Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest is seeking a Director of Advancement

Director of Advancement
Posted 1 year ago

Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest located just outside Louisville, Kentucky delivers its mission of Connecting People with Nature on our 16,140 acres and throughout the region. The privately-owned 501(c)(3) organization originated in 1929 and opened to the public in 1950 with the philosophy that Bernheim would always be accessible to all people regardless of race, creed, or economic status. Today, Bernheim welcomes 400,000+ guests each year to enjoy the natural world as well as education programs, dramatic and changing Arts in Nature, significant tree collections and sustainable landscapes, and conservation and research programs. 


The Director of Advancement will work with the Executive Director, Board of Trustees Advancement Committee, and the Advancement team to provide leadership, coordination and implementation of Bernheim’s comprehensive fundraising, membership, and advancement activities. Bernheim anticipates raising over $1 million in unrestricted and restricted funds each on an annual basis. As a member of the leadership team, the self-motivated Director of Advancement will develop a forward-thinking fundraising strategy to meet annual and longer-term Advancement goals for operations/projects. The Director of Advancement position is influential in maintaining communications and our collegial, inclusive culture. We seek a fun, positive, inspirational leader who fosters excellence and community.


  • Work collaboratively with the Advancement team to ensure records, solicitations, grants, and donor acknowledgments are efficiently managed.
  • Within the lens of diversity, equity, and inclusion, help identify, attract, and cultivate a new generation of donors to special events, cultivation tours and dinners, and corporate sponsorship activities.
  • In partnership with the Executive Director:
    • Set annual fundraising goals for unrestricted, restricted, corporate sponsorships, capital, and membership activities. Identify, cultivate and build long-term relationships and solicit donations from a portfolio of major and mid-level donors.
  • Work with the Chief Operating Officer on budgets, scheduling, and logistics of individual donor planned giving, corporate sponsorships, membership and fundraising programs and events.
  • Set strategy, priorities and expectations, and maintain comprehensive metrics to track areas of success and identify areas of improvement.
  • Act as the primary point for a feasibility study which will lead to a capital campaign in the next one to two years.
  • Initiate and collaborate with other Bernheim directors and managers to create funding opportunities, materials, and strategies for all departments and initiatives across the organization.
  • Assist in setting agendas, delivering reports, and soliciting input and assistance at Advancement Committee meetings.
  • Assist in enhancing giving and networking with Bernheim’s Board of Trustees.
  • Demonstrate agility, champion progress and celebrate successes within Advancement and across the organization.

This job description is not limited to the duties and responsibilities listed and is subject
to change for the benefit of Bernheim’s mission and vision.


  • Minimum five years of proven achievement in non-profit fundraising or related field.
  • Bachelor’s degree or combination of education and experience.
  • Knowledge of natural history, modern art, and environmental issues are beneficial.
  • Experience which includes proven success asking for and closing six- to seven-figure gifts, written solicitations, fundraising program management, grant writing, and a successful record in raising donations.
  • Excellent people, verbal, and written communication skills.
  • Positive experience managing a team and having direct reports of three or more.
  • Ability to work independently with high attention to detail, handle changing priorities and meet deadlines.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office, Google applications, and experience with database software systems such as Altru.
  • Knowledge of current trends in fundraising including individual, corporate, and planned giving, and events.
  • Experience with a capital campaign; working with a consultant is a plus.

Email your letter of interest and resume to [email protected] or mail to the attention of Theresa Bouthillet, Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest, 2499 Clermont Road, PO Box 130, Clermont, KY 40110.

Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest is committed to hire and develop employees and volunteers without regard to race, religion, ethnicity, age, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, or any other protected status.

We believe that in nature and society, diversity brings strength. Bernheim is an equal employment opportunity employer.

Applications will be considered until the position is filled.

Job Features

Job CategoryDirector

Apply Online