• Executive Director - Wonder Works Children's Museum

    Wonder Works Children's Museum
    Job Description

    Wonder Works Children’s Museum, Oak Park IL

    Position:            Executive Director

    Accountability:        Board of Directors

    Reports to:            Executive Committee of the Board of Directors

    Job Status:            Part-time, 25-30 hours/week

    Compensation:        $36,000 - $40,000/year, commensurate with experience

    Exemption Status:    This is an Exempt position    

    Position Summary


    Wonder Works Children’s Museum is seeking an Executive Director to provide leadership and management to a great team of professionals dedicated to early childhood education and the power of play!  The Executive Director will guide the individual/member, corporate, foundation and government fundraising efforts of the museum, and serve as a primary steward of funder relationships. They will also provide oversight in the areas of marketing, general management, financial management and community relations, ensuring that the museum meets its educational, operational and financial goals.  In partnership with the Board of Directors, the Executive Director will further the mission, strategic vision and goals of Wonder Works.


    The ideal candidate is innovative, organized, and passionate about Wonder Works’ vital mission to spark curiosity and creativity through positive, play-based learning experiences for all children in Oak Park and our surrounding communities.  The candidate should be a self-motivated individual who can proactively assess and prioritize the needs of the museum, and decisively apply professional judgement to further the success of Wonder Works.  The ideal candidate also possesses either a robust familiarity with Oak Park and the surrounding communities and/or a significant tenure in the museum or education profession, which  will enable them to capitalize on Wonder Work’s strengths and identify areas for strategic improvement. 


    Essential Job Functions


        Development and Fundraising:

    • Lead the identification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of our corporate, foundation, public, and community donors

    • Assist with growing revenue streams through fundraising campaigns, museum programs & events, membership initiatives and board-led fundraising events

    • Motivate and energize donors to support Wonder Works

        Community Relations:

    • Retain, strengthen, and expand community partnerships

    • Promote and grow Wonder Works’ reputation as a community leader and resource providing high-quality, one-of-a-kind early learning and play experiences

    • Serve as a respected representative of Wonder Works Children’s Museum and its mission

        General Museum Management/Leadership:

    • Relish the opportunity to lead a small and efficient management team 

    • Oversee Employment Law compliance and Human Resources functions for the museum team, using HR best practices

    • Manage Direct Reports, including timely completion of supervisory meetings and regular performance reviews

      • Direct Reports:  Communications and Marketing Coordinator, Finance and Operations Manager, Grants Manager, Program and Education Manager, Visitor Experience Manager

    • Motivate, energize and direct staff to further the goals and mission of Wonder Works, within a collaborative and positive workplace culture.

    • Ensure that the revenues meet or exceed the required amounts set, in conjunction with the Board of Directors, for delivery of the museum’s mission

    • Attend board meetings, participate in planning strategic initiatives and partner with the Board of Directors on key projects 

    • Maintain open and frequent lines of communication with the Board of Directors

    Qualifications and Skills

    • Knowledge of museum management theory, early childhood education,  and fundraising principles/techniques

    • Strong interpersonal and relationship-building skills

    • Proven track record of building donor relationships

    • Strong organizational skills, with an ability to multi-task and ensure timely completion of all projects

    • Excellent verbal and written communication skills

    • Attention to detail and problem-solving skills

    • Ability to interact courteously, positively, and collaboratively with all internal and external stakeholders

    Experience and Education Considerations

    • Bachelor’s Degree or more

    • Education or significant professional experience in the related fields of museum management or early childhood education preferred

    • Experience working with a complex set of stakeholders

    • 5+ years of successful experience leading fundraising and community relations in the museum field, the arts and culture sector, the nonprofit world, or within a complex organization

    • 5+ years of successful experience managing a team

    • Familiarity with the Oak Park, River Forest, and surrounding communities a plus. 

    Work Schedule

    This is a part-time position.  While a consistent work schedule is preferred, there is flexibility within the work day and the potential to work remotely when needed.  The person in this role is expected to have availability several days each week during daytime business hours for meetings and collaboration.  Availability to attend occasional evening and special weekend events is also needed.  

    This job description is intended to highlight key functions of the Executive Director. Due to the level of management, it is understood that the Executive Director will work within and outside this job description as needed by the organization.

    Physical Demands & Work Environment


    The physical demands and work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee may encounter while performing the essential functions of this job.  Physical requirements include working for an extended amount of time at a computer, occasional bending, stooping, kneeling, pushing, pulling, reaching above the shoulders, and/or grasping motions.  One may be called upon to lift or move moderately heavy objects, possibly up to 50 pounds.  This position may require extended periods spent remaining stationary.   


    To Apply:  Please submit a one-page cover letter, résumé, and three references to humanresources@wonder-works.org

    Contact Information