Employment Opportunities

Director of Development

Opportunity:  Fruitlands Museum in Harvard MA seeks an experienced, dynamic professional with an entrepreneurial spirit to serve as our next Director of Development to lead the institution’s comprehensive development strategy at an exciting time in the Museum’s history as we embark on our second century of growth.


Position Summary: This is Full Time, highly visible position responsible for leading and managing all aspects of a comprehensive fundraising and donor stewardship program.  Key responsibilities include strategic management, major gifts, corporate and foundation gifts, planned giving, and development special events. This position works as a team member with the senior staff and in alignment with the efforts of the Individual Giving and Membership Officer to support the growth of the Museum, achieve Development Goals and implement the yearly Development Plan.

Responsibilities include designing and managing the organization’s overall fundraising efforts including aggressively expanding the prospect pipeline, cultivating new donors, strategically developing winning proposals, and coordinating stewardship. The Director of Development serves as the primary liaison to the Museum’s development committee and prepares and presents reports to the Museum’s Board of Directors. She/he also assists the Executive Director with the identification, nurturing, and coaching of development committee and board members.



Strategic Management

Supervises and helps guide the Museum’s development department (and related staff) in establishing clear goals, objectives and budgets each year.  Manages department outcomes and ensures that qualified prospects are continually added to the overall continuum of individual and corporate donors. Manages resources to grow the membership program including member acquisition strategies and member retention.

Oversees all aspects of annual fundraising, from goal setting and strategy through solicitation, negotiation, confirmation, recognition, collection of funds and audit.

Assists the Executive Director in the planning, budgeting strategy, and execution of any capital or special campaigns. Works with E.D. to implement yearly development plan.

Facilitates collaboration between museum team members and development committee members so that short- and long-term goals are achieved.

Manages development systems. Utilizes Altru and relevant IT tools to achieve these functions. Assures clear policies and procedures are developed, understood and implemented by all.

Major Gifts/Donor Stewardship

Serves as a principal fundraising liaison to all board members including the Board’s Development Committee. Guides the Development Committee in establishing clear goals and objectives each year and ensuring that action steps are implemented on schedule.

Identifies best prospects for planned and major gifts, and together with Development Committee, determines assignments and best strategies for cultivating and soliciting those prospects and securing major gifts in support of the Museum.

Manages appropriate development-related special events to meet goals and ensures that event patrons are integrated into the overall gift program and appropriate follow-up is conducted.

Ensures that critical information is available and communicated to the appropriate individuals (both internally and externally) in a timely and professional manner.  Works with the Development Officer to ensure timely processing of all gift acknowledgements and appreciation letters. 

Ensures that all donor information is maintained with respect to confidentiality. 

Annual, Corporate and Foundation Gifts

Expand corporate base by giving special attention to garnering support from national, regional, and local corporations. Actively engage in fostering and cultivating relationships to establish long-term partnerships and strengthen existing relations with the corporate sector.

  • Meet with prospective and current corporate donors, and/or coordinate meetings for the Executive Director or board members to meet with heads of corporations or businesses as appropriate.

  • Prepare, submit and manage grant proposals ensuring each proposal is targeted to its specific audience. Maintain current records in database and in paper files, including grant tracking and reporting.

With Senior Staff, determines grant application programs and priorities. Accountable for preparation of applications to corporations, foundations, and government agencies.

Community Relations

Understands and effectively articulates the mission and future plans of the museum to motivate and interact effectively with local and national members of the museum’s community.

Develops plans and strategies to engage the Museum’s key constituencies, including local stakeholders in the Boston Metro West and Central MA communities.

Attends local, regional and national events in support of the museum’s development goals.

Participates in organizations that will build partnerships and alliances and identify prospects for special events and committee or board membership.


  • Bachelor’s degree required, advanced studies preferred

  • Proven track record of at least 5 years of comprehensive Development experience including direct gift solicitation

  • A demonstrated commitment to lifelong learning is essential and CFRE certification is a plus

  • Strong organizational, administration, telephone, and interpersonal communications skills including experience developing and managing budgets

  • Skill in preparing written reports (including grant proposals) and presentations

  • Diplomatic approach to working with museum patrons and managing staff and volunteers

  • Self starter, flexible and able to respond to multiple demands

  • Direct experience in membership programs, preferably in art or history museums

  • Experience managing internal and external project teams as well as familiarity with development software. Altru or Raiser’s Edge preferred

  • Customer service oriented

To apply, submit letter of application and resume to:
Wyona Lynch-McWhite
Executive Director Fruitlands Museum


Fruitlands Museum, founded in 1914 by Clara Endicott Sears, takes its name from an experimental utopian community led by Bronson Alcott and Charles Lane that existed on this site in 1843. The Fruitlands campus includes: The Fruitlands Farmhouse, the site of an experiment in communal living led by Alcott and Lane in 1843; The Shaker Museum, home to the largest archive of Harvard Shaker documents in the world; The Native American Gallery, which houses a significant collection of artifacts that honor the spiritual presence and cultural history of the first Americans; The Art Gallery, featuring a significant display of our extensive collection of Hudson River School landscape paintings, and a partial display of our over 230 nineteenth century vernacular portraits, the second largest collection in the country. The Land feature 210 acres with panoramic views of the Nashua River Valley, including 2.5 miles of walking trails. The Fruitlands Museum Store sells fine crafts by local artists, including pottery, glass, jewelry, clothing and home furnishings. The Museum Café focuses on locally sourced, sustainable cuisine reflective of the heritage of New England.