Vice President of Advancement + External Affairs

vice president of advancement + external affairs

Washington DC’s children deserve a world-class museum to spark their imagination and encourage them to dream. Steps off the National Mall and Pennsylvania Avenue, National Children’s Museum celebrates the joy of childhood through science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM) exhibits and programs. As Vice President of Advancement + External Affairs, you will help realize this vision for hundreds of thousands of visitors each year.

The Vice President of Advancement + External Affairs will oversee the strategy and management of fundraising, membership, marketing, communications, advertising, strategic partnership, and board development. The Vice President of Advancement + External Affairs will report directly to the President + CEO and be instrumental in supporting the development and implementation of the Museum’s strategic direction.

what you’ll do

Lead strategy and secure gifts for the completion of the Museum’s capital campaign;

Create the development plan and marketing plan for the institution;

Build a comprehensive annual fund strategy that includes major gifts, corporate sponsorships, events, and planned giving; 

Personally solicit and secure major gifts from individuals, corporations, foundations, and government sources;

Expand the Museum’s donor base and network of supporters;

Support the President + CEO in growing the Board of Trustees and engaging the current Trustees in fundraising and board development initiatives;

Oversee all individual and corporate membership programs;

Raise the Museum’s visibility on a local and national level and shape public image through brand development;

Manage the curation of the gift shop and work to maximize revenue and branding through merchandise;

Maximize marketing and PR opportunities that advance the goals of the institution;

Manage and support professional growth for the Advancement and External Affairs teams;

Create a strategy for expanding Advancement and External Affairs teams as needed; and

Serve as a strategic thought partner to the President + CEO. 

what we value

We champion high-performing, creative individuals who dive into problems, challenges and opportunities. We believe in people bringing their whole selves to work. We commit to this through a generous paid vacation and benefits package. We celebrate an environment of teaching and learning; we support one another in professional and personal growth. We are a proud equal opportunity employer. We are strongly committed to building a diverse team that represents a variety of backgrounds, perspectives, and skills. The more inclusive we are, the stronger our Museum.

what we believe are important experiences + traits for this role

At least 10 years of fundraising experience, preferably in the Washington, DC region, and at a cultural, higher education, or other nonprofit institution, with a deep understanding of the national cultural and education funding landscape and local philanthropy;

Comprehensive experience with completing capital campaigns and successful track record securing seven figure gifts;

Previous experience creating and executing multi-year strategies that dramatically increase private support; 

An entrepreneurial spirit and ability to balance short- and long-term priorities;

At least five years of management experience and proven ability to lead and inspire a team of professionals;

Ability to develop relationships between supporters and an institution, and identify their passions within the organization’s mission;

Knowledge of and experience with planned giving strategies;

Excellent interpersonal and communications skills, including public speaking skills and working with media outlets;

Understanding of how to refine a brand and maximize brand awareness;

Previous experience planning and executing comprehensive marketing and communications campaigns;

Ability to enthusiastically communicate the mission, goals, and programs of National Children’s Museum and articulate the need for the institution in the region;

Passion for educating children and the mission of National Children’s Museum.


Full-time position located at National Children’s Museum at Pennsylvania Ave NW, as well as at the Administrative Offices at WeWork White House at 1440 G Street NW. Occasional travel may be required.

about National Children’s Museum

National Children’s Museum reopened in February 2020 as a unique hybrid that combines a science center with children’s museum experiences. As an entirely STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) focused institution, playful, hands-on engagement opportunities fill a critical void for early childhood learning in our nation’s capital and upend expectations for how a space designed for families can look and feel. Located just steps from the White House and National Mall at 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, and with accessible Metro and transportation options, more than 500,000 locals and tourists each year will meet at National Children’s Museum for an inspiring experience. Founded in 1974, the Congressionally-designated Museum has served Washington’s youngest learners for over 45 years.

application deadline: august 5, 2020

To apply, please submit a resume and a cover letter to [email protected] with the subject line: Vice President of Advancement + External Affairs.

value statement

Our mission is to inspire children to care about and change the world. The Museum is an innovative institution that sparks curiosity and wonder and a space where children feel valued. In order to do this well, we need a team that reflects the dynamic and diverse communities that we serve and brings a variety of perspectives, abilities, and skills. We embrace that this work is critical to our mission and never finished. The more inclusive we are, the stronger our Museum.

The National Children’s Museum is committed to equal opportunity for all employees and prospective employees without discrimination based upon race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, personal appearance, sexual orientation, political affiliation, family responsibilities, disability, matriculation, marital status or any other category protected by law. This policy applies to all aspects of employment at NCM, including, but not limited to recruitment, promotion, compensation, benefits, training and development, access to facilities, discipline, separation of employment and other terms and conditions of employment.