Sterling Search Inc. has been exclusively retained to recruit for the Major Gifts Director for The Tech Museum of Innovation (“The Tech”).

Mission: To inspire the innovator in everyone

Vision: The Tech, by what it does directly and through others, helps build a civil society that enables everyone, especially low-income young people, to succeed in a world driven by technology

The idea to build a museum devoted to science and technology in the Silicon Valley was formed in 1978 by the Junior League of Palo Alto, which was joined in the effort by the Junior League of San Jose. Twelve years later, The Garage opened on San Carlos Street in the former home of downtown San Jose’s convention center. It quickly became a valuable educational resource for children and young adults. Eight years later, The Tech moved into a dazzling 132,000-square-foot facility designed by Mexican architect Ricardo Legorreta. The building’s distinctive mango and azure color scheme and domed theater are San Jose landmarks.

Today, The Tech welcomes half a million visitors each year. Through programs such as The Tech Challenge, the annual team design competition for youth, and internationally renowned programs such as The Tech for Global Good, which honors people doing work to benefit humanity, The Tech celebrates the present and encourages the development of innovative technology for a more promising future. It has grown to be far more than just a museum. It is a valued community resource for education and innovation, one that in 2015 was awarded the National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the highest honor a United States museum can achieve.

In 2011, Tim Ritchie joined the organization as President and CEO. Tim is a long-tenured professional leader who has brought a renewed vision to The Tech. His deep passion for creativity, innovation and quality outcomes has been a driving force in building a strong leadership team, developing new partnerships with schools and creating new teacher training programs.  Additionally, under his leadership, The Tech has increased its focus on equipping girls and low-income students to engage positively with science, technology, engineering and math.  With this renewed vigor and his collaborative approach, The Tech launched a $100M capital campaign which will complement the Museum Place expansion in San Jose.  This campaign forms the next historic milestone for The Tech and will create a deeper level of community engagement and impact through new exhibits and experiences that are open-ended, social and collaborative.

One of the key initiatives for The Tech’s next fiscal year is to build a more robust, sustainable, and comprehensive major gifts program. Although there has been success in major gift fundraising over the years, until more recently there has not been the focus and resources to build a sustainable program that works cohesively and in collaboration with a fully staffed development team. The Tech continues to be innovative and creative in development strategies as shown in a recently formed volunteer leadership council comprised of executives from venture capital firms in Silicon Valley.  Council members had not previously been engaged with The Tech and have been tasked with expanding the philanthropic reach and increasing community engagement through fundraising and friend-raising for the Reboot Reality exhibit.

With annual budget of $20M including $12M in contributed income, The Tech is committed to ensuring their mission is perpetuated through strong fiscal oversight and governance. Proudly, the Board  has a give/get policy with 100% participation and administration costs are kept low with 92 cents of every dollar donated going directly to support the mission.

The Major Gifts Director will serve in a leadership capacity for the vision and strategy of the major gifts function, including building its strategic plan and solidifying processes and procedures. As a member of a seasoned management team, the new Director will place his/her stamp not only on the major gifts development function but also on The Tech’s overall organizational vision and its community impact.

Reporting to the Vice President, Development, and working closely with an additional Major Gifts Director, this Major Gifts Director is a mission critical position and a career-making opportunityto serve in partnership with an accomplished, cohesive and successful, team. This unique opportunity offers the successful candidate the ability to build their own enterprise by leading a comprehensive major gifts fundraising plan and associated strategies.

The Major Gifts Director is responsible for developing and moving institutional relationships that lead to philanthropic support of The Tech Museum of Innovation. In this position, you will provide leadership that adheres to the organization’s mission, goals, objectives and policies. You will also guide the conceptual and major gift planning processes, including the development and implementation of philanthropic strategic initiatives.

