New England Aquarium
  • Individual Giving
  • Boston, MA, USA
  • Salary
  • Full Time Regular

The Director of Development, Individual and Planned Giving is responsible for the identification, cultivation, successful solicitation, and negotiation of individual gifts for the New England Aquarium.  The Director manages a portfolio of individual gift donors and prospects. The Director provides collaborative leadership in strategizing and facilitating opportunities among the Development staff and creates an environment that will enhance communication and encourages collaboration between all staff across the Development team and the Aquarium.  The Director leads a team of gift officers to secure unrestricted and restricted gifts from individual donors in support of Aquarium.  Success will be measured via individual and team increases in the size, diversity, and frequency of gifts and the design, maintenance and expansion of a robust prospect pipeline with capacity for continuous contacts/conversations with prospects and donors.



Leadership and Management

  1. Creates strategic plan to build, expand and maintain a robust pipeline of potential individual donors toward increasing annual unrestricted and restricted revenue. 
  2. With the VP of Development, sets metrics for gift officers and the Annual Giving program, and tracks progress on a routine basis.  Determines prospect pool for each individual gifts officer.  With VP of Development and fellow directors, identifies and develops, as appropriate, new constituencies as yet untapped for potential inclusion in Aquarium pipeline. 
  3. Manages a portfolio of individual prospects and donors, achieving a pre-determined target of face-to-face cultivation, and solicitation visits per year, and fulfills a solicitation (ask) goal as outlined in each fiscal year operating plan for individual and planned giving program.
  4. Leads strategy meetings with gift officers and related staff.
  5. With the VP of Development and the CEO, works to establish short- and long-term philanthropic objectives for the organization, matching priorities to opportunities for funding from individuals. 
  6. Works directly with the CEO and the VP of Development in support of volunteer leadership and their role in securing funds and advancing the development program. Oversees development of proposals and appeal letters for Trustees, Overseers, President's Circle annual gifts and individual gifts. Approves appeal letters, proposals, gift agreements, and follow up communications.
  7. With the VP of Development and fellow directors, work toward maximizing cross-organizational collaboration and coordination with Membership regarding pipeline development of members as donors; and with foundation and corporate relations toward comprehensive gift strategies for individual and annual giving donor prospects.
  8. Works closely with the Director of Development Operations and the Director Donor Relations and their respective staff, especially in areas of research and prospect management, stewardship/donor recognition and mechanisms for prospect identification and maintaining best practices around gift acceptance and recognition.  
  9. Maintains a working knowledge of the Aquarium's programs and facilities to be able to represent the Aquarium in a compelling manner.
  10. Hires, manages and mentors all members of the Individual Giving team.


Program Planning and Budget

  1. As a member of the senior development team, participates in the development of strategic long-term plans for sustained program growth and contributed income, including capital and mini-campaigns and other targeted or special initiatives. 
  2. Develops an annual operating plan for Individual Giving, detailing the action plan in support of monetary goals, including metrics for performance of program and team members.
  3. Provides routine and special reports re:  progress to the VP of Development, CEO and volunteer leadership as appropriate. 



Minimum Training and Experience

  • Bachelor's Degree required; advanced degree preferred.
  • A minimum of 8 years or more of demonstrated success in fundraising, preferably in an academic or non-profit setting. 
  • Demonstrated success in the full spectrum of development including gift policies, cultivation strategies, solicitations and administration closing major gifts of six- and seven-figures, and of meeting overall programmatic unrestricted and restricted goals.
  • Demonstrated effective leadership and proven initiative to manage, inspire and counsel front-line gift officers. 
  • Experience with planned giving a plus. 


Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Ability to lead and motivate the team to effectively qualify individuals to determine capacity, inclination and interests in providing leadership and major support to the New England Aquarium.
  • Campaign experience required, including experience in design of comprehensive prospect pipelines for contributed income, both outright and planned, annual and multi-year commitments. 
  • Highly effective oral and written communication skills; excellent interpersonal skills.
  • Proven record of writing proposals for significant projects/gifts directed to individuals.
  • Strong strategic and analytic skills, demonstrated problem-solving ability.
  • Demonstrated ability to lead by example.
  • Demonstrated skill in the technique of donor prospect research with the ability to extract the pertinent/critical information from various document/resources.
  • Strong sense of ethical conduct that will inspire confidence and motivation with the proven ability to persuade colleagues and donor prospects, while maintaining confidentiality in all matters as they relate to sensitive donor issues.
  • Commitment to the mission of the New England Aquarium; a commitment to diversity, and to serving the needs of a diverse population. 
  • Occasional travel.
  • Knowledge of and experience using Blackbaud's Raiser's Edge required. 


We are very excited that Vikki Spruill has recently joined New England Aquarium as President and CEO. Vikki brings a wealth of national leadership experience both in philanthropy and marine conservation, serving most recently as CEO at the Council on Foundations and Ocean Conservancy. In partnership with Robin Elkins, our VP, Development who brought extensive business and philanthropic development experience from Tufts University a year ago, we have leaders with vision, strategy and passion for our mission.  As we enter our 50th anniversary year, it is an exciting time to join the amazing development team at New England Aquarium!

For more information and to apply online please visit:  **A cover letter is required.

New England Aquarium is committed to diversity in the workplace and is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer as defined by the EEOC.

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