The French Cultural Center
About the French Cultural Center
Founded in 1945 as the French Library in Boston, the French Cultural Center (“the Center”) is a venerable membership-based organization created to ensure the vibrant growth of French language and culture in New England. Located in a beautiful French Revival townhouse in Boston’s historic Back Bay, the Center has three areas of activity: French language education for students of all ages; French-themed artistic and cultural activities throughout the year, such as the annual Bastille Day Celebration Block party; and a library that houses some 30,000 French-language books, periodicals and electronic media, making it the second-largest private French library collection in the U.S.
Students of all ages enjoy the Center’s French classes and programs, all based in close affiliation with the internationally renowned Alliances Françaises network, which was founded in Paris in 1883. In addition to classes held at the Center, the
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program provides the same top-quality French language lessons, taught tuition-free by Center faculty, at several Boston Public Schools. The Center also serves as a testing site for prestigious French certification exams required for study abroad programs and for professional advancement.
The Center showcases the many aspects of French culture through numerous lectures, concerts, cooking demonstrations, wine tastings, art exhibitions, and holiday celebrations, including the popular annual Bastille Day Celebration block party. Political and artistic personalities often hold talks at the French Cultural Center, making it the hub of French culture in New England.
About Philanthropy at the French Cultural Center
Philanthropic support from individuals, foundations, and corporations enables the French Cultural Center to offer numerous community programs and events:
The Mosaïque initiative was created in 2011 to fund new, interdisciplinary programs such as exhibits, author conferences, panel discussions, children’s programming, cultural celebrations, concerts and partner events with other local arts and cultural organizations;
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French language program for Boston public schools is funded 100% through philanthropy;
All gifts to the Center help to enhance Boston’s reputation for cultural diversity.
The Center’s leadership has ambitious plans for growth:
The Center has begun organizing higher-quality and more noteworthy exhibits, presentations and other events than it has offered in the past. The goal is to heighten the Center’s visibility and reputation for presenting significant cultural work, thereby making it more attractive to corporate, foundation and individual supporters.
The Director will play the lead role in planning and implementing the upcoming $5M capital campaign to renovate the Center’s building. The renovation will increase classroom capacity, improve accessibility for people with limited mobility, upgrade technology, and modernize classroom and community spaces, while retaining the charm and integrity of the historic building.
The renovation will include the refurbishing and expansion of the Center’s commercial kitchen, which will pave the way for the development of a high-end gastronomy and wine program intended to provide a new line of recurring revenue.
About the Position
Reporting to the Executive Director, the Director of Development will serve on the senior leadership team and will lead all fundraising and membership efforts to increase the visibility and impact of the Center as the innovative leader in French language, education and culture in New England.
The successful candidate will bring experience building and sustaining an ambitious major gifts program and will wield significant influence throughout the organization by fostering a culture of fundraising excellence and shaping the Center’s communications, marketing and community outreach activities. The Director will carry a portfolio of the top donors and prospects, and will also supervise two positions – a Development Officer and the Membership Manager – and will have support from other department heads, most relevantly the Director of Marketing, Cultural Affairs Manager, and the Events Manager.
Plan and lead a $5 million capital campaign (with already-committed support from existing trustees) to finance the renovation of the Center’s flagship building;
Review, restructure and integrate all ongoing fundraising efforts, comprising the annual campaign and individual targeted projects, including the Center’s Mosaïque and
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Partner with the Center’s volunteer and staff leadership to identify, cultivate, solicit and steward major individual donors;
Establish an ongoing effort to identify and solicit foundations and other grant-making institutions that have programs relevant to funding the Center’s mission;
Implement and improve upon the Center’s newly established planned-giving program; and
Oversee the design and messaging of all events and marketing materials relevant to fundraising and membership development, including special events, major donor dinners, receptions, solicitations, brochures, direct mail and social media.
Leadership and Management
Foster a culture of fundraising excellence by setting high standards for performance and continuous improvement, and by coaching team members in effective fundraising techniques and creative strategy implementation;
Supervise the Development Officer and Membership Manager with the dual goals of expanding membership and engaging existing members toward higher levels of commitment to the Center;
Oversee all aspects of the fundraising and development operations including production of monthly reports for the Executive Director and Board of Trustees;
Work closely with the Executive Director, other department and volunteer committee chairs, and the Board of Trustees to broaden the Center’s outreach activities to potential members, donors, sponsors and partners; and
Oversee creation of the annual report.
7- 10 years of broad-based and goal oriented development experience in an educational and/or cultural institution;
Capacity to lead a comprehensive development team that includes major gifts, corporate and foundation support, events, and annual and planned giving;
Track record of the solicitation of 6-figure gifts
An appreciation for French culture and willingness to improve language skill through study at the Center; and
Excellent communication skills, both written and oral, exceptional emotional intelligence, and the ability to influence and engage a wide range of donors and build long-term relationships.
All qualified candidates will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability or protected veteran status.
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