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We are hiring for an Executive Director!


The Southern Vermont Natural History Museum (SVNHM) is seeking a dynamic and innovative leader who is keen to grow and strengthen SVNHM’s work in southern Vermont and the northeast. The next Executive Director will have significant fundraising abilities, passion towards the Museum’s mission of inspiring stewardship and appreciation of the natural world through engaging educational experiences, and will bring an entrepreneurial spirit while working collaboratively with staff, the Board of Directors, and volunteers to revise and carry out the Museum’s goals.


After 25 years of slow but steady growth, the Museum is eager to expand its culture of philanthropy, including growing its enthusiastic albeit small base of supporters, seeking appropriate grants, and increasing regional awareness of the Museum’s great work.


Key opportunity: This is an ideal position for someone looking to join an established organization with the opportunity to make a significant difference in that organization’s future and ability to carry out its mission.

Key challenge: There are short-term needs to supplement income to cover some significant increased expenses in 2024.


Executive Director Responsibilities

Development and Communications (70%)
The ED is responsible for all aspects of fundraising, including but not limited to grant writing and management, annual funding, and major donor development using a relationship-driven approach.

  • Create and implement an annual development plan with the BOD Development Committee.

  • Identify and nurture donor relationships from existing and new constituents to develop a major gift culture in the organization.

  • Identify new fundraising opportunities and outreach strategies.

  • Research potential sources of, and apply for, grants and public funding.

  • Manage a vibrant annual appeal and event schedule to achieve budgeted fundraising targets.

  • Act as a key point of contact with donors and funders and lead funding campaigns.

  • Manage the donor database (Little Green Light), including creation of mail lists, processing gifts, logging each contact, maintaining donor profiles.

  • Oversee publicity, marketing, communications, and media promotion.

  • Create Annual Report.

Leadership and Management (15%)

  • Supervise and collaborate with the Museum’s Managing Director to develop, implement, and assess programs to further the mission.

  • Lead staff successfully through mentorship, constructive feedback, team building, and accountability. Foster a culture of trust, excellence, and collaboration among all staff and volunteers.

  • Provide strategic leadership to the Board of Directors. Work in conjunction with the Board to refresh and revise the current strategic plan, develop a vision for the long-term future of the Museum, and establish initiatives to fulfil the mission of the Museum and increase local and regional awareness.

  • Maintain an engaged, active, productive Board of Directors in collaboration with the Board President and Board Committees.

  • Develop and manage organizational policies.

  • Serve as spokesperson and chief advocate for the Museum. Establish strong partnerships in the community. Enhance the Museum’s public image to expand interest and support.


Operations and Finance (15%)

  • Assure the financial health of the organization and provide strict oversight of the budget. Oversee organizational and staff budgets, finances, payroll, and employee benefits, and ensure accurate and timely monthly accounting and reporting.

  • Develop yearly organizational budget with BOD Finance Committee.

  • Open/close the Museum and animal care when needed.

  • Attend and present updates and financial results at Board meetings.

  • Oversee facilities management at Museum and Mountainside property.

  • Grant management.


Qualifications/Desired Experience

The ideal candidate may come from a variety of career pathways. Critical to success will be passion for SVNHM’s mission and a capacity to lead an organization through changing times while continuing to deliver on that mission.

The successful candidate will possess the following qualities:

  • Bachelor’s degree and/or experience in a relevant field; minimum of five years of executive management and nonprofit development experience

  • Demonstrated ability to secure funds from both the private and public sectors, steward individual donors, lead fundraising activities, and secure and manage grants

  • Passion for SVNHM’s mission

  • Competency and experience with non-profit financial and fiscal management, reporting, and budgetary oversight

  • Experience with non-profit Board management, engagement, and development

  • Exceptional interpersonal skills to effectively interact with board, staff, donors, and other key stakeholders

  • Proven leadership skills in motivating others and practical calm in dealing with adversity and uncertainty

  • Excellent oral and written communication skills and comfort with public speaking

  • Demonstrated ability to think strategically and make decisions efficiently while inspiring with an imaginative vision for the future

  • Demonstrated experience in outreach, marketing, and communications

  • Skilled in organizational development, administration, and personnel management, with attention to detail, flexibility, integrity and confidence.

  • Computer and website proficiency to utilize software such as QuickBooks, Google Suite, Microsoft Office 365, Little Green Light, Wix, Mailchimp, and Canva

  • A valid driver’s license with a good driving record


The Southern Vermont Natural History Museum incorporated as a 501(c)(3) in 1997. Originally based around the historic Luman R. Nelson natural history collection, SVNHM began exhibiting live animals, minerals, and other nature-related collections in 1998. There are currently 39 non-releasable education animals in the Museum’s care, including birds, reptiles, amphibians, and opossums.

The Museum is in a 3-story building at the top of Hogback Mountain in Marlboro, Vermont. In December 2022 we were donated a small building and 7.5 acres close to the Museum, upon which we are developing trails and a large pavilion as a regional recreation hub and outdoor program space.

Most of the Museum’s programming is through outreach events throughout Vermont and the northeast. Up until 2020, program and event attendance grew every year, such that in 2019 we presented over 200 formal education programs and impacted over 27,000 people - including 7,000 self-guided Museum visitors. In 2022 the number of overall programs rose to 227, with only one full-time staff member and a few contract educators. Volunteers remain vital to the care of our education animals.

Compensation Information

Salary starting at $70,000; willing to consider higher compensation for more experienced candidate. Benefits include paid time off, sick time, and a health care stipend. Motivated to make things work for the right candidate!

How to Apply

Interested candidates should apply via email by sending a resume and cover letter identifying qualifications that match the position criteria and describing what they will bring to the role. The email should be sent to Ed Metcalfe at


The priority application deadline is February 28, with a flexible start date. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. Please address any questions to

SVNHM is an equal opportunity employer. Applicants will not be discriminated against because of race, color, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, religion, national origin, citizenship status, disability, ancestry, marital status, veteran status, medical condition or any protected category prohibited by local, state or federal laws.

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