Director of Development, Ballet Hispanico

Mission & History

Ballet Hispánico is the nation’s renowned Latino dance organization and one of America’s Cultural Treasures. Ballet Hispánico brings communities together to celebrate and explore Latino cultures through innovative dance performances, transformative dance training, and enduring community engagement experiences. 

Founded in 1970 by National Medal of Arts recipient, Tina Ramírez, the organization emerged during the post-civil rights movement on New York’s Upper West Side, providing a safe haven for primarily Black and Brown Latinx youth seeking artistic sanctuary during New York City’s plight in the 1970s. The need for place, both culturally and artistically, led families to find Ballet Hispánico. The focus on dance as a means to develop working artists, combined with the training, authenticity of voice, and power of representation, fueled the organization’s roots and trajectory. 

With its strong emphasis on dance, achievement, and public presence, the organization has flourished in its three main programs: its Company, School of Dance, and Community Arts Partnerships. The organization serves as a platform for historically omitted and overlooked artists providing them with increased capacity, voice, and affirmation. Over the past five decades, by leading with Latinx culture at the forefront of performance, education, and advocacy, Ballet Hispánico’s mission is a catalyst of change and possibility for communities throughout our nation.

Today, Ballet Hispánico is led by a nimble team of arts professionals that include Artistic Director & CEO Eduardo Vilaro, choreographer and former dancer with the Company, whose artistic vision responds to the need for authentic representation, cultural truth, and arts education that is relevant and equitable. All with an annual participant reach of 55,000 including 24,000 New Yorkers of all ages and abilities. 

As the COVID-19 pandemic has irrevocably impacted our world, so too has this experience presented a profound reimagining of the work of Ballet Hispánico. As such, Ballet Hispánico has been able to execute a virtual platform and continue its legacy of access.

TRANSFORMATIONAL MOMENT/OPPORTUNITY

This is an especially exciting moment for Ballet Hispánico. While the timing of our plans to celebrate our 50th anniversary in 2020 have been rescheduled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are enthusiastically planning for post-pandemic celebrations. A special contribution totaling $4 million was received in the last four years that transformed the fundraising and marketing capabilities of the organization; and we have recently been awarded $4.6 million by a consortium of funders led by the Ford Foundation and named one of “America’s Cultural Treasurers.”  

The individual in this role will serve as a visible ambassador for Ballet Hispánico and play a key role in helping to secure the organization’s continued success and sustainable future through increased philanthropic support.

FUNDING

Ballet Hispánico’s fiscal year 2020 operating budget, ending June 30, 2020, was $7.6 million—approximately 34 percent was generated from earned income (primarily ticket sales, touring fees and tuition); and 66 percent raised through contributed income, of which 25 percent was from special events, 38 percent from board members and other individuals (not special events related), 23 percent from foundations; 6 percent from corporations, and 8 percent from governmental agencies. Ballet Hispánico’s goal, through a comprehensive 50th anniversary campaign, is to grow the endowment and increase annual contributed income from all sources to ensure a healthy, robust, and sustainable future for the organization.

PRIMARY FUNCTION

The Director of Development will be a member of the senior leadership team and will work with the

Chief Development & Marketing Officer, Artistic Director/CEO, Board, colleagues, and staff to develop and implement a comprehensive, ambitious, and innovative plan to expand support for Ballet Hispánico.

REPORTING RELATIONSHIPS

The Director of Development reports to the Chief Development & Marketing Officer, Lorraine LaHuta, and works closely with the Artistic Director/CEO, Eduardo Vilaro, the Chair of the Board of Directors, Kate Lear, and several Board committees. The Director of Development will lead a team that includes an Associate Director of Institutional Giving and a Development Assistant.

RESPONSIBILITIES

Strategy/Leadership

  • Engage Ballet Hispánico’s resources to execute a comprehensive and compelling strategy to expand philanthropic and external support and enhance the culture of philanthropy in support of the organization’s mission.
  • Serve as an active contributing member of the senior management team to help steward the institution’s resources.
  • Develop a keen understanding of the organization, its programs, priorities, and strategic direction. Identify opportunities to leverage Ballet Hispánico’s uniqueness and expand its traditional base of philanthropic support, employing the entire range of development tactics and strategies.

