to apply.

All positions are open until filled


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