Abbe Museum Director Of Advancement

26 Jun 2024 3:24 PM | Anonymous member

Director of Advancement
Abbe Museum
Bar Harbor, Maine
Type: Full Time, Experienced - with consideration for flexible, or partially hybrid work schedules for qualified candidates.
Required Education: College Degree or Equivalent
Salary: $80,000 - $100,000 with benefits

With the mission to illuminate and advance greater understanding of and support for Wabanaki Nations’ heritage, living cultures, and homelands, the Abbe Museum offers changing exhibitions and a robust programming schedule for all ages, and welcomes 30,000 visitors each year on Mount Desert Island, Maine, home of Acadia National Park. The Abbe is a decolonizing museum committed to collaborative practice, privilege of Indigenous voice and perspective, and a commitment to telling the full truths of history. Wabanaki people are engaged in all aspects of the museum, from curatorial roles to policy making. In addition, The Abbe is a member of the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience and is the only Smithsonian Affiliate in Maine. The Abbe is governed by a majority Wabanaki Board of Directors, led by Co-Chairs Richard Silliboy (Mi’kmaq Nation) and Carolyn Rapkevian and is advised by its Tribally-appointed Wabanaki Council. Betsy Richards (Cherokee Nation), has served as Executive Director and Senior Partner with Wabanaki Nations since fall of 2022.

Position Summary
The Director of Advancement will be a member of the senior management team responsible for designing a comprehensive development and strategic communications plan that generates strong annual support, including implementing a major gifts program and strategies to increase annual giving from individuals, foundations, and corporations. This individual will manage a robust portfolio of donors, prospects and serve as an active cross-functional collaborator with the program, operations, and finance staff. Working closely with and reporting to the Executive Director & Senior Partner with Wabanaki Nations and collaborating with the Board of Directors in fundraising, organizational storytelling, and relationship management, the Director of Advancement will help position the Abbe for growth and sustainability through an active program of case-making, prospect identification, donor cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship. 

Roles and Responsibilities

Individual Giving

  •  Provide strategic leadership to build a robust individual giving program to support ongoing organizational sustainability and capital projects.
  •  Lead the board of directors and executive and program staff in the identification of donor prospects and the cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of donors.
  •  Collaborate with the Executive Director & Senior Partner to establish and activate current or former board members, Wabanaki Council members, advisors, and other key constituents supportive of the 1 organization’s mission, vision, and values to leveraging networks of influence to identify, engage, and steward potential donors and contributors.
  •  Design strategies to increase donor engagement and annual giving at all levels, including legacy giving, to ensure the long-term sustainability of the organization.
  • Prepare the organization to enter into a comprehensive campaign for its 100th Anniversary in 2028.

Development Operations

  •  Oversee and implement annual fund activities and the preparation of grants and other requests to institutional funders, assuring timely development of proposals and reports.
  •  Prioritize fundraising channels and efforts to maximize opportunities for contributed revenue growth.
  • Work cross-functionally with a team to support Development and Organizational Storytelling, creating a positive workplace environment that promotes employee engagement and satisfaction.
  • Apply industry best practice to all development decision-making, policies, and functions and collaborate closely with the finance team in the forecasting and tracking of contributed revenue.
  • Work cross-functionally in the planning and delivery of donor events, donor acknowledgment, and fulfillment of sponsorship agreements.
  • Develop and nurture a strong working relationship with the board of directors, presenting regular reports and sharing information to support their governance role as well as their involvement in fundraising and the successful completion of the campaign.

External Relations and Communications

  • Serve as a visible advocate for the mission, vision, and values of the organization.
  • Oversee and work cross-functionally in planning strategic blog posts, newsletters, and annual reports.
  • Collaborate on updating organizational branding and organizational storytelling
  • Participate in local, regional, and national meetings and convenings to share the organization’s story and engage new advocates and supporters.

Traits and Characteristics The Senior Director of Advancement will be an experienced development and external relations professional with demonstrated capacity to achieve contributed revenue goals in alignment with our mission, vision, and values. A confident fundraiser, they will be knowledgeable of strategies and best practices to secure strategic gifts from individuals and institutional donors. The Director of Advancement will be a people-oriented leader who enjoys engaging and communicating with multiple constituencies. An innate multi-tasker, they will be highly organized with their time and priorities and adapt to changing situations with ease and enthusiasm.

Other key competencies include:

  • Leadership and Teamwork – The ability to build trust, create a sense of purpose and direction, and influence the team to take action towards a common vision and goal.
  • Diplomacy and Interpersonal Skills – The capacity to leverage relationships with people to influence decisions that advance a common goal, handle sensitive issues with tact, and communicate with people of different backgrounds.
  • Goal Oriented – The determination to pursue and attain ambitious goals, take calculated risk, and instinctively act on opportunities that advance progress toward the goals.
  • Flexibility and Resiliency – The agility to accept new ideas and approaches, adapt to situational demands by stepping outside of comfort zones, evaluate how certain obstacles impact results, and focus on positive results.
  • Personal Accountability – The willingness to evaluate personal action, learn from mistakes, and accept personal responsibility for outcomes.


Qualified applicants must have 5 or more years of advancement experience with a nonprofit organization and a minimum of 3 years in a leadership or senior development/advancement position. Leading candidates will have demonstrable experience in individual and major gifts portfolio management, as well as a proven track record of achieving contributed revenue targets. Supervisory experience is highly desired. The ideal candidate will also have, or be willing to acquire, knowledge of the issues facing Wabanaki communities and Tribal Nations and communicate the case for support. Exceptional written and spoken communication skills are necessary and the ability to represent the Abbe Museum in public speaking engagements, media events, and public presentations is essential.

Position Location

This position will be based at the Abbe Museum’s office in Bar Harbor, Maine with consideration for flexible, or partially hybrid work schedules for qualified candidates. 

We will be accepting applications until the position is filled. To apply, please provide a cover letter, resume or CV, and information for three references.

Please send complete applications via email to:
Betsy Richards
Executive Director & Senior Partner with Wabanaki Nations

Or via mail to:
Abbe Museum
Attn: Director of Advancement
PO Box 286
Bar Harbor, ME 04609

No phone calls, please.

Never miss an event or important update - Sign up to receive news from MAM!

Join now! Start receiving benefits of membership.

Donate! Support Maine's collecting institutions with a tax-deductible gift.

Use the MAM member app by Wild Apricot to register for events, manage your member profile, and access the member directory.

Maine Archives and Museums

P.O. Box 95, Portland, Maine 04112 

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software