Chief Development Officer

New York, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Apr 14, 2021
May 13, 2021
Employment Type
Full Time

ABOUT HSA:  Harlem School of the Arts (HSA) is one of New York City’s pioneering art institutions and a cultural cornerstone of the community. HSA enriches the lives of young people and their families from all socio-economic levels through world-class training in and exposure to the arts across multiple disciplines in an environment that emphasizes rigorous training, stimulates creativity, builds self-confidence, and adds a dimension of beauty to their lives.


Serving approximately 4,000 young people from across the Greater New York area, HSA advances its mission from the Herb Alpert Center (renamed after a transformative $6M gift from the Herb Alpert Foundation) by offering high-quality, affordable arts training in dance, music, theatre, and visual arts to young people from 2 to 18; by providing financial aid and merit scholarships to those who need it most; and by developing key partnerships with other cultural institutions, colleges and universities, and conservatories to prepare aspiring pre-professional students at the highest level. HSA also offers adult courses and an expanded series of workshops, lectures, performances, book signings, films, and exhibitions to engage families and community members in enlightened conversations around arts, culture, and diversity. For more information, please visit


THE OPPORTUNITY:  The Chief Development Officer will work with an exceptionally dedicated and passionate leadership and program team and an engaged and supportive board of directors. This is a unique opportunity for an energetic and entrepreneurial development professional who brings credibility, creativity, and a genuine passion for the HSA mission.


The CDO will create and implement a strategy to increase philanthropic support through the development of targeted campaigns, individual giving, corporate and foundation grants and sponsorships, special events, planned giving, and government support. S/he must be able to craft and articulate a compelling case for support through effective storytelling about HSA’s programs, students, alumni, outreach, and impact.  The CDO will engage and manage HSA’s Board of Directors, communicating frequently and effectively with the Board to facilitate involvement with Development goals and initiatives (i.e. Board recruitment, special events, corporate/individual solicitations, etc.)


The CDO should be a comfortable front-line major gift fundraiser who is able to lead and motivate a comprehensive development team. S/he reports to the President and will work in close collaboration with colleagues in all disciplines. The CDO will work in partnership with the marketing department on the development of fundraising materials as well as with programs on identifying/narration of programs that can be used as anchors for fundraising. The CDO is responsible for the developing, tracking, and reporting of the development budget and will also work with the finance department on cash flow projections and ensure proper reconciliation of monies received. S/he will build, lead, and mentor a team of three which includes a Director of Institutional Giving, Development Officer, and Database and Prospect Research Coordinator, and Manager of Individual Giving (vacant). The CDO will make certain the database is kept to date and accurately managed to ensure that all fundraising activities are recorded. In addition to establishing a solicitation calendar, the CDO will develop a 12-month institution wide cultivation calendar comprised of programming and institutional marketing events/activities. S/he will oversee stewardship/cultivation and develop/maintain stewardship strategies for donor population. The CDO is responsible for the revision of proposals and reporting calendar. S/he will conduct prospect research and develop/maintain major donor prospects list. S/he may be required to do direct solicitation on behalf of HSA – sometimes in partnership with the president, colleagues, or board members.


FUNDING: HSA has an annual operating budget of approximately $5M, of which $2.5-3M is generated through philanthropy. The balance is received through earned income (tuition, fees, and rental revenue). Annual operating budget varies slightly from year to year.



  • Bachelor’s degree required; Master’s degree preferred
  • At least ten years of experience in development leadership and implementation for a non-profit organization
  • Knowledge of NYC-area arts/youth/culture funding communities
  • Knowledge in developing and implementing fundraising campaigns
  • Demonstrated relationship management/major gift cultivation and solicitation skills
  • Success working with a board of directors
  • Familiar with best practices in fundraising
  • Genuine passion for the mission; able and willing to attend frequent evening/weekend activities and events
  • Both strategic and hands-on
  • Ability to build and maintain an organization wide culture of philanthropy
  • Able to lead, motivate, and elevate members of the development team
  • Dynamic, energetic, and goal-driven
  • Collaborative and collegial work style
  • Tech savvy and experience with CRM databases such as Raiser’s Edge and Neon



Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience.

Benefits include medical, dental, and vision insurance; paid annual leave plus holidays; and opportunity to participate in a company-sponsored retirement program.



Interested candidates are invited to email a cover letter explaining your interest and relevant experience; salary requirements; and resume to  

Position open until filled. 

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