Donor Relations Associate

Minneapolis, MN

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.

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). Primary responsibilities include providing support for the identification/qualification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of institutional donors, sponsors, and prospects. 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 and sponsor recognition requirements, funding credits, and logo usage; and works closely with the Development team and staff across departments to inform and develop 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 work effectively with cross-departmental teams, serve as a key 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 Walker’s Corporate Partner Program, corporate sponsorships, and event sponsorships, including the annual benefit event Avant Garden.
  • Serve as the primary point person on the Development team to manage donor recognition preferences, funding credits (text and logo), and proof review/approval processes for all Walker materials.
  • Implement annual communications plans and e-newsletters for the Corporate Partners Program.
  • 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.

II. Fundraising Materials Development

  • Routinely gather and synthesize information across Walker departments to inform a wide range of fundraising materials and donor communications.
  • Serve as a primary liaison to the Design and Marketing/Public Relations teams to gather information for corporate sponsor solicitations and other fundraising materials.
  • Coordinate the Development Department’s content and contributions to Walker Magazine.

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 fundraising materials for donors in assigned portfolio.
  • Grow and manage donor relationships through ongoing communication, anticipation of donors’ needs, and full understanding of benefits and opportunities.
  • Ensure all 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

  • Manage, support, and participate in events for current and prospective donors, including organizing donor tours of the Walker’s art storage areas.
  • 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.
  • 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.

V. Other Responsibilities

  • Serve as a liaison to and collaborate with institutional giving colleagues at peer organizations.
  • Participate in trainings and professional development.
  • Stay up-to-date on trends and vehicles for corporate giving, sponsorship, grant-making, portfolio management, and donor relations.
  • Assist with other departmental duties as needed or assigned.  


Minimum Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree 
  • 4+ years’ experience working in donor relations with corporate partners/sponsors and other institutional donors.
  • Ability to serve as an enthusiastic and professional representative of the Walker.
  • Excellent customer service demeanor and effective communication skills (both written and verbal).
  • Strong interpersonal and relationship management skills; ability to clearly communicate with a wide range of individuals with varied talents, backgrounds, and perspectives.
  • Strong project management and organization/time-management skills.
  • High degree of initiative and attention to detail.
  • Ability to determine informational needs, to gather and synthesize information, and to devise and prepare fundraising materials, such as proposals, impact reports, and/or presentations.
  • Experience with donor/customer database and proficiency with Microsoft Office and Adobe applications.
  • Thrives in a collaborative, team-oriented environment.
  • Ability to work independently and with discretion and sensitivity to confidential matters.
  • Ability to remain poised, articulate, and calm under pressure.
  • Availability to work weekends and evenings as needed. 

Preferred Skills

  • Experience working in a museum or arts/non-profit setting.
  • Tessitura experience. 


  • Prolonged periods of sitting at a desk 
  • Ability to occasionally lift 10-25 pounds

JOB SPECIFICATIONS This position is considered full-time, non-exempt. As a non-exempt position, it is eligible for overtime pay. The minimum compensation for this role is $24.72 hourly ($45,000.00 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.

Recruitment Timeline All positions are open until filled.