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Director of Philanthropy
New Bedford Whaling Museum in Bedford, Massachusetts
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Date Posted 10/22/2019
Employment Type Fulltime
Application Deadline Open until filled

About the New Bedford Whaling Museum
The New Bedford Whaling Museum (NBWM) was founded in 1903 by the children of the progenitors of the American whaling industry, and for more than a century, has told the rich history of the region through art, culture and science. Today, The Whaling Museum is a leader in the cultural landscape of the SouthCoast serving more than 100,000 visitors and offering engaging exhibitions, dynamic public programs and vibrant educational activities appealing to learners of all ages. The cornerstone of New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park, the Museum is located in the heart of the city's historic downtown.

The NBWM claims many superlatives amongst its holdings including the world’s largest: library of whaling logbooks, prints, journals; collection of scrimshaw; Japanese whaling art and literature outside of Japan; Dutch Old Master marine paintings in the New World. The Museum’s complete coverage of 19th and 20th century whaling technology makes it a global center for scholarly research.

The Opportunity

The NBWM raises over $2M annually to support both unrestricted and operating needs as well as restricted projects. Philanthropy will play an increasingly vital role in the Museum's ability to advance understanding of the region’s history from the whaling industry and the port of New Bedford, to the textile revolution, to the new blue economy and wind energy, and their influence on the history, economy, ecology, arts, and cultures of the region, the nation and the world.

As the Museum embarks on a comprehensive strategic planning process under the leadership of its dynamic President/Chief Executive Officer, it is the ideal time for a new Director of Philanthropy to join the team, seize the tremendous opportunity to build on the Museum’s fundraising success, and increase its capacity to secure significant philanthropic investment, including endowment and planned gifts.

Overview of the Director of Philanthropy Position

Reporting to the President, and serving as a member of the leadership team, the Director of Philanthropy cultivates and strengthens existing relationships and establishes new opportunities and connections for future support from individuals, corporations, foundations and city, state, and federal sources.

The NBWM seeks a talented development leader who is innovative and entrepreneurial in their approach to achieving philanthropy objectives through major/planned giving, annual fund, grants, membership, donor stewardship and event strategies.

Specifically, the Director of Philanthropy will be an experienced, passionate, fundraising professional with demonstrated success in taking individual leadership giving to new levels. The ideal candidate will be able to illustrate past performance in personally identifying, cultivating, soliciting and closing major/planned gifts through a systematic moves management approach, and collaborating with the Chief Executive Officer, Board and Development Committee to develop a strong major/planned giving pipeline.

Core Responsibilities

  • Lead the strategic direction, promotion, implementation, expansion and assessment of all philanthropic avenues to increase charitable support and organizational awareness

  • Build, implement and grow a comprehensive fundraising program with a focus on major/planned giving, and including annual fund, restricted projects, membership, grants, sponsorships and special events

  • Establish strong relationships with Museum leadership, staff, Board of Trustees, Museum Advisory Council, and volunteers, leveraging their talents to enhance fundraising activities

  • Grow the Museum’s culture of philanthropy with emphasis on mentoring employees to develop fundraising skills to support revenue generating efforts

  • Work proactively to research and develop new sources of individual, foundation, corporate and government funding

  • Create a structure of strong stewardship for all committed supporters

  • Manage a grant effort responsible for securing sources of funding for restricted needs and special projects

  • Manage a development team and oversee department functions, including donor cultivation and special events, gift processing, data entry, donor acknowledgement, membership benefit fulfillment, and accuracy of donor files

Specific Qualifications

  • BA/BS degree from a college/university

  • 7 to 10 years of experience in fund development with 3 to 5 years of experience in major/planned giving preferred

  • Experience in managing, mentoring and developing staff

  • Ability to use interpersonal skills to build strong relationships with potential funders, board members, internal and external stakeholders

  • Ability to design and implement donor-centric fundraising initiatives and achieve goals

  • Effective oral and written communication skills with the ability to inspire and influence across multiple audiences and through various channels

  • Strong competence at crafting proposals, donor correspondence and other materials

  • Experience in planning donor cultivation/fundraising special events

  • Familiarity with Raiser’s Edge a plus and demonstrated knowledge of database management and development systems with an ability to systematically manage and track prospects/donors

  • Excellent time and project management skills and high-level commitment to customer service

  • Solid understanding of general non-profit fundraising management, principles and best practices

  • Some travel required

*Please mention to employers when applying for this job*
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