Vice President of External Affairs

Position Summary: 

Reporting to the President and CEO, the Vice President for External Affairs is a member of the Institute’s executive leadership team with responsibility for the strategy, development and execution of all fundraising initiatives and philanthropic revenue. The Vice President oversees a team of approximately 18-20 staff members, providing leadership and direction in the establishment and achievement of annual program plans and financial goals, and is responsible for activities that generate in excess of $11 million in annual operating revenue from Membership and Development. In addition to the annual revenue goals, the Vice President oversees fundraising for restricted projects and capital campaigns. This includes the current major Capital Campaign to fund the renovations of the building and new exhibitions. The position manages a portfolio of approximately 70 high capacity donors and prospects and works closely and independently with Institute leadership and volunteers including members of the Board of Trustees.

Serving as the leader of the External Affairs team, responsibilities include but are not limited to: 

  • Oversee programs charged with raising $11 million or more in operating support each year. 
  • Oversee fundraising for special projects and capital campaigns. 
  • Oversee the Institute’s government relations work. 
  • Manage a portfolio of 70 high capacity donors and prospects; developing, soliciting and stewarding gifts. 
  • Serve as primary staff liaison to the Development and Government Relations Committee and the Nominating and Board Resources Committee of the Board of Trustees. 
  • Work closely with the CEO/President on Board relations, communications, engagement, onboarding and cultivation. 
  • Lead a team of approximately 18-20 staff members, ensuring they have resources to meet their objectives, participate as strong team players on behalf of the Institution and enjoy meaningful opportunities for professional development. 
  • Oversee production of the annual Franklin Awards Ceremony and Dinner event. 
  • Participate as a member of the Institute’s executive leadership team, contributing to overall operations and direction and assist the President and CEO with special projects as required. 
  • Position will work closely with colleagues throughout and at all levels of the organization, senior volunteers and donors. 
  • Represent The Franklin Institute at business and social events throughout the community. 


To be successful, the Vice President of External Affairs must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The Vice President must have a sincere interest in stewarding donor relationships and investments, and a desire to work in a donor-centered development culture and produce products of exceptionally high quality. 

The Vice President of External Affairs must be well-versed and well-experienced in sophisticated fundraising techniques. Extensive experience in crafting and implementing thoughtful donor development strategies for a variety of donor constituencies is necessary, as it deep experience in direct solicitation. The candidate must also have the ability to oversee and manage a complex development program, as well as the ability to effectively instruct and motivate leadership staff and volunteers. 

The ideal candidate will be an excellent communicator, with the ability to effectively present information and respond to questions from key leaders, donors and the public. Very strong listening, writing and speaking skills are necessary. The ability to carefully manage projects, and motivate staff is also a must.


  • Working at The Franklin Institute

    Advance your career by working at The Franklin Institute! Applications from candidates at all levels of training, experience, and education are accepted for positions in administrative, curatorial, security, trade, and professional areas. The Franklin Institute is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

    Cover letters and resumes can be submitted to our Human Resources Department in a variety of ways:

    Email: (Please indicate the position for which you are applying in the subject line.)

    Postal Mail:
    The Franklin Institute
    ATTN: Human Resources Department
    222 North 20th Street
    Philadelphia, PA 19103

    Fax: 215.448.1121

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