The Vice President for Advancement at the Museum of Life and Science will work closely with a dynamic new President and CEO in developing new and expanding existing philanthropic relationships within the region and will provide creative, energetic, and strategic leadership for the Museum’s development activities. The Vice President will also lead, develop, and mentor a team of three development professionals that is responsible for generating more than ten percent of the Museum’s $10 million annual operating budget. The Vice President further supports the Museum mission by acting as a member of the Executive Team, actively participating in Museum’s programs and activities, and serving as liaison to the Board Development Committee. As a member of the Executive team, the Vice President helps sustain a culture of equity, integrity, inclusion, and transparency.
The Vice President will advance the mission, vision, and goals of the Museum in all phases of advancement by maintaining close working relationships with the President, other members of the Executive team, Board members, and key donors. They will create and cultivate positive partnerships within the civic, philanthropic, and business communities that result in philanthropic investments in the Museum’s mission. They will build a culture of philanthropy throughout the Museum, maintaining collaborative relationships with the Museum’s leadership, whose cooperation is essential to effective cultivation and fundraising. In partnership with the Vice President of Finance, they will develop and present the Museum’s annual funding request to Durham County government and establish and maintain development and gift-processing policies and procedures.
As the Museum’s primary fundraiser, the Vice President will create and execute fundraising plans, leveraging best practices in annual, major, and planned gift programs. They will develop a diverse and sustainable base of financial support by identifying and securing gifts and grants to ensure capital and operating budget needs are fulfilled or exceeded. They will develop and implement processes that cultivate long-term relationships by converting members to donors and donors to investors, maintain a dynamic portfolio of high net-worth individuals, and secure major, capital, and planned gifts. They will lead a results-orientated team to increase contributions for expanded programs and capital projects outside the scope of annual operations.
As leader of the Museum’s Development team, the Vice President will support, mentor, and direct team members toward goal-oriented outcomes, job satisfaction, and career development. Development team members include the Vice President for Advancement, the Director of Development, the Development Manager, and the Development Associate. In leading this team, the Vice President will develop and monitor the department’s budget and participate in cross-departmental efforts as needed. The Vice President will monitor professional trends and should be oriented to legislative and regulatory developments at the federal, state, and local levels that affect cultural and nonprofit institutions, and philanthropy in general. With the Executive Team and other Museum employees, they will plan and coordinate an inspirational and aspirational 75th Anniversary fundraising event.
The Museum of Life and Science
The mission of the Museum of Life and Science (MLS) is to provide a place of lifelong learning where people of all ages embrace science as a way of knowing about themselves, their community, and their world.
The Museum of Life and Science is one of North Carolina’s top family destinations, located less than five miles from downtown Durham in the heart of the Research Triangle region. Situated on 84-acres, our interactive science park includes a two-story science center, one of the largest butterfly conservatories on the East Coast and beautifully landscaped outdoor exhibits which are safe havens for rescued black bears, lemurs, and endangered red wolves. Other popular attractions include more than 60 species of live animals, Dinosaur Trail, Ellerbe Creek Railway, and Hideaway Woods. Readers of Durham Magazine, Indy Week, and Carolina Parent have repeatedly named MLS the top Museum in the Triangle. Charity Navigator rated the Museum, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, 100 out of 100—the highest possible score.
The Museum serves our increasingly diverse community with interactive and accessible experiences that build and develop lifelong connections with science, nature, and critical thinking. The Museum has a national reputation as a leader in accessibility and partners with NASA, NOAA, the National Science Foundation, Duke University, NC State University, and the University of North Carolina on many research projects and programs. In addition, despite the pandemic, MLS development revenues have grown by 20% over the past three years.
- B.A. or equivalent demonstrated work experience
- At least seven years’ dynamic responsibility in development leadership, with significant success in individual, corporate, and planned giving, stewardship, grant-writing, and major events
- Experience supporting board activities related to development
- At least five years’ significant supervisory experience, including crafting and managing budgets, with success in leading a team to achieve short- and long-term objectives
- Demonstrated success in securing major gifts, including cultivation through solicitation and stewardship, as well as experience in annual-giving strategies
- Systematic and innovative leader, skilled in integration of modern advancement-related functions such as relationship-driven fundraising strategies
- Demonstrated ability to work in concert with the CEO on strategy as a top advisor, knowing when to engage CEO to close a major gift
- Demonstrated ability to work with external partners including community and government leaders
- Genuine dedication to the mission of the Museum of Life and Science and to the value of science to the community and the world
- Strong communication skills: respectful, insightful, and consensus-building
- Skilled at setting and assessing goals, with agility to pivot when vital to ensure the Museum’s long-term sustainability
- Demonstrated ability to extract, analyze, and present data to support quality decision making
- Familiar with pertinent software applications (ideally Microsoft 365 and Blackbaud Altru)
Desired qualifications include previous museum experience, knowledge of local, regional, and national donor bases, experience in winning Federal grants, experience in a member-centric organization with an understanding of the member-to-donor pipeline, and demonstrated success in one or more comprehensive capital or endowment campaigns
Salary and Benefits: The hiring salary range is $95,000-110,000. The Museum of Life and Science offers competitive compensation commensurate with experience, as well as a full array of employee benefits including a generous 403b retirement plan with employer contributions, health, dental and vision insurance, an FSA plan, life insurance, long-term disability insurance, paid vacation and sick leave, nine paid holidays annually, employee appreciation events, and Museum membership.
The Museum of Life and Science is committed to providing equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment regardless of race, color, religion, creed, age, national origin or ancestry, ethnicity, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, military or veteran status, or any other category protected by federal, state, or local law. As an equal opportunity employer, we recognize that diversity is a positive attribute and we welcome the differences and benefits that a diverse culture brings. Come join us!
Employment is contingent upon the successful completion of a background check.
About Durham: Located halfway between the Great Smoky Mountains and the beaches of the Atlantic, Durham is home to hundreds of restaurants, more than 40 annual festivals, Duke and North Carolina Central universities, art and science museums, world-class medical facilities, and a rapidly growing, richly diverse population. One of three cities that make up North Carolina’s Research Triangle, Durham is known as a vibrant hub for innovation and technology, as well as an incubator of many successful start-ups. It is consistently ranked among the best places to live, do business, and retire.
Please send nominations or cover letter and resume to: MLSsearch@mossandross.com