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Vice President of Development

Company name
Childrens Museum of Indianapolis

Indianapolis, IN

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Vice President of Development

Job Description:

About the Children's Museum of Indianapolis:

Founded in 1925, The Children's Museum of Indianapolis is a nonprofit institution committed to creating extraordinary family learning experiences that have the power to transform the lives of children and families. Visitors can explore the physical and natural sciences, history, world cultures, the arts, see how dinosaurs lived 65 million years ago in

Dinosphere: Now You're In Their World

, experience Dale Chihuly's

Fireworks Of Glass

and examine children's impact in shaping history in

The Power Of Children: Making A Difference

The Museum recently was the recipient of the National Medal for Museum and Library Service—the nation’s highest honor for museum service to the community. The Museum has also been named one of the Top Most-Visited Museums in North America according to Global Attractions Attendance Report Museum Index, The Best Family Museum in the USA by the Readers of

USA Today

/10 Best, one of the Top Workplaces in Indiana by the

Indianapolis Star

and was recently honored by the Indiana Society of Chicago Foundation as one of Indiana’s outstanding organizations.

The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis hosts more than 1.2M visitors each year and is the world’s largest children’s museum. With an annual operating budget of $30M and an endowment valued over $310M, the Museum is one of the top economic drivers for the city, state, and region. The Museum’s 472,000 square foot facility rests on a 29-acre campus located just north of downtown Indianapolis and is the home to 11 major galleries for permanent and temporary exhibits with over 120,000 artifacts and specimens.

For more information, visit:

The Opportunity:

The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis seeks an experienced executive to serve as its Vice President of Development, providing strategic and operational leadership for its philanthropic initiatives. The Vice President of Development will join the Museum’s Executive Team at an exciting time, as the Museum is actively engaged in the execution of an ambitious strategic plan. The Museum has launched the $69M Extraordinary Transformations Campaign to increase visitor engagement and strengthen support for several major exhibit and infrastructure projects within the strategic plan.

The Vice President will partner with Dr. Jeffrey Patchen, President & CEO, and work closely with senior staff and Trustees to increase philanthropic support and sustain it at a level that will enable the Museum to continue to achieve its mission and vision. Reporting directly to the President & CEO, the Vice President of Development will provide leadership and strategic oversight for the Museum’s comprehensive fund development program to continue to build annual support and to ensure the success of the campaign as well as cultivate, solicit, and steward transformational gifts to further secure the Museum’s future.

The Vice President is responsible for leading the Museum’s annual, capital, and endowment fund development efforts to secure financial and in-kind support from key donors and prospects at the local, regional, national, and international levels. The incumbent will have oversight responsibility of the fund development function and will provide leadership in the cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of high-end major individual, corporate, and foundation gifts, as well as public/government funding sources.

Collaborating closely with the President & CEO, the Vice President will implement a comprehensive and multifaceted donor-communication and stewardship strategy ensuring donor satisfaction. As the Museum is currently undergoing an organization-wide technology shift to new customer relationship management solutions, the Vice President will lead the Development Team in leveraging these tools to increase fundraising opportunities. The Vice President will work closely with the President & CEO to forecast the Museum’s potential development revenue capabilities and project strategic long-range fund development plans and specific strategies to successfully secure these resources. S/he will have strong working relationships with Trustees and Executive Team colleagues.

The following are the specific responsibilities, activities, and duties of the position:

-Spends approximately 60% of time cultivating high-end individual, corporate, and foundation donors and prospects; manages a portfolio of 50 prospects and donors, with primary responsibility for cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding these relationships using a high level of visibility.

-Creates, implements, and refines a Museum-wide action plan for identifying, cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding major donors and prospects that allows the Development Team to actively achieve the strategic initiatives set forth in annual, capital, and endowment campaigns, along with any informal campaign plans.

-Effectively staffs the President & CEO in his role as chief fundraiser for the Museum, matching the President & CEO with the Museum’s top donors and prospects in an appropriate strategy for engaging these donors and prospects in the Museum’s mission and vision.

-Provides strong leadership to Development Team staff, ensuring that individual responsibilities are well-defined and communicated while also encouraging a team environment. Identifies and mentors key Museum staff as development resources in presenting their areas of expertise to donors. As needed, identifies underperforming members of the Development Team staff and designs corrective strategies including corrective action plans, exit strategies, and terminations.

