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Capital Campaign Director

The National Aquarium
Baltimore, United States Posted: March 11, 2024

The Capital Campaign Director will play a pivotal role in advancing the National Aquarium’s capital campaigns, with a high degree of autonomy and mission impact. The Director reports to the SVP/Chief Philanthropy Officer and works closely with the President/CEO, members of the Board of Directors and other volunteers to raise the capital funds, build relationships and chart the future of the Aquarium’s ambitious capital campaigns.

  • For their first two years of service, the Director will devote substantially all of their time and professional efforts to pursuing the Aquarium’s capital campaign targets for its planned Dolphin Sanctuary, the world’s first authentic sanctuary for previously captive dolphins.
  • Upon successful completion of the Dolphin Sanctuary campaign, the Director will be expected to take on leadership of other capital campaigns for the National Aquarium.
  • Candidates for this position are expected to bring demonstrated leadership and accomplishments in fundraising, particularly capital campaigns and major donor development, with documented results in closing leadership level gifts from individuals, foundations and corporations.
Key Responsibilities
  • Plan, develop and execute capital campaign for Dolphin Sanctuary with a phase one target of $12 million in pledges and gifts by Q1 2025, and a phase two target of $10 million (date TBD).
  • Work with the CEO to create and implement a major gifts strategy and prepare solicitations of high-net-worth donor prospects.
  • Maintain a portfolio of major donor prospects and hold ultimate accountability for their cultivation, stewardship, retention and upgrading; including supporting and at times making asks for seven- and eight-figure charitable contributions.
  • Conduct detailed, ethical donor research as needed on current and prospective donors, with support from the Philanthropy team and outside consultant.
  • Work closely with the Philanthropy team to track and maintain contact with donors and prospects and ensure accurate database information management, including cultivation strategies, evaluations, solicitations, contact reports and results of contacts with campaign prospects.
  • Develop collateral materials to support solicitations and other communications with donors and prospects, including follow-up notes and letters of acknowledgement.
  • Lead regular donor stewardship meetings, setting the agenda and tracking action items for the campaign team.
  • Participate in monthly strategy review meetings with executive leadership and report campaign results to Leadership Team and Board, as necessary and appropriate.
  • Plan and execute occasional events in Baltimore and the Caribbean to support donor solicitations and other campaign activities.
  • As needed, travel up to 3-4 times per month domestically to meet with major donors and prospects (Mainland US and Puerto Rico), with trip durations of 1-3 days.
  • Manage other incidental campaign details as needed and directed.
Experience Required
  • Demonstrated passion for the mission, vision and values of the National Aquarium and its planned Dolphin Sanctuary.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, with proven ability to communicate and collaborate effectively with staff, Board members, donors, volunteers and prospects.
  • Ten or more years’ experience supporting and leading major gift fundraising, with a demonstrated understanding of strategic donor stewardship (moves management) approaches.
  • Five or more years’ experience in capital campaign fundraising, with a proven track record of inspiring teams and collaborating with colleagues, volunteers and leaders.
  • Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field of study required; master’s degree desirable.
  • Working knowledge of the prospect research process, with the capacity and willingness to perform donor prospect research unaided when necessary. 
  • Outstanding problem-solving and decision-making skills and sound judgment.
  • Ability to function as a collaborative team member with Aquarium peers and leaders.
  • Excellent organizational skills, attention to detail and ability to accept direction or work independently, as the situation requires.
  • Utmost degree of professional discretion with regard to donor confidentiality and privacy.
  • Capacity to travel domestically (and occasionally internationally) and fulfill occasional night and weekend commitments; all with adequate lead time.
  • Attend donor events as needed, staffing CEO and other campaign volunteers to ensure exceptional execution and follow-up, including leading post-event evaluations and stewardship activities.
Further Comments
  • By connecting people with nature, the Aquarium drives conservation action for the benefit of people, animals and the planet.
  • The Aquarium’s mission—to inspire conservation of the world’s aquatic treasures—begins within the walls of its buildings, but it does not end there.
  • The Aquarium protects, enhances and restores natural resources through education and engagement, habitat restoration, animal rescue and sustainable business practices, with its conservation work guided by three overarching goals—to combat climate change, save wildlife and habitats, and stop plastic pollution.
  • Medical,
  • Dental,
  • Vision,
  • 401(K) match and More!

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