Position Announcement: Director of Development

Overview – Director of Development

Working with the Board of Trustees, President/CEO, and senior staff, the Director of Development manages fundraising for an annual operating budget of approximately $1.5 million. The Foundation receives a federal appropriation through the National Park Service which represents part of this budget, but is striving to lessen its dependence on this appropriation by expanding other public and private funding, including individual and corporate support, as well as foundation funding. The Accokeek Foundation has just completed a new Strategic Plan and the Director of Development will play a key role in its successful implementation.

Responsibilities and Expectations

The Director of Development:

  • Serves as a member of the senior management team, reporting to the President and CEO.
  • Plans and executes the Accokeek Foundation’s corporate and individual giving programs, including membership campaigns, workplace giving, major gifts, planned giving, special events,  and ongoing fundraising initiatives each year.
  • Researches foundations, corporations and individuals to identify and evaluate prospects.
  • Develops grant proposals for general operating support and works with senior staff to identify projects and develop proposals for specific programs and projects.
  • Generates new resource development initiatives and coordinates special projects as assigned
  • Builds and maintains strong, ongoing relationships with current and prospective key financial donors, members, and contributors.
  • Collaborates with the Director of Marketing on the development of donor communications such as the Annual Report, year end appeal, donor newsletter, etc.
  • Builds and supervises staff development team.
  • Assists the President/CEO with budgeting for revenue and fundraising expenses, analysis of revenue trends, and creating and managing a development plan that is consistent with the Foundation’s strategic plan.
  • Keeps current with fundraising best practices, trends, and issues in all areas related to the Foundation’s work.
  • Participates in board meetings, board committee meetings, and other development and outreach events outside the organization’s normal operating hours. Serves as staff liaison for board resource development committee.

We are looking for candidates with the following background:

  • Bachelor’s degree or Master’s degree (or equivalent).
  • At least 5 years demonstrated success in fundraising for a science center, history museum, nature center, or other non-profit focused on informal learning and visitor engagement.
  • Experience in generating new revenue sources.
  • Strong background in project budgeting and grants management.
  • Ability to work with high level constituents (including donors and board members).
  • Comfort working in a fast-paced, collegial, team-oriented, and entrepreneurial environment.
  • Skills in using online integrated technology tools for fundraising (Accokeek uses Salesforce for database, online giving, event registration, and other ecommerce, as well as Constant Contact for direct email).
  • Excellent writing, research, and communication skills.
  • Strong administrative and organizational skills.
  • Strong people skills.
  • Supervisory experience.

Compensation:

The starting salary for this full-time position will be approximately $50,000, plus an excellent benefit package.

To apply: Send a resume and cover letter describing your experience and skills as they relate to this position to info@accokeek.org, with “Director of Development” in the subject line. Please include two relevant writing samples, no more than 6 pages total. Preference given to applications received by June 10, 2014.

About the Accokeek Foundation:  The Accokeek Foundation cultivates passion for the natural and cultural heritage of Piscataway Park, a national park on the Maryland shore of the Potomac River, through engaging educational programs and visitor experiences focused on stewardship and sustainability. Founded over fifty years ago to “preserve the view” from George Washington’s Mount Vernon, the Accokeek Foundation was one of the first land trusts, blazing new trails in preservation with a public/private partnership that led to the creation of this nearly 5000-acre park of which the Foundation stewards 200 acres through a cooperative agreement with the National Park Service. This working landscape includes the National Colonial Farm (living history museum that serves as a gateway for connecting people to our agricultural past), the Ecosystem Farm (an 8-acre organic vegetable farm that engages the public in sustainable agriculture), heritage breed livestock, nature trails, gardens, a fishing pier, and boat dock (with kayak launch). In addition, this is the sacred homeland of the Piscataway people, and its significance as an indigenous cultural landscape makes it a key site on several national trails.

