The Children's Museum of Cleveland
The Children’s Museum of Cleveland (CMC) focuses on all children from birth to 8 years old,
and their families/caregivers. As the only cultural institution in the Greater Cleveland area
focused exclusively on early childhood, CMC is pursuing the vision “to be recognized as ‘the’
destination and resource for all young children to develop, learn, create, and have fun through
unique interactive play” and is in the process of becoming an important regional collaborator and
“town center”. CMC’s education and development philosophy incorporates hands-on learning
through play, the fostering of creativity, strong parental involvement, age and developmentally
appropriate content, and utilizes a broad/integrated curriculum covering elements of math,
science, history, music, and language arts. Continued excellence and improvements in exhibits,
education programming, and staffing at CMC have led to over 100,000 visitors in each of the last
3 years – pressing against capacity. Because of its capacity constraints, and the needs of the
community, CMC has begun laying the groundwork for a significant capital campaign.
The Children's Museum has a budget of approximately $1.1 million and a high-energy, dedicated
and creative staff of 10 full-time and 5 part-time employees, plus additional work-study students
from nearby Case Western Reserve University. The Executive Director leads the management
team which includes the Director of Education and Director of Operations. The Children's
Museum has been in its physical structure since 1986 and is poised to enter into a capital
campaign to create a structure that will accommodate CMC’s need for increased capacity.
Additional information is available at www.clevelandchildrensmuseum.org.
CMC now is looking for an experienced person to lead the institution, as Executive Director,
through a period of dynamic strategic growth to the next level of performance, ultimately to
become a world-class children’s museum.
CMC is located in the University Circle area of Cleveland. University Circle is an amazing
collection of cultural, arts, and educational institutions – including Case Western Reserve
University, The Cleveland Museum of Art, Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA Cleveland),
Cleveland Museum of Natural History, Western Reserve Historical Society, Cleveland Botanical
Garden, The Cleveland Institute of Art, The Cleveland Institute of Music, and many others.
The Executive Director has overall responsibility for fundraising, staff supervision, planning,
financial management, program management, marketing, and community relations for this
nonprofit agency, subject to Board oversight. The Executive Director will work closely with the
Board to develop and implement the strategic plan, establish policies, and provide leadership and
support for the staff and volunteers.
The Executive Director reports to the Board of Trustees (currently with 19 members) and
manages a total staff of 15 (not including work-study students) through two direct reports
including the Director of Education and the Director of Operations.
Major Duties and Responsibilities
Key responsibilities include overseeing and managing all aspects of the Museum’s operations,
exhibits, and education programming; driving all aspects of CMC’s fundraising for both
operations and a capital campaign; driving the process of solidifying the site and building project
to which the capital campaign relates; being CMC’s face to the community; establishing and
nurturing key collaborations with local and regional partners; driving the development of
innovative new programming; capitalizing on education outreach opportunities; and developing
and executing a long-term strategic plan for the Museum.
Specifically, the Executive Director will:
Oversee and Manage All Activities of CMC
Develop annual budget and deliver results against budget
Build a well-functioning leadership team
Set direction and create alignment around responsibilities
– Delegate appropriate activities/authority
Manage relationship with 3rd party accounting partner
Prepare/actively focus Board on key organizational and operational issues as part of Board &
Work closely with Board to develop and execute strategic plan for Museum
Represent CMC in the Community
Manage ongoing strategic partnerships
Develop/secure new cornerstone partnerships for the Museum each year
Energize broader Northeast Ohio community to actively support the CMC as advocate for
early childhood issues
Represent the Museum at community and foundation events
Host quarterly stakeholder event at Museum
Manage relationship with current lessor (with Board co-chairs)
Lead Operating Fund Development
Develop fundraising strategy
– Coordinate strategy with annual gala and capital campaign
Develop and deliver budget for contributions
Oversee grantwriter and staff involvement in development
– Strategy, targets, follow-through
Oversee annual fundraising gala (Board to take day-to-day lead in organizing gala in 2012)
Lead annual operating fund raising
Lead Capital Campaign
Lead and coordinate capital campaign preparation and execution
– Lead activities designed to solidify the site and building plan to which the capital
campaign relates (with Board)
Actively participate on campaign development committee
Take lead in developing campaign budget (with Board)
Manage campaign budget and calendar
– Deliver regular Board updates
Develop overall case for support (with Board)
Build prospective donor lists together with Board (individual, foundation, corporate, etc.)
