Employment Opportunities | Mechanics' Institute

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Employment Opportunities

Photograph of the staircase at the Mechanics' Institute building

About the Mechanics’ Institute

The Mechanics’ Institute was founded in 1854 and is one of San Francisco’s enduring literary and cultural institutions. Described by the San Francisco Chronicle as a place where “tradition and progress meet”, the Mechanics’ Institute is a fantastic place to work and has nearly 5,000 members, serving individuals and families throughout the Bay Area, offering a magnificent library, the oldest chess club in the United States, and a full calendar of excellent events.

 

Current Openings:

Executive Director  |  Development Associate  |  Youth Program and Chess Events Coordinator

 


Executive Director

 

The Mechanics' Institute seeks a visionary Executive Director to lead and manage this historic and thriving cultural institution.

Founded in 1854, and with more than 4,500 members, the Mechanics’ Institute offers a vibrant general-interest library, the oldest continuously operating chess club in the United States, and an evolving program of literary and cultural events. The Institute has also formed and continues to seek a variety of partnerships with other San Francisco and Bay Area cultural institutions. In 2017, the Mechanics’ Institute was named "Best of the Bay" by the San Francisco Chronicle, which reported that "the institute stands as a beacon of what a cultural institution can be for all citizens."

Located in downtown San Francisco in a landmark building, the Institute provides a gathering place, haven, forum, and workspace for its members, guests, and building tenants. The Institute funds its operations from building rents, annual membership dues, donations, and income from its healthy endowment fund.

With a recent grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and an increase in generous donations from its growing membership, as well as bustling member activity and cultural events, the Mechanics’ plays a leadership role in the cultural landscape of the San Francisco Bay Area. The Institute’s Board seeks a dynamic Executive Director who will strengthen and expand this extraordinary San Francisco treasure as a center for education and cultural engagement.

 

The Position:

  • Provides leadership and strategic direction to fulfill and enhance the Institute's mission and vision;
  • Shapes strategies and leads efforts to develop diversified foundation, individual, public, and corporate funding sources, including matching a significant grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and leading capital campaigns;
  • Serves as an articulate, passionate, and persuasive spokesperson for the Institute to members, funders, the public, government and private agencies, and the media;
  • Oversees directors of library, chess, accounting, development and membership, events, IT, and operations, with seven direct reports from a total staff of 28;
  • Cultivates and models a positive, effective workplace that emphasizes financial stability, excellence, and staff and board development, and that welcomes ideas and innovation;
  • Creates and monitors the annual capital and operating budgets in consultation with the Board and staff;
  • Works actively with Director of Operations in managing the building's 30,000 sq. ft. of retail and office space;
  • Reports directly to and communicates regularly with the Board of Trustees, which meets six times a year;
  • Presides at biannual members’ meetings and responds to member concerns, questions, and suggestions throughout the year.

 

The Ideal Candidate:

  • Is an experienced leader who gets along well with other people and is a team player, willing to pitch in at any level;
  • Has a demonstrated passion for cultural/literary institutions;
  • Communicates well and is comfortable speaking in public;
  • Can demonstrate substantial successes in fundraising and garnering corporate and foundation support; is comfortable in soliciting donations from a wide range of funding sources;
  • Demonstrates a strong grasp of leveraging social media and other tools to communicate, manage, and drive membership, engagement, and support;
  • Has substantial nonprofit experience; understands and respects the function of a board of trustees.

 

Compensation and Benefits:

  • This is an exempt position
  • Salary is commensurate with experience
  • Benefits include generous health-dental-vision insurance, paid vacation, holidays and a 403b pension plan
  • Membership to the Mechanics’ Institute

 

To Apply:

  • Send cover letter, resume and completed application form to jobs@milibrary.org and include "Executive Director" in the subject line; application form can be found here.
  • Include salary requirement (a range is fine)
  • Position will remain open until filled
  • No phone calls please; all applications, resumes and letters of interest must be submitted electronically

Development Associate

 

Job Description

The Mechanics’ Institute seeks a Development Associate to help build on the recent fundraising successes and new energy of a unique San Francisco institution. Reporting to the Development Director, the Development Associate will provide fundraising support in all areas of development, with a focus on annual and institutional giving and member engagement. The position is responsible for supporting annual giving, membership development, grant writing, major gifts, and events. This position will play a key role in supporting the Mechanics’ growing Development Department.

