Development Associate – Fair Lane: The Home of Clara and Henry Ford

Department:  Development
Grade/Classification: 5
Reports To:  Site Manager
Status:  Exempt
Location: Dearborn, MI


Responsible for planning and coordinating operational aspects of the development effort at Fair Lane – Home of Clara & Henry Ford (FL) including financial management, creation of new partnerships, selected special events, cultivation of relationships and development of new sources of revenue to support educational and stewardship objectives for FL. 


  • Develop, produce and manage departmental programs (current and future) including: memberships; annual, major and planned giving; fund-raising/friend-raising events and activities; database and donor acknowledgment oversight; corporate relations; grant writing; and recurring sources of financial support.
  • Lead the development of annual departmental work plans, goals, timelines and budgets.
  • Develop, recommend, and manage the departmental budget in a manner that ensures efficient and effective use of resources.
  • Working in conjunction with Board leadership, President & CEO, Site Manager and other management personnel, identify funding needs, research resources, nurture relationships, and guide the development of proposals for public, corporate and foundation funding.  
  • Identify potential sponsors and underwriters for exhibits, special events, and programs to offset costs and enhance revenue generation.  Establish and maintain relationships with sponsors.
  • Develop plans and execute solicitations.
  • Conceptualize, develop, and direct special events designed to raise funds for educational and stewardship programs such as the annual Fair Lane Dinner Dance.
  • Track department fundraising progress and activities with regular reports and analytical information that will be useful to evaluate progress towards its goals.
  • Develop website and social media content in coordination with the Communications department to highlight and provide ongoing updates and progress of the department’s progress.
  • Ongoing stewardship of all donors to the Estate.
  • As a member of the FL team, participate and assist in special programs, projects, and activities as needed.
  • Work collaboratively with peers and others as needed at FL.
  • Represent and promote Fair Lane’s mission, vision and values by making presentations to individuals, organizations and other stakeholders.   
  • Represent FL and/or the department at institution-wide meetings.


  • Passion for the mission and work of Fair Lane – Home of Clara & Henry Ford.
  • Bachelor’s degree and required minimum of 3 years of experience meeting fundraising goals and/or working in a development department (or equivalent).
  • Creativity and flexibility to work in an environment undergoing significant growth and change.
  • Self-starter with a desire and commitment to succeed and grow with the organization.
  • Collaborative and inclusive “team player” nature.
  • Confident and professional demeanor.
  • Some familiarity with local donors, foundations and funders.
  • .Demonstrated ability to network effectively, cultivate and maintain relationships with donors, and successfully close gifts for support.  
  • Outstanding written and interpersonal communication skills.
  • Familiarity and comfort with social media and other digital tools.
  • Understanding of marketing principles.  
  • Proficient in use of fundraising software and spreadsheets.    
  • Ability to function effectively as an institutional team member to set and evaluate goals, resolve problems, and make decisions. 
  • Ability to work well under pressure, meet objectives, and be flexible in a changing and growing organization.  
  • Comfort level with ambiguity and transition.


             $40,000 to $50,000 per year.

Submit cover letter and resume’, with salary requirements, to

Posted on the MMA website 9/17.

 The Michigan Museums Association is supported in part by an award from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the National Endowment for the Arts.

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

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