Chief Development Officer – AGA KHAN MUSEUM
The Aga Khan Museum (AKM) is seeking a mission-driven, results-oriented, and collaborative Chief Development Officer (CDO) to provide strategic leadership and operational expertise for the fundraising efforts of the Museum to further advance its mission to foster greater understanding of Muslim civilizations, and to connect cultures through art.

Posted On: April 7, 2022
Closing On: May 20, 2022
Location: Toronto
Employment Type: fulltime
Level: management
Salary Range: $250,000 – $300,000
File: Download

The Aga Khan Museum is a unique global museum located in Toronto, Canada, dedicated to showcasing the artistic, intellectual, and scientific heritage of Muslim civilizations and their interconnectedness with the world at large.

Its mission is to foster a greater understanding and appreciation of the achievements and contributions of Muslim civilizations, fostering intercultural dialogue and pluralism through exhibitions, public programs, and educational initiatives onsite and online.

Its opening in 2014 signalled a new chapter in the history of museums in North America as the first dedicated to the arts of Muslims civilizations.  With its landmark building, designed by the Pritzker Prize–winning architect Fumihiko Maki, and its setting within the landscaped gardens of the Aga Khan Park, the Museum celebrates the arts in all its forms – from the visual to the performing arts.


The Aga Khan Museum (AKM) is seeking a mission-driven, results-oriented, and collaborative Chief Development Officer (CDO) to provide strategic leadership and operational expertise for the fundraising efforts of the Museum to further advance its mission to foster greater understanding of Muslim civilizations, and to connect cultures through art.

Reporting to the Museum’s Director and CEO, the CDO will be a member of, and contributor to, the Senior Leadership Team and will have active support from a strong network of global senior volunteers who serve on the Board of Directors and fundraising committees of the Museum.

The CDO will be an accomplished and passionate fundraising professional who will champion and lead the growth and elevation of a sustainable fundraising plan targeted to raise $12-$15M annually, overseeing the management and cultivation of donors and sponsors, the identification and submission of grant applications to government agencies and foundations, the planning of fundraising, cultivation, and stewardship events, and the growth of the museum membership program.  In addition to this, the planning and implementation of a multi-year $150M endowment campaign is one of the key deliverables of the position. For the purposes of context, currently 4,000 Museum supporters contribute approximately $9 million per annum. These include more than 30 donors who have donated above $0.5M.

Carrying a personal portfolio of the Museum’s key donors and prospects in Canada and around the world, the CDO will be a fearless and highly proactive networker and fundraiser in their own right. The CDO will actively and frequently leverage key volunteers and board members in the identification, cultivation, and solicitation of donors, members, partners, and sponsors in Canada and abroad, in support of the Museum’s priorities.

The CDO will be the primary staff lead for the Board’s Development and Fundraising Committee and will work closely with the Board of Directors of the Museum in all fundraising matters.  As a skilled enabler of volunteers, the CDO will encourage and inspire volunteers to open doors and will provide support locally and internationally to maximize their passion, time, and connections most effectively.

A role model who demonstrates inclusive leadership, collaboration, respect, and excellence, the CDO will harness the strengths of a Development team of 10, motivating the staff to new heights of achievement.  Establishing clear goals and understanding the tactics and processes needed to achieve them, the CDO will engender confidence in, and enthusiasm for, the fundraising team’s efforts by demonstrating exceptional results.

Passionate about equity and inclusion, the CDO will possess intercultural competence, understanding the unique nuances and perspectives of various cultures and expand support for the Museum through outreach and engagement with multiple communities in Canada and around the world.

This is a permanent, full-time position and will be based in the Aga Khan Museum at 77 Wynford Drive, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  As of mid-April 2022 and for the rest of 2022, the museum will be working within a hybrid model with staff expected to be present in the office for a minimum of 3 days per week (with flexibility for donor-facing commitments and travel, of course). There will be significant travel in this role (regionally, nationally, and internationally) and candidates must possess a valid passport.

About The Aga Khan Museum

Honouring the spirit of collaboration and pluralism upon which the Museum is built, the Aga Khan Museum is deeply committed to both forging relationships with Canadian institutions and communities, and to driving an international mandate. It maintains strong global ties with such institutions as the Musée du Louvre in Paris, the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, and the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha, Qatar.