The Accokeek Foundation conducts background checks in order to ensure the safety and well-being of the organization’s staff and visitors. This position is open until filled. The Accokeek Foundation is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Gerald Datcher, Facilities Manager

EOM_geraldFollowing in the footsteps of his brothers, Winston and Charles, Gerald joined the Accokeek Foundation January of 1996. In fact, there has been a Datcher on staff since 1987, leading the park facilities and site maintenance activities. When Gerald is not on site he enjoys his favorite past times –watching the Washington Redskins, singing in his church gospel choir, spending time cooking out with beloved family and friends, or eating pineapple upside-down cake!

Lucille Walker (aka: “Mrs. Bolton”), Museum Interpreter

lucille_walkerLucille’s passion for connecting an audience to a character and to a story started early, when she began her professional acting career at fourteen. In addition to her theatrical profession, Lucille maintained a life long commitment to understanding and preserving natural resources, and communicating those core values to the next generation. After several years as a development professional, including Director of Foundation Relations for the University of Georgia, she realized that she could employ these same skills in assisting the agricultural community. Lucille founded Farm Resource Strategies to assist farmers with identifying strategies to continue to be able to farm, with an emphasis on sustainable practices. Lucille continues this work, but it is also with great pleasure that she is returning to her roots in museum interpreting, a role she greatly enjoyed at St. Mary’s City, Maryland.

Lucille received her B.A. in Dramatic Arts from St. Mary’s College of Maryland; she pursued graduate studies in Shakespeare and Greek Drama at Oxford University, England; and she received her M.A. in Liberal Arts from St. John’s College in Annapolis.

Heather Leach, Agriculture Education Manager

DSC_0471 Heather-cropped SMALLHeather believes that environmental stewardship starts on our dinner plates, and she has spent nearly a decade learning the ways in which people from around the world grow, share, and eat their food sustainably. At Accokeek Foundation, Heather connects people to their ecological and cultural roots through hands-on agricultural education and service. Programs for youth and adults focus on bridging our colonial past and our culinary present to contextualize current food issues.

Before joining Accokeek​ Foundation​, Heather studied the foodways of indigenous ​peoples in Latin America and West Africa while researching agroforestry and resource management. She partnered with rural communities on market gardening, health, water sanitation, and small business development initiatives as a Peace Corps agricultural extension agent in Mali, and shared her passion for exploring the natural world as a high school science teacher. Heather has an MSc in ethnobotany.

Email Heather at hleach@accokeek.org.

Jacob Cooke, Livestock Apprentice

Jake introduces baby Bonita to visitors.

Jake introduces baby Bonita to visitors.

Jacob Cooke joined the Accokeek Foundation as Livestock Apprentice in February 2014 so he could learn more about sustainable agriculture and livestock husbandry. He hopes to apply what he learns at Accokeek at his family’s farm in Maryland, and hopefully some day at his own farm. When Jake is not busy chasing down escaped lambs, feeding the cattle, sheep, and chickens, he studies Criminal Justice at University of Maryland, University College, and coaches varsity baseball at Thomas Stone High School in Charles County.

 

Andrea Jones, Director of Programs and Visitor Engagement

Andrea_bioAndrea’s passion for authentic and engaging educational practice began when she was a high school social studies teacher in Atlanta, Georgia. With the goal of inspiring young minds to examine big questions, rather than small facts, she earned a reputation for using non-traditional teaching methods — from role playing and dramatic performance to art-making and even grassroots activism.

In her next career as Education Specialist for the Atlanta History Center, Andrea was part of a three-person, award-winning team that created a framework for an entirely new, more immersive visitor experience. “We wanted people to feel like they were participating in historical events firsthand — making real decisions and connecting the past to their current day life,” she explains.

In her new role at Accokeek Foundation, Andrea is using her expertise to strategize innovative ways to involve the public in meaningful discussions and experiences about what it means to have a responsible and sustainable relationship with the land.

Email Andrea at ajones@accokeek.org.

