Vice President of Development: Independence Seaport Museum

Posted January 15th, 2015 at 10:29 am.

Position Summary

The Vice President of Development (“VPD”) is responsible for planning and implementing the Museum’s comprehensive development program and its interaction with the Museum’s marketing and membership initiatives.  The VPD reports directly to the Museum’s Chief Executive Officer and is a member of the senior management team.  The VPD will work closely with the CEO, senior staff and the Board of Trustees on all Museum fundraising initiatives, including capital campaigns, major gifts, annual giving, planned giving, and special events.


  • Direct and manage multi-faceted development program
  • Be a key resource to the CEO and active member of senior management team
  • Participate in long-range strategic planning initiatives for the Museum
  • Serve as development staff to the CEO and Board leadership and coordinate and support their work with prospects
  • Formulate fundraising strategies, including efforts to increase funding from current/past donors as well as attracting  gifts from newly identified prospects
  • Direct and support Museum’s major gift prospect activities including identification, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship
  • Manage Museum’s prospect pipeline, and oversee prospect tracking process in Raiser’s Edge database
  • Personally responsible for managing a major gift prospect pool of 50+ names
  • Hire and supervise all members of the development staff (currently 5 full-time and 1 part-time position) and monitor their efforts on a timely basis
  • Staff the Development and Nominating Committees of the Board
  • Partner with CEO and Board chair to identify and recruit new board members
  • Plan orientation programs and development  training sessions for Board and staff
  • Evaluate and monitor services and systems that support the development program, including prospect research, gift processing, and gift acknowledgement
  • Oversee the Museum’s stewardship program and organize and implement donor cultivation/recognition events
  • Establish institutional giving programs for sponsorships and corporate gifts
  • Work with Museum’s grant writer to develop foundation prospect list and review and edit all grant proposals to be submitted to foundations/corporations
  • Collaborate with Marketing/Communications staff in the creation of materials supporting fundraising as well as other collateral materials that tell the Museum story to its multiple constituencies
  • Work with CEO and Museum finance staff on the preparation and oversight of annual operating plans and budgets
  • Perform other duties as assigned by the CEO


  • Bachelor’s degree required
  • Minimum of 10 – 15 years of development experience, including strong track record in major gifts fundraising
  • Broad knowledge of all facets of a sophisticated development program, including capital campaigns, major gifts, annual giving, planned giving, fundraising events
  • Excellent organizational, writing, interpersonal and “diplomacy” skills
  • Empathetic communicator and careful listener
  • Ability to establish meaningful long-term relationships with prospects, donors, and volunteers
  • Experience in briefing and staffing top leadership at prospect and board meetings
  • Demonstrated success in working with boards and other volunteers
  • Mission-driven and creative leader with strong management skills and significant experience in hiring, motivating, directing and evaluating staff
  • Ability to set objectives, develop plans and implement programs to achieve goals
  • Solid understanding of  fundraising databases, including segmentation, tracking, and donor research capabilities
  • Familiarity with Raiser’s Edge preferred
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office, including but not limited to Excel, Access, Outlook, and Word, plus ability to learn other software programs as needed.
  • Experience with museums or related history/science organizations preferred
  • Knowledge of Philadelphia-area philanthropic community a plus
  • Evening and weekend hours required

Compensation and Benefits

  • Competitive salary and benefits, including medical, dental, vacation, sick, and personal days.
Filed under: Executive Level by Margie DuBrow

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