Senior Development Director - Grand Rapids Public Museum

Posted on 8/21/23

FLSA Status: Salary-Exempt

Hours: Full-Time, some evenings and weekends

Compensation: $62,000

The Grand Rapids Public Museum is the oldest and second-largest museum in Michigan. We are a place of never-ending learning and discovery, with programs and exhibits focusing on history, science, and culture. The employee culture of the GRPM is one of teamwork, excitement, and learning. As an integral part of the West Michigan community, the Museum is open daily to visitors and hosts after-hours public events, programs, private events, and weddings. The entire GRPM team works to create positive visitor experiences through engaging exhibits and programs, and a safe, clean, welcoming space. Fundraising is an important revenue driver to ensure that the Museum can continue its vibrant role as a cultural educational center in West Michigan. Such financial support allows the Museum to create new exciting exhibits, programs, and activities and serve as a community gathering place for a variety of special events. It is a critical revenue stream for the Museum and enables it to remain a fiscally sustainable institution thereby ensuring it will be a community partner for many years to come.


The Senior Development Director is a high-level position directly responsible for individual donor prospects as well as general oversight duties related to all routine fundraising areas of the department. This position is charged with developing and implementing strategies for retaining existing financial support from individual donors as well as developing innovative approaches to increase new donor prospects. Scope of work activities includes leadership management of the professional and administrative staff in the absence of the Vice President of Fund Development. The position will also handle all fundraising presentations and reports to the Board and other funding partners as needed. The position works independently and serves as a member of the Development team, but is also responsible for coordination of their activities with necessary Museum staff, committee members and board members. The Senior Development Director reports to the Vice President of Fund Development and serves as a backup to the Vice President of Fund Development when deemed necessary.

RESPONSIBILITIES AND DUTIES include, but is not limited to the following:

● Develop a caseload of active individual prospects, and set and carry out strategies for the solicitation of these prospects.

● Assume and achieve annual fundraising and activity goals.

● Identifies new donor bases, directs processes and coordinates solicitation of funds.

● Initiate and create goals for development programs that align with the strategic objectives of the organization.

● Work independently and be self-motivated in initiating contact with potential donors.

● Work in a collegial manner on the team and with others in creating and implementing strategies for cultivation, solicitation, and closure.

● Manage donor events including VIP exhibit openings and tours.

● Assist in the long-range planning for the individual giving group.

● Work alongside the Donor Development Committee to help in the stewarding and solicitation of major givers; maintains an ability to teach, direct, and manage people- provide leadership on the Committee as required in the absence of the VP of Fund Development.

● Oversee the direct communications process and initiate the writing of development print materials in coordination with the Marketing department and Events Manager (newsletters and appeals) to ensure best practices are being met or exceeded. Work with Marketing on any external communications/creative needs including appeals, newsletters, invites, letters, social media needs, email blasts etc.

● Develops and compiles the department’s annual budget for review by the VP and presents to the Board.

● Oversees the Donor Relations Manager and the Administrative Database Manager positions.

● Serves as head of the department in the absence of the VP of Fund Development


● Strong people skills; work and communicate diplomatically and courteously with donors, staff, other team members, volunteers, guests, departments and key stakeholders to meet common objectives and desired outcomes.

● Must be organized, dependable, punctual and possess a strong work ethic.

● Must have strong interpersonal and conflict-resolution skills.

● Ability to multitask, several priorities and meet required deadlines.

● Must be proficient with various computer technology programs/systems.

● Maintain a professional appearance and demeanor.

● Familiarity with Google Workspace.


● At least 5 years of a similar level of progressive leadership fund development experience.


● Ability to demonstrate critical thinking, problem-solving and decision-making skills.

● Proficient in managing time, projects, processes and resources to produce desired outcomes.

● Demonstrate strong written and organizational skills with attention to detail.

● Proven ability to function effectively in a team environment, as well as work independently.

● Ability to work tactfully and effectively and follow both oral and written instructions.

● Ability to resolve conflicts and work well with other managers.

● Ability to be flexible, maintain a positive attitude and lead by example.

● Working knowledge of MS Office Suite, Google Workspace, Social Media, and database management.

● Ability to create and handle donor interest, and their personal information with tact, sensitivity and confidentiality.

● Ability to grow and sustain relationships with individuals and corporate partners leading to leadership level and major gifts, through innovative relationship-building strategies and best practices.

● Ability to set and meet realistic goals and establish work priorities.

● Ability to be organized (of people and materials) to reach goals.

● Ability to understand the needs and interests of major donors in order to develop relationships between them and the organization and have a proven track record of donor engagement.

● Ability to conduct analytical research and create- interpret – evaluate data report trends.

● Ability to implement results.

● Must have a driver’s license.


● Minimum of bachelor’s degree required in Non-Profit Fund Development or related field.


● Must be able to move, bend, stoop, reach, and lift up to 25 pounds.

● Frequent telephone and computer use.

● Must be able to sit for extended periods of time.


● Professional business setting with friendly interaction.

Thank you to our Partners!

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

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