Adopt-a-Trail Program

pumpkin ash trail

In partnership with the National Park Service, the Accokeek Foundation maintains six nature trails in Piscataway Park. The Adopt-A-Trail program seeks to engage organizations and community members interested in helping maintain these trails to keep them safe and well-groomed for the park’s 20,000 visitors each year. Adopters will schedule and perform regular trails sweeps throughout the designated length of adoption, and will be responsible for reporting trail conditions to the foundation’s Site Manager.

Responsibilities may include:

  • Clearing overgrown brush,
  • Removing fallen tree limbs,
  • Removing trash on and around the trail,
  • Reporting issues,
  • Helping out with infrastructure projects, such as maintaining bridges, boardwalks, and trail signs, and re-establishing footpaths.

Qualifications:
No previous experience is necessary, but volunteers will be required to receive pre-service training before beginning trail maintenance duties.

Time Requirements:
Trail Adopters will be required to perform trail maintenance once a month during the height of the season, and every six weeks at the end of the season. Scheduling is flexible.

This is a great opportunity for businesses, communities, boy and girl scout troops, classrooms, clubs, groups of friends, or families to give back to their community by helping us protect a great local resource and outdoor classroom.

trail maintenance

How to Adopt

Your organization/group must fill out the Adopt-A-Trail Application and submit it to Casey Lowe at volunteers@accokeek.org. All volunteers must receive orientation and training before beginning their trail maintenance. After successfully completing this training, adopters can begin work on their trail.

Don’t have an organization? – No worries! Individuals, families and estates can all adopt trails, also.

If your organization is lacking in “manpower,” but still has a desire to help, in-kind or monetary donations are also welcome in order to help maintain the trails. Remember – every little bit helps. It is only through your efforts that The Foundation’s trails will remain accessible and in pristine condition for all who come to enjoy them.

 

Trails Available for Adoption:

The Pumpkin Ash Trail follows the Potomac River from near the Visitor Center to the Ecosystem Farm, passing through a forest and a tidal wetland and providing excellent views of Mount Vernon. The level of water present in the wetland changes with the tide. During high tide, fish and amphibians are abundant. During low tide, the tracks of animals like opossums or raccoons can often be seen in the mud. The trail is named for the pumpkin ash tree, which grows here in one of the northern-most groves known to exist in the United States. Named for the pumpkin-shaped base that it forms when growing on a site that remains wet for much of the year, the pumpkin ash produces “winged” fruit similar to the “helicopters” often spun on school playgrounds. The Pumpkin Ash Trail connects with the Blackberry Trail.

Distance: 0.25 mile one-way
Difficulty: Easy
Markers: Yellow blazing

The Blackberry Trail connects with the Pumpkin Ash Trail near the Ecosystem Farm and ends in a small hayfield near visitor parking, meandering through a floodplain forest. The water that gathers in this area feeds into a tidal wetland before emptying into the Potomac River. This environment provides excellent habitat for moisture-loving animals and plants—such as jack-in-the-pulpit, pokeweed, and pawpaw trees—as well as white-tailed deer, whose tracks are often visible on the trail. Boots are recommended, since portions of the trail are often muddy.

Distance: 0.5 mile one-way
Difficulty: Easy, seasonally muddy
Markers: Purple blazing

The Riverview Trail follows the Potomac River from near the Visitor Center, providing some views of Mount Vernon along the way. It leads through a strip of land known as a riparian forest buffer, which reduces soil erosion, nutrient runoff, and other effects that agriculture and other inland land uses can have on waterways. Planted with more than 50 varieties of trees and shrubs native to Maryland, this buffer completes a two-mile stretch of continuous riparian forest. The Riverview Trail passes the Museum Garden and connects with the Persimmon and Bluebird trails.