-In collaboration with the President & CEO, works closely with the Board of Trustees, Executive Team, and Campaign leadership to identify funding priorities in order to plan and implement comprehensive campaign strategies and accomplish team goals. Establishes a communications plan to keep the Executive Team and Board of Trustees current on fundraising strategies, activity, and results.

-Creates, implements, and refines audience development plans for acquiring, renewing, and upgrading donors and prospects with and through the Museum’s new customer relationship management (CRM) tools.

-In collaboration with the Vice President of Marketing and External Relations, oversees the development of a comprehensive portfolio of communication materials for donor identification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship support.

-Conducts business-related travel, both locally and nationally, as needed.

Candidate Profile:

The Vice President of Development will be a bold thinker and a strategic, yet “hands-on” executor, who will establish and lead a best-in-class development program. S/he will be results-oriented with exceptional strengths in communication and relationship-building. S/he will have earned a reputation for effectiveness in partnering with a CEO and senior management team, and will be able to guide and lead through others. The Vice President of Development will have significant and proven leadership and management experience in a complex organization with multiple internal and external constituencies.

The ideal candidate will have the following personal competencies and characteristics:

Expertise in Development:

The Vice President of Development will be an experienced leader in the field of development with a measurable track record of success. S/he will have demonstrated expertise in the cultivation, solicitation, and closing of high-end six- and seven-figure gifts tied to a multi-year fundraising strategy, with particular focus on capital campaigns. To succeed with her/his responsibilities, s/he will flourish in a diverse and high-achieving environment and will be energized by the prospect of leading the Development Team, designing and implementing processes, and integrating best practices. S/he will have a strong data and analysis orientation and a proven ability to use metrics to drive development decisions and achieve strategic objectives.

Relationship-building and Communication:

The Vice President of Development will be skilled at building and sustaining excellent relationships at multiple levels and with varied constituencies including individuals, key volunteers, administrative colleagues, donors, and volunteers. S/he will be a confident and articulate communicator with the ability to work fluidly across all levels. The Vice President of Development will have an inspirational approach to building collaboration and buy-in and generating support from stakeholders. S/he will be a charismatic, high-energy leader who can talk with anyone and successfully convey the Children’s Museum’s objectives to express the mission and fund-raising goals with clarity, passion and persuasion. As a proactive communicator, s/he will engage with the President & CEO, Trustees, and the Executive Team regularly for collaborative planning and implementation.

Executing for Results:

This leader will be skilled at upholding the Museum’s reputation for high performance and accountability for results. S/he will effectively lead performance-driven staff and volunteer teams that will combine innovation and fresh ideas alongside quality execution. S/he will be committed to development leadership with a broad knowledge of institutional advancement, major gift identification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship. Management skills will be leveraged to get the right team in place, nurture and retain high performers/high potential, and make adjustments to remove low-performers in a timely manner.

Passion for the Mission

The Vice President of Development will have a passion for creating extraordinary learning experiences for children and families. S/he will work to continually innovate, helping the Museum expand its brand and reach. A desire to be a part of the continued articulation and growth of the Museum’s mission and goals is imperative. The Vice President of Development will treat others with respect and be an individual of unquestioned integrity, ethics, and values; someone who can be trusted without reservation. S/he will have a personal style that is polished, collaborative, and decisive, as well as a sense of humor and perspective in his/her work.

A bachelor’s degree in fund development, business, education or related field is required; master’s degree is strongly preferred. The Vice President of Development will have at least eight years of fundraising/advancement experience with at least five years of management experience.


Koya Leadership Partners has been exclusively retained for this search. This search is being led by Alison P. Ranney and Melissa Madzel.

To express your interest in this role, please email Alison and Melissa directly at All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.

The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages applications from people of color, persons with disabilities, women and LGBT applicants.

About Koya Leadership Partners:

Koya Leadership Partners is a national retained executive search and human capital consulting firm that works exclusively with non-profits and social enterprises. We deliver measurable results, finding exceptionally talented people who truly fit the unique culture of our client organizations and ensuring that organizations have the resources and strategies to support them. For more information about Koya Leadership Partners, visit


Childrens Museum of Indianapolis

Start Date:

Tue, 02/02/2016

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