Message and Philanthropy Leader Needed

Vermont Humanities
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Location: Washington County,
About the Job

The Director of Development and Communications builds support for Vermont Humanities, and the cultural organizations we fund, as the lead fundraising and communications strategist. The Director engages and grows Vermont Humanities fundraising and communications programs toward supporting a dynamic and diverse cultural sector in Vermont. They inspire and expand our community of supporters by building and strengthening these relationships through direct donor interactions, public events, strategic system thinking, and dynamic communications channels. As a partner with the Executive Director, the Director is one of two key leaders and external communicators for Vermont Humanities’ mission, vision, and programs.

The Director manages a team of three communications and development professionals, is a member of the senior leadership team, and reports to the Executive Director.


Individual, Foundation, and Business Giving
● Partner with and support the Executive Director, in their role as the primary ambassador for the Vermont Humanities Council.
● Meet or exceed annual fundraising revenue targets by working with an assigned portfolio of donors and prospects to advance the mission of the organization and engage donors in contributing to a thriving Vermont humanities community.
● Develop and execute processes for the cultivation and stewardship of individual and business donors, with the goal of increasing giving through direct face-to-face donor conversations, the annual appeal, special events including the Vermont Book Awards, and other fundraising mechanisms.
● Oversee cultivation and stewardship of individual and business donors, ensuring the effective advancement of prospective donors and current donors by administering, strategizing, and participating in cultivation and solicitation meetings.
● Collaborate with team members to research, cultivate, steward, and expand Vermont Humanities’ portfolio of foundation funders and event sponsors.
● Create and brand a Vermont Humanities planned giving program, including creation of materials and developing strategy of all early solicitations. Develop and grow the program over the first two years including solicitation of all current and historic board members and leadership donors.
● Help grow a vibrant and inclusive culture of philanthropy for Vermont Humanities by conscious incorporation of principles of diversity, equity and inclusion.

Engagement & Communications Strategy
● Supervise the creation of messaging and content for all the organization’s communications collateral including website, newsletters, social media, annual reports and more, with a special eye to case-making and donor materials.
● Help lead the Vermont Humanities Council 2022-2027 organization-wide strategic planning efforts, including building out long- and short-term development and communications strategies, including the management of annual fundraising and planning for longer-term campaigns. (This strategic planning period includes the organization’s 50th Anniversary.)
● Oversee the collaborative preparation of foundation funder reports, National Endowment for the Humanities reporting, Vermont administrative and legislative reports, and other required reporting.
● Supervise the organization’s grant tracking system including grant application and grant reporting calendars.
● Work with members of the program team to strategize on the development of externally focused content including podcasts, video production, and other media, keeping donor and community interests in mind.
● Lead the integration of diversity, equity, inclusion, and access (DEIA) principles into our fundraising and communications plans and work.

Senior Management & Strategic Systems
● Manage a team of direct reports including a development and data associate and two communications team members.
● Select and manage consultants and vendors that are key to institutional advancement.
● Strengthen organizational infrastructure to support the development program, including the potential selection and implementation of a new fundraising database.
● Establish and implement updated fundraising and communications plans, policies, and procedures, including ethical and legal compliance.
● Participate as part of the Senior Management team in an organization-wide effort to expand and deepen Vermont Humanities’ DEIA work.

Work with Board of Directors
● Lead and collaborate with the Development Committee to support the committee’s involvement and to build Vermont Humanities’ fundraising capacity.
● Partner with the Membership & Governance Committee to build a strong pipeline of diverse prospective board members.
● Engage all Board members in their role as ambassadors for Vermont Humanities towards expanding our community of supporters and better stewarding existing stakeholders.


● Excellent written and oral communication skills.
● At least five years of fundraising experience or the equivalent with a strong track record of creating and cultivating long-term relationships with individual and major donors and board members and demonstrated success in securing new individual donors; major gifts; foundation support; event sponsors; or corporate funding.
● At least three years’ experience managing print and digital communications for a nonprofit and/or cultural organization, including oversight of printed newsletters, Annual Reports, email campaigns, social media campaigns, media relations outreach, and website content.
● Flexibility to work at a visionary level as well as continually prioritize and undertake multiple diverse activities and workflows and detailed tasks necessary to support the work of a small organization.
● Relevant experience in project and event planning, and budget management required.
● Demonstrated work in and understanding of the principles of diversity, equity, inclusion, and access as well as experience in and commitment to working in an inclusive environment.
● Successful and effective leadership and supervisory skills leading a diverse team in a collaborative environment.
● Curiosity and learning mindset to support creative engagement with organizational growth and change.
● Patient, kind, optimistic, and big-hearted. A sense of humor is a must.
● A willingness to make mistakes and learn from them.
● Demonstrated interest in the humanities and a deep commitment to Vermont Humanities’ mission and values.
● Bachelor’s degree or equivalent life experience required; advanced degree in the humanities, communications, or a combination of education and work experience providing comparable knowledge and skills desirable.

Vermont Humanities is an EOE/affirmative action employer. We provide reasonable accommodations in the recruitment and employment of persons with disabilities.

Employer's Approach to Diversity, Equity, & Belonging

Vermont Humanities is committed to creating an inclusive workplace that promotes and values diversity. We strive to be diverse in age, gender identity, race, sexual orientation, physical or mental ability, ethnicity, and perspective. Our goal is to build and maintain an organization where everyone can do their best work. We believe that people of color, people from working class backgrounds, women, people with disabilities, and LGBTQ+ people must be centered in the work we do. We strongly encourage applications from people with lived experience in these communities or from other marginalized backgrounds.

Wage or Salary
$70,000-$75,000 starting salary range plus a robust suite of benefits