The Asian Art Museum of San Francisco today announced the appointment of Nancy Sackson as Chief Philanthropy Officer.
With more than 20 years of nonprofit philanthropy experience — most recently at a diverse array of beloved Bay Area cultural and educational institutions that were leading significant capital campaigns — Sackson will plan and direct integrated fundraising programs to expand local, national and international support for the museum’s exhibitions, programs, general operations and institutional growth.
“Nancy Sackson brings her broad fundraising expertise to the museum at an exciting point in our institutional history — we’re celebrating our 50th anniversary, and will be constructing a new special exhibition pavilion and refreshing our collection galleries starting in 2017,” says Dr. Jay Xu, Director and CEO of the Asian Art Museum. “Her strong history of developing philanthropic relationships in the Bay Area and beyond make her an ideal partner in engaging our community to support the next stages of the museum’s advancement.”
Sackson will join the museum on December 1, following two years as the Director of Development and Marketing at the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, where she masterminded a complete suite of marketing and fundraising strategies, including membership, annual fund, major and planned gifts, events, as well as institutional giving and sponsorship. From 2010 to 2014, she was Director of Development at the Exploratorium, serving as a member of the fundraising team charged with raising $300 million over five years to build the organization’s waterfront location on San Francisco’s Embarcadero.
Just as exciting, Sackson’s appointment is a bit of a homecoming: She served as the museum’s Associate Director of Development and Capital Campaign Manager from 1997 to 2001, helping guide the fundraising efforts for the Asian Art Museum’s move from its former home in Golden Gate Park to its iconic current home at Civic Center.
“The Asian Art Museum is a quintessential San Francisco institution — one that I know and love,” Sackson says. “As the museum’s Chief Philanthropy Officer, my aim is to harness the visionary leadership of Dr. Xu and the efforts of the board, staff and volunteers to enhance a culture of philanthropy that expands the impact and reach of the museum’s programs.”
Sackson’s experience includes serving as Senior Associate Vice President, Advancement, at the University of San Francisco, helping raise annual and capital funds to support university initiatives. She was also Vice President for Advancement at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where she led the $65 million capital campaign for the Conservatory’s new Civic Center campus. Prior to that, she was Director, Campaign Operations, at the University of California, San Francisco, helping a team raise in excess of $300 million annually, while planning and implementing a broader $1.4 billion comprehensive campaign.
A native of Ohio, Sackson graduated with a BA in Humanities/Classics and Art History from Ohio Wesleyan University in 1985 and received an MA in Art History/Museum Studies from Case Western Reserve University in 1987. Nancy has volunteered for numerous Bay Area animal welfare organizations including PAWS (Pets are Wonderful Support), the Milo Foundation and Pets Unlimited.
In March 2016, the museum announced plans to construct a 12,000-square-foot special exhibition pavilion designed by renowned Los Angeles-based architect Kulapat Yantrasast and wHY, his interdisciplinary design practice. Slated for construction in 2017, the new pavilion will create one of the nation’s premier exhibition spaces dedicated to Asian art, while increasing the number of exciting special exhibitions of historic and contemporary art presented for museum visitors.
The Asian Art Museum is one of San Francisco’s premier arts institutions and home to a world-renowned collection of more than 18,000 Asian art treasures spanning 6,000 years. Through rich art experiences, centered on historic and contemporary artworks, the museum unlocks the past for visitors, bringing it to life, while serving as a catalyst for new art, new creativity and new thinking.