Skip Navigation
Print Share

Director of Development

Company: Rhode Island Historical Society
Date Posted: February 6, 2018

Created in 1822, the RIHS has evolved from a small club into a multifaceted organization that not only continues to build on the largest and most significant collection related to this small state’s epic story, but also offers access to extraordinary archives, innovative educational resources, dynamic public programs, and diverse visitor experiences at our museums and research center.

As we ramp up preparations for our bicentennial celebration, the RIHS, a Smithsonian Affiliate, has placed an increased emphasis on all-ability access, while making field trips free and establishing a busing fund for Title I schools. To further our commitment to honor, interpret, and share Rhode Island’s past to enrich and inspire, we now seek a highly organized, energetic, and results-oriented Director of Development as passionate about the organization’s future as they are about connecting generations of Rhode Islanders with their history and heritage.

We are looking for a skilled fundraiser who can also help raise our profile; in addition, the successful candidate will understand that convincing the community to give to us is predicated upon what we can give back to the community. The RIHS’s members, supporters, sponsors, and partners are crucial to our ambitious efforts and strategic plan; therefore, the Director of Development will play a key role in cultivating, maintaining, and enhancing these relationships.

The Director of Development will also be responsible for the day-to-day activities of the RIHS Development Office. They will supervise an Advancement Coordinator and will have additional administrative support provided by the RIHS’s Executive Assistant. The Director of Development will work closely with the Director and staff of the RIHS’s Museum of Work & Culture in Woonsocket to assist their advancement goals, as well.

As you can see, there’s a lot to accomplish in the coming years – if your goals align with ours, then come help us make history.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Create and implement a dynamic annual development plan and strategy;
  • Oversee and manage membership program; develop and implement invigorated membership models, including expansion of membership at both individual and institutional levels;
  • Oversee and manage the RIHS Annual Fund;
  • Manage relationships with Board of Trustees, donors and prospective donors, as well as fundraising volunteers and staff;
  • Identify, qualify, research, cultivate, solicit, and steward high-level supporters (individuals, corporate, foundation);
  • Work with senior leadership and the Communications Manager to develop and implement a comprehensive marketing and public relations strategy;
  • Work with Executive Director to implement comprehensive and integrated planned giving, endowment, and legacy naming opportunity programs;
  • In concert with the Executive Director, make public appearances/accept speaking engagements to share information about the RIHS with the community;
  • Develop, achieve, and report on key financial and development goals;
  • Manage Development Committee, whose members include Trustees, members of the public, and staff;
  • Work with staff across departments to coordinate grant proposals and reports to corporate, foundation, and government funders;
  • Provide input on training, strategy, and counsel to Executive Director and work with the Deputy Executive Director for Finance and Administration to determine financial impacts;
  • Proficiently use the DonorPerfect database as a fundraising tool;
  • Oversee the production of print and digital fundraising materials; and
  • Other duties as assigned

Position Requirements

  • Minimum of five years’ experience in development with supervisory experience
  • Understanding of how to work with donors and volunteers
  • Conceptual and strategic thinking skills
  • Thorough knowledge of fundraising best practices
  • Strong organizational and communication abilities
  • Keen analytical capabilities


Reports to Deputy Executive Director for Finance and Administration and is member of senior staff

About the RIHS

The RIHS, a Smithsonian Affiliate, holds the largest and most significant historical collections relating to Rhode Island. These collections include some 25,000 objects, 5,000 manuscripts, 100,000 books and printed items, 400,000 photographs and maps, and 9 million feet of motion-picture film. Headquartered in Providence, R.I., the RIHS owns and maintains the John Brown House Museum, a National Historic Landmark built in 1788; the Aldrich House, also a National Historic Landmark, built in 1822; and the Mary Elizabeth Robinson Research Center. The organization also maintains the Museum of Work and Culture in Woonsocket, devoted to the history of northern Rhode Island. The RIHS offers a variety of educational programs and community activities, including workshops, lectures, films, concerts, walking tours, and more.

The Rhode Island Historical Society is an equal opportunity employer.  We do not discriminate in hiring or employment on the basis of race, color, gender, national origin, ancestry, religion, physical or mental disability, age, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, pregnancy, citizenship, or any other factor protected by anti-discrimination laws.


Email cover letter, resume/CV, and the names of three references to, attention C. Morgan Grefe, RIHS Executive Director, with “Director of Development” in the subject line. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis.

No phone calls, please.