Discovery Place – Senior Director of Development

Categories: Job Opportunities

Position Description: Senior Director of Development

Reports To: Chief Advancement Officer


Discovery Place — Organizational Description

We inspire curious thinkers to discover the wonders of science, technology and nature.

Discovery Place is a private 501c(3) not-for-profit education organization dedicated to inspiring exploration of the natural and social world through extraordinary exhibitions and educational programs that inform, challenge and engage audiences of all ages. Discovery Place delivers its mission through 4 Museums – Discovery Place Science, Discovery Place Nature, and Discovery Place Kids – Huntersville and Rockingham – as well as over 1,000 outreach programs each year.


The Role:
The Senior Director of Development is responsible for leading annual support growth for Discovery Place (DP), which includes the management of the fundraising and membership programs. The Senior Director of Development, in tandem with the Chief Advancement Officer, will be responsible for creating a climate of engagement with DP’s external constituencies that will encourage private philanthropy, corporate partnerships and government and foundation investments in support of DP and its programs. This includes the planning, organization, coordination and implementation of membership, fundraising and sponsorship programs as well as major fundraising events, to attract support from individuals, corporations, foundations and government to meet the annual operating needs of Discovery Place.

The Senior Director of Development works directly with donors and prospective donors, directs the fundraising and membership teams, and collaborates with other leaders throughout the organization to coordinate efforts and secure resources. The successful candidate will work closely with DP’s Chief Advancement Officer to foster the organization’s philanthropic culture, creating strategies for prospect identification, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship that leverage the organization’s significant human capital.


Professional Responsibilities:

Development Planning
▪ With the Chief Advancement Officer, craft annual development plans outlining strategies to sustain and increase annual support from individuals, corporations and foundations
▪ Create multi-year strategies for implementing a moves management model of donor development, moving constituents from member to donor society member to major gift donor

Membership & Annual Fund Management
▪ Lead the membership team (currently 10,000 members) assuring continued growth and retention of members
▪ Oversee management of two annual fund giving societies – the Helix Society ($300-$750) and the Prism Society ($1,500+) – including planning and implementation of cultivation, solicitation and stewardship efforts
▪ Manage a portfolio of 100 Prism Society prospects/donors annually
▪ Oversee management of donor engagement activity including annual fundraiser (One Night Wonder), exhibition openings, Prism and Helix Society events, and membership events

Volunteer Management
▪ Manage Trustee and volunteer engagement on Prism Society and One Night Wonder activity
▪ Manage the Discovery Place Guild, a volunteer group that raises funds in support of our mission

Team Management
▪ Supervise, mentor and lead three (3) direct reports (Manager of Individual Giving, Manager of Donor Engagement, and Director of Corporate Relations), who in turn lead a membership and annual fund team of five (5) full-time and one (1) part-time employees
▪ Conduct annual evaluations of the membership and annual fund team staff members, suggesting ways to develop internal talent and providing corrective measures as needed

Development Systems Management
▪ Ensure DP has a strong system for maintaining up-to-date and accurate records of contacts with donors and prospects, overseeing Altru CRM data systems and facilitating strong fidelity of data and timely use of reporting
▪ Partner with Department Heads and staff leaders to ensure DPs goals and objectives are achieved, with particular focus on the Finance and Marketing Departments
▪ Develop and manage an annual fund budget, achieving revenue and expense targets

Professional Development
▪ Maintain fluency of trends in philanthropy
▪ Actively participate in professional fundraising associations and industry groups to stay abreast of new practices and innovations in the development field, employing appropriate best practices at DP


Required Qualifications & Competencies:
The ideal candidate would have the following capabilities and qualities:

▪ Bachelor’s Degree required, with a preference for candidates with an advanced degree and/or continuing education in advancement, fundraising and philanthropy; CFRE designation is strongly preferred
▪ 10 years + experience in development/fundraising
▪ Extensive experience in managerial and leadership roles in development or a specific area of fundraising; experience with moves management fundraising strategies strongly preferred
▪ Donor cultivation and solicitation experience required
▪ Proven ability to work as a team player with diverse groups of people and excellence in managing and developing teams
▪ Excellent interpersonal and customer service skills
▪ Superior communication skills (written and verbal)
▪ Highly motivated, action-oriented self-starter with strong organizational skills, especially planning and coordination. Ability to excel in a fast-paced environment
▪ Excellent time and task management skills as evidenced by a proven ability to efficiently and effectively handle multiple tasks at the same time with appropriate delegation
▪ High level of integrity, professional maturity and sound judgment
▪ Availability to work outside of traditional business hours
▪ Excellent skills and experience with Microsoft Word, Excel and Outlook, working with databases and internet research; experience with Raiser’s Edge or Altru (Blackbaud) software a plus – but the ability to learn and become proficient with this dynamic software is a must
▪ Decision-making skills in an ever-changing environment; ability to adapt, plan for and manage multiple projects in a fast-paced setting
▪ Sense of humor, creativity and an appreciation of how philanthropy helps build community
▪ Sound judgment in maintaining confidentiality of donor information
▪ Passion for the mission of Discovery Place


Salary will be competitive and commensurate with experience. Health and retirement benefits offered.


To Apply:
Discovery Place is an Equal Opportunity Employer committed to inclusive hiring and dedicated to diversity in its work and staff. Employment decisions are made without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sex, national origin, physical or mental disability, age, sexual orientation, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by applicable state or federal law. Discovery Place, Inc. encourages candidates of all groups and communities to apply for this position.

Beginning November 27, 2017 all inquiries, nominations and applications are to be directed via email to Next Stage Consulting: Applications must include a cover letter and CV. Please indicate in the subject line of your email the position and organization to which you are applying and where you learned of the opportunity. NO PHONE CALLS PLEASE.
Please note that only those candidates invited for screening will be contacted.