The Director of Annual Fund will be a member of the senior fundraising team in a high-energy, high achieving Advancement Department, responsible for the overall direction of a comprehensive Annual Fund program at Mystic Seaport-The Museum of America and the Sea. The successful candidate will develop, oversee and execute a plan to ensure year over year incremental growth and long term success of the Museum’s Annual Fund. Central to the Museum’s strategic plan, an amplified annual giving program will be required to address the institution’s on-going operational needs and to ensure the long term sustainability of the institution. Building on the last three years of growth in the program, the Director of Annual Fund will be responsible for the strategies and tactics to further enhance a robust program.

In the key public-facing role representing the Annual Fund, the successful candidate will engage directly with a high volume of prospects and donors in cultivation, solicitation and stewardship, interacting individually and in group settings with current, recently lapsed and prospective donors.  The Director will manage a portfolio of 100-150 prospects within the fundraising cycle for the America and the Sea Society ($1,000 -$50,000 level,) achieve an agreed upon annual personal performance goal to include 75-100 face- to-face prospect visits, and supervise the Annual Fund Manager to ensure work flow is effective and efficient and that the manager’s efforts broaden and deepen gifts below $1,000.

The Director of Annual Fund will work collaboratively with the department of Communications to utilize all tools available to enhance the profile of annual giving through print collateral materials and on-line and social media platforms.  The Director also has oversight of the Museum’s Annual Fund webpage content and ensures that it is up to date, compelling and useful for prospective donors and friends.

Key functions:

  • Leverage the loyalty of existing annual giving relationship and pursue creative approaches to build the prospect pipeline to broaden and deepen the base of Annual Fund support
  • Develop solicitation strategies and conduct solicitations alone or with senior management or trustees to close gifts of $1,000 – $50,000
  • Develop written materials for cultivation and solicitation activities, including proposals, letters, presentations for donors, briefing materials and contact reports, and track through fundraising management software
  • Utilize a calendar of Museum special activities to provide unique opportunities for donors to experience the Museum in an exclusive way and to further build relationships with donors and prospects
  • Plan, oversee coordination and lead donor/prospect site visits, campus tours, and receptions
  • Analyze data and internal and external trends to make strategic decisions concerning the yearly and longer term annual fund program
  • Establish reporting tools, oversee tracking and consistently review progress to ensure the achievement of annual fund goals
  • Serve as the liaison to trustees, in particular the Advancement Committee, to facilitate their role in the annual fundraising process, interfacing regularly to support them in donor engagement and to strategize on solicitations
  • Support Museum president, and members of the Senior Management Team in their role as fundraisers for the Annual Fund
  • Manage the production and editing of quarterly America and the Sea Society Newsletter and other communication vehicles to keep donors apprised and informed of the impact of their philanthropy
  • Develop and update Annual Fund donor recognition on campus and in publications/website that celebrates generosity and signals to non-donors the importance of contributed revenue to the Museum
  • Manage and supervise direct reports, mentoring their success
  • Maintain knowledge of fundraising best practices

SALARY & BENEFITS: Salary will be commensurate with qualifications and experience. Competitive benefits package available.

TO APPLY: Please submit a Mystic Seaport application ( ), resume, and cover letter to OR to Mystic Seaport PO Box 6000 Mystic, CT 06355 Attn: Human Resources. An EOE.


Leading candidates will possess a bachelor’s degree, while advanced degree is preferred and five to seven years of progressively responsible experience managing fundraising programs, preferably Annual Fund; demonstrable track record of success and the drive, determination and energy to achieve goals evidenced through past experience increasing contributed revenue ;  an ability to effectively lead and strategically grow a program; ability to manage staff; and demeanor to successfully engage regularly with high-level fundraising volunteers. Sound decision making, exercising judgement, integrity and sincerity will be called upon in the role.

The candidate chosen will have the ability and talent for working closely with diverse teams of people in order to accomplish complex tasks and initiatives on schedule and on budget, and the ability to be adaptive and flexible possessing a positive, confident spirit.  Adherence to confidentiality and discretion is paramount.

Demands of the position require excellent oral, written, and interpersonal skills; a strict attention to detail; superior time management skills; working knowledge of on-line and social media vehicles for fundraising, solid computer skills including Outlook, Microsoft Office and donor management  software (i.e.  Raiser’s Edge and WealthEngine.)

Experience working in a non-profit institution dedicated to public history, demonstrated commitment to the mission of Mystic Seaport: the Museum of America and the Sea and interest specifically in maritime history is desired.  The position requires working occasional nights and weekends, some travel and being able to navigate a 17 acre campus.

Job Information
  • Mystic, Connecticut, 06355, United States
  • 28502364
  • May 12, 2016
  • Director of Annual Fund
  • Mystic Seaport
  • Development/Membership
  • No
  • Full-Time
  • Indefinite
  • BA/BS/Undergraduate
  • 5-7 Years