Director of Advancement

director of advancement

National Children’s Museum is a world-class institution dedicated to sparking children’s imaginations and encouraging them to dream big. Located steps off the National Mall and Pennsylvania Avenue, National Children’s Museum celebrates the joy of childhood through playful science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM) exhibits and programs. As the Director of Advancement, you will help realize this vision for hundreds of thousands of in-person and virtual visitors who engage with the Museum each year.

what you’ll do

As Director of Advancement, you will oversee the strategy and management of fundraising and membership. The Director of Advancement will report directly to the President + CEO and serve on the Museum’s Leadership Team. You will be instrumental in supporting the development and implementation of the Museum’s strategic direction and play a critical role in inspiring millions of children and visitors for years to come. The position currently manages two direct reports:  Advancement & Membership Manager and Advancement Coordinator.

Create the annual development plan; 

Build a comprehensive five-year annual fund strategy that includes major gifts, corporate sponsorships, events, and planned giving to support institutional growth; 

Personally solicit and secure major gifts from individuals, corporations, foundations, and government funders; 

Expand the Museum’s donor base and network of supporters at all giving levels; 

Work with the Director of External Affairs and President + CEO to strategically grow the Board of Trustees and engage the current Trustees in fundraising and board development initiatives; 

Provide staff management for the Board Development Committee, and support other Committees and Advisory Committees as needed; 

Oversee all individual and corporate membership programs; 

With support from the External Affairs team, plan and implement strategic communications for advancement and membership that align to the Museum’s overall goals and values, including the Museum’s diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion initiatives; 

Develop, manage, and execute a suite of cultivation events, including but not limited to an Annual Gala, roundtables and panels, etc;

Manage budget preparation and adherence, preparation of policies and procedures, and execution of donor agreements to maintain regulatory compliance.  

Manage and support professional growth for the Advancement Team; 

Create a strategy for expanding Advancement Team as needed; and 

Serve as a strategic thought partner to the President + CEO. 

what we believe are important experiences + traits for this role

Bachelor’s degree required, Masters degree or Certified Fund Raising Executive certification is preferred.

A minimum of 10 years of fundraising experience, preferably in the Washington, DC region.

Passion for the mission of National Children’s Museum;

Previous experience creating and executing multi-year strategies that dramatically increase private support, including: comprehensive experience completing capital campaigns and a successful track record securing seven figure gifts. Experience with planned giving strategies is a plus.

Independent, strategic thinker, who is highly organized, personable, comfortable with public speaking, and will possess excellent written communication skills.  The ability to enthusiastically communicate the mission, goals, and programs of National Children’s Museum and articulate the need for the institution is essential.

Inclusive, empowering, joyful leader who will create a development culture within the staff group. While prior management experience is a plus.

Passion for cultivating a team and providing positive leadership to inspire a team of professionals is required.  Prior management experience is a plus. Ability to set team vision, achieve buy-in on goals, and create strong teams based on high individual accountability are sought.

Experience in budgeting and forecasting revenue projections and will understand nonprofit financial statements.  An ability to manage multiple priorities effectively is expected. 

Experience and poise to build relationships at all levels. 

hours and location

Full-time 9 am – 5 pm position located in the National Children’s Museum at 13th and Pennsylvania Ave NW, as well as at the Administrative Offices at 1275 Pennsylvania Ave NW. Must be onsite 4 days per week with the ability to work remotely one day per week. Weekend availability and some travel is periodically required. 

to apply

Applications and nominations are being received by Noetic Search. Please click here to submit a current resume and letter of introduction to Noetic Search.  

what we value

Our mission is to inspire children to care about and change the world. The Museum is an innovative institution that sparks curiosity and wonder and a space where children feel valued. In order to do this well, we need a team that reflects the dynamic and diverse communities that we serve and brings a variety of perspectives, abilities, and skills. We embrace that this work is critical to our mission and never finished.  The more inclusive we are, the stronger our Museum.