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Director, Member Engagement

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The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University

Director, Member Engagement

The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA 19103

About the Academy

The Academy of Natural Sciences was founded in 1812 for "the encouragement and cultivation of the sciences".  Since then, it has sponsored global expeditions, conducted pioneering environmental and systematics research, and amassed remarkable collections containing more than 18 million specimens from around the world and a peerless library and archive. Since 2011 its academic enterprise has been further strengthened through its affiliation with nearby Drexel University – a leading private non-profit research institution that focusses on innovation and entrepreneurship and provides a unique cooperative education program for its undergraduate and graduate degree students. 

Today the Academy is one of the most important natural science institutions in the world. However, the world is changing fast and the Academy – directed by its Strategic Plan 2019-24 - is changing with it.  Over the next five years the Academy will become a “force for nature” and advance its mission: “to understand the natural world and inspire everyone to care for it”. In so doing the Academy will build on its fundamental belief that diversity and inclusion generates better ideas, inspires creativity, and is essential to building a positive workplace so that in time it can become an institution that is of, by and for all Philadelphians.

Job Summary 

The Director of Member Engagement is part of the Academy’s fast-moving Institutional Advancement team.  This position is responsible for developing and implementing the strategy for all aspects of the general membership program and all related communications and member campaigns. This position is a member of the department’s leadership team, meeting regularly with other directors and the Executive Director to discuss and set strategy for Academy fundraising.  They also provide strategic guidance across the Academy on engagement opportunities, marketing, and mission-based content that will inspire prospects, ticket buyers, and the broader community to become members, as well as assist with developing upgrade strategies for current members. This position oversees the membership gift processing and fulfillment process and works alongside the Membership Coordinator to ensure accurate and efficient entry and acknowledgment of gifts. This position reports to the Executive Director of Institutional Advancement and supervises one full time position. 

The Director of Membership plays a unique role in connecting members to Academy science and staff by working across departments to create member components for public programs and producing members-only events such as the annual Members’ Night.  This is an exciting opportunity for a creative fundraiser interested in science and nature to inspire support for the Academy’s mission through unique offerings, experiences, and stewardship.

Essential Functions

  • Develop strategy and implement the Academy’s comprehensive membership program of 5,000+ members, meeting or exceeding the annual revenue targets
  • Develop and implement a strategy for a robust retention, upgrade, and acquisition program to grow the museum’s membership base, manage prospects, and promote and deliver member benefits at all levels of the program
  • Participate in Gift Officer MOVES management meetings and oversee a portfolio of member and potential member prospects, in addition to contributing to overall strategies for donor cultivation
  • Reengage and coordinate with Academy affiliated clubs, creating joint programming, and co-membership opportunities
  • Work collaboratively with the Individual Giving team, both within the Academy and Drexel, to develop communications and experiences to appeal to Club level general members, Academy Collaborators, and A.J. Drexel Society members
  • Oversee the Environmental Sustainability Network, an affinity group of Drexel alumni, and position participants for Academy membership through close partnerships and targeted events
  • Develop collaborative processes with the Drexel IA Alumni Relations team to create a pipeline between recent graduates, alumni, and Academy Membership
  • Conceive and implement membership stewardship activities, including weekly Museum Monday emails that forefront member stories and news/information while also linking members more deeply with the Academy’s mission
  • Develop and implement an email communications strategy and multichannel membership campaigns, including marketing emails, solicitations, and digital acknowledgements that drive reactivation and deepen engagement
  • Working alongside frontline fundraisers and IA events staff, guide strategy, develop, and execute member events and engagement opportunities to enhance the IA Office’s overall fundraising efforts
  • Provide strategic guidance across the Academy on programs and engagement opportunities, marketing, and content that will move our prospects to members and our members to donors
  • Oversee the Academy Kids Club program, working with the Membership Coordinator to create strategies to recruit and retain members, create monthly activity sheets for participating members, send welcome materials and birthday cards and create Kids Club events
  • Develop and produce all membership marketing collateral, in conjunction with our graphic design firm and Marketing department
  • Develop and analyze membership and donor reports to make data-driven decisions
  • Manage one fulltime Membership Coordinator position, and co-ops, volunteers, interns, or part-time staff members as needed
  • Work alongside the Membership Coordinator to ensure that all new/renewing memberships to the Academy are processed through the Raiser’s Edge database and fulfilled in a timely manner
  • Work alongside the Executive Director to manage the membership budget and make projections
  • Oversee customer service for members via telephone, e-mail and onsite
  • Work with the Membership Coordinator to ensure membership representation at key museum events
  • Work in collaboration with staff across the Academy to implement membership cultivation and retention programs, including administering visitor surveys, front desk membership sales, member benefits, and special offers
  • Perform additional duties and responsibilities as assigned

Required Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Minimum of 5 years of experience in a membership or development office
  • Proficiency with Raiser’s Edge software (or similar system) required
  • Experience with direct mail marketing or fundraising required
  • Knowledge of mass email marketing required
  • Ability and willingness to occasionally work evenings and weekends required

Preferred Qualifications 

  • Excellent organizational, multi-tasking, interpersonal, and communication skills
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with staff from various departments and work effectively both as a team leader and member, as well as independently on projects
  • Detail-oriented with ability to manage and meet deadlines
  • Advanced computer literacy, including word processing, Mailchimp (or other email marketing platforms)

Physical Demands

  • Typically sitting at a desk/table 


 Center City – Philadelphia, PA 

Additional Information

This position is classified as exempt with a salary grade of L. For more information regarding Drexel’s Professional Staff salary structure, 

Special Instructions to the Applicant 

Please make sure you upload your CV/resume and cover letter when submitting your application.

Review of applicants will begin once a suitable candidate pool is identified.

To Apply

Use the following link to apply for the position:

Please make sure you upload your CV/resume and cover letter when submitting your application.

Review of applicants will begin once a suitable candidate pool is identified.