History Center of Lake Forest-Lake Bluff

History Center of Lake Forest-Lake Bluff

Director of Development (PT, 3 days/week)


The History Center of Lake Forest-Lake Bluff has been home to the stories of our community for more than 45 years. As one of the most innovative museums in Lake County, the History Center supports humanities scholarship through community history. Our diverse archival holdings have more than 30,000 documents and artifacts, including several collections of historical significance on cultural history. As part of a network of 20 regional institutions, and the Lake County Historical Alliance, we work extensively with peer institutions to codevelop programming, initiatives, and exhibits. Our growth trajectory for the next five years: expanded digital and onsite programming, increased intercommunity partnerships, and enhancing the digital archives to bring more scholarly value to the collection and a broader public reach and engagement.


The Director of Development is responsible for planning, organizing, and implementing all the History Center of Lake Forest-Lake Bluff’s fundraising efforts, including directing the major gifts program, the annual fund solicitation, promoting and marketing of the planned giving program, and developing and directing program-based fundraising campaigns. The position reports directly to the executive director and works in partnership with the board of directors’ development committee.


  • Have expertise and experience in fundraising techniques, especially relationship building and pipeline development for potential donors and funders.
  • Strong interpersonal skills—this role spends a significant percentage of the work week out in the community and meeting/speaking with donors and community leaders.
  • Resiliency and positivity: this role requires the ability to rebound from setbacks and to keep staff and committee inspired and engaged.
  • Entrepreneurial abilities: the role is quite independent, and the director is expected to establish and follow the steps and processes to achieve success and attain the significant annual fundraising goals.
  • Detail-oriented: error-free communications, effective writing skills, and rapid response to all forms of communication are required.
  • A bachelor’s degree or master’s degree in Nonprofit Fundraising or CFRE preferred
  • 5 years minimum experience in professional fundraising, with a resume of successful fundraising initiatives.
  • Have an interest in history and understanding of the value of a history museum.


1. Cultivate and grow commitments from the pipeline of more than 250 current donors

2. Develop a new pipeline of potential donors within the community, through outreach, introductions, and effective one-on-one communications

3. Meet with prospective donors and supporters on a regular basis to establish an effective and rewarding mutual relationship

4. Maintain the fundraising database and tracking systems, keeping files current, and creating reports for the development committee, staff, and finance teams

5. Direct the membership drive and continue to evolve membership benefits

6. Direct the year-end annual fund program

7. Coordinate fundraising special events, including Local Legends

8. Continue to build the planned giving program with a focus on deferred gifts such as bequests

9. Maintain gift recognition programs

10. Assist grant seeking including research, proposal writing, and reporting requirements

11. Direct discrete, project-based major fundraising drives

12. Partner with marketing staff on the creation of publications/materials to support fundraising activities

13. Occasionally work evenings and weekends for events and meetings

SALARY/BENEFITS: Salary ranges around $40,000/year, competitive/commensurate with experience and other qualifications.

APPLICATION: E-mail resume to Carol Summerfield at the History Center of Lake Forest-Lake Bluff at [email protected]