Director of Development & Communications

The Nantucket Maria Mitchell Association (MMA) was founded in 1902 to preserve the legacy of Nantucket native, astronomer, naturalist, librarian, and educator, Maria Mitchell. Maria Mitchell believed in “learning by doing” and today that philosophy is reflected in MMA’s mission statement, programs, research projects, and other activities.

The programs and research activities of the Maria Mitchell Association are focused on bringing the experience of discovery of the natural world of Nantucket – land, sea, and sky –to our members and visitors. Through our family-friendly nature walks, stargazing nights, field trips, workshops, live animal exhibits, and museum programming, we introduce learners of all ages to the unique habitats of Nantucket and impart a sense of respect for the natural world wherever one encounters it. One of our most important avenues for helping visitors to enjoy and explore the world around them is through our summer Discovery camp and the Naturalist Leadership Program for children ages 5 to 15. We also work closely with the local schools to provide field trips to school children while supporting teachers’ professional development in the sciences. Members can also access opportunities to explore the world around and above them as citizen scientists participating in MMA’s research programs in Astronomy, Biology, Environmental Sciences, and Historic Preservation. MMA also offers internship programs in each of our departments for college-aged students with the goal of helping to prepare the next generation of scientists and science teachers. These interns hold practical hands-on positions as members of the staff of MMA’s observatories, aquarium, natural science museum, and historic Mitchell House. Interns also participate in the ongoing research led by our professional scientists. At the core of our work with our visitors, campers, students, and guests is the practice of mentoring individuals, families, and aspiring scientists in the excitement and enjoyment of discovery. There is a solid, well-grounded base of programming and activity at MMA and we are well-positioned to grow what we do well. We need you to help us grow.

MMA is embarking on an exciting expansion and is ready to hire our first Director of Development & Communications. We are seeking a seasoned, senior-level fundraising professional who can bring a deep knowledge of fundraising best practices to our small team. This new hire will work with our incredibly dedicated staff and enthusiastic Executive Director to drive and oversee all aspects of MMA’s development and fundraising efforts. The focus will be on individual giving and business support as well as an integrated marketing and communications function that will support this fundraising. The Director of Development & Communications will have shared responsibility for achieving our annual revenue targets, but more importantly will be responsible for laying the foundation for our long-term needs. This is an incredible opportunity to grow and energize an organization with an amazing history and a great deal of potential and momentum. We need someone with an entrepreneurial spirit who is excited to build a development and communications infrastructure from the ground up. We want someone to join our team and show us how to professionalize our fundraising and marketing and create strategies that will help us achieve our ambitious goals.


  • Create a solid and ambitious development and communications strategy for MMA. Formalize a plan, set goals, develop a calendar of activities to support these goals and implement the strategy.
  • Develop our marketing activities to better promote the MMA brand.
    • Supervise staff to provide regular and cohesive communications to our network of supporters through Constant Contact, social media, our website and other communication platforms.
    • Leverage our already existing programs to expand our base of support, better engage our donors and grow MMA’s profile.
  • Strengthen personal relationships with donors and business leaders who currently support us, expand opportunities for corporate engagement, forge new partnerships, and grow our base of support.
  • Work with our Board of Directors to elevate their understanding of and active participation in achieving our fundraising goals. Coach and steward Board members to grow their involvement.
  • Work with committees and support staff and ensure integrity of:
    • planning and implementation of fundraising events, direct mail and electronic appeals, House Parties, and other initiatives to reach expected financial goals.
    • the capture and integrity of all donor information and processes, including the accuracy of records and the timely acknowledgment of all gifts.
  • Build MMA’s development and communications team, defining roles and responsibilities, hiring department support staff, and setting individual objectives and departmental goals consistent with MMA’s budget.
  • Collaborate with Maria Mitchell Association’s senior staff to model leadership, professionalism, and accountability.


  • Minimum of 5-10 years experience in the development field. Ideally with experience leading a fundraising department and creating an integrated development and communications strategy.
  • Strong commitment to and passion for the mission of MMA.
  • Ability to articulate the importance of the organization’s work to prospective and current donors and funders.
  • Proven manager with a willingness to lead and talent and joy for mentoring staff.
  • Outstanding written and verbal communication skills.
  • Positive and fun outlook, and strong interpersonal skills and experience in establishing and cultivating strong relationships with colleagues, partners, donors, and trustees.
  • Excellent working knowledge of donor management software functions.
  • Ability to take initiative, set priorities, and to work independently and as a team-player.
  • Bachelor’s degree is required.
  • Please note: you must be living on the island of Nantucket or be prepared to relocate there for this position. This is a full-time leadership position.


  • Salary is competitive and commensurate with applicant’s experience.
  • Comprehensive benefit package.
  • This position is conceived as full-time position but flex time is available.

How to Apply

  • Send a resume and cover letter that explains your theory of how a development function should be built and how integrated communication is necessary to support that function.
  • Contact for Job: Janet E. Schulte, Executive Director
  • Contact Email:
  • Preferred Contact Method: email
  • MMA is committed to nondiscrimination and equal opportunity in employment.

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