Specific duties and responsibilities:

  • Develop and execute a comprehensive plan to create and implement individual donors and prospects.
  • Develop and demonstrate strategies for prospecting, cultivating and stewarding a portfolio of individual donors to ensure the highest engagement and participation rate while increasing annual gift levels of giving.
  • Meet with donors face to face.
  • Renew current and lapsed donors while securing new donors.
  • Help to identify and research campaign prospects in conjunction with the Vice President of Development and the President.
  • Execute the Annual Inspiration and Leadership Circle events in partnership with Major Gifts Director colleague.
  • Manage quarterly donor solicitation, including calendar year-end and fiscal year-end fundraising in partnership with Major Gifts Director colleague.
  • Develop strategies to engage and convert museum members to individual donors.
  • Manage the Individual Gift renewal program, including appeals and benefit fulfillment.
  • Be knowledgeable of The Tech’s mission, exhibits, programs and long-range plans and stay current with the functioning of the entire institution in order to effectively communicate The Tech’s programs and vision.
  • Engage, motivate and align volunteer leadership with prospects. Serve as a resource for cultivation and stewardship efforts and track relationship progress in database.
  • Maintain and oversee the credibility of accurate and accessible database records and donor files for individuals.
  • Manage and organize invitations, guest lists, nametags and seating for individual donor events. Support all Development events as needed.
  • Develop and draft donor communications in collaboration with The Tech’s Media + Community team, including a newsletter and the Annual Report
  • Work closely with Tech for Global Good director to identify and assist in soliciting individual supporters. Help with audience development and day-of event gifts.
  • Work closely with Corporate Relations Director to solicit individuals to support The Tech Challenge.

 We are seeking candidates offering the following qualifications:

  • Passion, imagination, vision, leadership, and integrity.
  • Strong belief in The Tech’s mission to inspire the innovator in everyone.
  • A minimum of five years of development experience with increasing levels of responsibility, and with direct stewardship of Boards of Directors.
  • Significant experience in and a successful track record of obtaining major gift, capital campaign and annual fund gifts through the development of deep relationships.
  • A demonstrated track record of development management and operations leadership, implementing development processes and systems to measure activity and accountability as well as forecasting.
  • A strategic approach to development, with significant experience in cultivating and managing major gift donors.
  • A record of quantifiable success in donor segmentation, research, and cultivation.
  • Exceptional financial, organizational, and administrative skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to plan, set goals and objectives, organize, and implement to completion.
  • A strong interpersonal and communication skill set and demonstrated ability to work effectively with and gain the respect and support of The Tech’s constituencies and other key stakeholders.
  • A track record as an effective communicator skilled at writing and public speaking; adept at writing proposals, solicitation letters, donor correspondence, and other types of materials to enhance fundraising.
  • Ability to juggle many responsibilities at once, and to operate both independently and with the flexibility to be part of a team.
  • Computer literate: Working knowledge of Word, PowerPoint, and Excel, and experience with fundraising database software. Knowledge of DonorPro and OpenOffice a plus
  • Bachelor’s degree is preferred.
  • CFRE preferred; adherence to AFP Code of Ethics required.

The ideal candidate will demonstrate the following capabilities:

  • Commitment to the mission and work of The Tech with the credibility and persuasiveness to secure support from others.
  • A manager who leads by example and exemplifies the values and ethics of the organization.
  • An organized individual with strong creative and conceptual skills.
  • A doer who functions effectively without being autocratic or political; must be a team player who is inclusive, flexible, creative, energetic and fair minded.
  • A decisive and resourceful individual who will accept responsibility and take charge of results, as well as work successfully with limited resources.
  • A self-starter who is confident enough to express opinions, to forge ahead when appropriate and hold back when necessary, with a sensitivity to the feelings and opinions of others.
  • An energetic person who is emotionally mature and dependable; a collegial individual
  • Ability to work occasional evenings and weekends.

A competitive compensation package will be offered to an outstanding candidate.

To be confidentially considered, send a resume or make a referral, please contact:

Sarah Agee at 714-433-7040, Julie Lugo at 714-433-7042 or email us at

Direct all correspondence emails and telephone calls to Sterling Search, Inc. Any resumes sent or telephone calls made to The Tech Museum of Innovation will be redirected to Sterling Search, Inc.

The Tech Museum of Innovation is an Equal Opportunity Employer

Please submit your resume to Sterling Search Inc. via the form below, and include the job title in the subject line.

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