As a vibrant educational institution, the Museum encourages the full spectrum of public engagement with its diverse and distinguished Permanent Collection of more than 1,200 objects and its ever-changing roster of exhibitions and innovative public and educational programs onsite and online — including music and dance performances, talks, workshops, and a wide range of school and academic initiatives for students and teachers locally and around the world. By connecting cultures through the arts and fostering pluralism through the arts, the Aga Khan Museum is now reaching and impacting hundreds of thousands of people each year, in its Wynford site location in Toronto and through its virtual #Museum without Walls, which reached over 5M in 2021 alone.  The new virtual Aga Khan Museum has emerged with a robust and compelling online presence, featuring virtual performances, 3D tours, educational and children’s programs. This ambitious virtual platform allows people from all over the world to access the resources and offerings of the Museum, while providing innovative and diverse opportunities for philanthropic giving.

The Aga Khan Museum is part of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN). Founded and chaired by His Highness the Aga Khan, the AKDN is a private, international, non-denominational development organization that works to improve living conditions and opportunities for people in the developing world. His Highness is the 49th hereditary Imam (spiritual leader) of the Shia Ismaili Muslims, and has received honourary citizenship from Canada.

Development at the Aga Khan Museum

The Aga Khan Museum relies on the generosity of donors and members in Canada and around the globe to sustain its vision of building bridges between cultures and fostering pluralism through the arts.

Donations from individuals, corporations, government and foundation grants directly support the activities of the Aga Khan Museum, necessary to maintain our exceptional Permanent Collection and sustain its roster of exhibitions, public programs, performances, educational events and virtual Museum.

His Highness the Aga Khan invested generously to construct the Museum and provide the Permanent Collection as an engine and launch pad for our intercultural art initiatives, and we continue to benefit from annual operating grants from the Aga Khan Foundation. While this solid base of support is critical for the Museum’s operations, the community plays an important role in supporting our ongoing efforts to build bridges and strengthen global community ties.

The department is strongly supported in its fundraising efforts by members of the Museum’s Board of Directors and a global volunteer network of fundraisers.

Additional Background & Resources

About the Aga Khan Museum


AKM Leadership Team

AKM Year In Review

AKM News

Aga Khan Development Network

AKM Press Releases

AKM Join & Support

Key Duties & Responsibilities

Strategic Leadership:

  • Provide strategic leadership for all fundraising activities on behalf of the Museum.
  • Set direction for the development and execution of a fundraising strategy over five-year and ten-year horizons with monthly and annual targets for the first five years as a first priority.
  • Provide leadership to position the organization and the Development team and marshal the resources necessary to achieve the key goals and objectives of the fundraising strategy and fundraising targets.
  • Expand the existing loyal support base by broadening the base to new target communities and partners guided by the principles of diversity and inclusion.
  • Establish and leverage effective relationships with the senior management team and with their staff to ensure a proactive engagement in the programmatic agenda that facilitates effective development and fundraising closely aligned with the programmatic agenda.
  • Assess current priorities, workload, and resources, and establish an action plan ensuring that immediate needs are met while longer-term strategies, plans and actions are developed.
  • Build a high performing team and department of paid and volunteer resources to support departmental goals.
  • Report on fundraising progress and fundraising activities to the Director & CEO, the Development & Fundraising Committee and the Board.
  • Manage the creation and set the agendas of fundraising advisory committees and the Development & Fundraising Committee and work closely with committee members.
  • Work with the Director & CEO and other members of the Senior Leadership Team to implement and monitor strategic goals, policies, and processes to ensure the Museum meets its stated mission.

Fundraising Leadership, Oversight, and Execution:

  • Continue to build a pipeline for major and principal gifts. Identify and target individuals, corporations and institutions capable of making significant financial contributions.
  • Lead activities with donors on a broad range of funding opportunities.
  • Provide comprehensive, timely, and innovative stewardship. Elevate the importance of stewarding all gifts and programs in ways that strengthen donor interest in, satisfaction with, and commitment to the Museum.
  • Identify, recruit, and cultivate an international cadre of leaders, identifying key civic and business leaders with an affinity for the mission and programs of the Museum; build a volunteer structure that encourages a peer-to-peer model of cultivation and solicitation. Work effectively with leadership and other volunteers in ways that inspire them to action and make their experience productive, as well as fun and satisfying.
  • Oversee the maintenance of the database for donors and potentials and the systems for tracking the same.
  • Assess current priorities, workload, and resources, and establish an action plan ensuring that immediate needs are met while longer-term strategies, plans and actions are developed.
  • Plan and carefully manage the development budget, ensuring that dollars are spent efficiently and effectively in support of the Museum’s mission.