Distance: 0.6 mile one-way
Difficulty: Easy
Markers: Dark blue blazing

The Persimmon Trail begins in the barnyard and circles the Conservation Pond. This pond collects runoff from our agricultural fields and controls the flow of sediment into the Potomac River. The pond also serves as valuable habitat for fish, frogs, turtles, ducks, geese, beavers, and other wildlife. Waterfowl often nest on the small island in the pond, and a number of Canada geese have adopted the pond as their year-round home. The trail is named for the persimmon trees that grow along the pond’s north edge. The Persimmon Trail connects with the Riverview Trail.

Distance: 0.4 mile loop
Difficulty: Easy
Markers: Orange blazing

A female eastern bluebird guards her nest. Credit Bonnie Simpers.

A female eastern bluebird guards her nest. Credit Bonnie Simpers.

The Bluebird Trail runs along the edge of the Native Tree Arboretum and around scattered chestnut groves down to the Potomac River. It crosses through current and former agricultural fields, some that are still in use for grazing and some that have grown into small stands of trees. A handful of nest boxes are visible along the trail, erected to provide nesting sites for Eastern bluebirds and monitored by a group of volunteers. These native cavity nesters are present in the park year-round. The Bluebird Trail connects to the Pawpaw and Riverview trails.

Distance: 0.9 mile one-way
Difficulty: Easy
Markers: Light blue blazing

The Pawpaw Trail travels through an old-growth forest, offering a glimpse of what this land was like before European settlers arrived.

The Pawpaw Trail travels through an old-growth forest, offering a glimpse of what this land was like before European settlers arrived.

The Pawpaw Trail begins at the Native Tree Arboretum and leads up the hillside through a mature forest. This forested area offers a glimpse of what the land was like before European settlers arrived. The hillside provides excellent wintertime views of Mount Vernon across the Potomac River. The trail is named for the pawpaw tree, which grows in abundance in the park and produces green oblong fruits that have given Accokeek its name. “Accokeek” is often translated to mean “place of the wild fruit,” referring to the pawpaw. You may discover pawpaws along this trail, although the tree typically prefers low, wet woods. The Pawpaw Trail ends in a grove of American chestnut trees, where it connects with the Bluebird Trail.

Distance: 0.5 mile one-way
Difficulty: Moderate, short steep climbs
Markers: White blazing

 

To Adopt-a-Trail now, or if you have any questions, please contact Casey Lowe at volunteers@accokeek.org or call 301-283-2113.

Now Hiring: Development Associate

The Development Associate organizes and supports all fundraising, including foundation and corporate grantseeking; cultivation of major donors and members; management of donor data; and coordination of fundraising events. The Development Associate also supports the organization’s communications efforts related to fundraising.

The successful candidate will be smart, creative, organized, a stickler for detail, articulate on paper and in person, politically savvy, well connected in the community, and interested in using technology for fundraising.

SPECIFIC DUTIES

  • In consultation with the President and the Vice President, update and help to implement the organization’s annual development plan.
  • Research and prepare grant proposals and grant reports, with input from program staff, assistance from consultants, and direction from the Vice President.
  • Write, proofread, edit, and assemble proposals, update and assemble attachments, and develop new fundraising materials as requested.
  • Work with program staff to develop project concepts, scope of work, deliverables, schedules, and budgets for proposals.
  • Using the Foundation’s database, track and manage all deadlines associated with grant applications, management, and reporting.
  • Support fundraising and cultivation events, including soliciting sponsors, preparing sponsor packages, following up with interested donors, and tracking RSVPs.
  • In coordination with program staff, facilitate meetings and tours that highlight important aspects of our programs of interest to major donors and funders.
  • Work with the Marketing Director and the Volunteer and Membership Coordinator on membership appeals and renewals, including database management to support fundraising.
  • Research, develop, and manage the Foundation’s corporate matching gift program, to ensure that employee gifts are matched by supporting employers.
  • To enhance fundraising, write for online communications, including website, blog, social media.
  • Support program staff as they ensure fiscal sustainability of programming and project accounting to demonstrate appropriate use of donor funds.
  • Support the Foundation’s public outreach and marketing efforts as needed, especially as related fundraising, including workplace giving events and presentations to prospective funders.
  • Support educational programs, events, and demonstrations as needed.
  • Build the Accokeek Foundation’s visibility through participation at conferences and meetings, development of training workshops, and networking with colleagues.
  • Work closely with and provide administrative support to the Vice President, as needed.
  • Update the website and social media as requested and/or as appropriate.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE AND QUALIFICATIONS:

