Executive Director, The Du Bois Freedom Center

Position Title: Executive Director

Reports to: The Board of Directors

Position: Full-Time, Exempt

Location: Great Barrington, Massachusetts

Salary: $125,000

Join us on a journey to honor history, preserve culture & embrace community

About The Du Bois Freedom Center

The mission of the W.E.B. Du Bois Center for Freedom and Democracy is to educate the public about the life and legacy of civil rights pioneer W.E.B. Du Bois and the rich African American heritage of the Berkshires.

Located at the former Clinton A.M.E. Zion Church in Great Barrington, where he was born and raised, this vibrant center of Black thought and remembrance constitutes the first museum and living memorial in North America dedicated to Du Bois’ life and legacy.

The Opportunity

The Du Bois Freedom Center is searching for its first permanent Executive Director to spearhead its mission devoted to educating the public about the life and legacy of civil rights pioneer W.E.B. Du Bois and the rich African American heritage of the Berkshires. At this pivotal stage in the organization’s development, this opportunity will enable a dynamic leader to set the organization up for long-term success by procuring resources and establishing the foundational requirements to bring a cultural center and its programming to life successfully. This opportunity requires a passionate leader who values history, artistic traditions, and social movements made possible through African Americans in the Berkshires and beyond. The Executive Director will lead the DFC team and community in bringing the capital project to fruition and build upon the funding of organizations such as the Andrew Mellon Foundation.

Ideal Candidate

The Executive Director is a strong diplomatic leader. Patient, thoughtful and relationship-oriented, you will naturally enjoy being the leader of a passionate, multi-generational community of area residents. As the primary spokesperson for the organization, you are motivated to increase the visibility of DFC on a regional and national level, ultimately resulting in the development of partnerships and financial resources. Visionary and strategic, you have experience moving projects from infancy to realizing their full potential. The joy of sharing historical and cultural experiences makes you an excellent storyteller who always takes advantage of every opportunity to get someone on board with a mission.

Core Responsibilities:

Fundraising and Development: You are a well-rounded fundraiser with experience engaging with diverse funders and prospects. In addition to developing and executing a comprehensive development plan, you will also have strength in securing and stewarding foundation grants, corporate sponsorships, and major gift prospecting and cultivation at the six and seven-figure levels.

  • Devise, develop, and implement the organization’s comprehensive fundraising strategy, encompassing capital campaigns, annual fundraising efforts, and special fundraising initiatives. Collaborate closely with the board, advisors, consultants, and organizational partners to ensure the acquisition of necessary funding for the full restoration of the historic Clinton Church
  • Represent the organization as the public face to donors, community stakeholders, elected officials, the media, professional peers and associations, as well as the general public. Develop and make presentations to donors, elected officials, key stakeholders, and the general public
  • Develop and execute or oversee a marketing and communications strategy that supports the organization’s ongoing fundraising and outreach goals, while building an audience for the Center
  • Travel within and beyond the Berkshires (ie. Boston, NYC, D.C.) and nationally as needed for donor meetings, conferences and other events
  • Work closely with the organization’s existing partners and cultivate new partnerships that will further the mission of the Center

Organizational Leadership and Administration: Managing the day-to-day is second nature for you. A well-organized foundation is something you prioritize, including building core systems in finance, development/fundraising, operations and programs. Ideally, you will know about collections management and adhere to national standards set by the museum, historic preservation, and public history professions. 

  • Oversee and manage the organization’s day-to-day operations in a professional manner that supports and guides its mission and values as defined by the board of directors
  • Recruit and hire competent, qualified staff to ensure effective operations leading up to and after the Center opens to the public
  • Represent the organization in personal and contractual matters, consulting with the board and legal counsel as necessary
  • To the greatest extent possible, incorporate contemporary technology and best professional practices in all aspects of operations and administration

Collaboration and Co Creation with Leadership: You are an excellent conduit for conversations and information exchange. As a liaison between the organization and the board of directors, you ensure alignment with future work as the organization grows.

  • Maintain effective communication with the board by promptly and accurately providing all necessary information required for informed decision-making and risk management
  • Guarantee the development and presentation of an annual operating budget and monthly financial statements that accurately portray the financial status of the organization
  • Collaborate with and provide assistance to the board and the governance and nominating committee in identifying, nurturing, recruiting, and on-boarding new board members and advisors. Additionally, ensure the organization maintains effective governance aligned with its mission
  • Support committees and advisors in executing their board-determined mandates

Programming and Interpretation Innovation: Always striving to keep DFC at the forefront with leading-edge mission-driven programming  that results in the organization staying current, viable and relevant.

  • Actively engage in the planning of the Center’s interpretive exhibits and programming
  • Offer necessary support and guidance to ensure the successful planning, creation, and installation of exhibits at the Center. Additionally, provide ongoing support for programming and ensure proper development and care of the organization’s collection.
  • Work with and support the Center’s Forum Director to ensure fulfillment of the Forum’s purpose and goals
  • Provide support and resources as needed to ensure the successful restoration and adaptation of the historic Clinton Church building

Knowledge, Skills, and Expertise

  • Master’s degree or equivalent combination of professional experience in nonprofit management, museum studies, public history, or other relevant fields
  • Minimum of 3 years of major gifts and capital campaign fundraising experience, ideally for a museum, historic site, or a similar entity, and a proven track record securing six-figure gifts from individual donors
  • Experience in developing and maintaining a pipeline of grant opportunities, executing grant contracts, and administering grant funding for the organization’s capital, programmatic, and operational needs
  • Articulate, compelling and relatable communication skills (written, verbal, and public speaking)
  • Commitment to racial justice, telling the full American story, and building organizations that are diverse, equitable, inclusive, and accessible
  • Deep understanding of African American history and culture and dynamics of African American public history is an asset
  • Appreciation of the life and legacy of W.E.B. DuBois and Black New England

Compensation and Benefits

The annual salary for this role is up to $125,000. DFC is working to include a benefits package for their first full-time employee, flexible (Berkshire-based) hybrid work environment, and a relocation package if applicable.

Du Bois Freedom Center has retained the exclusive services of Charity Search Group to coordinate the search for this position. To apply, please complete the online application. If you have any questions or require accommodations, please contact Monika Whitfield at monika@charitysearchgroup.com or visit www.charitysearchgroup.com.

DuBois Freedom Center is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We value a diverse workplace and strongly encourage women, people of color, LGBTQ+ individuals, people with disabilities, members of ethnic minorities, foreign-born residents, and veterans to apply.  We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees.

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Monika Whitfield

Senior Search Consultant

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