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Executive Vice President of Institutional Advancement

DuPage Children's Museum
Illinois, United States
$180,000.00 - $205,000.00
Closing date
Jun 5, 2024


DuPage Children’s Museum, located in Naperville, Illinois, is a treasured community, cultural, and educational institution serving children and their important adults throughout Chicagoland and the Midwest region. In a typical year, nearly 500,000 guests connect with DCM at our museum, in their schools and communities, and across social media. Founded in 1987 by two early childhood educators, DCM is now one of the largest and most influential children’s museums in the country.



Reporting directly to the President & CEO, the Executive Vice President of Institutional Advancement is responsible for the comprehensive planning, implementation, and operational execution of DCM’s philanthropic mission. This person will participate in setting the strategy for DCM and will direct all fundraising activities, including but not limited to individual giving, institutional giving, volunteer programs, donor events, campaign planning and execution, and development resources. The Executive Vice President will be the senior member of the CEO’s six-member leadership team. They will initially manage a team of two full-time and two part-time employees, and will manage incremental growth of the team going forward to support a major capital campaign and sustained philanthropy of $5 million annually.



Within the first 6-9 months, the Executive Vice President of Institutional Advancement will achieve the following major objectives:

  • Develop a strategic plan for Advancement that aligns with the Museum’s overall strategic initiatives and leads to increased contributed revenue to the organization year-over-year.
  • Implement a formal system for Board recruitment and increased member engagement.
  • Establish clear, structured processes around all contributed revenue streams (individual, institutional, and government), with a particular focus on creating a moves management system to support major gift identification and cultivation.
  • Build strong philanthropic relationships with DCM’s donor community and achieve significant solicitations of major gifts.



The Executive Vice President of Institutional Advancement will have the following primary responsibilities:

  • Serve as the chief philanthropic strategist for DCM, working closely with the President & CEO, Board of Directors, and senior leadership team in the creation, articulation, and implementation of organizational goals and objectives related to fundraising.
  • Cultivate a culture of philanthropy and cast a vision for transformational fundraising growth that motivates and inspires staff and prospective donors.
  • Oversee all aspects of the Advancement program, including annual giving, major giving, corporate giving and sponsorships, government and foundation giving, direct mail, and fundraising events.
  • Actively solicit five- and six-figure major gifts while building and nurturing authentic donor relationships through all stages of the relationship management cycle.
  • Develop and manage a strategy for donor prospecting and research as well as leveraging donor data to build a long-term sustainable donor pipeline.
  • Support and advise the President & CEO to fully engage and leverage their involvement in fundraising, including identifying their cultivation goals, prospecting donors, and participating in asks as appropriate.
  • Plan, manage, and coordinate upcoming comprehensive campaign strategy that provides staffing and support to the President & CEO, Board of Directors, and other key volunteers in their donor engagement activities.
  • Recruit, develop, and retain a high-performing team of Advancement staff.
  • Guide and mentor Advancement team members; regularly providing professional development and training opportunities to improve staff skills.
  • Report progress to the Board of Directors, support members in making peer solicitations, and work with select committees to increase fundraising.
  • Supervise and support DCM’s signature annual fundraising events.
  • Prepare and administer the annual budget for the operation of the Advancement department as approved by the President & CEO and Board of Directors.
  • Work closely with Finance staff to monitor cash-flow forecasting, financial reporting, grants management, and deferred income.
  • Maintain open and ongoing communication with DCM’s senior leadership team, providing complete and accurate activity reports on a regular basis.
  • Represent the Museum at public functions and member events to raise the visibility of the organization as a strong, viable, philanthropic entity.



The ideal candidate will bring most of the following qualifications:

  • A genuine, passionate commitment to DCM’s mission, vision, and values, and a drive to ensure a welcoming, vibrant, and inclusive environment for all children and their families who engage with the Museum.
  • A minimum of ten years of leadership level development experience and a comprehensive understanding of all major advancement functions, including capital campaigns.
  • Proven experience in raising leadership and major gifts at the six-figure level or higher.
  • A creative, visionary spirit with the capacity for large-scale thinking and a growth mindset.
  • Experience hiring, supervising, motivating, and retaining a fundraising team that strives to achieve and exceed goals; ability to serve as a coach and mentor to staff.
  • Experience effectively managing a multi-functional department, including budget administration; developing, writing, and executing development plans; planning/overseeing major projects; and leading strategic planning.
  • Results-oriented, flexible, ethical, and collaborative; a strong listener and consensus-builder who thrives in a collegial, team-oriented environment; the ability to promote a positive work culture.
  • Strong interpersonal skills that establish trust and rapport, including ease and skill in conveying DCM’s mission to a variety of diverse constituencies.
  • Excellent organizational skills with the ability to manage multiple tasks and projects under tight time constraints and adjust easily to shifting/evolving priorities.
  • Knowledge of local, regional, and national philanthropic communities with an understanding of both suburban and urban donor bases.
  • Proven experience significantly growing an institution’s fundraising revenue over time.
  • Ability to balance a fresh perspective with respect for how things have functioned previously.
  • Excellent and effective written and verbal communication skills.
  • Comfort with public speaking and serving as a representative of the Museum at events throughout the community, both internally, across Naperville, and beyond.
  • Messaging and marketing experience.
  • Strong computer and software skills, including familiarity with donor management databases such as Blackbaud/Altru, Google Workplace, PowerPoint, Word, and Excel.
  • Ability to work outside typical business hours, including some evenings and weekends.
  • A bachelor’s degree in a related field, or equivalent relevant experience, is preferred.



The annual salary range for this position is $180,000 – $205,000. DCM offers Medical, Dental, Vision, Short Term Disability, Life Insurance, Paid Time Off, 403b, Employee Assistance Program, Employee Referral Program, and DCM Membership for all fulltime staff.

The Executive Vice President of Institutional Advancement will be expected to be present where and when needed at the museum, in meetings and events across the region and nationally, and will have the flexibility to work from home when appropriate and as discussed with the CEO.

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