  • a Bachelor’s degree or Master’s degree (or equivalent)
  • demonstrated success in fundraising, at least two years of experience, is preferred,
  • the ability to work independently on a variety of assignments with minimal supervision
  • very strong organizational, research, marketing, and business process skills
  • superior interpersonal and communication skills, including demonstrated writing skills
  • public speaking and presentation skills
  • ability to work with high level constituents (including donors and board members)
  • creative problem-solving skills, initiative, sound judgment, diplomacy and discretion,
  • ability to maintain poise and professionalism under pressure.
  • excellent independent decision making skills, but openness to taking direction,
  • understanding of the significance of organizational culture, and support for organizational standards
  • comfort working in a fast-paced, collegial, team-oriented, and entrepreneurial environment
  • knowledge of development department functions, with proficiency in using MS Office and Salesforce and fundraising and donor applications (Accokeek Foundation uses Causeview)
  • skills in using social networks and multimedia technology to enhance fundraising (peer-to-peer fundraising – Crowdrise, Razoo, etc.)

To apply: Send a resume and cover letter describing your experience, skills, interests, and salary requirements to info@accokeek.org, with “Development Associate” in the subject line. Please include a two-page writing sample from a project you have done (can be excerpted from a report, grant proposal, etc.).

About the Accokeek Foundation

The Accokeek Foundation is a non-profit, educational organization whose mission is to connect people to history, agriculture, and nature through innovative educational programs and engaging visitor experiences. Founded over fifty years ago to “preserve the view” from George Washington’s Mount Vernon, the Foundation was one of the first land trusts, blazing new trails in preservation through a public/private partnership that led to the creation of Piscataway Park, a nearly 5000-acre national park. Through a cooperative agreement with the National Park Service, the Foundation cares for two hundred acres of the park, while fulfilling its mission. This working landscape includes the National Colonial Farm (demonstrates life of a tobacco planter on the eve of the American Revolution) the Ecosystem Farm (demonstrates sustainable agriculture on an 8-acre organic vegetable farm), heritage breed livestock, nature trails, gardens, a fishing pier, and boat dock (with kayak launch). In addition, this is the sacred homeland of the Piscataway people, and its significance as an indigenous cultural landscape makes it a key site on several national trails.

 

The Accokeek Foundation conducts background checks in order to insure the safety and well-being of the organization’s staff and visitors. This position is open until filled. The Accokeek Foundation is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Now Hiring: Director of Programs and Visitor Engagement

The Director of Programs and Visitor Engagement is a new position designed to align all of the Foundation’s activities and programs in an educational framework that leverages the organization’s history and the site’s historical, agricultural, and natural resources for the greatest impact. Reporting to the CEO, the Director will work collaboratively with staff on development and implementation of a unified approach to education, interpretation, and visitor engagement, bringing together previously discreet functions into a coherent whole that promotes deep connections to this landscape on the Potomac River.

Responsibilities and Expectations:

