Diversified Search Group | Koya Partners Tapped by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation to Find Chief Development Officer

May 20, 2024 – Koya Partners, a part of Diversified Search Group, has been chosen by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation in New York City to lead in its search for a chief development officer. The assignment is being led by Gerard F. Cattie Jr. The CDO will design and lead a comprehensive, robust fundraising strategy to meet the Guggenheim’s current and future resource challenges as well as its ambitious aspirations. Reporting to the director and CEO, the CDO will work in partnership with leadership and colleagues, including the board of trustees, to leverage the Guggenheim’s extraordinary assets to focus on innovative, strategic approaches to expand its philanthropic base.

The successful candidate will be a dynamic self-starter with a track record of success in a development leadership role as both a collaborative team leader and a frontline major gift solicitor. They will be a creative innovator, an exceptional relationship builder, and a proven manager and mentor.

Koya notes that candidates should have significant leadership experience within a sophisticated fundraising operation, preferably in a major museum or other cultural institution. Familiarity working with curators preferred. They must have demonstrated success as an innovator and in advancing a development program with a high preference for such experience on a global/international scale. Broad-based knowledge of strategic fundraising program building; ideally, experience in the entire range of development and membership tactics and strategies is also preferred. Candidates must also have a proven track record of success in individual major and leadership gift solicitation and closing of seven to eight-figure gifts.

Founded in 1937, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation is dedicated to promoting the understanding and appreciation of art, architecture, and other manifestations of visual culture, primarily of the modern and contemporary periods, and exploring ideas across cultures through dynamic exhibitions, programming, initiatives, and collaborations. The Guggenheim is a unique institution, with a constellation comprised of four architecturally and culturally distinctive museums on three continents that exists to engage local and global audiences with the transformative and connective power of art and artists.

Diversified Search Group is a family of firms serving specialized sectors. The firm was founded almost five decades ago for the express purpose of placing diverse candidates in client organizations. Koya Partners is a part of the Diversified Search Group and is dedicated to mission-driven leadership. Koya works broadly at the senior-most levels of the mission-driven field in philanthropy, social services, arts and culture, and social justice, among others.

In 2019, Koya was acquired by Diversified Search. With the combination of revenues and resources, Diversified Search and Koya now represent one of the largest non-profit and higher education practices in the executive search industry. Koya’s specialization in mission-driven search, primarily with non-profit and higher education clients, complements Diversified’s own major education, non-profit, and arts and culture practices, as well as the firm’s healthcare services, board of directors, life sciences, industrial, and digital, media, entertainment, and sports practices.

Related: Diversified Search Group | Koya Partners Seeking CEO for Philanthropy Massachusetts

Mr. Cattie is managing director and practice leader, DSG fundraising and advancement, based in New York. His practice focuses on searches for senior leadership positions within prominent higher education institutions, non-profit organizations, global NGOs, foundations, associations and membership societies, healthcare providers, as well as arts and cultural entities. He serves as the leader of the firm’s development and philanthropy practice, along with the arts and culture sector of the firm’s education, nonprofit, and arts and culture practice.

Philanthropy Leaders

The field of advancement is an extension of philanthropy/development/fundraising. Over the past two decades, educational institutions and charitable groups have shifted toward more integrated models of collaboration between communications, marketing, branding and development. Advancement represents the full integration of these functions under a single leader, the chief advancement officer.

According to recruiters who specialize in the non-profit sector, fundraising talent is being groomed all around the field and within organizations that understand the direct connectivity between messaging and contributed revenue. The function is only relevant to the non-profit and education sectors. In a corporate setting, such executives are commonly referred to as chief development officers or a chief business development officer.

In general, the best training for such roles is experience. Industry conferences and summits can also help one learn benchmarking and best practices. And while the best fit for these roles ultimately depends on the culture of the organization, recruiters say that “tenacity and drive” are two traits always necessary for successful advancement and development officers.

Related: Diversified Search Group | Koya Partners Tapped by Commonwealth of Massachusetts to Find CHRO

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Executive Editor; Lily Fauver, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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