Job Description

The statements below reflect the general details considered necessary to describe the major responsibilities of the identified position and are not to be construed as a detailed description of all the work requirements that may be inherent in the job. An asterisk (*) indicates that this is an essential function of the job as outlined in the American with Disabilities Act.

The Vice President of Philanthropy reports directly to the President of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center and is responsible for achieving highly successful programs in all areas of philanthropy on a local, regional, and national level. Responsibilities include the management of departmental, budget, and planning oversight and management; organizational leadership liaison; and high-level donor relationships. Must have extensive knowledge of advancement programs; the ability to devise an effective and measureable action plan for a variety of fundraising activities (endowment, operations, special projects and capital, membership, and events); outstanding communication skills (with all levels of investors, volunteers, community leaders, and organizational staff); the ability to mentor, lead, evaluate, and engage staff; and the ability to develop, manage, and steward major investments and relationships.

The Vice President of Philanthropy is ultimately responsible for the administration and coordination of all fundraising, including but not limited to the following:
• Individual relations; annual fund
• Staff and volunteer giving campaign
• Board of Trustees; annual fund campaign management
• Special events; internal and external
• Corporate relations; annual fund, grants and sponsorships)
• Foundation relations
• Government relations; grants and appropriations
• Major gifts, endowment and capital campaigns
• Prospect research, gift processing and stewardship
• Membership marketing and sales in conjunction with NURFC marketing and visitor services departments
• Direct mail, online and telefunding campaigns

The Vice President of Philanthropy is also responsible for sharing in the planning, administration and general management of Freedom Center through interaction and consultation with the President.

The Vice President of Philanthropy oversees the Philanthropy staff. The Vice President plays a special role in strategic planning at Freedom Center as the principle source for capital expansion and budget subsidy. He/she will be expected to set ambitious goals and develop innovative strategies for increasing both earned and unearned revenues for expanded operations and for new sources of venture capital.

The Vice President of Philanthropy must assure that significant, clear, and effective coordination with the Cincinnati Museum Center Advancement (Philanthropy) and Informatics Center Teams is accomplished. Similar to university-based programs, this integration and coordination must include high-level coordination on certain functions while assuring individualized interaction and focus on projects and priorities that are unique to each institution.

Specific duties include the following:

• Oversee the planning, organization, direction and evaluation of all fundraising activities in order to meet short- and long-term goals and objectives.*
• Direct and conduct cultivation, solicitation and stewardship activities for select top level prospects.*
• Act as primary architect for all Freedom Center fundraising activity.*
• High-level coordination with the Cincinnati Museum Center Advancement (Philanthropy) and Informatics Center Teams.
• Assist the president in fundraising, acting as occasion requires instead of the president as chief fundraiser.*
• Developing and executing a plan to move donors to become more institutionally based patrons vs. solicitor oriented patrons.
• Closing major gifts without the participation and support of others. (As appropriate.)
• Maintain the confidentiality of the database of members, friends, and prospect records including gift records, revenue records, and expense budget records.

• Develop strategies with marketing and communications to communicate Freedom Center’s mission among both internal and external constituencies to increase its visibility and philanthropic initiatives.
• Provide the membership staff with support and guidance to cultivate relationships with supporters and consumers, and to integrate membership programs into Freedom Center’s philanthropic initiatives.*
• Support the director of strategic communications and the staff in continuing development of the Center’s comprehensive communications plan, in cooperation with other Freedom Center program officers and administrators.
• Building the national fundraising with an increased national presence, capacity, and investments
• Speak to a full range of both internal and external constituencies to promote the philanthropic, exhibition, marketing, and public relations agendas that promote the Freedom Center on local, regional, and national stages.*

President’s Staff
• Advise and assist the President in planning and executing Freedom Center policies and programs, especially those relating to philanthropic initiatives.*
• Conceive and organize outreach activities for the President. Accompany the President on key external visits, addresses, and events and generally manage the President’s involvement in fundraising.*
• Assist the President as an administrative liaison to the Board of Trustees and lend specific direction and support to individual initiatives or committee work tied to philanthropy objectives.*
• Provide key management, leadership and support as needed to the Development and Philanthropy Committees of the Board of Trustees.*
• Participate in the institution’s annual planning and budgeting process.*
• Participate in the regular meetings and activities with the President’s advisory staff.
• Monitor trends and statutes affecting philanthropy and legislative and regulatory development at the federal, state and local levels affecting cultural and nonprofit institutions. Assist the President in representing Freedom Center in such matters.*
• Take on other responsibilities as appropriate or as assigned by the President.

