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Director of Development 

Location Museum of Life and Science  
About the Organization The Museum of Life and Science, one of North Carolina’s top family destinations, has been a beloved Durham institution for 75 years. The Museum features 84 acres of exhibits, experiences, and outdoor exploration, including one of the East Coast's largest butterfly conservatories and a two-story science center. As an accredited zoo, the Museum is home to lemurs, black bears, endangered red wolves, and more than 140 species of live animals, butterflies, and insects. Readers of Durham Magazine, Indy Week, and Carolina Parent have repeatedly named us the top Museum in the Triangle. Charity Navigator rated the Museum, a 501(c3) nonprofit organization, 100 out of 100-- the highest possible score.

Our mission is to create a place of lifelong learning where people of all ages embrace science as a way of knowing about themselves, their community, and their world. The Museum serves our increasingly diverse community with interactive and accessible experiences that build and develop lifelong connections with science, nature, and critical thinking. The Museum partners with NASA, NOAA, the National Science Foundation, Duke University, NC State University, and the University of North Carolina on many research projects and programs.

In addition to an incredible team of co-workers, the Museum provides competitive compensation commensurate with experience, as well as a full array of employee benefits for eligible positions, including a generous 403b retirement plan with employer contributions, health, dental, and vision insurance, flex-spending plans, life insurance, long-term disability insurance, paid vacation and sick leave, nine paid annual holidays, employee appreciation events, and a family membership to the Museum.  
Full-Time/Part-Time Full-Time  
Exempt/Non-Exempt Exempt  

Position Objective: Museum of Life and Science’s Director of Development will identify, cultivate, solicit, and steward individual prospects, businesses/corporations, and leadership donors through individual outreach (virtual and in-person) with a focus on increasing the pipeline of major gifts ($100,000 and above) prospects and private support for the Museum of Life and Science.

Reporting to and in partnership with the Vice President of Advancement, the Director of Development will demonstrate a superior ability to set and meet fundraising goals, as well as significant personal fundraising success at the six-figure+ major gift level. The Director of Development will have a holistic understanding of fundraising operations, including annual, major, and planned giving, as well as corporate sponsorship, foundation grant-making, and fundraising events.



  • Work with the Vice President of Advancement in creating and implementing a comprehensive development plan for major gift fundraising that includes but is not limited to identification and qualification of newly screened major gift prospects; as well as the cultivation and solicitation of both existing and newly identified prospects at the $100,000+ level.
  • Solicit annual fund leadership gifts of $1,000+ from individual donors. Work closely with the Development Officer to increase giving levels of existing leadership donors. 
  • Develop strategies and direct all business/corporate giving, including but not limited to business membership, restricted giving, sponsorships, and foundation grants. 
  • Involve Museum leadership and staff in fundraising efforts; keeping abreast of institutional priorities and events.
  • Be a passionate, visible, and informed advocate for the Museum, actively seeking opportunities to engage with the broader community and to participate in events that position the Museum for improved fundraising and visibility.
  • Work in collaboration with the VP of Advancement and CEO to be an effective partner with the Museum’s Board of Directors.
  • Train, mentor, and support Museum colleagues in donor and prospect engagement activities, seeking ways to maximize donor participation in the Museum’s philanthropic programs.
  • Manages Development Officer to ensure that fundraising goals are achieved.


Position Requirements
  • Candidate must have seven or more years of progressive responsibility in development or fundraising, with a proven track record of success in raising individual gifts in the range of $100,000+.
  • An ability to articulate a persuasive case of major gift support for the Museum, particularly via written communication. 
  • Ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously, working both independently and as a team member. 
  • Ability to work occasional weekends and evenings. 
  • Exceptional ability to think strategically and analytically. 
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, sound judgment, and experience handling confidential information. 
  • Strong initiative, creativity, and attention to detail. 
  • High energy level, sense of humor, enthusiasm, and flexibility are a must. 
  • Passion for the Museum’s mission 


  • Experience with database programs, particularly Raiser’s Edge software products 
  • Fundraising experience in North Carolina/RTP area 
  • Previous non-profit organization experience 
  • Previous experiences in the Museum’s programmatic areas or mission focus. 
Shift Days  
Pay Range $79,000 - $82,000/annually  
EOE Statement The Museum of Life and Science is committed to providing equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment regardless of race, color, religion, creed, age, national origin or ancestry, ethnicity, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, military or veteran status, or any other category protected by federal, state, or local law. In addition, we will provide reasonable accommodation for individuals with disabilities to participate in the job application or interview process, perform crucial job functions, and receive other benefits and privileges of employment. As an equal opportunity employer, we value the differences and benefits that a diverse culture brings. Join us!
Category Business Development  

This position is currently not accepting applications.

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