Vice President, Institutional Advancement: Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University

Posted June 29th, 2016 at 12:59 pm.

The Vice President of Institutional Advancement will be responsible for the successful development and execution of fundraising strategies to support the Academy’s ambitious goals for growth and expansion.

The Vice President for Institutional Advancement will join the team at an exciting time. In the past five years, since the Academy’s historic affiliation with Drexel University, the Academy has built a tremendously successful fundraising program and solidified its financial and operational models, earning a coveted 4-star rating from Charity Navigator for the past four years.  In collaboration with management, program leadership, trustees, and Drexel University, this position will help shape and communicate the Academy’s strategic vision as it moves into its third century.

The Vice President for Institutional Advancement will oversee all aspects of the Academy’s membership, individual giving, annual fund, major gifts, planned giving, and stewardship programs; member, donor, and fundraising events; and foundation, corporate, and government support. This position reports directly to the Academy’s President and CEO, and also works closely with the Senior Vice President, Institutional Advancement of Drexel University.  This position currently has four direct reports and oversees a dedicated and skilled team of ten.


Proven ability and success in managing all aspects of a fundraising program, including individual giving, membership, and institutional giving, ideally in a cultural institution.
Demonstrated success in soliciting and closing six and seven figure gifts from individuals and institutions.
Ability to work collaboratively with various constituent groups, museum staff, Trustees, and volunteer committees.
Experience with capital campaigns required.
Ability and willingness to travel on a frequent basis required.
Ability and willingness to work evenings and weekends required.
Excellent strategic thinking, problem-solving, planning, and managerial skills required.
Excellent written, verbal and interpersonal skills required.
Strong organizational skills with demonstrated accuracy and attention to detail required.
Familiarity with planned giving concepts and experience in soliciting planned gifts preferred.
Knowledge of database fundraising software Raiser’s Edge or CS Advance preferred.
Prior work in a museum or other cultural institution, and familiarity with natural history and/or scientific research subjects preferred.
Supervisory experience required.

Essential Functions:

Oversee all aspects of the Academy’s Individual giving program, including annual fund appeals, Leadership Circle giving, and Major Gifts.
Oversee the Academy’s Membership program, including membership recruitment, solicitation, upgrade and renewals program, communications, and fulfilment.
Oversee all foundation and corporate relations and requests, including corporate partnership program, EITC and corporate foundation giving, and corporate sponsorships.
With the Drexel Office of gift planning, oversee a comprehensive planned giving program for the Academy and strategically market planned gifts to prospective planned giving donors.
Oversee all Academy fundraising, cultivation, and member fulfilment events.
Act as primary liaison with Drexel’s departments of Institutional Advancement and Government Relations; serve on Academy’s Management Committee.
Provide staff liaison support and management of the Academy’s Board Development and Board Governance Committees.
Work collaboratively with other senior leaders to advance the strategic initiatives of the Academy.
Provide leadership, vision, and effective management to take the Academy’s  Institutional Advancement programs to a higher level of sophistication and demonstrated success.
Perform additional duties and responsibilities as assigned by the President & CEO.


About the Academy:

The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University is Philadelphia’s natural history museum and a world leader in biodiversity, evolution, and environmental research. Its mission is to advance research, education, and public engagement in biodiversity and environmental science. Since 1812, the Academy has been an international center for the study of the natural world. As such it has helped to shape human understanding of the environment as well as becoming the repository for millions of extraordinary documents and natural history specimens that chart the history of scientific research in America and around the world. Many specimens in its collections predate its founding and reflect the work of famous naturalists and scientists, including Thomas Jefferson, John James Audubon, Meriwether Lewis, and William Clark.

With more than 18 million specimens, the Academy holds one of the largest and most significant collections of extinct and extant plants and animals in the world. The Academy’s Ewell Sale Stewart Library, established at the Academy’s first meeting, is the oldest natural history library in the Americas. In 1948, before water pollution and environmental degradation were topics of public concern, the Academy established the Patrick Center for Environmental Research (PCER) and pioneered a multidisciplinary approach to assess the health of ecosystems. Today, the Academy is an international natural history museum that pursues research and education focusing on the global environment and its diverse species, serving approximately 250,000 visitors each year, including 75,000 schoolchildren, through onsite visits and outreach programs.

In May 2011, the Academy of Natural Sciences announced a historic affiliation with Drexel University to promote discovery, learning, and civic engagement in the natural and environmental sciences. This innovative partnership provides the Academy with new resources for its scientists and museum, from teaching opportunities for its scientists to tapping into Drexel’s technology and media arts programs for its exhibitions. In 2012, the Academy and Drexel launched a new department, Biodiversity, Earth, and Environmental Sciences (BEES), with Academy and Drexel scientists as faculty and the Academy’s rich collections and a resource for students. The Academy is also involved with Drexel’s new Museum Leadership Program, the School of Education, and the Institute for Energy and the Environment.

The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer, welcomes individuals from diverse backgrounds and perspectives, and believes that an inclusive and respectful environment enriches the University community and the educational and employment experience of its members. The Academy prohibits discrimination against individuals on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, disability, age, status as a veteran or special disabled veteran, gender identity or expression, genetic information, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions and any other prohibited characteristic.  Please visit our website to view all University Policies and Workplace Postings.

Background investigations are required for all new hires as a condition of employment, after the job offer is made. Employment will be contingent upon the Academy’s acceptance of the results of the background investigation.

To Apply

Filed under: Executive Level by Margie DuBrow

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