Develop cultivation strategies for prospective donors
– Coordinate cultivation events
– Direct Board and staff involvement
Other Key Responsibilities
Conduct annual performance evaluations with direct reports
Create and implement strategic plan for Board development (with Board Development
Recruit and interview potential new Board members (with Board Development Committee)
Network with other non-profit executive directors in community
The ideal candidate will have strong interpersonal communications skills and be creative, self-
directed, energetic, a team player, and have experience in early childhood education, museum
education, or equivalent, including experience in an informal learning environment. Other key
attributes include leadership, management, and fundraising experience (both for operations and as
part of a capital campaign), the ability to build collaborative relationships, financial savvy, a track
record of results, and a passion for early childhood education.
The ideal candidate will be a strong, dynamic leader who takes initiative and gets things
done, and will be a strategic thinker who is able to transform vision and ideas into
concrete and high-impact programs. The ideal candidate will have led an organization
through a period of positive growth and change, and will have an impressive track record
of building a solid administrative foundation from which a maturing organization can
grow. The preferred candidate will possess a leadership style that is direct and decisive,
yet also empowers and encourages others to take initiative. The right person will
recognize staff for their accomplishments and provide feedback concerning performance.
He or she will be available, approachable and open to ideas from all team members.
He or she will possess a high level of financial literacy and good business judgment, and
will have experience establishing and managing to budgets. The ideal candidate will
have demonstrated an ability to develop and operate additional lines of business that
generate income to support general operations.
The ideal candidate will be outgoing, personable, and a compelling spokesperson who is
able to articulate the mission of the organization to diverse audiences and able to rally
people around a vision. The ideal candidate will be able to interact effectively one-on-
one and with small groups, as well as successfully delivering formal presentations to
Passion for Children:
The right candidate will have a demonstrated passion around children and their
intellectual, physical, and emotional development.
The ideal candidate will be a relationship builder who has a high level of organizational
and political sophistication, especially as it relates to connecting programs to funding,
creatively generating other resources, and building collaborative and strategic
partnerships. The ideal candidate will think beyond traditional sources to identify unique
She or he will have the ability to remain flexible and creative in a challenging work
environment while maintaining a sense of humor. The selected individual will possess
the demonstrated ability to recruit and develop a leadership team that works in an
integrated way to achieve major goals.
The Executive Director should demonstrate honesty and integrity beyond reproach. The
selected candidate will be a problem-solver who is well-organized and remains calm
under pressure. The ideal candidate will possess a drive for excellence and innovation
and will encourage entrepreneurial thinking throughout the organization. This individual
will have a mature, healthy sense of self-assurance and be able to listen to alternative
methods for reaching goals.
A minimum of seven years of progressively responsible senior level experience in a
comparable organization is strongly preferred. Experience working with fundraising,
nonprofit boards, committees, and the public is essential. Capital campaign experience
will be significant.
A bachelor’s degree is required and a master's degree is preferred. Education in early
childhood development will be a plus.
Salary will be commensurate with experience, and benefits are competitive.
The Children's Museum firmly supports the principle and philosophy of equal opportunity for all
individuals, regardless of race, religion, sex, age, national origin or disability.
Interested candidates should send a resume via e-mail to:
Rick Manoloff, Chair of the CMC Executive Director Search Committee, at firstname.lastname@example.org,
by Friday, May 25, 2012, at noon.