Jobs / Chief Advancement Officer

Chief Advancement Officer



The Chief Advancement Officer (CAO) is a strategist – a talented storyteller who will be responsible for creating and implementing a multi-year fundraising plan designed to advance the organization financially and provide a sustainable funding base for growth. The CAO will set fundraising goals and objectives; oversee the development of fundraising strategies; track impact metrics and benchmarks; and manage and grow a team focused on individual and major gifts, corporate and foundation giving, strategic partnerships, brand relationships, planned giving, and government grants.



The CAO reports directly to the President and CEO and manages a talented team of 13 staff including, Strategic Partnerships, Institutional and Individual Giving, AFI Communities and Advancement Services. The CAO will work closely with the AFI Board of Trustees, the AFI National Council, Alumni of the AFI Conservatory, and other volunteers.



  • Create and implement a strategic fundraising plan to grow contributed revenue from $11.8MM to $30MM by 2025.
  • Work with the Board and CEO to develop short and long-term fundraising goals, strategies, and benchmarks to expand funding from existing donors, while also building a strong pipeline of new funders.
  • Develop a strategic vision for raising funds with integrated tactics that align with the AFI’s strategic plan.
  • Execute that vision by attracting and mentoring a talented team and mentoring its fundraising capabilities. Perform ongoing assessment and annual reviews of direct reports in Los Angeles as well as dotted line oversight of the AFI Silver Theatre efforts in Silver Spring, MD.
  • Increase national support three-fold by 2025 at the various membership levels by leveraging existing content and creative opportunities for support.
  • Mobilize Board members to be successful fundraisers through major donor engagement, solicitation, and stewardship; help recruit, train, coach, and motivate Board members and other volunteers to engage in effective solicitations and other coordinated cultivation/stewardship activities.
  • Actively utilize creative storytelling as a vehicle for engaging, cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding donors.
  • In partnership with the CEO and CFO, develop and manage fundraising budgets; be accountable for benchmarks related to fundraising and revenue goals; supervise gift accounting and processing, and ensure best practice use of analytics, data, and metrics to forecast and track progress and success of fundraising goals, strategies, and tactics.
  • Partner with program directors and staff to ensure efficient flow of communication about key goals and fundraising opportunities. This includes AFI programs including the AFI Conservatory (in active partnership with the Dean), AFI Life Achievement Award, AFI Awards, AFI Festivals and initiatives like the AFI Directing Workshop for Women.
  • Collaborate with the Chief Communications Officer to ensure an integrated and compelling approach to communications and marketing strategies to support fundraising outcomes, including events, annual reports, presentations, press releases, newsletters, etc.
  • Identify and implement technology platforms that best serve fundraising activities, including maximizing the utility of Tessitura CRM, social media, research, and analytics.
  • Develop and maintain best practices to improve revenue projection.
  • Participate fully, proactively, and collaboratively with the Executive Leadership Team.
  • Provide input on short and long-term strategic and operational planning and positioning within the organization.
  • Other duties as assigned.



  • Minimum 15 years of experience as a senior development officer for a national organization, ideally in the arts and education, with a solid track record of raising a minimum of $10 million annually across revenue streams through a vast array of strategies and vehicles (e.g., new media, in person solicitations, direct mail, etc).
  • Bachelor’s degree required, Master’s degree and/or advanced fundraising certifications preferred
  • A genuine passion for American film, television and digital media and an ability to articulate its importance and relevance orally, in writing and through social media
  • Excellent spoken and written communications skills; goal-oriented and close attention to detail
  • Master of budgeting in concert with CEO and CFO
  • Proven success at managing and implementing a comprehensive fund development program and increasing financial results
  • Experience working with organizations with national presence and donor base
  • Planned giving knowledge and ability to market, cultivate and solicit and planned gifts including bequests, charitable remainder trusts, gifts of property, stocks, IRAs, and more.
  • Experience soliciting seven-figure gifts required
  • Ability to “lead through others” and gracefully inspire excellence in them
  • Knowledge and experience in all aspects of philanthropy, including giving trends, benchmarks, and best practices; research; fundraising techniques and strategies; data analytics; and development operations such as gift processing, prospect and donor research, and fundraising reporting
  • Track record of successfully establishing and nurturing effective working relationships with organization leadership, Board members, donors, prospects, and staff
  • Highest ethical standards and respect for confidentiality
  • Ability to travel nationally to meet with donors, prospects, and volunteers, and occasionally work nights and weekends, as required
  • Knowledge of philanthropic communities who support film, television and digital media strongly preferred
  • Prior success in the development and negotiation of high-level gifts and a track record of building relationships and successful solicitation of six- to seven-figure institutional (corporations and foundation) and individual gifts
  • Energy, initiative, creativity, and drive; ability to perform at a high level in a fast-paced environment and manage/supervise multiple projects to meet timelines and deadlines
  • Experience and comfort with technology including fundraising CRMs (Tessitura experience preferred), Microsoft Office Suite, Google Office Suite, wealth screening tools, and other technology as needed
  • Passion for and dedication to the mission of AFI



The salary range for this position is $225,000 to $275,000 plus full benefits.


To apply for this position, or for additional information on the opportunity, please send a copy of your resume with a cover letter to Victoria Silverman at

All applications and inquiries will receive a response and be kept strictly confidential.
AFI is an Equal Opportunity Employer


Sook Silverman Search, American Film Institute
Victoria Silverman
Los Angeles, CA