 

ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Create and implement annual membership program development plans, including planning, messaging, renewals, and stewardship. Conceive and create marketing collateral, renewal notices, correspondence and other membership related communications.
  • Assist with annual giving strategy to renew annual contributions and attract new donors, including segmented annual giving direct mail and email campaigns. Craft appeals and coordinate with vendors to produce and send appeal mailings. Develop stewardship plans for specific donor categories, including midlevel donors.
  • Research public and private foundation grant opportunities
  • Assist with writing, editing, and submitting grant proposals, letters of inquiry, and reports
  • Manage donation entry and acknowledgement process; provide accurate and timely acknowledgement of all donations
  • Oversee planning and executing donor and member events (1-4 per year)
  • Perform research on current and prospective major gift and planned giving donor donors
  • Assist with member and donor stewardship activities, including the implementation of donor benefits
  • Produce donor recognition lists for newsletters and the annual report. Generate other reports as needed
  • Manage and maintain donor database records. Support Development Director with ensuring database integrity through periodic audits of data.
  • Create content for quarterly newsletter as needed
  • Provide administrative support to the Director of Development as needed
  • Other duties as assigned

 

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS:

  • 1-2+ years of development experience
  • Ability to maintain privacy and confidentiality of sensitive information
  • Ability to manage multiple projects, set priorities, and meet deadlines.
  • Ability to work well independently and as part of a team
  • Availability to work occasional evenings for events
  • Bachelor’s degree required
  • Excellent interpersonal, verbal, and communication skills.
  • Excellent research, organizational, and verbal and written communication skills
  • Experience with fundraising databases; knowledge of eTapestry is a plus
  • High attention to detail
  • Proficiency with MS Office
  • Strong organizational, problem solving, time management, and project management skills.
  • Strong problem solving and time management skills

 

Compensation and Benefits

  • This is a full-time, non-exempt position
  • Salary is commensurate with experience
  • Membership to Mechanics’ Institute

 

To Apply

  • Send cover letter and resume to jobs@milibrary.org and include “Development Associate” in the subject line
  • Hourly rate requirement (a range is fine)
  • Position will remain open until filled
  • No phone calls please

 


Youth Program and Chess Events Coordinator

 

Job Description

The Mechanics’ Institute seeks a full-time Youth Program and Chess Events Coordinator to help the Chess Director manage and grow the Youth Outreach Program, expand, organize and direct chess events including the Tuesday Night Marathon (TNM), weekend tournaments, weekday events, high profile events, and help manage other areas of growth and opportunity in the chess department. The Coordinator will also help with promoting the chess club by assisting where possible with social media and development. The Coordinator will work with the Chess Director in strategizing and executing a vision for growth in scholastic chess, breadth and quality of chess events, and building a culture of unity and quality in the Chess Department that reflects outward to the community.

 

ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:

Youth Outreach Program

  • Assist the Chess Director with management of the Youth Outreach Program, a comprehensive initiative that includes free chess services and fee for service programs in schools.
  • Help prospect new relationships with schools.
  • Recruiting new coaches and developing leads on where to prospect for new coaches.
  • Develop and implement a strategy of training coaches, including use of metric tools to measure performance and success of programs.
  • Help with organizing and promoting scholastic tournaments and classes.

Chess Event Organizing/Directing

  • Assist the Chess Director with management of chess events for the Mechanics’ Institute chess club, both inside the chess club and outside in the community.
  • Develop leads to prospective venues and develop strategic partnerships.
  • Act as Tournament Director or Chief Arbiter in our USCF and FIDE rated tournaments when needed.
  • Help organize high profile chess events that enhance the reputation of the chess club, including State and National championship events, IM/GM norm events and/or other major events.

 

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS:

  • 4+ years of experience with a chess organization or education related field.
  • Certification as a USCF Tournament Director or willingness to obtain certification. FIDE National Arbiter or higher license strongly preferred.
  • Experience in organizing events.
  • Excellent research, organizational, and verbal and written communication skills
  • Proficiency with MS Office
  • Ability to maintain privacy and confidentiality of sensitive information
  • Strong problem solving and time management skills
  • Ability to work well independently and as part of a team
  • Excellent interpersonal skills – ability to communicate with members, donors, staff, and the public in a friendly and professional manner by phone, email, and in person
  • Availability to work occasional evenings for events
  • Ability to manage multiple projects, set priorities, and meet deadlines.
  • High attention to detail
  • Bachelor’s degree required

 

Compensation and Benefits

  • This is an exempt position
  • Salary is commensurate with experience
  • Benefits include generous health-dental-vision insurance, paid vacation, holidays and a 403b pension plan
  • Membership to the Mechanics’ Institute

 

To Apply

  • Send cover letter and resume to jobs@milibrary.org and include “Youth Program and Chess Events Coordinator” in the subject line
  • Include salary requirement (a range is fine)
  • Position will remain open until filled
  • No phone calls please