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Vice President of Development

Maine College of Art & Design
Portland, Maine
Commensurate with experience
Posted Date
Sep 13, 2022

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Position Overview

Maine College of Art & Design (MECA&D) seeks a collaboratively minded leader to serve as the Vice President of Development, joining our group of committed faculty and staff who are passionate about art, education, and community.  The Vice President of Development (VPD) will be responsible for the implementation and execution of MECA&D’s strategic fundraising initiatives across the range of constituencies: individuals, corporate, and foundation. Reporting to the President they will serve as a thought partner working collaboratively to establish and evaluate a fundraising strategy while also ensuring tactical delivery. With an entrepreneurial approach and enthusiasm and fluency in both in-person and on-line fundraising, communication, and relationship- building, this individual will play an essential role in growing MECA&D’s portfolio. The VPD will be a self-starter committed to building an infrastructure and a team that works to cultivate new donors, steward existing individual and institutional members, and expand outreach into the global corporate and foundation community to public support relationships.  This individual will be an experienced proposal writer with a robust knowledge of corporate giving trends. The VPD will be responsible for leading the Development Department, building a campaign team and directing the activities of the staff to achieve annual fundraising goals. Maine College of Art & Design recognizes that diversity is integral to the academic experience and strives to foster an inclusive culture defined by respect, equity and social responsibility. All employees are expected to actively support these values.

The Successful Candidate   

To achieve success in this role, it will require:

Fundraising Leadership and Membership Growth


  • Lead the implementation and execution of MECA&D’s strategic fundraising initiatives, to grow donor participation;
  • Identify, cultivate, and successfully solicit major gifts from a diverse group of donors, with an increased emphasis on capital campaign giving to support our strategic plan;
  • Utilize exceptional writing skills to generate grant and funding proposals through established relationships and newly identified sources;
  • Design strategies to increase donor engagement and participation;
  • Cultivate and inspire legacy gifts and oversee the stewardship and benefit of planned gifts;
  • Oversee the planning, production, and hosting of fundraising events. Manage the execution of donor recognition and stewardship programs.

Development Planning and Operations

  • Formulate annual development budgets, track financial performance, prepare the necessary interim financial reports and fundraising projections, and monitor expenditures; 
  • Prepare a comprehensive, written annual development plan and calendar with clearly defined goals, objectives, timelines, and assigned responsibilities;
  • Train, mentor, and support colleagues and board members and volunteers in donor and prospect engagement activities, seeking ways to maximize donor participation; 
  • Lead and support all staff with information retrieval for related fundraising and sponsorship activities; 
  • Prepare briefing materials and help conduct research for the President, advancement committee, and board members as it relates to donor outreach and prospecting;
  • Adhere to the codes of conduct and ethical principles set forth for all employees through direct and honest communication, follow through on commitments, and ability to build confidence and respect;
  • Maintain knowledge of the latest giving and philanthropic trends and gude the system and tools necessary to maintain a best practice development department. 

External Relations and Communications

  • Be a passionate, visible and informed advocate for actively seeking opportunities to engage with the broader community and to participate in events that position towards improved fundraising and visibility;
  • Communicate MECA&D mission with information and materials highlighting the products, services, and value proposition of being a philanthropic partner or sponsor of the association;
  • Produce materials and proposals designed to share our story and to engage new advocates and supporters;
  • Oversee development communications and correspondence including community facing donor news, institutional briefings and reports, donor-facing proposals, and stewardship materials;
  • Guide the board committee members, and staff in the identification of donor prospects and the cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of donors. 

Qualifications, Experience, Abilities Qualifications: 

  • Bachelor’s degree required, Graduate degree preferred.


  • 10+ years of professional experience required;
  • 10+ years of fundraising experience at a nonprofit, professional, academic, or learned society required;
  • Track record of grant and proposal writing required;
  • Strong technical and database management skills required;
  • Strong customer service skills required.

Skills and Abilities: 

The VPD is a natural connector who embraces their role as a leader within the organization and throughout the community. They will be an experienced development professional with an entrepreneurial inclination and a demonstrated capacity to achieve contributed revenue goals. They will understand how to plan a course of action that will support the present organizational needs as well as future goals. A confident fundraiser and self-starter, they will be knowledgeable of strategies and best practices and willing to work as part of a team while strongly vauling service to and engagement with College members and stakeholders. This individual will have the ability and cultural competence to build authentic relationships with people from diverse backgrounds. A strong commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in all its forms is a must. 

Other key competencies include but are not limited to: 

Teamwork - The agility to cooperate with others to meet objectives, organize and motivate others while creating a sense of order, direction, and active participation among the board, the officers, the staff, volunteers, and other stakeholders to achieve collective goals. 

