Executive Director, New Jersey State Museum Foundation
About the New Jersey State Museum Foundation
Founded in 1968, the New Jersey State Museum Foundation (Foundation) is dedicated to ensuring the success and growth of the New Jersey State Museum (Museum) through a collaborative partnership with Museum Leadership, community stakeholders, and government representatives. The Foundation serves as the primary fundraiser and advocate for the Museum.
Established as a separate 501(c)3, the Foundation is committed to ensuring that the Museum has the ability to advance its mission and realize its vision through fundraising and support that offsets the limitations of the Museum’s state-appropriated budget. Since its founding, the Foundation has generated tens of millions of dollars in funding through grants, individuals and endowments in support of the Museum’s collections, programs and exhibitions. The impact of the Foundation is present in every area of the Museum. This private/public partnership is the cornerstone of our work and critical to achieving success for both organizations. Two of the Foundation’s most important programs, the Museum Shop and museum membership, are extensions of the visitor’s museum experience.
The New Jersey State Museum was established in 1895 as the first state museum in the United States with education as its core mission. The Museum is a center for the exploration of science, history and the arts. It preserves and shares stories that inspire curiosity and creativity for the enrichment of its communities. Today the Museum, which is a Division of the New Jersey Department of State, serves over 150,000 visitors annually through exhibitions, educational programs, and scholarly research by its renowned curators and staff. The Museum’s vast collections of more than 2.4 million specimens, objects, and artifacts are the largest collection in any New Jersey museum. For more information, visit the Museum’s website: www.statemuseum.nj.gov.
While the Foundation and the Museum are working in sync to realize the same goals, the Foundation is not an internal department of the Museum, or of the State of New Jersey. The Foundation is a separate entity with its own board of trustees, staff and operations.
About the Executive Director Position
The New Jersey State Museum Foundation seeks a charismatic, visionary and energetic leader to guide the organization into its next phase of growth. The ideal candidate will be a creative thinker with a demonstrated track record in fundraising, communications, and organizational management. That candidate will be excited to develop new and manage existing funding and private/public sector relationships. The ideal candidate will be experienced with diversifying funding streams and offer a proven track record of success among individual, foundation, government and corporate funders.
Reporting to the Board of Trustees (Board), the Executive Director is the primary fundraiser and public-facing ambassador for the Foundation. The Executive Director will contribute to strategic plan development and implementation, program partner cultivation and oversight, Board recruitment and management, internal operations, and act as the chief spokesperson for the Foundation. The Executive Director will be committed to achieving both the Foundation’s mission and to supporting the mission of the Museum.
The Executive Director actively and regularly collaborates with the Museum leadership and staff to achieve results. The Executive Director of the Foundation and the Executive Director of the Museum work in partnership at every level. The Foundation’s Executive Director participates in meetings, committees, events and projects of the Museum to more effectively support the Museum’s needs.
As the leader of a small team, the Executive Director is also responsible for managing staff and empowering their growth and professional development. The Museum Shop’s Manager of Retail Operations and the Membership Coordinator are direct reports, while additional part-time and temporary program staff are part of the overall organizational structure. Day-to-day operations also include basic office and nonprofit administration and are part of the Executive Director’s essential responsibilities.
Desired Skills and Qualities
• 3-5 years of relevant professional experience in nonprofit management and fundraising, with at least 2 years experience in nonprofit development with increasing leadership responsibilities. Experience working within a museum or cultural sector is desirable.
• Excellence in organizational management with the ability to coach staff, manage, and develop high-performance teams, set and achieve strategic objectives, and develop and manage budgets.
• Demonstrated leadership track record collaborating with peers, staff, Board members, and stakeholders.
• Past success working with a board, with the ability to cultivate existing board member relationships.
• Experience with grant writing and proposal development. Success in building and maintaining a strong individual and corporate/business donor base.
• Experience creating and implementing a development plan and the requisite funding relationships needed to support the strategic goals.