Development/Advancement

  • Direct and expand all aspects of Ballet Hispánico’s development activities, including donor cultivation and stewardship, annual and special gift campaigns, the annal gala, and institutional giving from foundations, corporations, and government agencies.
  • Lead and motivate a team that is trained to work toward increasing these sources of funds over time.
  • Lead the individual giving program, cultivating relationships with existing donors as well as identifying, cultivating, and soliciting new individual donors, with a focus on major gift prospects.
  • Serve as a major gift solicitor--identify, manage, cultivate, and solicit a portfolio of major gift prospects.
  • Oversee the implementation of the 50th anniversary campaign operations.
  • Develop strategies to expand planned giving program.
  • Oversee the institutional funding program and identify new and prospective foundation and public funders.
  • Promote and solicit corporate sponsorships for the organization’s activities, special events, and program development initiatives. Develop sponsorship marketing materials in collaboration with the Sr. Director of Marketing & Communications.
  • Oversee the planning and execution of all special events, including the annual gala, the New York City performance season, and smaller events throughout the year.
  • Track, anticipate, respond to and institute appropriate trends and best practices in philanthropy.
  • Serve as a visible representative for Ballet Hispánico at performances, showings, industry events and other appropriate gatherings.

Board Relations

  • Work with the Chief Development & Marketing Officer and Board Chair on board development and maintain positive and proactive relationships with the Board of Directors.
  • Collaborate with Ballet Hispánico’s various board committees to maximize their involvement with the organization and its development program.

Management/Operations

  • Provide leadership for the development department, creating short-term and long-range plans to meet revenue goals.
  • Assess, support, and motivate the development team.
  • Set clear, ambitious but attainable performance goals for individual team members.
  • Develop budgets, track revenue, and manage expenses. Ensure that software systems are in place and optimized for donor/prospect tracking, research, reports, acknowledgement, and stewardship.

CANDIDATE QUALIFICATIONS

The ideal candidate should meet the following criteria:

Experience

  • Demonstrated record of accomplishment in development leadership preferably in a cultural, educational, or other nonprofit organization.
  • Specifically, a successful record building capacity and sustainability and leading change and growth.
  • A track record of success as a major gift solicitor.
  • Proven track record of securing institutional gifts and corporate sponsorships.
  • Capital campaign planning and leadership experience plus.
  • Successful experience planning and coordinating special events.
  • Demonstrated ability to think creatively and bring fresh ideas and approaches to development.
  • Familiarity with the New York philanthropic and business communities, particularly patrons of the arts. Knowledge of other major communities nationwide is also desirable.
  • Demonstrated ability to motivate and work effectively with senior leadership, board members, colleagues, donors, and volunteers.
  • Successful management experience—the ability and willingness to build and mentor a high performing team.
  • Experience forecasting, managing, and reporting on fiscal budgets.
  • Current in innovations and new trends in philanthropy.

Personal Qualities

  • A self-starter who can manage multiple projects across varying time frames.
  • A collaborative team-player.
  • Superior interpersonal, verbal, and written skills; a high value is placed on the ability to articulate Ballet Hispánico’s mission in compelling formats to diverse audiences—an effective public speaker.
  • An engaging personal style.
  • Excellent judgment and integrity.
  • Excellent planning, organizational, time-management and follow-up skills.
  • Charismatic, “can-do” spirit.
  • Affinity for the Ballet Hispánico mission, appreciation for the organizational culture and an appreciation for the performing arts in general.
  • The ability to communicate in Spanish is desirable, but not required.

Education

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience is required; advanced degree is preferred.

Other

  • Ability and willingness to participate in frequent evening and weekend activities for work-related purposes.

COMPENSATION

Compensation will be competitive and commensurate with experience and accomplishments.

CONTACT

To apply, send a resume and cover letter describing your interest in this position and Ballet Hispánico's work to Lorraine LaHuta at llahuta@ballethispanico.org. Applicants who are selected for a Zoom interview will be notified by email. Since our offices are closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are not reachable by phone.

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