Director of Development

Founded 90 years ago as an organization devoted to collecting and interpreting the community’s history, Greenwich Historical Society has evolved into a vital and growing campus with a nationally-significant historic site, award-winning museum and a multi-faceted range of programs and activities.  Located on the historic Cos Cob Harbor, home of Connecticut’s first art colony, the Historical Society has two main areas of focus: as a museum (galleries, Bush-Holley House, education center) with related exhibitions and education programs for children and adults, and as a center for Greenwich history (library and archives, preservation and publication programs). Its stated mission is: “We preserve and interpret Greenwich history to strengthen the community’s connection to our past, to each other and to our future.”

Position and Responsibilities

The Director of Development reports to the Executive Director, works closely with the Board and other organizational staff, and participates in several Board committees.

The Director of Development will:

  1. Work with senior leadership to aggressively plan, lead and direct the organization and implementation of fundraising from individual, foundation, corporate and government sources to meet the operating, exhibition, collections, and education needs of the Historical Society for the present and the long term.  Key initiatives include: ongoing efforts to identify and expand corporate and foundation donors and sponsorships; increased identification and cultivation of individual donors, with particular focus on accessing new constituencies and funding sources; growth of the annual fund, major gifts and membership; and advancing a planned giving program.

2.  Work closely with staff, Board and volunteers to maximize the effectiveness of the Historical Society’s major fundraising events and other special events and activities, including its History in the Making Award Dinner, Spring Tour and its Greenwich Landmarks Event; and to help attract, cultivate, and retain donors and members, which includes establishing and overseeing the fulfillment of donor benefits and recognition.

3. Work with the Executive Director to motivate and strengthen the Board in its role in development; expand, manage and coordinate the Board and other volunteers’ involvement in fundraising activities; and take an active role in serving and supporting the Board as it continues to grow and develop.

4.  Cooperate with the Executive Director to prepare foundation, corporate and government grant proposals, and oversee grant administration and reporting.

5.  Train and supervise the Development Associate and support staff, and recruit and replace as necessary, in consultation with the Historical Society’s senior leadership.

6. Maintain the integrity and effectiveness of the Historical Society’s fundraising database, Raiser’s Edge; growing the staff’s competence to generate timely reports and lists.

7.  Work collaboratively with and serve as a resource to the Education, Exhibition, Collections, and Marketing departments in the design of marketable and fundable programs and help secure new sources of funds for these programs; foster ongoing, collegial communications among the development department and other departments of the organization and the board.

8. Team with the Executive Director, Marketing Director, Board and other staff to enhance the Historical Society’s public image and positioning, foster positive external relations, and build long-term strategic alliances, and play an active, public role as a representative of the organization.

9.  In conjunction with the Executive Director and the Finance Director, help prepare and manage the Development department’s financial reports and budget; monitor the development budget and control expenses, and oversee the administration of the development department, its procedures and policies.


The successful candidate will:

1.  Have a background in the cultivation and solicitation of individual, corporate, foundation, and government donors, and a proven track record in the management of fundraising events and successful development programs, including staff and volunteer management. .

2.  Understand and support the Historical Society’s mission, appreciate the important role cultural institutions play in the life of a vibrant community, and have the ability to articulate this mission and role to others. 

3.  Be someone with initiative, creativity, self-confidence, and energy, who enjoys working as a team player but also has the capability to work independently and as a self-starter.

4.  Be a personable, positive, and social individual, with integrity and a sense of humor, who is able to work well with trustees, donors, volunteers and staff, and who enjoys taking an active, public role in the cultivation and solicitation of donors as well as in working behind the scenes.

5.  Have excellent verbal and written communication skills, computer literacy and the ability to inspire those working with him/her toward accomplishing common objectives.

6.  Be well-organized; able to manage strategically set priorities that serve the chosen strategies, yet have sufficient focus on details to assure effective implementation and follow through.

7.  Be willing to work diligently and hands-on to get the job done, and with the flexibility necessary to balance the many challenges inherent in a changing, growing organization.

8.   Have, at minimum, a Baccalaureate degree, and at least five years of development experience.

Compensation, Start Date and Application Procedure

A review of prospective candidates will commence immediately, continuing until the position is filled. Interested and qualified individuals, and recommendations of same, are encouraged to submit their credentials as soon as possible for full consideration. Complete credentials should be submitted electronically and should include the following:

  • Cover letter;
  • Résumé or CV;
  • Salary requirements;
  • Four professional references, including name, email, phone and relationship.

The salary and benefits will be competitive with other organizations of comparable stature and size.

Application materials should be sent electronically – Word or .pdf only, please – with the applicant’s name included as part of each file name.

Greenwich Historical Society Attn: Laura Kelly

By email:

Phone: 203-869-6899


Additional Background:

The Historical Society’s public facilities include the National Historic Landmark Bush-Holley House (circa 1730); the Hugh and Claire Vanderbilt Education Center, set in a mid-19th century barn; and the recently opened Museum, Library & Archives building that is annexed to the former railroad hotel and saloon known to the artists of the Cos Cob art colony as “Toby’s.” Administrative offices are located in the Justus Luke Bush Storehouse (circa 1805). The exterior of all the historic buildings, landscape and gardens have been restored to their appearance during the Cos Cob Impressionist art colony that thrived between 1890 and 1920.

In addition to its permanent historic house museum, each year the Historical Society mounts temporary exhibitions that focus on the art and artists of the Cos Cob art colony, the museum collections, and other aspects of the community’s ongoing history.  The collections document Greenwich’s evolution from a colonial New England settlement to a residential suburb of metropolitan New York. They include a fine collection of 18th century Connecticut case furniture and decorative arts, costumes, textiles and tools from the 18th through the early 20th centuries. Early American portraits and Impressionist art works by Cos Cob art colony members Childe Hassam, John Twachtman and Elmer MacRae are exhibited both in the permanent collections gallery and in the original domestic setting in which they were created or displayed, providing a unique historical context.   The Historical Society also increases community awareness about the preservation of Greenwich’s historic buildings and sites and has a variety of programs and resources that support its mission in this area. The Library and Archives make collections and library materials available for research, and staff respond to research requests by visitors, online and by phone.

Approximately 3,000 school children and 11,000 adults and families are served annually by the Historical Society’s programs, which include tours of its historic house museum; permanent and changing exhibitions; lectures and hands-on learning for adults, families and children; teacher and student programs; research opportunities; publications; and the documentation of Greenwich’s historic landmarks and sites.

Having completed a $13.5 million campaign in 2018 to expand its facilities and programs, the Historical Society continues to raise $1.5 million annually for its core programs and in 2023 will launch a $3-4 million campaign for Endowment and capital upgrades to Bush-Holley House. The Board also authorized the formation of a planned giving program that is called “The Vanderbilt Society” that seeks to enlist bequests and other future gifts, including promised gifts of art work. The Development Director will play a vital role in assisting the board and senior management with the implementation of the FY 22 – FY 26 Strategic Plan goals, and the development of a fundraising strategy to support the expanded annual operating budget and capital development plan. Under the leadership of Executive Director, Debra Mecky, the Historical Society, during the past 26 years, attained AAM reaccreditation (2020), developed an award-winning dual interpretation of Bush-Holley House and expanded its campus, most recently with the restoration and building of the new 10,000 sq. ft. facility. The Historical Society has an operating budget of approximately $2.2 million and a $3.5 million endowment, and is governed by a 34 member Board of Directors.  There is a staff of 9 full-time, 20 part time and over 200 volunteers who play a vital role in supporting fundraising events.  To learn more about Greenwich Historical Society and the Town of Greenwich, go to:  and