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Executive Director



Job Description


Executive Director


January 2024


The Christ Church Preservation Trust ("CCPT") seeks an experienced and passionate Executive Director (ED) to work closely with a dedicated Board of Trustees to manage overall strategic planning, staff, budget and operational responsibilities across a historic campus (dating to 1695) that includes Christ Church, The Christ Church Burial Ground, and the Neighborhood House community center in all aspects related to annual and capital fundraising, education of online, tourist and student audiences, management and growth of source document history archives, and direction and community engagement of the Neighborhood House Arts Program.


Reporting to the Board of Trustees and working cooperatively with the Christ Church Rector, the ED will be responsible for implementing objectives outlined in the Trust’s 2021-2026 strategic plan with an emphasis on revenue and fundraising growth, capital campaign readiness, database breadth and user volume, and dynamic programming relevant to both our existing audiences and ongoing commitment to growing our educational impact and reach, with a dedicated focus on presenting Christ Church's history with professional accuracy, factual integrity, and truth-telling inspiration, including bringing to the fore themes concerning diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion.


Christ Church is an active and dynamic parish with 400 members, founded in 1695 through a provision contained in the original land grant Charter bestowed on William Penn.  A witness to and stage of American history, Christ Church’s congregation included members of the Continental Congress during the American Revolution and Presidents George Washington and John Adams in the first decade of the newly established Republic.  Among early church members were Benjamin and Deborah Franklin, Betsy Ross, John Penn (William Penn's grandson), and (along with Franklin) a host of signers of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, including prominent leaders Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, and Francis Hopkinson.


Dating to 1744, the current church building has been cited as "our finest Early American church" and one of the finest Georgian structures in America.  Its steeple (completed in 1754), financed by an innovative lottery organized by Benjamin Franklin, is the work of Robert Smith, one of America's earliest lead architects.  For 56 years, the Christ Church steeple remained the tallest structure in all of North America, and the tallest in Philadelphia for 119 years until 1873.


Christ Church is a privately managed historic site that is an official featured component of Independence National Historical Park.  Christ Church Burial Ground is located at 5th and Arch Streets in Philadelphia and is one of America's seminal Colonial and Revolution-era graveyards, with 1,400 markers on two beautiful acres right in the heart of historic Philadelphia.  The Burial Ground is the final resting place of some of our most prominent leaders, including Benjamin Franklin and four other signers of the Declaration of Independence. 


The Christ Church Preservation Trust, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, was founded in 1963 to preserve and protect Christ Church's historic properties and have responsibility for the programs that welcome the general public both on-site and online for education, research and inspiration. With an independent Board of Trustees and Executive Director, the Trust works closely with the Christ Church Vestry and Clergy.


Primary Responsibilities: 

The Executive Director will report to the Christ Church Preservation Trust Board of Trustees and oversee a full-time staff of three, a part-time archivist, education coordinator, bookkeeper, and a dedicated team of part-time educators and welcome desk attendants.  The Executive Director must have strong and proven fundraising skills, high integrity, love of history, and be able to effectively network and communicate with various constituent groups and potential patrons, and have strong organizational, interpersonal, and operational skills.


Responsibilities include:


  • Serve as the public representative of the organization with partners, funders, peers, artists, and constituent communities.


  • Ensure ongoing programmatic and educational excellence and rigorous program evaluation.


  • Build sustainability through fundraising, partnerships, and board development.


  • Identify and cultivate major donors in the research and application of grants designed to support the Trust's vision for capital improvements, operations, outreach and programmatic projects, student engagement and reach.


  • Lead strategy, oversee and understand finances, and operations, including planning, monitoring, evaluating, reporting on progress, and adapting strategy as necessary to achieve organizational goals.


  • Manage finance and administration, including designing and overseeing the annual budget, audit, compliance, and risk management.


  • Connect and build relationships across diverse communities and passionate supporters of our mission, historical role and work.


  • Oversee all aspects of marketing and communications to achieve expanded visibility and reach, including website and social media.


  • Ensure adequate staffing by recruiting, supervising, supporting, coaching, and evaluating full-time and part-time staff.


  • Oversee management of Christ Church archival program and Neighborhood House Arts Program.


  • Network out to Philadelphia area organizations to invigorate and expand community partnerships and joint presentations.


  • Analyze and coordinate all Church, Burial Ground and Neighborhood House programming efforts.


  • Identify areas to outsource and oversee consultants, contracted employees, and interns.



Qualifications and Skills


  • Degree in Nonprofit Management, Arts Management, Public History, or Museum Education preferred. Minimum of 10 years of progressively responsible nonprofit leadership experience, including demonstrated record of leading successful fundraising campaigns and programs, securing foundation grant awards and raising visitor revenue.


  • Demonstrated management and administrative leadership abilities, leadership by knowledge and example, dedication and vision.


  • Commitment to best practices and verification of sources in public history education.


  • Excellent interpersonal skills, trustworthy leadership ability, record of enlisting committed donor support, and proven ability to work with a range of colleagues.


  • Excellent writing and public speaking abilities.


This is a full time regular, non-exempt position.



Contact Information


Samuel Wheeler, Board member



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