  • Engage staff and advisers in development of interpretive and educational offerings that weave together the historical and contemporary agricultural stories of the National Colonial Farm and Ecosystem Farm, with particular attention to creating meaningful visitor experiences that highlight African American and Native American history and culture in Southern Maryland.
  • Guide growth of K-12 school tours, special programs and partnerships, as well as development of teacher support materials and tools for evaluating impact.  Build relationships and partnerships with school districts, teachers, local schools, and youth organizations, with attention to development of STEM-based programs.
  • Oversee design and implementation of new youth and family-centered experiential learning program on sustainable agriculture at the Ecosystem Farm.
  • Oversee design, implementation, and evaluation of visitor experiences that create meaningful connections to the natural resources of the land and river.
  • Supervise all program managers, and provide guidance in accountability and management to  promote a culture of excellence.
  • Oversee development, implementation and continuous monitoring of program budgets.
  • Work closely with development staff in identifying grant opportunities and preparing applications for programs and initiatives.
  • Work closely with Director of Marketing and Communications to communicate the Foundation’s mission and programs, and continually evaluate program effectiveness.
  • Expand the organization’s professional connections and visibility in interdisciplinary circles related to spaces of informal learning – museums, national parks, nature centers, etc.
  • Be an active representative of the Accokeek Foundation at the local, state and national levels and maintain a high professional profile.

Qualifications:

  • Master’s degree in related area.
  • At least 5 years supervisory experience in a science center, nature center, living history farm, natural history museum, other non-profit focused on informal learning and visitor engagement.
  • Experience with engaging diverse communities and stakeholders in program development and implementation.
  • Demonstrated success in creating a collaborative, productive team environment.
  • Demonstrated ability to develop and maintain partnerships.
  • Experience with outcomes-based planning and evaluation.
  • Strong program management experience, including developing and monitoring budgets, conceptualizing projects, and writing grant applications.
  • Excellent writing and communication skills.
  • Ability to juggle multiple priorities with competence, grace, and humor.

To apply: Send a resume and cover letter describing how your experience, skills, and interests make you uniquely qualified for this position to info@accokeek.org with “Director of Programs” in the subject line. Please include a two-page writing sample from a project you have done that has some connection to this position (can be excerpted from a report, grant proposal, etc.).

Position is open until filled; preference given to applications received by November 8, 2013.

About the Accokeek Foundation

The Accokeek Foundation is a non-profit, educational organization whose mission is to connect people to history, agriculture, and nature through innovative educational programs and engaging visitor experiences. Founded over fifty years ago to “preserve the view” from George Washington’s Mount Vernon, the Foundation was one of the first land trusts, blazing new trails in preservation through a public/private partnership that led to the creation of Piscataway Park, a nearly 5000-acre national park. Through a cooperative agreement with the National Park Service, the Foundation cares for two hundred acres of the park, while fulfilling its mission. This working landscape includes the National Colonial Farm (demonstrates life of a tobacco planter on the eve of the American Revolution) the Ecosystem Farm (demonstrates sustainable agriculture on an 8-acre organic vegetable farm), heritage breed livestock, nature trails, gardens, a fishing pier, and boat dock (with kayak launch). In addition, this is the sacred homeland of the Piscataway people, and its significance as an indigenous cultural landscape makes it a key site on several national trails.

The Accokeek Foundation conducts background checks in order to insure the safety and well-being of the organization’s staff and visitors. This position is open until filled. The Accokeek Foundation is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Federal Government Shutdown Closes Piscataway Park

NPS Piscataway ParkDue to the government shutdown, Piscataway Park will be closed to the public.  The gates for the site and facilities managed by the Accokeek Foundation will be locked as long as the federal shutdown continues. Until further notice, it will not be permissible for the public to enter national park land. This includes access to the water and fishing pier, nature trails, Visitor Center, Education Center, National Colonial Farm, and the Ecosystem Farm. Essential personnel will carry on regular operations to ensure safety to the animals and site security.

All programs, scheduled tours, and volunteers events during the period of closure will be cancelled.

Special arrangements have been made the farm’s CSA pickup. Pickups will be available during its regular time on Tuesday and Friday (if necessary) at the Moyaone Commons located at 2311 Bryan Point Road.

The Accokeek Foundation is deeply disappointed to be unable to serve the public at Piscataway Park during this time, and we look forward to resuming normal operations soon. If you have questions about the status of closures or the effect of closures on the Accokeek Foundation, please contact the Foundation’s communications office at outreach@accokeek.org.