The San Bernardino County Museum Association (the Association) solicits, manages, and distributes funds, engages in programs, and advocates to benefit the mission of the San Bernardino County Museum (the Museum). Founded in 1954, the Museum is an educational and cultural mainstay in the region. With a collection of more than 3 million objects, the Museum plays an integral role in providing cultural and educational programming for the residents of San Bernardino County and beyond.
The Association is a pivotal, long-term partner of the Museum. As a department of the San Bernardino County government, the Museum cannot fundraise for itself. Since the Association’s founding in 1959, its board of directors has raised millions of dollars and served as cultural and philanthropic ambassadors for the Museum. The Association plays a key role in supporting the Museum’s 2017 strategic plan, which focuses on developing deeper visitor engagement, enhancing stewardship and utilization of its collection, refreshing its facilities, diversifying sources of revenue, and building its organizational capacity.
The Museum has an operating budget of approximately $3.5 million, of which San Bernardino County provides approximately $3.1 million (90 percent). The remaining 10 percent is comprised of contributions raised by the Association and earned revenue, such as facility rentals, admissions, and fee-based programs. The Association manages an endowment fund of approximately $2 million, disbursements from which support the long-term sustainability of the Museum. The Association has a budget of $300,000 and is supported by one full-time Executive Director and two part-time staff members. The organization is governed by a 14-member board of directors, led by Board President Abby Flores.
The Museum and the Association are located in Redlands, California, situated within San Bernardino County. Comprised of more than 20,000 square miles and a population of 2.1 million residents, San Bernardino County is the largest county in the United States in terms of acreage, the 12th most populous, and one of the nation’s most diverse in terms of geography and demographics.
The City of Redlands is a charming Victorian-era community located approximately 90 minutes east of Los Angeles and 45 minutes west of Palm Springs. Its robust educational and cultural life is anchored by the University of Redlands, Redlands Bowl, A.K. Smiley Public Library, Redlands Symphony, and San Bernardino County Museum. This city of professionals benefits from a diverse array of festivals, art exhibitions, concerts, and lecture series that enhance the cultural landscape for residents. Redlands is also home to Esri, one of San Bernardino County’s largest private employers.
Residents and visitors to San Bernardino County can experience the arid beauty of the Mojave Desert, enjoy water sports at Lake Arrowhead or snow sports at Big Bear, and hike through the San Bernardino National Forest and National Park installations, such as Joshua Tree National Park. In addition, San Bernardino County’s diverse terrain includes tribal lands associated with peoples such as the Serrano, Cahuilla, Chemehuevi, and Mojave; military bases at Twentynine Palms and Fort Irwin; bountiful agricultural lands; and numerous historic sites located along the famous Route 66. Redlands is conveniently located approximately 30 minutes away from Ontario International Airport and within 90 minutes of Hollywood Burbank, Long Beach, and Los Angeles International Airports.
Sources: cityofredlands.org; sbcounty.gov; artsconnetionnetwork.org
Roles and Responsibilities
- Expand and diversify annual giving programs, membership, sponsorship, institutional giving, and events through strategic and proactive donor and stakeholder engagement in San Bernardino County and throughout Southern California.
- Proactively develop, implement, and track the performance of long- and short-term strategies for fundraising in partnership with the Association BOD.
- Build board success in fundraising through mentorship and utilization of best practices in fundraising and donor engagement.
- Establish solicitation priorities for both personal and board-managed donor portfolios, manage prospect lists, and develop and execute fundraising and engagement strategies as laid out in the development plan.
- Create a relationship management and donor recognition protocol that deepens donor relationships, supports expanded fundraising activities, and provides greater linkage between donors and Museum programming.
- Build a strong culture of accountability through regular communication and proactive, accurate reporting of development goals to the Association BOD.
- Collaborate with the Museum on organizational messaging and external communication strategies that attract new members to the Museum and inspire current members to renew and increase their giving.
Administration and Operational Oversight
- Design, implement, and execute a strategic development plan designed to significantly increase contributed revenue.
- Evaluate and diversify the Association’s communication structures, including social media and the website, to build awareness and engagement.
- Guide and mentor the Association team’s successful achievement of all aspects of development and member benefits program, including stewardship, special events, cultivation, benefits fulfillment, donor interaction, and volunteer management.
- Create a collaborative professional environment focused on inspiring and partnering with the Association BOD as well as supporting the identification and recruitment of new board members.
- Prepare and monitor revenue and expense budgets; provide accurate reporting, analysis, and integration of data; and ensure the integrity of the Association’s data.
- Oversee the Association and supervise and mentor staff by setting clear expectations, providing constructive feedback (including regular professional evaluations), motivating the team, and ensuring availability of professional development opportunities.
- Ensure that the appropriate organizational structure, policies, safety responsibilities, and procedures are in place and regularly reviewed for effectiveness. Embrace other leadership and administrative roles and opportunities as required.
Traits and Characteristics
The ED must be an exceptional, passionate, and articulate fundraiser and organizational ambassador, with a strong commitment to collaboration and teamwork, and a track record of successful fundraising. A self-starting leader with outstanding project management skills, the ED must be able to create a compelling fundraising vision linked to the mission and goals of the Association and, via extension, the Museum. This individual must also execute the strategy needed to achieve that vision by inspiring and motivating board and staff teams. An experienced and diplomatic leader with a high degree of personal accountability, the ED must demonstrate and deliver exceptional customer service in every aspect of this role. Self-sufficient and self-managed with a highly organized approach, the ED must possess a demonstrated ability to prioritize projects and drive deadlines with precision, balanced by a sense of humor and professional investment in the success of others. This individual will have a passion for the mission, vision, and values of the Association, appreciate the Museum’s programming, and welcome change as the Museum fulfills the goals laid out in its strategic plan.
Other key competencies of the role include:
- Flexibility and Problem Solving – The capacity to respond quickly to change with minimal resistance while optimistically but intentionally moving toward solutions.
- Conflict Management and Decisiveness – The dexterity to address and resolve conflict and demonstrate leadership through active, thoughtful, and strategic decision-making.
- Goal Orientation – The clarity to establish specific, measurable, attainable, reviewable, and time-sensitive goals and to achieve them regardless of obstacles or circumstances.
Qualifications and Experience
A bachelor’s degree (master’s degree preferred) and at least five years of increasing responsibility at a senior level in organizational leadership are required. An emphasis on fundraising, preferably in a museum, multi-disciplinary arts center, educational institution, or other nonprofit organization, is necessary. A strong track record in successful donor identification, cultivation, and solicitation among diverse donor communities is required, as are excellent written and verbal communication skills. Expertise in overall organizational management with a track record of productive collaboration with board members are essential for success in this role. Strong computer skills, including Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint), donor database software, traditional, electronic, and social media, and advanced tools for donor prospecting and research, are necessary.