Resilience - The dexterity to quickly recover from adversity with the flexibility to remain optimistic in the face of setbacks and challenges in recognizing that these are part of learning and growth that informs new strategies and tactics. 

Influencing Others and Interpersonal Skills - The ability to personally affect others’ actions, decisions, opinions or thinking and the commitment to build rapport while effectively communicating with diverse stakeholders nationally and internationally. 

Time and Priority Management - The capacity to prioritize and complete tasks to deliver desired outcomes within allotted time frames and the willingness to initiate and pursue a robust work plan and be responsible for initiatives, decisions, and actions. 

Member/Customer Focus - The dedication to anticipate, meet, and/or exceed the needs, wants, and expectations of members and key stakeholders. 


The Institution Maine College of Art & Design is an independent college of art and design located in the center of the thriving arts district of Portland, Maine. Established in 1882, the College currently enrolls approximately 550 students, the majority of whom are in the undergraduate program. About 1,000 students take classes through MECA&D’s Continuing Studies Program annually. MECA&D’s Joanne Waxman Library is an important resource of art­ and design ­oriented books and periodicals for the region. The Institute of Contemporary Art at MECA&D is a vibrant site for the exhibition of contemporary art.

MECA&D is characterized by its intimate learning community, its interdisciplinary nature and the breadth of its programs. It confers the degrees of Bachelor of Fine Arts in eleven majors, Master of Fine Arts in Studio Art, Master of Arts in Teaching, and the Salt Graduate Certificate in Documentary Studies. Our goal at MECA&D is to teach each student how to transform aspirations and values into a creative practice that serves as the foundation for a lifelong pursuit of personal and professional goals.

Maine College of Art & Design is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) and the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). The College’s accreditation status with both agencies was renewed in 2016.

Strategic Direction

MECA&D’s seven-year strategic (2020-2027) plan builds on our historic positioning in Portland’s arts district, a shared strategic vision, and proven ability to embrace change. 

Strategic Plan Priorities

1. Broaden Our Reach: Online and Distance Learning

Charge: MECA&D will develop a strategy to effectively enter the online and distance learning marketplace in order to expand our audience of learners and generate additional revenue streams.

2. Develop a Culture of Social Change, Racial Justice, and Equity

Charge: MECA&D’s commitment to Social Change, Racial Justice, and Inclusion will inform all aspects of the College. We believe placing these values at the forefront of our work cultivates artists who are true agents of change and connects our community to the world in meaningful ways.

3. Academic Excellence

Charge: MECA&D will cultivate the highest standards in teaching and learning in art, design, and media, and will be recognized for its students’ cultural contributions. The College will be known as an educational leader in the programs it offers, creating and continually improving a relevant, culturally inclusive, and distinctive curriculum that enables students to reach their potential in an ever-changing world.

Recognizing a rapidly evolving and increasingly challenging higher education landscape, the College will create additional programs and educational pathways to attract learners beyond its traditional region and age group: this includes professional, mid-career and continuing learners.

4. Create a Living and Learning Center

Charge: MECA&D will develop a new Living and Learning Center that reflects the College’s mission to provide students with the resources and support necessary to pursue their education successfully. Building on MECA&D’s historic role as the creative anchor of Portland, the new Center will expand MECA&D’s footprint and identity within Portland and will provide a destination and hub for community activity and engagement.

5. Financial Sustainability

Charge: An essential principle of our Strategic Plan is to ensure MECA&D’s long-term financial sustainability. As informed by data and other qualitative metrics, we will identify a financial framework and a series of revenue-focused strategic priorities in support of sustainable results and MECA&D’s overall fiscal plan.

Compensation & Benefits

We offer competitive and equitable compensation with a salary range commensurate with experience; and a benefits package including health insurance, retirement plan, paid time off, holidays, etc. This position is based in Portland, Maine. 

To Apply

Applications will be reviewed beginning immediately and will be accepted until a hire is made. Application materials must be sent digitally in a single PDF, not to exceed a 25MB file size. Please email the document to Place “Vice President of Development [Last Name, First Name]” in the subject line. 

The PDF must include:

An application/cover letter which describes how the candidate’s experience, accomplishments and qualifications intersect with the listed position description; 
A resumé/curriculum vitae; 

A diversity statement; 

A list of four references with contact information, one of which should be a prior supervisor.

Maine College of Art & Design recognizes that diversity is integral to the academic experience and strives to foster an inclusive culture defined by respect, equity and social responsibility. The successful candidate will have demonstrated experience working with diverse populations, and supporting an inclusive and equitable community. Maine College of Art & Design does not discriminate on the basis of gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, disability, genetic information, HIV status, race, age, religion, national or ethnic origin, or military/veteran’s status in its educational programs, admissions policies, employment policies, financial aid, or other College administered programs. Candidates from historically underrepresented backgrounds are encouraged to apply.


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