The Franklin County Historical Society is seeking the right candidate to fill the following position:

Position: Executive Director

Application Deadline: October 31, 2017


Position Description

The Executive Director serves as the lead staff member and overall administrator for the Franklin County Historical Society. They are responsible for the day-to-day operations of the historical society’s facilities. The Executive Director reports directly to the Board of Trustees. The Executive Director oversees a yearly budget of $140,000 and a part-time staff including a Museum Manager, Archivist, and Collections Manager.

This position is designated an at-will, exempt position and may require evening or weekend hours as needed.

Education and Qualifications

Minimum Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s Degree in History, Public History, Museum Studies, Nonprofit Administration/Management, or equivalent degree program. Passion towards history is preferred.
  • Experience in museum or nonprofit work.

Desirable Qualifications

  • Advanced degree in History, Public History, Museum Studies, Nonprofit Administration/Management, or equivalent degree program.
  • Management or administrative experience.
  • Experience creating museum exhibits.
  • Experience in successful grant-writing.
  • Knowledge of Past Perfect and Microsoft Office programs.
  • Knowledge of history and culture of Franklin County, Kansas.
  • Experience in non-profit fund-raising and budget management.

Administrative Duties

Daily Operations

  • Provide daily oversight to the operations of the historical society.
  • Maintain official records and documents to ensure compliance with federal and state laws.
  • Maintain a working knowledge of museum trends, professional standards, and best practices to be carried out when developing or improving operations, programs, exhibits, and collections care.
  • Develop and maintain a Disaster Plan for the historical society.
  • Direct and oversee routine maintenance of FCHS sites. Provide timely information to the Board of Trustees on potential maintenance issues or necessary repairs.
  • Perform any other duties as assigned by the FCHS Board of Trustees.

Board of Trustees & Governance

  • Must attend all Board of Trustees, Executive Committee, and assigned committee meetings. Ensure a staff member is assigned and present at all other committee meetings.
  • Provide leadership in developing short and long range goals for the historical society, organizational and financial goals, and effectively carry out plans and policies established by and with the Board of Trustees. This includes making recommendations for policies and initiatives to the Board of Trustees or assigned committees. An appreciation for and knowledge of strategic planning is critical
  • Provide support to the Board of Trustees in meeting its governance responsibilities as required by law. This includes keeping the Board fully informed and submitting regular reports about the condition and issues facing the Franklin County Historical Society.


  • Responsible for the recruitment, hiring, training, supervision, and evaluation of historical society personnel (both paid staff and volunteer). In collaboration with the Executive Committee, carry out personnel termination as necessary. Ensure the historical society’s facilities are adequately staffed for hours of operation, programs, and events to meet the needs of patrons. Track and report personnel hours (both paid staff and volunteers).
  • Provide leadership to personnel that fosters loyalty, integrity, commitment and creative thinking. Maintain an open and cordial communication environment for personnel. Encourage and support continuing education efforts for personnel and board members within the available budget.


  • Record daily transactions and prepare deposits on a weekly or as needed basis.
  • Work with the Board Treasurer, develop and manage a balanced annual budget as approved by the Board of Trustees.
  • Work with the Board Treasurer, maintain the financial assets of the organization.

Funding & Development Duties

  • Develop and cultivate new donors, members, sponsors, and foundation supporters. Create and maintain a means of regular communication with supporters.
  • Identify grant opportunities and develop the appropriate proposals for soliciting funding.
  • Develop new and expanded earned revenue strategies.
  • Develop, plan, and implement fundraising efforts for annual gifts, memberships, grants, sponsorships, and capital campaigns. Coordinate major fundraising events with Board of Trustees and assigned committees. This includes supporting the Board of Trustees and staff members in soliciting contributions to further the historical society’s goals and programs.

Public Relations Duties

Programming and Outreach

  • Develop and organize outreach programs such as the current Lunch and Learn Series, school and group tours, and education curriculum.
  • The Executive Director should be comfortable and have experience speaking in front of a wide range of audiences.
  • Supervise, develop, and evaluate historical society programming and outreach efforts.
  • Maintain a stocked and open museum gift shop.

Community Relationships

  • Serve as the public face, along with the Board President, of the Franklin County Historical Society in a professional manner. Maintain a sound working relationship with government entities and their representatives, community organizations (Franklin County Genealogical Society, Franklin County Rural History Club, Franklin County Heritage Homes), other historical preservation organizations (Kansas State Historical Society, Kansas Museums Association, American Association for State and Local History, Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area), and funding entities such as individuals, corporations, and private foundations. Maintain relationships and connections within the local and regional news media.
  • Contribute as an active member of the community through service groups and projects to establish and maintain important connections.
  • Must have excellent rapport with a wide range of visitors, customers, and vendors that they will encounter. Excellent customer service is imperative.


  • Design and deliver relevant publications and marketing materials for the historical society including the quarterly newsletter, regular e-newsletters, brochures, flyers, and pamphlets.
  • Develop and disseminate public information for promoting the work and programs of the historical society to relevant media sources.
  • Ensure the historical society website, blog, and social media sites are updated regularly.


Salary range between $35,000 and $40,000 commensurate with experience.   Benefits include vacation pay per the FCHS Personnel Policy and partial defraying of health insurance expenses.


Please submit a résumé, cover letter, and three references on or before October 31, 2017 to: Executive Transition Committee, Franklin County Historical Society, P.O. Box 145, Ottawa, KS 66067-0145. Application materials can also be submitted via email to ed@olddepotmuseum.org with the subject line of “Executive Director Position.”Any questions about the position can be referred to Kevin Blackwell, Board of Trustees President, via email to kblackwell@neosho.edu or by calling (816) 824-0309.


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