Endowment Giving

  • Develop and execute a multi-year $150M endowment campaign to provide a sustainable base of recurrent revenues for the longer-term funding requirements of the Museum.
  • Facilitate the work of Fundraising Campaign Cabinet (FCC) that has been formed to identify and introduce prospects to the fundraising team.
  • Work closely with the Chair of the FCC and the Vice-chairs and members of the Cabinet to support their efforts and to coordinate activities between members and the professional fundraising team.
  • Oversee endowment contracts, agreements, and fulfilment plans and ensure all stakeholder requirements are met.


  • Maintain ongoing contact with and grow the Museum membership program by developing members and memberships at all levels, and ensure effective stewardship, loyalty, and engagement of the large membership base of the Museum.
  • Target and pursue diversity in new members to ensure a balance in the membership demographics.

Grants, Corporate and Other Sponsorships

  • Establish a firm base of government and foundation grant applications, aimed at raising $1 million or more each year.
  • Provide insights and develop new strategies and tailored cases for support to enhance the Museum’s relationships with the corporate, government, and foundation community.
  • Work proactively with the Director, Collections and Public Programs and the Marketing and Communications Director to influence the programmatic agenda, bringing into play the fundraising perspective, specifically for grants and sponsorships opportunities.
  • Secure sponsorships to cover the direct costs of the programmatic agenda for temporary exhibitions, performing arts, educations and park programs ensuring effective collaboration with the stakeholders.
  • Help shape the messaging of the Endowment Campaign.

Qualifications & Competencies

We are open to candidates who bring experience either as a paid staff member, board member, or senior leadership volunteer. Demonstrated experience will be expected in any case.

  • Passionate about the mandate of the Museum, with previous work and/or volunteer experience in education, culture, and/or other related sectors.
  • At least 15 years of progressive experience working in development, fundraising, advancement, and/or high-end relational sales.
  • At least 10 years of experience specifically engaged in major gift philanthropy with individuals, corporations, and/or foundations, with proven success in personally securing substantial major gifts at the 6 and 7 figure level or above.
  • Demonstrated involvement in planning and executing successful major fundraising campaigns.
  • Previous experience working with and supporting executive volunteers in the cultivation of major gift prospects, including work with donors and/or volunteers globally.
  • Exceptional interpersonal and relationship management skills, including the ability to develop effective partnerships, to negotiate, to persuade, and to close donations and partnerships.
  • Proven ability to lead, motivate, and manage staff and volunteers.
  • Experience securing grants from government and foundations, as well as sponsorships and corporate philanthropic gifts.
  • An understanding of and affinity with the underlying goals and philosophy of the Aga Khan Development Network; a personal commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion, and a demonstrated track record of supporting and promoting belonging in the workplace.
  • Experience and inclination to be an effective ambassador for the Museum; excellent written, presentation, and communication skills with demonstrated ability to communicate effectively to a wide range of audiences.
  • Entrepreneurial spirit and creative mindset, combined with operational excellence and sound business judgement.
  • Ability to manage multiple deadlines and to work well under tight timelines or changes in priorities.
  • A university degree is required for this position.
  • Candidates must be willing and able to travel locally, nationally, and internationally, and thus must possess a valid passport and driver’s license, as well as comfort with and flexibility for travel.


Candidates who are interested in the role are asked to submit a resume and letter of interest to the email address above by May 20, 2022All inquiries and applications will be held in strict confidence.

To view the full Executive Brief, please visit:

This position is open to all Canadian citizens, permanent residents and those legally able to work in Canada. Other individuals may also be considered, per Canadian immigration laws. Candidates should please include their status when applying for this position.

The Aga Khan Museum is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to fair and accessible employment practices. The Museum is proud to have a very diverse group of staff, members, donors, and volunteers. Candidates of all races, origins, and religious affiliations are encouraged to apply. Upon request, suitable accommodations are available under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act for applicants invited to an interview.

Applicants must be fully vaccinated, as defined by Ontario Public Health. The Museum will comply with its human rights obligations and accommodate applicants who are legally entitled to accommodation under the Ontario Human Rights Code.

The salary range for this position is $250,000 – $300,000 CAD per annum; benefits plan covering life, medical and health insurance, and short-term and long-term disability benefits for employees and their immediate family. Group RRSP plus earned vacation days, and an Employee Assistance Program are also provided.