Departmental Management
• Supervise and empower all Freedom Center philanthropy personnel to set goals, monitor progress and assist with the ongoing improvement of professional performance.*
• Disseminate accurate and useful management reports on Freedom Center’s efforts for internal tracking and analysis and for external communications. Complete an annual comprehensive report on philanthropy and membership sales activities.*
• Serve as the liaison among administrative and program areas as philanthropy initiatives are created and executed.
• Oversee and coordinate the annual programming budgets for Philanthropy. Provide direct support to the President, Trustees and other key volunteers in their respective philanthropy charges.*

Prospect Management
Development and management of a formalized prospect (or “moves”) management system. Prospect management consists of the structure, systems, and practices whereby potential investors are identified and successfully moved through multiple steps (relationship-building stages)—identification, qualification, cultivation and management, solicitation, investment, and stewardship—in a strategic fashion to eventually promote major and planned gift investments.

Assure the prospect management systems establish and document good stewardship of philanthropic relationships; the systems create strategic philanthropy by linking fundraising to mission; and establish accountability to supporters for organizational mission, programs, and outcomes.

The prospect management systems must document the history of relationships with donors and prospective donors; devise key strategies and steps to move those relationships forward; build the infrastructure to sustain ongoing philanthropic activity; effectively utilize data and information management systems; and follow prescribed and appropriate policies and procedures.
Data and Information Management
Effectively manage Raisers Edge (RE) by Blackbaud, Inc, the donor management software to process all related donor, member, and prospect information in conjunction with the Informatics Center and in accordance with the overall organization policies. Leverage the system to provide quality data on individual and organizational gifting and participation; using the reports to assess progress on goals and strategies; and to identify new prospects and manage relationships with prospective supporters

The Vice President of Philanthropy should possess:
1. A baccalaureate degree required. (Advanced degree desirable.)
2. At least five years of experience in Philanthropy, as a proven fundraiser with demonstrated success with closing major gifts. (Major gifts of preferably $100,000 or more depending on the size of the organization. Additional experience in fundraising or related work highly preferred.)
3. Extensive knowledge of advancement programs;
4. The demonstrated ability to devise an effective and measureable action plan for a variety of fundraising activities (endowment, operations, special projects and capital, membership, and events)
5. Outstanding communication skills (with all levels of investors, volunteers, community leaders, and organizational staff)
6. The ability to mentor, lead, evaluate, and engage staff
7. The ability to develop, manage, and steward major investments and relationships
8. Demonstrated skill at working as a member of a senior institutional management team, with strong capabilities in planning, organizing and managing is required.
9. Ability to work collaboratively with colleagues and peers within institutional leadership and with external partners at the individual and organizational level is required.
10. Solid track record in closing major gifts is highly desired. A track record in fundraising is required.
11. Familiarity with computer-based donor management systems, preferably Raisers Edge (RE) by Blackbaud, Inc. is an advantage.
12. Personal characteristics associated with successful philanthropy officers, including professional integrity, outstanding writing skills, strong verbal communication skills, sound judgment, demonstrated initiative, and appropriate professional attitude are required.
13. Demonstrated understanding of and appreciation for the distinctive value of museums and cultural institutions is necessary.
14. Ability and willingness to travel extensively to support national philanthropic initiatives.
Working Conditions:
Normal office environment. Must be able to lift up to 35 pounds. Must be able to operate a computer and communicate with others via telephone and/or other electronic devices. Must be able to concentrate for long periods of time. Must be able to travel locally, regionally, and nationally as needed. Must be able to drive or must have other means of reliable, efficient transportation.
Additional Information:
Position is full time with benefits.

To Apply: Send resume by ONE of the following methods with job title, past wage history, and wage expectations:

Fax; 513-287-7079
Email in MSWord or PDF format only to:
Mail: National Underground Railroad Freedom Center
1301 Western Avenue
Cincinnati, Ohio 45203
Attn: HR


Company Information
Description :
The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center opened in August 2004 on the banks of the Ohio River in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio. Our purpose is to tell the story of the struggle for freedom in the United States through exhibits and programs that focus on America’s battle to rid itself of the ugly scourge of slavery and treat all its citizens with respect and dignity. The frame of reference of the museum is the compelling drama of the Underground Railroad. This was not an actual railroad, with tracks and cars and engines, but instead a secret network of escape routes that existed in the years leading up to the Civil War. One major escape route passed through the region in and around Cincinnati. These paths was used by escaping slaves fleeing those states where slavery was legal; along the way, they were often given food, shelter and guidance by sympathetic citizens who opposed slavery.

The underlying theme of the Underground Railroad, which we reinforce with programs, presentations and children-focused activities, is that the path to freedom — historically and in contemporary times — is a constant struggle requiring courage, perseverance and cooperation among people of diverse backgrounds willing to help one another.

In addition to five major permanent exhibitions, we present a full calendar of changing exhibits, programs and activities throughout the year.

Type :
Direct Employer
Address :
1301 Western Avenue
Cincinnati, OH 45203
Application Information
Instructions :
Please provide resume with salary expectations and past salary history in MS Word or PDF format.
Online :
Apply by mail :
Attn: Davd Howard
National Underground Railroad Freedom Center
1301 Western Avenue
Cincinnati, OH 45203
By Fax :
Fax to 513-287-7079 Attn : Davd Howard
Job Posting Entered On :
Job Posting Expires On :






Vice President of Philanthropy of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center