• Experience in marketing and public relations with the ability to engage a wide range of stakeholders and cultures. Ability to work effectively and collaboratively.
• Excellent oral and written communication skills. A persuasive and passionate communicator with excellent interpersonal and multidisciplinary project skills.
• Enthusiasm and aptitude for learning and adopting new technology.
• Passion, idealism, integrity, positive people-first attitude, mission-driven and self-directed.
A background in museums or nonprofit cultural organizations will be beneficial to fully appreciate and understand the Foundation’s daily operations, its mission and that of the Museum. An individual candidate may not have extensive experience in each area of the Executive Director’s responsibilities, but applicants who meet the minimum requirements and are willing to work hard and challenge themselves are encouraged to share their experience and knowledge of nonprofit management, fundraising and museum work.
The ideal candidate will have the following personal attributes and professional competencies:
Strategic Leadership and Vision
The Executive Director will be committed to best practices and the highest ethical standards for nonprofits and fundraising. A successful candidate will translate ideas into action, be willing to take risks, and offer creative ideas to adapt, strengthen, and diversify partnerships with effective planning and measurable results. This strategic visionary will work with the Board to articulate a clear vision and purpose for the Foundation that seizes new opportunities for impact. The Executive Director will have the ability to assess the Foundation’s current operations and develop innovative solutions to grow and diversify its revenue streams to achieve long-term sustainability. The Executive Director will have proven and successful experience in personnel and budget management and external relations.
The Executive Director will bring to the role a measurable track record of success in securing philanthropic gifts from major donors, foundations, and corporations and will have a genuine enthusiasm for development. This charismatic fundraiser will excel at developing, growing and cultivating relationships that result in increased revenue generation and will be able to meet targeted annual fundraising goals. The Executive Director will be a versatile spokesperson and savvy networker, effective in articulating the State Museum’s value and in soliciting support from foundations, corporations and individual donors.
Infrastructure Development and Business Acumen
To be successful, the Executive Director must be entrepreneurial and help develop not only external partnerships, but also infrastructure related to staffing, recruitment and the development of policies and procedures. Moreover, this leader will ensure fiduciary responsibility and accountability and implement best practices in nonprofit and financial management, including being able to lead a team remotely.
Communication and Collaboration
The Executive Director will have the capability to serve as the Foundation’s primary ambassador, a passionate and credible advocate for the missions of both the Foundation and the Museum. The Executive Director will possess high emotional intelligence in order to work with the board, staff, partners, and other organizations creatively and collaboratively on both existing and new initiatives. This leader must be an excellent listener and seek to include all stakeholders, including the Board of Trustees, staff, partners, community leaders and funders.
Board of Trustees Relations
This individual will work as a thought partner and consultatively with the Board regarding the direction of the organization, operating policies, and fundraising initiatives. The Executive Director will develop a plan and strategy to identify and recruit new board members in addition to ensuring a give/get policy. This individual will also help the board build their governance and capacity.
Compensation & Benefits
Salary range: $48,000 to $55,000 annually
The New Jersey State Museum Foundation provides a generous paid timeoff package including ten (10) paid holidays, as well as vacation, sick and personal time. This position is eligible for hybrid work after ninety (90) days of employment. Some nights and weekends may be required.
Fluent in Microsoft Office, Google Docs necessary; experience with a Quickbooks or similar accounting program highly desirable. Experience with a CRM, such as DonorPerfect; email marketing, such as Constant Contact; graphic design with Adobe or Canva are a plus. Comfort with and participation in social media platforms is beneficial.
Equal Opportunity Employer
The New Jersey State Museum Foundation is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.
How to Apply
Interested candidates may apply by sending a cover letter, resume, qualifications, and references to [email protected] with “Executive Director” in the subject field. No calls will be accepted. Incomplete submissions will not be considered. Application deadline is September 16, 2022, anticipating a mid-Fall start date. Only qualified candidates will be considered.
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