Director of Campaign and Major Gifts

March 2023 | Hybrid / Charlestown, MA
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USS Constitution Museum seeks a Director of Campaign and Major Gifts to lead an ambitious capital campaign that will fund a new and treasured cultural landmark on Boston Harbor.

About USS Constitution Museum

the uss constitution ship on the bayEstablished 50 years ago, the USS Constitution Museum serves as the memory and educational voice of USS Constitution, a wooden warship so sturdy and strong it earned the nickname “Old Ironsides.” The ship herself floats near the Museum on Boston’s waterfront and Freedom Trail. It is the world’s oldest commissioned warship still sailing, defending sea lanes against global threats since 1797. After 225 years, “America’s Ship of State” is still in service with its first female captain who leads a crew of active-duty US Navy sailors.

Welcoming nearly 300,000 visitors a year, the nonprofit USS Constitution Museum offers an array of hands-on exhibits and programs that transport visitors back in time to experience life on the ship and in Boston during the 18th-19th centuries. The Museum’s mission is to engage all ages in the story of Constitution to spark excitement about maritime heritage, naval service, and the American experience. The USS Constitution Museum is an award-winning leader in family engagement and maritime history, presenting a model for how stories of the past can become relevant, relatable, and fun for all ages. The Museum is a leading destination for field trips and a resource for teachers, both in the classroom and online. From students and families to military members and museum professionals, the Museum shares USS Constitution with visitors in ways that are enjoyable and lasting.

The Museum believes that exploring history where it really happened has a big impact. That is why they strive to make USS Constitution, and the maritime heritage she represents, open to the community. The USS Constitution Museum is committed to building a welcoming, inclusive, safe, and accessible environment for all people. They are dedicated to thoughtful and responsible interpretation of the American experience through the lens of USS Constitution and strive to be a center of conversation, learning, and growth. The admission by donation policy ensures all visitors have access to this extraordinary icon of the American experience. Place-based education programs empower students to think critically and creatively both in the galleries and on the decks of Constitution. They offer these programs—and transportation to the Museum—to Boston Public School students free of cost so that local young people can explore their hometown history. They salute those who serve with free admission for active-duty and retired military members. By exploring “Old Ironsides”’ history through programs and exhibits, visitors discover how ordinary people can come together to achieve extraordinary success. 

The Museum has received many local and national awards; recent recognition includes:

  • USA Today’s 10Best Readers’ Choice award in the “Best History Museum” category 2022
  • TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Award for 2022
  • The Boston Parents Paper named the Museum its top Family Favorite in the categories of “Historic Sites & Tours” in 2022 and the “Museums & Attractions” category. 
  • The Museum has received the top 4-star rating from Charity Navigator for the last 10 years. Only 6% of the non-profit organizations that Charity Navigator evaluates receive at least seven consecutive 4-star ratings “indicating that the USS Constitution Museum outperforms most other charities in America.”

About Philanthropy at USS Constitution Museum

young children dressed up as a ship captainOn an annual basis, the development department raises approximately $1.2M from more than 1,000 donors to support an operating budget of $3M. The last comprehensive campaign was completed in 2014 and raised $7M for exhibit space, programs, and endowment. The campaign leveraged the bicentennial of the War of 1812 and successfully raised individual, corporate, and foundation support, exceeding goal by $2M. Over the years, the Museum has also embarked on various other fundraising initiatives that have helped raise funds for specific projects, such as a $1M effort to renovate and open an education center.

The Museum is in the seed phase of a $33M capital campaign to build a Gateway to Boston Harbor which will house, among other things, a new state-of-the-art Museum. In partnership with the US Navy and National Park Service, the Museum has a once-in-a-generation opportunity to add to Boston’s dynamic waterfront, modernize its facility, and relocate to be directly adjacent to “Old Ironsides.” This significant undertaking is part of a multi-million-dollar redevelopment project in the Charlestown Navy Yard.

