Chief Development Officer - Michigan Science Center

Posted on 11/14/2022

Reporting To: President and Chief Executive Officer

Location: Detroit, Michigan Michigan Science Center

Compensation: $125,000 to $175,000

The Michigan Science Center (MiSci) was founded in 2011 as a nonprofit organization and acquired the existing programs and 120,000 sq. ft facility of the Detroit Science Center in midtown Detroit with the broad-based goal of expanding its market. Today, MiSci hosts nearly 250,000 curious minds of all ages every year in its physical facilities in Detroit and through ECHO, its Traveling Science Program and distance learning initiative. MiSci’s goal for outreach is engaging learners in all 83 counties in Michigan while also building upon its important location within Detroit’s emerging cultural district in midtown.

MiSci’s strategy is to develop innovative ways to ignite a learner’s natural curiosity. Creative blends of onsite, offsite, and online experiences invite curious minds of all ages to ask questions and seek answers through active participation in the process of science. Personalization of the experience creates impactful learning opportunities. Pocket demonstrations and distancelearning programs put the observer at the Center of Science, allowing everyone to discover for themselves.

MiSci recently joined the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC as an affiliate member, connecting it with a wealth of resources and extended positioning in STEM learning and enabling joint membership in both institutions. MiSci has also been recognized as the #2 Science Center experience in the US, elevating its status and drawing visitors from a broader geography. These accomplishments have created an opportunity to expand its presence as a destination of choice for families and others seeking a learning experience while establishing the opportunity to promote the “cause” of STEM learning among potential donors, grant writers, educators, and policy makers.

Scope and Responsibilities
Known as HALO, the Executive Leadership Team at MiSci is composed of the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), the Chief Development Officer (CDO), the Chief Business Officer (CBO), Chief of Staff (COS), and various representatives from other leadership levels within the organization. This team operates in a highly collegial and collaborative manner to address the broad questions on how MiSci thinks strategically, ensures the sustainability of the organization, and fulfills its mission to guests, program participants, and the broader community. The team also oversees a team of operational leaders, known as the OZONE team, that run operations and execute plans for developing new and upgraded programming, improving operational efficiency, and expanding the depth of financial resources available through memberships, admissions, receipts, and donor development. In addition to building a stronger development function, the Career Opportunity at MiSci 2 CDO will have an important voice in shaping overall MiSci strategy and financial sustainability as a valued nonprofit in the region.

Functionally, the CDO will craft visioning and strategy for all outside funding sources including membership activities; foundation, government, and corporate grants; and annual and capital campaign fundraising. Fundraising will include a comprehensive list of supporting activities including annual giving, a capital campaign, managing endowment growth, major gift solicitations, planned giving, gift processing, data analysis, fundraising event management, and donor relations. The CDO will work collaboratively with the CEO and the Board in conducting donor research, establishing prospect lists, and coordinating major solicitations and gifts that support operations and increase impact.

In addition to contributing to organizational and communications strategy, department and institutional financial management, and survey research, and overseeing day-to-day operations of the Development team, the CDO will cultivate a culture of philanthropy within all stakeholders of the institution. Key activities and outcomes of the CDO’s work include

• Leading Strategy: Delivering a successful fundraising strategy with collaborative planning for campaigns and internal positioning of the Development team for success.
Managing Board Relations: Co-leading the Development Committee of the Board.
Conducting Donor Research and Prospecting: Overseeing donor research, data analysis, market trends, developing/managing prospect lists, and cultivating a diversified donor pool.
Facilitating “THE WORK” of Fundraising—Solicitations and Asks: Establishing annual fundraising targets and stretch goals and guiding their accomplishment.
Managing Development Team, Departmental Operations, and Expense Budgets: Leading the Development department, including its structure, functions, and effective customer relations both internally and externally.
Leading Initiatives and Special Projects—Comprehensive/Capital Campaign: Leading high-level strategic initiatives and projects involving innovation, improvement, and advancement of the organization through a comprehensive/capital campaign.

Key Selection Criteria
• B.A., B.S. from an accredited four-year college or university required
• M.A., M.S., MBA in marketing, sales, nonprofit leadership, organizational development, public relations, business management or related field preferred
• Experience with the tools, techniques, and technology of non-profit business management, project management, and fundraising. CFRE certification preferred
• Senior management experience preferred
• Demonstrated experience collaborating with and contributing to important organizational initiatives and performance

o Marketing and communications plans to advance an organization’s mission and goals
o Department and organization financial management and performance o Strategic planning and business strategy
o Survey research and evaluation Career Opportunity at MiSci 3

• Personal qualities including

o Impeccable personal and professional reputation and ethics
o Strong interpersonal and communication skills
o Executive presence and persuasive
o Well organized and flexible o Dynamic and energetic

How to Apply: Interested candidates are requested to send a resume and cover letter to DHR/JobPlex at Our search consultant will contact you to discuss your interest further.

The Michigan Museums Association is supported in part by an award from the Michigan Arts and Culture Council

Thank you to our Partners!

Michigan Museums Association       313-334-7643       PO Box 5246, Cheboygan, MI 49721

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