Gardner Museum Names New Chief Development Officer
July 28, 2020 — The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, one of the most visited Massachusetts nonprofit museums prior to the coronavirus pandemic, yesterday announced that Rebecca Ehrhardt has been named chief development officer.
“Rebecca brings exceptional development experience, collaborative spirit, deep knowledge of the arts and museum sector, and personal commitment to the core values that we have articulated in our strategic plan,” said Peggy Fogelman, director of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. “We’re fortunate and excited to have Rebecca join our leadership team here at the Gardner Museum.”
Over the last eleven years, Ehrhardt has served as senior director of development, director of individual giving, and major gifts officer for the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) in Salem. Among her responsibilities there, Ehrhardt developed and implemented principal and major gifts strategies for the PEM’s $650 million campaign.
Ehrhardt has more than 20 years of fundraising experience at large nonprofits. During her time with the Boston Symphony Orchestra from 1996 to 2000, she held multiple titles including director of major gifts. From 1994 to1996, she was a special projects officer for historic preservation at the University of Virginia. Ehrhardt began her career in 1991 at the American Museum of Natural History.
“I am delighted and humbled to join the Gardner community and work alongside tremendous colleagues to advance the bold vision and mission of this remarkable institution,” said Ehrhardt. “A belief in the power of art and creativity to change lives guides my work, and I look forward to the ways the Gardner can be a leader in sharing that power broadly and generously.”
Ehrhardt currently serves on several boards, including the Alumni Fund board of directors at Yale University and the Lynch van Otterloo YMCA board of directors in Marblehead.
She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from Yale University.
The museum's strategic plan calls for increasing the number of annual exhibitions that connect historical and contemporary art, broadening appeal to younger and more diverse audiences, expanding its digital offerings, and expanding outreach to Boston Public School and community colleges.
Last year, the Boston Business Journal ranked the Gardner museum as the eighth most visited nonprofit museum in Massachusetts, registering 327,322 attendees in 2018, the most recent year for which attendee counts were available, up 8.7% from the year before. The gain in visitors stood in strong contrast to the 2.4% drop registered by the 25 most visited nonprofit Massachusetts museums as a group during the same period.
For the year ending June 30, 2018, the Gardner Museum reported $20.0 million in revenue, of which $11.6 million came from contributions and grants, and $22.5 million in expenses, according to its most recently available federal tax filing.
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