Cincinnati Fire Museum
The Cincinnati Fire Museum is one of the top fire museums in the country, partly because it is built around Cincinnati’s unique firefighting history.
The Cincinnati Fire Museum is one of the top fire museums in the country, partly because it is built around Cincinnati’s unique firefighting history. Cincinnati had the first professional fire department in the country in 1853 and it was the leading department in developing firefighting skills through the second half of the nineteenth century. Fortunately, the early firefighters valued the importance of history and saved important artifacts dating back to the very early 1800’s.
The Executive Director is the museum’s leader and must wear many hats because the staff and budget are low for an institution of this importance. In recent years, both volunteer and paid Executive Directors have allowed fundraising to decline but there is a solid opportunity for improvement.
In addition to preserving Cincinnati’s fire fighting history, a key mission is teaching fire safety to children, with seniors as the next target audience. The fire museum is the only museum in Cincinnati that saves lives.
Important responsibilities and strengths for the position include:
Not for profits need special skills dealing with a volunteer Board, volunteer workers, and paid staff. Not for profit experience is essential.
Although the museum will have nearly 10,000 visitors, fundraising will be an important, year-around job, including individual solicitations, grant requests, events, and corporate sponsors. It is important that the Executive Director have some significant fundraising experience.
The Executive director manages the museum operations. Fortunately, there is a key group of volunteers who come to the museum each week to provide maintenance support.
The museum has a good employee who manages the admissions desk and gift shop. She also manages birthday party arrangements and corporate meetings.
The museum has a part time employee who is a retired firefighter who handles most fundraising events and is a good contact with active firefighters. He has been successful in finding financial sponsors for some events.
The Executive Director will be the primary “face” for the museum at events and occasional TV or radio interviews.
The museum is a business in the sense that it has payrolls to meet, vendors to pay, taxes to pay, and bank relations to maintain. In the case of the banks, there has always been a Board member who can help. At this time, a volunteer does the basic accounting on QuickBooks.
With improved fundraising, there should be an opportunity for a modest staff increase – probably Development, Marketing, or Education will make the top of the list.
The ideal candidate has good experience with a not for profit – preferably one that has some potential similarities with a museum or at least an institution with physical operations.
Although not as well known locally as some Cincinnati institutions. The Cincinnati Fire Museum is highly regarded among fire museums nationally. It has the potential to be one of the city’s important institutions.
Send resumes to:
Cincinnati Fire Museum
315 West Court Street
Cincinnati, OH 45202
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