AWM Executive Director
The American Writers Museum Foundation
The American Writers Museum Foundation’s (AWMF) mission is to establish the first national museum in the United States dedicated to engaging the public in celebrating American writers and exploring their influence on our history, our identity, our culture and our daily lives. The American Writers Museum (AWM) will be located in Chicago. The Foundation is a 501-c(3) non-profit organization.
The Executive Director’s primary responsibility will be to implement the Business Plan for the first phase of the museum, which includes a campaign to raise $10m. The Executive Director will also be involved in securing the space for, and overseeing the build out of, the First Edition (the first phase of the museum) as described in the Business Plan
Leadership and Management
• Develop partnerships, programs, and strategic alliances in support of the AWM and its campaign.
• Advise Board regarding all strategic issues facing AWM, providing them appropriate, adequate, and timely information.
• Ensure that sound working relationships are maintained with donors, sponsors, industry organizations, literary spokespersons, public and governmental bodies, service providers (e.g., bankers, auditing firms, legal counsel and outside consultants) and accreditation/certification agencies.
• Manage the fundraising efforts for the First Edition of the museum
• Manage a portfolio of 50 prospects
• Work with AWMF Chairman to maximize fundraising support for the campaign
• Work with the American Writers Museum Founders Council ( an AWM volunteer leadership group) on prospect and donor qualification, cultivation and solicitation
• Manage cultivation events for the AWM
• Develop and implement long-term fundraising plans (beyond the campaign) with the AWMF Board of Directors.
• Design and implement an effective program for donor support and maintenance, including effective communication and acknowledgement, reporting and documentation functions.
• Serve as leading spokesperson for the AWM in Chicago
• Serve as ambassador for the AWM at Chicago literary and networking events
• Act as liaison to the media and oversee public relations activities including press releases, press events, advertising, and marketing.
• Implement a public relations program that utilizes traditional and digital social media based on recommendations developed by AWM’s Director Communications and Digital Strategy
The Executive Director might work a part-time schedule in the early months of the campaign. As fundraising and communications activities intensify, this will become a full- time position. However the position could be fuil-time from the outset if circumstances warrant.
Mandatory Job Qualifications
• Strong interpersonal and motivational skills, including ease and skill in conveying the importance of AWM to a wide variety of constituencies, and the ability to work collaboratively with industry leaders, notable authors, Board and Committee members, government officials, corporate/foundation leaders, philanthropists, community leaders, and the public.
• High energy level with a passionate commitment to AWM’s mission, vision and values.
• Proven ability in verbal and written communications and strong presentation skills.
• Proven ability and demonstrable track record in fundraising.
• Intimate familiarity with the Chicago philanthropic community.
• Demonstrated experience with the prospect and donor management capabilities of current fundraising software applications such as Salesforce.
• Ability to work well independently, apply and adapt sound business techniques. and be a self-starter able to work flexible hours;
• A minimum of 7-10 years relevant professional experience.
• Bachelor’s degree in the humanities with strong equivalent work experience. An advanced degree in business would be an advantage.
• Flexibility to work in a non-traditional yet highly professional setting.
• Knowledge and understanding of American literature.
• Proven success in leading and managing volunteers.