Director of Annual Giving

Seacoast Science Center

Our mission is to spark curiosity, enhance understanding, and inspire the conservation of our Blue Planet.

Job Description

Position title: Director of Annual Giving 
Reports to: CEO 
Preferred start date in October/early November 2023
Status: Full time, benefits eligible
Compensation: $55,000 -$60,000 annual salary

About Seacoast Science Center
Seacoast Science Center (SSC) is a beloved anchor of the NH seacoast community – a place to learn and have fun while developing an appreciation for our coastal environment and its inhabitants. At our home in historic Odiorne Point State Park, one of New Hampshire’s ocean-facing treasures, we inspire visitors to discover the wonders of our natural habitats. Families are encouraged to get their feet wet in the tide pools, explore the touch tank full of wondrous creatures from the Gulf of Maine, be awed by the sea life in aquarium exhibits, and develop a deeper appreciation for the preservation and health of our oceans.

Position Summary 
The Director of Annual Giving will bring a blend of energy, creativity, and fundraising acumen to a comprehensive annual giving program that reflects industry best practices to maximize charitable contributions. The Director of Annual Giving is expected to design and implement a rigorous annual fundraising plan that incorporates a comprehensive strategy for solicitation and stewardship of SSC’s broadening donor base. Responsibilities include corporate and individual annual giving programs, membership program oversight, and fundraising event coordination. Each year concrete fundraising goals are established in a work plan development/budget process. For 2023, the SSC fundraising targets are $100,000 in membership, $100,000 in events, $75,000 of corporate support, and $425,000 in private donations. 

The Director of Annual Giving will be in regular coordination with SSC’s CEO, Capital Campaign Director, Fundraising and Membership Administrator, and Event and Corporate Partnership Coordinator to identify new donor prospects, coordinate donor research, develop cultivation activities, and host fundraising events. The Director of Annual Giving is also responsible for updating the fundraising CRM systems as well as providing all requested accurate interim and summary reports in a timely manner. The Director of Annual Giving will work collaboratively with SSC marketing, program, events, and finance teams to maximize the effectiveness of fundraising activities. 

Primary Responsibilities
Annual Fund Outreach, Engagement, and Stewardship
  • Works in partnership with SSC senior leadership and Board to develop and execute strategies for the Annual Giving program, including goals, objectives, budgets, and operational plans. This includes prior year analysis, ROI assessment, donor and prospect segmentation, and fundraising goal setting.  
  • In conjunction with the SSC communications department, create a segmented annual fundraising strategy that incorporates direct mail, digital marketing, and social media elements.  Will also provide annual fund-related website content and updates as required.
  • Personal donor calls, visits, and solicitations as developing relationships require.
  • With SSC’s intra-departmental events team, fundraising and donor cultivation, event design, coordination and execution.

  • Nurture the growth trajectory of the SSC membership program which has expanded from 1,300 to 1,600 members in the past 2 years. 
  • Ongoing revision and enhancement of member benefits.
Corporate Partnerships
  • With CEO, CCO, and Event & Corporate Partner Coordinator to create and implement a corporate partnership development strategy that includes contemporary cultivation, partner benefits and solicitation mechanisms consistent with IRS guidelines for corporate support.
  • Maintain relationships with select group of large, longstanding corporate partners
Fundraising and Donor Cultivation Events
  • Sustain and improve on SSC’s tradition of community-based events such as Music by the Sea, Rescue Run for Marine Mammals, World Ocean Day, BioBlitz, Ocean Ambassador Events, and Volunteer engagement events. 
  • With the Capital Campaign Cabinet Events Working group, establish signature events in support of the SSC capital campaign.

Key Competencies 
  • Well-organized self-starter who can manage time effectively and who possesses excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Ability to perform multiple tasks, to track details, and to set priorities in a fast-paced environment
  • Ability to engender trust and confidence of donors and prospective donors and to maintain confidentiality of donor information
  • Thorough knowledge and understanding of general fundraising practices, and skilled in designing and implementing a variety of highly creative annual giving fund methodologies
  • Ability to be congenial, professional, and effective in handling situations with donors, Center staff, and visitors
  • Integrity in all work and especially in dealing with confidential information
  • Proven professional written communication skills including newsletters, emails and blog content as well as being excellent at proofreading
  • Comfort with staff supervision and working with volunteers.

  • Interest in fundraising to support organizational mission is strongly desired
  • Minimum 2 years of experience in direct fundraising or 4 years of experience in fundraising support 
  • Excellent organizational skills with proven experience managing time effectively
  • Proven ability to exercise independent judgment and prioritize workload
  • Proficient with Google Workspace
  • Proficient in fundraising CRM and wealth screening databases

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Equal Employment Opportunity at SSC 
SSC affirms our goal is to impact lasting change through our actions. Inequality is detrimental 
to our associates, our stakeholders, and the communities we serve.  Together, we unite for equality and equity. SSC is committed to equal employment opportunities regardless of any protected characteristic including: race, color, genetic information, creed, national origin, religion, sex, affectional or sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, lawful alien status, ancestry, age, marital status, or protected veteran status and will not discriminate against anyone on the basis of a disability. We support an inclusive workplace where associates excel based on personal merit, qualifications, experience, ability, and job performance.

To Apply
Please submit a cover letter, resume, and your responses to the short answer questions below to with Director of Annual Giving in the subject line. No paper applications will be accepted. No phone calls please.

Short Answer Questions

  1. Describe your most satisfying fundraising experience and tell us why you found it so personally gratifying.

  1. If you were limited to two solicitation strategies for a specific appeal for general operating support which might you select and what would you consider in your decision making? Imagine that you are developing the strategy for an organization that receives 1,000 donations per year with 100 being over $1,000, a membership of 1,500, a contact list of 15,000 and a social media following of 47,000.

  1. High tide or low tide? Why?