Steamship Historical Society of America Seeking Director of Development

Basic CMYKDirector of Development
Ship History Center
Warwick, Rhode Island


Situated in the Ocean State with nearby Providence and Newport, Rhode Island, Steamship Historical Society of America is a treasured repository for maritime information. SSHSA’s Ship History Center consists of a library, archives and exhibits featuring tens of thousands resources within its vast collections. It is a connecting link where children, families and researchers can learn about ships, passengers and crew, and their roles within our country’s Immigration, Trade and Leisure experiences.  Since its founding in 1935, SSHSA has served thousands.

Now the organization seeks to use the Ship History Center’s success as a launch pad for building a more robust annual, major gift fundraising program and sustainability campaign. For more information about SSHSA, visit the websites at and

Position Summary

The Director of Development is a full-time position that will be accountable to the Executive Director. The Director of Development will support the goals and objectives of SSHSA through visionary and strategic leadership in the areas of donor management, fund development and marketing. This position will be responsible for developing and implementing plans, creating processes and recruiting the people needed to ensure success in each area. Versatility and a can-do attitude will be necessary for the successful candidate.


  • Develop, implement and evaluate an annual comprehensive fundraising strategy.
  • Solicit individual, foundation and corporate donors.
  • Nurture relationships with donors and potential donors through visits, facility tours and updates on programming to promote deeper engagement in the organization.
  • Assist in Ocean Liner Gala, a signature special event.
  • Foster positive connections through effective community relations, building bridges with strategic business, service, media and partner organizations.
  • Coordinate organizational marketing efforts, including print and social media activities.
  • Occasional travel required.

Professional Qualifications & Personal Characteristics

  • Passion for the mission of Steamship Historical Society of America and commitment to providing the resources necessary to engage and educate children.
  • History of successful fundraising in annual giving, special events, grant writing and major gifts, with particular interest in demonstrating a track record of success leading capital campaigns.
  • Highly motivated and able to work without close supervision, but willing to accept direction and guidance from the Executive Director.
  • Demonstrated experience in establishing processes and procedures for a high-functioning development program.
  • Outstanding interpersonal skills and ability to attract people to the organization, including the ability to network and partner with a broad and diverse representation of the community.
  • Excellent communication skills, both oral and written.
  • Collaborative team player who values open communication and two-way sharing with colleagues.
  • Understanding of donor database management. Donor Perfect is a plus.
  • Bachelor’s degree required.


Salary will be commensurate with experience. Vacation policy and health insurance plan are competitive with sector norms.

Non-Discrimination Policy

SSHSA provides equal employment opportunities to all qualified employees and applicants. Their treatment of all employees and applicants shall be without unlawful discrimination as to race, creed, color, national origin, sex, age or handicap in all employment decisions, including but not limited to recruitment, hiring, compensation, training and apprenticeship, promotion, upgrading, demotion, downgrading, transfer, lay-off and termination, and all other terms and conditions of employment except as provided by law.

Application Process

To apply for this position, submit cover letter and resume to Matthew Schulte, Executive Director, SSHSA via email to,


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