Career Opportunity

Director of Development and Fundraising

Website The Mary & Eliza Freeman Center for History and Community

Creating an African American cultural heritage site

The Director of Development and Fundraising position is supported by a grant from the Mellon Foundation (Humanities in Place). Founded in 2009, The Mary & Eliza Freeman Center for History and Community owns the Mary & Eliza Freeman Houses (circa 1848) in Bridgeport, CT’s South End. The homes, under restoration, are listed on the National Register of Historic Places for significance to African Americans and women. Leveraging the restoration of the Freeman Houses, the Center plans to create a national African American historic site consisting of a museum, education and digital research center, and housing. Our mission is to restore, preserve, and ensure the viability of the Freeman Houses; teach the history of Connecticut African Americans; revitalize the surrounding community; and facilitate the preservation and revitalization of other African American, and greater Bridgeport historic/preservation communities. Important archaeological sites, the Freeman Houses highlight legacies of freedom, entrepreneurship, and social innovation in “Little Liberia” (c. 1821); one of the earliest US settlements of free people of color (Black and Indigenous). The site is on the CT Freedom Trail and one of five Connecticut Sites of Conscience.

The Director of Development and Fundraising reports to and works closely with the President and CEO; and will spearhead the design and completion of strategic and business plans for departments within the Freeman Center, aligning them with the organizational strategic and business plans – designed and implemented by the Development Director in collaboration with Freeman leadership and consultants. The Director is also responsible for monitoring and evaluating plan progress. Although the Director will assume responsibility for fundraising (annual and capital campaigns); long-term sustainability, capacity-building, and strategic institutional partnerships are priorities. Strategies that increase earned income and diversify revenue streams are to be researched and implemented. The Director of Development and Fundraising will be responsible for positioning the Center to work with outside consultants and major firms specializing in cultural resource development, and facilitating participation by the Board of Directors, community stakeholders, and volunteers in this process. The Director of Development and Fundraising will work closely with the Development Advisor to obtain major gifts and corporate sponsorships. Freeman Center historic preservation and Preservation-based Equitable Development projects require that candidates have experience raising funds for community development (projects up to $10,000,000), writing business plans. Familiarity with historic and other tax credits is essential.

The Director of Development and Fundraising must have an understanding of the historical and present challenges in fundraising for African American, community-based, cultural organizations, as well as a working knowledge of the local and national landscape of donors and grants for African American humanities organizations.

The Director of Development and Fundraising is an inspiring and effective leader and manager, an articulate and persuasive communicator, and a relationship-builder. The Director must be a creative, inquisitive, analytical and observant, original thinker, who enjoys brainstorming and problem-solving with colleagues. They must be prepared to be “hands-on” when needed, and to give public presentations and workshops. Above all, the Director must be an expert in their field. We seek a leader and mentor who readily offers expert advice and informed opinions. Freeman Center staff have overlapping skill sets (by design). They are expected to work collaboratively in project teams of varying configurations, with a designated project lead, to carry out the organization’s work and achieve desired outcomes. All staff are expected to have grant-writing experience and to provide research for grants as needed

Salary:  $70,000 plus healthcare. This position is fully funded by a grant from the Mellon Foundation for  the first three years.

Exempt Status:  Exempt

Hours:  Full Time, 40 hours a week, with some weekend and evening work required

Job Location:  Bridgeport, Connecticut

To Apply:  Cover letters and resumes and/or CVs can be emailed to, or mailed to The Freeman Center; 1019 Main Street, Suite 210, Bridgeport, CT 06604