Major Gifts Officer/Development Director: Independence Seaport Museum

HoursFull Time; occasional weekend and evening hours required. At this time Museum staff is working remotely.

Compensation: Exempt position; competitive salary, excellent benefits; commensurate with experience

Reports to: President & CEO

Description: An ambitious, outward facing, strategic thinker interested in building a Major Gifts program from the ground up. Reporting to the President & CEO, the Major Gifts Officer will lead Development colleagues, collaborating with Museum Leadership and Programming Directors, to raise funds for programmatic, operational, endowment, and capital priorities. This new position will be a key member of the ISM Development team, helping to build a major gift program as part of a long-term strategic plan to create enhanced fiscal sustainability for the institution.


  • Five to seven years of progressive Major Gifts and/or Development experience.
  • Proven track record of success in initiating contact with prospective donors as well as participating in individual cultivation and solicitation for fundraising campaigns.
  • An approach to management that brings out the best in colleagues and yields pride, ownership and a sense of team effort.
  • Successful candidates will have the ability to articulate the priorities and programs of the Museum, and identify and understand the philanthropic interests of donors.
  • A genuine passion and energy for contributing to the growth and evolution of the Independence Seaport Museum; the ability to work effectively with a broad range of constituents, providing strong support, inspiring them to action, and making their experiences rewarding.
  • Superlative interpersonal communication skills with a demonstrated ability to work well with people at all levels of an organization, across a diverse range of education and social backgrounds, and to demonstrate an honest respect for each individual.
  • The capacity to understand and translate technical and programmatic information for all audiences; clarity, crispness, and effectiveness in written and oral presentation.
  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution is required.
  • Proficiency in Windows, Raiser’s Edge (or similar software) and Excel is preferred.

Essential Duties:

  • Develop a strategy that will enable ISM to enhance alliances with current donors while launching a systematic initiative to identify and target new bases of support including individuals, corporations and foundations capable of making major gifts in the $50,000 to $1,000,000 + range.
  • Identify, qualify, cultivate and solicit a portfolio of 100+ prospects and donors from within a larger group of current donors and by identifying new prospects.
  • Integrate ISM leadership, programmatic units and volunteers in this strategic framework, providing advice and support to the partnership.
  • Move potential donors in an appropriate and timely fashion toward solicitation and closure, making face to face solicitations and involving additional staff and volunteers when needed.
  • Develop and implement a strategy to commence and market a planned gift program.
  • Work with the President& CEO to set and meet metrics, including goals for meetings, proposals submitted, gifts secured, Leadership Annual Giving gifts secured, and identification visits with prospects.
  • Collaborate with Leadership, Development, and Museum staff to ensure that annual operating support gifts are part of a holistic philanthropic approach with donors.

The Independence Seaport Museum is an Equal Opportunity Employer that values diversity, inclusion, and equity as matters of fairness and effectiveness. We are committed to hiring and retaining a staff that reflects the diversity of the communities we serve, fostering an inclusive working environment where staff of all backgrounds feel welcomed and engaged in our mission. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status.

To apply:

Send a brief cover letter and your resume in an e-mail to Tim McGrath, at Recent writing sample of a funded grant application required; confidential and/or identifying information should be removed. No phone calls.

Independence Seaport Museum deepens the appreciation, understanding and experience of the Philadelphia region’s waterways through history, science, art and community.  For more information, please visit   We are located on Penn’s Landing at 211 S. Columbus Blvd., Philadelphia, PA 19106. The Museum is easily accessible by public transportation and nearby parking.