The new USS Constitution Museum and Gateway Center will activate collections and bring dynamic programming to visitors through new technology and rotating exhibits. Serving as a treasured Boston and national cultural landmark, the Museum will commemorate and inspire service, duty, and civic engagement for future generations of visitors.

The Gateway Center plans to break ground in 2027. The Museum has already secured early commitments from lead donors and is actively engaging new donors in this exciting project. With campaign counsel engaged as well as a strong campaign plan and thorough prospect analysis in place, there is great opportunity for early success.  

About the Position

The new Director of Campaign and Major Gifts (DCMG) will join the Museum at an exciting and pivotal time, to champion the campaign and serve as the face of the Museum in generating philanthropic funds. The DCMG will play an integral role in the present and future of the organization by working with Museum leadership, the development team, and campaign counsel to successfully lead the largest philanthropic undertaking in its history.

The DCMG will build and lead an ambitious and growth-oriented major giving program that reflects the Museum’s mission, goals, and bold plans. They will devote most of their time to developing relationships with new prospects and taking relationships with existing donors to the next level to significantly grow philanthropic giving. Board and staff say the ideal candidate will be a “road warrior” when it comes to cultivating and stewarding relationships with donors and prospects, as well as having a superb story-telling ability in bringing the Museum’s mission to life and making the case for support.

For candidates who are committed to preserving and strengthening our national heritage, this role provides a distinct opportunity to create a beloved cultural landmark that will serve as the capstone of Boston’s Freedom Trail and make an indelible mark on Boston’s waterfront.

Key Responsibilities

The Director of Campaign and Major Gifts serves in an important leadership role reporting directly to the President & CEO and will have overall responsibility for the major giving program and campaign success. The DCMG will be an externally facing fundraiser with previous campaign experience, who will:

  • group of people looking at artifacts laid out on a tableLead a goal and outcome-oriented major giving program that meets campaign goals:
    • Implement a campaign plan, in partnership with campaign counsel
    • Set ambitious and transparent revenue, performance, and engagement goals
    • Monitor progress to goal and recalibrate plan accordingly
  • Manage a portfolio of approximately 150 major gift prospects to solicit and close gifts of 5, 6, and 7 figures
  • Support and partner with the President & CEO and select Board members and volunteers in raising the Museum’s public profile and visibility, as well as in their role supporting campaign fundraising efforts
  • Support the Campaign Committee and participate in Board recruitment and engagement
  • Collaborate with key stakeholders to further define and articulate a sophisticated and compelling campaign case for support
  • Participate in hiring and onboarding a campaign coordinator; manage coordinator once hired
  • Collaborate with the Director of Development, Development team members, and colleagues across the Museum to integrate other fundraising related activity and new Museum initiatives with the campaign

Key Qualifications

The successful candidate will be a seasoned and results-oriented fundraiser. They will possess outstanding interpersonal competencies and be eager to broaden and deepen support from major gift, institutional, and planned gift prospects.

  • a mother and child looking at a smaller uss constitution10+ years of increasing responsibility in a successful individual giving program with a proven track record of deepening relationships and securing 6 to 7-figure gifts
  • Experience managing and engaging Board level volunteers
  • A metrics-driven, self-driven professional with a commitment to working in a collaborative environment and the ability to be flexible and tenacious
  • Superb interpersonal and relation-management skills
  • Success in working with culturally diverse constituencies
  • Demonstrated verbal and written communication and presentation skills
  • Commitment to the mission of USS Constitution Museum
  • Valued, but not required, experience with:
  • engaging non-built-in constituencies
  • managing staff
  • cultural, maritime, or public history nonprofits
  • Ability to travel for donor visits or as the Museum’s representative; some weekend and evening availability required

All qualified candidates will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

The salary range for this position is $125K – $145K; the successful candidate’s starting salary will be determined commensurate with experience, competencies, and skillset.

Hybrid options available.

Apply to this position using the form below or email your resume and cover letter in confidence to:

Tara DiDomenico

Senior Consultant

Development Guild DDI

Apply Now

Please complete this form to be considered for this role.

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