Director of Development [Bostonian Society]

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on June 20, 1973 in job announcements |

The Bostonian Society seeks a genuinely creative development officer who possesses imagination, initiative, an understanding of the importance of collaboration, and a sense of humor.

The Director of Development is the Bostonian Society’s chief fund-raising official, responsible for overseeing the institution’s development operations and for setting and achieving goals in raising contributed income from individuals, corporations, government, and foundations.  The Development Director assumes a hands-on role in all activities of the development department, supervising the Development Operations Manager, researching prospects, planning approaches and cultivation events, and serving as chair of the Society’s communications committee.  The Development Director is a senior management team member, and functions in close cooperation with the Executive Director.

Candidates should bring 5 years of experience relevant to the position, and an advanced degree in non-profit management, museum studies, or a related field.  Strong oral and written communication skills and an understanding of the importance of collaboration are important. A knowledge of, and interest in Boston’s History is desirable.

The Bostonian Society is a non-profit history institution, with an operating budget of approximately $2 million/year.  Since 1881, it has been based at the Old State House, colonial America’s oldest public building and the center of Revolutionary Boston.  The Society is currently engaged in the overall reinterpretation and restoration of this important national landmark, focusing on the period of the 18th century when events in Boston changed the world forever.

Please e-mail resume and letter of interest to  hr@bostonhistory.org .  No phone calls or visits, please.

The Director of Development serves as chief development official of the institution, and is responsible for all of its fundraising functions.  The Development Director assumes hands-on responsibility for all activities of the Development Department, for setting and achieving goals, and for supervising the Department’s Development Operations Manager.  The incumbent also serves as chair of the Society’s internal Communications Committee. The Development Director is a senior management team member, working with significant independence but in close cooperation with the Executive Director.

Reports to:  Executive Director.

Areas of responsibility

Internal Operations –  The Development Director:

  • Works closely with all parts of the Society, remaining apprised of the priorities of the overall organization, as well as the plans and activities of each department.  The Director serves as a member of the senior management team, and with the Executive Director, the Development Director reviews and plans development activities;

  • Prepares an annual plan for cultivation and stewardship of all types of donors, including foundations, corporations, government, and individuals (including major givers, the Society’s members, and Board members).  With assistance from the Development Operations Manager, the Director researches new donor prospects, and maintains a prospect tracing list;

  • Manages the Development Department, which includes: establishing (in cooperation with the Director of Finance and Executive Director) an annual budget with fundraising targets for the department; monitoring and meeting budget goals of expenses; meeting budget goals of contributed revenues; and supervising the Development Operations Manager;

  • Works with the Executive Director and relevant Board members to plan approaches to potential supporters, including: preparing relevant materials to support these approaches (individual briefing papers as well as professionally-designed and printed matter); planning and setting-up meetings; meeting prospective donors individually and supporting the Executive Director in these approaches; and arranging appropriate follow-up steps.

Foundations – The Development Director:

  • Researches and identifies potential funders;

  • Identifies which projects of the Society are a good fit for particular funders;

  • Analyzes funding program guidelines, consults with funders’ representatives, and (in collaboration with colleagues) plans, prepares, assembles, reviews, and submits grant proposals

  • Monitors reporting deadlines, assembles materials for grant reports, and (in collaboration with colleagues) assembles materials for reports, and submits reports on a timely basis.

Corporations – The (Development?)Director:

  • Identifies potential new corporate contributors;

  • Works with Board members or friends of the Society to arrange contacts, and with Executive Director makes appropriate approaches to possible new corporate contributors;

  • Establishes and stewards on-going relationships with corporate donors.

Government – The Development Director:

  • With support of the Development Operations Manager, researches and identifies appropriate government funding programs;

  • Analyzes funding program guidelines, consults with funding agency’s representatives, and (in collaboration with colleagues) prepares and submits grant proposals

  • Monitors reporting deadlines, assembles materials for grant reports, and (in collaboration with colleagues) submits reports on a timely basis;

  • Researches and identifies relevant government officials who may prove useful in providing government support; works with the Executive Director to arrange and plan meetings, participates in meetings, and arrange appropriate follow-ups;

  • Cultivates on-going relationships for the Society with government officials.

Individuals – The Development Director:

  • Cultivates and stewards the Society’s members and major donors;

  • In cooperation with the Executive Director, drafts the spring and fall annual appeal letters, ensures they are sent out in a timely fashion and effective format, and ensures that relevant acknowledgement and thank-you letters are sent;

  • Researches and identifies appropriate donor prospects, and arranges with Board members, Development Committee members, and the Executive Director to establish contacts with prospects and to make approaches to them;

  • Works with the Board Chair and Chair of the Development Committee to cultivate annual donations from Board members;

  • Researches and identifies board prospects to be considered by the Nominations Committee;

  • Prepares briefing materials for Executive Director and board as needed.

Cultivation Events – The Development Director:

  • Works with the Development Operations Manager to plan donor cultivation events, including donors’ dinners, President’s Teas, and after-hours events for Members;

  • Plans and oversees the annual Members’ Holiday Party, in December.

Communications Committee – The Development Director:

  • Serves as chair of the Society’s internal Communications Committee, ensuring timely issuance of the Society’s eNews (The Exchange), its magazine (Proceedings of the Bostonian Society), and it social media messages;

  • Oversees the Society’s public relations, in cooperation with any consultants and the Development Operations Manager, which includes the preparation and timely issuance of relevant press releases.

Physical Requirements:

The work of this position takes place primarily in a normal office environment. Incumbent must possess the ability to work in a three-story historic structure that does not have elevators.


Responsibilities will ordinarily require:

  • Five or more years of experience in the non-profit sector;

  • An advanced degree in non-profit management, development, museum studies, or a related field;

  • Strong oral and written communication skills;

  • An understanding of the importance of collaboration, internally and externally;

  • Knowledge of, and interest in Boston’s history.


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