Director of Development & Communications

Company Name: 

Benton County Historical Society


PO Box 35
Philomath, OR 97370

Contact Name: 

Jessica Hougen




Job Description: 


TITLE:  Director of Development & Communications

SUPERVISOR:  Executive Director

EMPLOYMENT STATUS:  Full time salaried, exempt


Job Description

The Director of Development & Communications is a new position and will be a core member of the leadership team of the Benton County Historical Society. Leveraging this pivotal moment in BCHS’s history, this position will be responsible for all aspects of development, marketing, and fundraising events. A key priority for this position will be strategizing, developing, and implementing a development program in support of BCHS’s mission and strategic plan. The successful candidate for this position will be a proactive self-starter who is flexible, creative, energetic, and enjoys being an active participant in their community. This position is critical to accomplishing BCHS’s strategic goals.

It is an exciting time to join BCHS. Not only did we open a new museum in 2021, we recently wrote a new strategic plan and a new mission statement. Having a new museum in Corvallis as well as our longtime museum in Philomath has dramatically changed how we can serve the community of Benton County. We’re looking for a Director of Development & Communications with vision and excitement to help us shape the future of the Benton County Historical Society.


Essential Duties & Responsibilities

  • Write and implement, with the Development Committee, a development plan, fundraising strategies, and an annual donor communication and stewardship plan which support BCHS’s strategic plan
  • Play a lead role in prospecting and soliciting major gifts from individual and corporate donors
  • Steward relationships with existing donors while working to expand and diversify BCHS’s donor base
  • Collaborate with Executive Director to determine what grants to pursue, manage grant submission timelines, write and/or collaborate on grant language, maintain foundation relationships, and ensure quality reporting as needed
  • Create and oversee fundraising events, fundraising appeals, and a planned giving program
  • Raise funds from a wide variety of sources including corporate, foundation, government, and individual sources
  • Stewardship activities including grants, sponsorships, memberships, donations, and events
  • Oversee the management of membership and marketing and communications
  • Manages rental program at the Corvallis Museum (with assistance from staff)
  • Ongoing evaluation of fundraising activities
  • Compiles necessary reports detailing department activities
  • Maintain a current, thorough, and accurate understanding of BCHS’s exhibitions, community engagement programs, naming opportunities, and funding priorities to effectively connect funding needs to donor prospects
  • Support the mission, vision, and values of the Benton County Historical Society
  • Contribute to and support the strategic plan, annual action plans, and institutional initiatives
  • Additional tasks as assigned


Supervisory Responsibilities

  • Marketing, Communications, & Development Assistant
  • Membership & Community Engagement Coordinator


Any combination of relevant education and experience which demonstrates the knowledge, skill, and ability to perform the essential functions of the job will be considered.



  • Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration, Communications, Nonprofit Management, or a related field
  • Master’s Degree in related topic is a strong advantage



  • A minimum of five years professional, nonprofit fundraising experience including having previously led a development department (experience working for a museum, arts center, or other cultural institution is a strong advantage)
  • Demonstrated experience with a successful track record in cultivating and soliciting major gifts from individuals and businesses
  • Designing and executing cultivation, stewardship, and engagement events and programs
  • Experience and familiarity with Oregon’s local and regional foundations, private donors, and philanthropic landscape
  • Experience working with nonprofit boards and committees


Skills & Abilities

  • Skill in creating and nurturing relationships
  • Proficiency with preparation of grant applications and reports, including research and relationship building with foundations and grant-making organizations
  • Proficient in use of donor management software (we currently use PastPerfect)
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Comfortable with public speaking and representing the BCHS in a public forum
  • Strong organizational and project management skills
  • Ability to keep the holistic needs of the organization in mind while also attending to details
  • Knowledge of principles, best practices, and trends in membership and fundraising
  • Ability to write persuasively and positively motivate and influence potential donors.
  • Ability to work collaboratively or independently
  • Ability to be flexible, respond to unanticipated situations, and shift priorities


Job Conditions

  • Exempt/full time
  • Schedule is 40 hours per week with some Saturdays required
  • Occasional evening hours
  • May be on call list for alarm company
  • Possession of a valid Oregon Driver’s License required


Physical Activities

  • Ability to lift up to 40 pounds
  • Continual computer use
  • Frequent sitting/standing/walking
  • This is not a comprehensive list of physical activity required for this position


Established Guidelines for Position

AAM Museum Code of Ethics, BCHS Employee Handbook


Company Description

The Benton County Historical Society (BCHS) was formed in 1951 to preserve and share the history of Benton County. In the 1970s, a group of local citizens saved the Philomath College Building and restored it for our use. We began operating our Philomath Museum in that building in 1980 and have continued to this day.

In 1995 Oregon State University announced the closure of their Horner Museum. This was the catalyst for significant growth and development at BCHS. In 2008, after years of negotiation, BCHS acquired the Horner Museum collection. This doubled our collection and gave us a unique opportunity, as the collection is quite broad. In preparation for this acquisition we built the Johnson Collections Center, a 13,000 square foot state-of-the-art collection storage facility behind the Philomath Museum. We now have over 140,000 items in our collection and continue to actively collect.

Delayed by the pandemic, we opened the long-awaited Corvallis Museum in February 2021. Designed by Allied Works Architecture (Clyfford Still Museum, Museum of Art & Design NY), it was conceived to be a departure from the traditional history museum.

Our mission is to connect our community by preserving and sharing its diverse, evolving stories through history, culture, and art.

We achieve this through:

• Authenticity - We provide access to history and culture through well-documented collections, accurate interpretation, and reliable scholarship.

• Curiosity - We encourage curiosity about history and culture, within ourselves and our community, when sharing and exploring the relevance of the stories we tell.

• Cultural Humility - We respect diverse cultures and perspectives and continually challenge our biases by engaging in meaningful dialogue with others.

• Excellence - We strive to meet the highest professional standards through combining best practices and innovation in order to serve our community and engage at the deepest level.


Our vision:

We are a center of the community, fostering dialogue and ideas that catalyze an inclusive understanding of our past and culture, and consideration of the shared future we hope to create.

BCHS is committed to equal opportunity in employment, meaning that employment decisions (including but not limited to hiring, promotion, compensation, and discipline) are made without regard to gender, (including pregnancy-related conditions) race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, mental or physical disability, age (within statutory limits), marital status, retaliation, association with a protected class, or any other status protected by law. Employment decisions are made on the basis of individual qualifications, merit, and other legitimate business considerations. This commitment ensures that persons with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodations to participate in the application, interview, and hiring process. If reasonable accommodation is needed to participate in the job application or interview process, perform essential job functions, and/or receive other benefits and privileges of employment, please contact Jessica Hougen, Executive Director, at or 541.929.6230.



  • Exempt/Salaried/Full-time
  • Budgeted compensation is $68,000
  • Healthcare package includes medical, dental, and vision (paid by employer up to $600/month)
  • Paid time off: 10 holidays and 2 floating holidays, vacation, sick, adjustment, and bereavement leave
  • Retirement plan (3% match)
  • Gift shop discount


Application Process

To apply email your application to Jessica Hougen, Executive Director, at

Complete applications should include a resume, cover letter, writing sample, and three references. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

For full consideration applications should be submitted by 5pm on September 29th, 2023.