Washington County Museum of Fine Arts names new Director of Development

HAGERSTOWN, MD – Elizabeth “Beth” Smith has joined the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts as Director of Development. Beth Smith hedshot-cropped

A Washington County native, Smith started her new position on July 6.

Smith has most recently been the Community Engagement and Development Manager at Potomac Case Management Services, where she has overseen brand awareness, community partnerships, grant funding and reporting, and led the team in securing more than 80% of the organization’s annual budget ($6-7 million).

In a prior position at WaterAid America, she coordinated a $2.5 million portfolio aligning programmatic priorities with donor interests. While there, she developed a reputation for relationship-building, fostering communication between employees and donors, and stewarding and renewing grant support. She holds a Master of Arts in sustainable international development from Brandeis University and an undergraduate degree in sociology with a minor in mathematics.

Washington County Museum of Fine Arts Executive Director Sarah Hall said, “Beth impressed me with her mission-based passion, her research into our current programming, and her analytical skills.”

At the museum, Smith will be responsible for establishing and strategizing to meet fundraising goals, managing major donors, cultivating new philanthropic sources, managing fundraising events, and promoting the museum, its program, and its mission in the community and nationally.

The national search for a new Director of Development was led by Benefactor Group, a Columbus, Ohio, specialist in nonprofit consulting.

Smith arrives at a key point in the museum’s history with the recent completion of master planning and the purchase of the nearby Key Street buildings, the museum is preparing to launch a major capital campaign. A $3.5 million grant from the State of Maryland has already been committed toward the estimated $18-million expansion and renovation project.

Smith named the museum’s planned expansion and renovation one reason she applied for the position.

Accepting the Director of Development position also allows her to continue to have a relationship with her hometown as well as an institution she has been familiar with since she was young. She said she remembers coming to the museum because her brother had artwork on display as part of the Washington County Public Schools Exhibition.

As she settles into her new position, Smith said she’s eager to build new relationships with community members and those who have been longtime supporters.

“I’m looking forward to engaging with those folks and focusing on their relationship with the museum, and how I can help foster those relationships,” she said.

Smith has compared driving up to the museum as a homecoming.

“Whenever you go around Park Circle and you see the museum, you’re like ‘OK, I’m home,’” she said.

When she’s not fundraising, she enjoys traveling, hiking, watching TV and movies, and spending time with her family, friends, and her cat.

Those interested in learning about opportunities to support the museum may contact Smith at 301-739-5727 or esmith@wcmfa.org.