Executive Director



Canterbury Shaker Village, located in Canterbury, New Hampshire, seeks a talented Executive Director to lead the organization into a new phase of vision and energy. The position entails nurturing the Village’s spiritual legacy, historical stature, and natural beauty to engender higher levels of engagement, relevance, and sustainability.

Canterbury Shaker Village

Canterbury Shaker Village was founded as a utopian community of religious believers in 1792. Over its 200-year history, more than 2,000 Shakers lived, worked, and worshiped among more than 100 buildings in the scenic foothills of New Hampshire.

Today the Village is an internationally known historic site. Designated as a National Historic Landmark for its architectural significance, it is one of the oldest, most representative, and best preserved of all nine of the Shaker villages in the U.S. It includes 26 original Shaker buildings, some dating back to the 18th century, four reconstructed structures, a collection of more than 100,000 artifacts, and 694 acres of forests, fields, gardens, nature trails, and mill ponds.

The last Canterbury Shakers passed away three decades ago, but their heritage lives on through Canterbury Shaker Village, which they organized in 1969 in cooperation with interested historians, artisans, and townspeople to build community and sustain the Shaker’s story of creativity, faith, equality, and enterprise. Today, the Village welcomes about 15,000 annual visitors for tours, educational programs, and outdoor recreation. The organization is governed by a 20-member Board of Trustees and operated by an 11-person staff team and ten seasonal employees, plus about 50 volunteers. The Village has an annual budget of $1.3 million.

The Village’s mission, vision, and values uniquely describe this important historic institution.


Canterbury Shaker Village preserves and interprets the legacy of the Shakers, providing a place for learning, reflection, and renewal of the human spirit.


Canterbury Shaker Village actively engages people of all ages, fostering the Shaker values of community, simplicity, and innovation.


• Community grounds us in basic kindness and respect for all, welcoming and celebrating divergent beliefs and traditions. “We make you kindly welcome.”

• Simplicity keeps us focused on what is most essential, with an overriding spirit of humility in all we do. “‘Tis the gift to be simple, ‘tis the gift to be free.”

• Innovation guides creative problem solving and continuous improvement in our stewardship of the Village and our service to others. “Do all your work as if you had a thousand years to live and as if you knew you must die tomorrow.”

The Opportunity

This is an outstanding opportunity for an accomplished nonprofit leader to help the Village reinvigorate its aspirations, prioritize its objectives, and leverage its resources toward greater engagement and sustainability. Working with an energized and committed Board, a talented staff team, and a focused group of volunteers, the Executive Director will lead the Village as it pursues several important initiatives.

• Embarking on a multi-million-dollar capital campaign, currently in its quiet phase and supported by a feasibility study, to build stability for the Village’s historic preservation, collections, programs, and endowment.

• Refreshing the comprehensive strategic plan to capture the “magic” of this special place to sustain and strengthen outstanding visitor experiences.

• Translating the Shaker values for relevancy in contemporary society.

• Creating a facilities preservation plan to protect and maintain the Village’s core physical assets.

• Expanding educational outreach to offer greater accessibility to the Shaker story and appreciation for Shaker craftsmanship and innovation.


Experience, Skills, and Attributes

• A minimum five years of executive or management experience, preferably in a nonprofit environment or other mission-driven organization.

• Demonstrated enthusiasm for successful fundraising both operating and capital monies, working with donors, foundations, sponsors, and governmental funding sources.

• Strategic planning skills, as well as pragmatic and successful organizational project management, in service to historic preservation, audience development, revenue generation, and visitor experience.

• Success in leading dynamic teams of professional staff and volunteers who exude enthusiasm for the organization’s mission, collections, and programs.

• Emotional intelligence and people-oriented leadership skills that serve internal and external stakeholders. Ability to sustain strong relationships with the local community in alignment with the Village’s values.

• Experience working collaboratively with a Board and enabling effective committees and governance practices.

• Outstanding marketing, communication, and advocacy skills.

• Financial acumen and management oversight to develop and manage an annual budget and a multi-year strategic plan. Comfortable to interpret financial performance to the Board and other stakeholders.

• Academic degree and experience in history, museum studies, historic preservation, decorative arts, education, natural resource management, or other relevant field.

Job Responsibilities:    

Responsibilities and Expectations

The Executive Director will have proven effectiveness as an executive or senior-level professional in nonprofit organizations such as museums, historic sites, preservation institutions, or other similar mission-driven organizations. The successful candidate will demonstrate accomplishment as a strategic thinker, team builder, fundraiser, innovator, and leader adept at translating vision into organizational action.

• Assume overall executive responsibility for Canterbury Shaker Village, creating dynamic strategic direction, visitor engagement, and financial support.

• Inspire and nurture a team of staff members and volunteers that displays creativity, collaboration, and achievement.

• Supervise day-to-day operations, providing the spark for program development, educational outreach, visitor experience, earned revenue streams, and stewardship of the Village’s buildings and collections.

• Lead an energetic fundraising effort in collaboration with the Board and Development staff that includes grants, individual donations, major gifts, and corporate philanthropy. Join leadership and execution of an ambitious capital campaign already underway.

• Develop a trusting and mutually supportive relationship with the Board and other principal stakeholders to turn vision and strategy into sustainable reality.

• Create and sustain beneficial relationships with the local community, preservation groups, and others who contribute to the Village’s mission.

• Provide financial oversight and sustainability; ensure the fiscal integrity of the Village by budgeting revenues and expenditures that ensure the financial health of the organization.

• Serve as the Village’s primary spokesperson, representing the organization at events, in the media, and cultivating key relationships locally, regionally, and nationally.


More details

Deadline: 06/10/2024
Date Listed: 04/23/2024
Web Address: https://museum-search.com/all-searches/2024/4/23/canterbury-shaker-village
Job Status: Full Time
Exemption Status: Non-Exempt
Salary: $120,000 - $140,000
Application Instructions: How to Apply To apply in confidence, submit application by June 10, 2024, to: Dan Yaeger, Senior Search Consultant, Museum Search & Reference, via SearchandRef@museum-search.com. Please include: 1) A cover letter expressing interest in the position and giving brief examples of past related experience. 2) A résumé. 3) The names and contact information for three professional references, indicating their relationship with the candidate. Applicants are encouraged to apply early as candidates will be considered on a rolling basis. Nominations are welcome. All applications and nominations are kept confidential; we will not contact references without your permission. For more details, visit: www.museum-search.com/open-searches.

Ad details

Organization : Canterbury Shaker Village
City : Canterbury
State/Prov : New Hampshire
Country : United States