Director of External Affairs - Ella Sharp Museum

The Ella Sharp Museum seeks an energetic, innovative, and dynamic individual to lead the museum’s fundraising, membership, marketing, and outreach efforts. The successful candidate will have demonstrated experience in cultivating donors, working strategically, and collaborating with internal and external stakeholders to nurture partnerships that support the museum’s engagement efforts.

Reports To:     ESM Executive Director

Classification: Full Time, Exempt

Department:    Development

Location:         3225 Fourth St. Jackson, MI

Supervises:     Volunteer/Membership Coordinator, Marketing/Communications Coordinator, Cell Block 7 Manager

Salary range: Director, $37,510 to $48,750 annually, benefit eligible

About this position:

The Director of External Affairs (DoEA) is a senior-level position reporting to the Executive Director. The DoEA is responsible for successfully developing and implementing a comprehensive fundraising program that includes strategy development; oversight of annual appeals and the membership program; corporate and foundation support; sponsorships; supervising marketing/communications; and integrating Cell Block 7 operations with the Ella Sharp Museum. The DoEA fosters a culture of philanthropy through effectively communicating our purpose, elevating our profile, and raising resources to help meet our ambitious goals. The DoEA is a member of the senior staff team that includes the Director of Learning and Engagement, Director of Facilities, and the Accounting and Business Office Manager. The DoEA works primarily M-F, 9 am—5 pm, one weekend per month, plus evenings and weekends to meet staffing needs for special events and programs.

Representative responsibilities of this office include: 

  1. Sets strategic direction and manages conceptualization, design, planning and implementation of all fund-raising strategies
  2. Grows earned income by overseeing all membership, marketing, grant writing and consults on facility rentals.
  3. Donor records and data management
  4. Cultivates sponsorships and major gifts
  5. Assesses program effectiveness, develops improvement mechanisms
  6. Supervises Volunteer and Membership Coordinator to grow membership program
  7. Supervises Marketing/Communications Coordinator to expand awareness among all target audiences
  8. Supervises Cell Block 7 Manager to increase awareness and engagement

Desired Qualifications: 

  • A motivated and dynamic individual with relevant educational background
  • Five-years of management experience or any other combination of experience that provides the required knowledge, skills, and abilities
  • Planning and management of fund-raising in not-for-profit or arts/culture organizations desired
  • Proven effectiveness in major gift solicitations or grant writing
  • Collaborates well in a team environment
  • Knowledge and experience with fundraising software, Giftworks experience desired
  • Creative problem solving skills

This position requires the ability to do one or more of the following throughout the day: sit, stand, and walk, to lift up to 30 lbs. occasionally, do close work in an office environment using a computer monitor and perform repetitive hand movements. Employee must be able to communicate verbally. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. All job applicants receive equal consideration for employment.

About the Ella Sharp Museum

The Ella Sharp Museum, founded in 1965, offers programs, exhibits, and experiences preserving community history, advancing art appreciation and understanding, connecting children with science and, through the Cell Block 7 Museum, explores Jackson’s prison history. Our 10-acre campus includes the Hadwin Center with exhibit galleries, program spaces, offices and a museum store; the Merriman Sharp farmhouse, a one-room schoolhouse, a log cabin, barn and other historic structures; and the Hurst Planetarium. Our mission focuses on providing opportunities to connect our community with history, the arts, and science. We received American Alliance of Museums accreditation in 1978 and have been reaccredited twice. One of the first small museums in the country to receive such distinction, the Ella Sharp Museum is one of only 38 accredited institutions in the state of Michigan.

How to apply:

Submit cover letter, resume, and writing sample, PDF preferred, via email to:

Diane Gutenkauf,
Executive Director,
Ella Sharp Museum,

Posted on the MMA website 6/10/2019.

 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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