Development Manager, Arts Foundation

The Watermill Center
New York, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Closing date
Dec 17, 2021

View more

Position Type
Fundraising, Annual Fund, Capital Campaigns, Corporate and Foundation Relations, Direct Marketing, Donor Relations, Fundraising Administration, Grant Seeking, Major Gifts, Membership, Planned Giving, Special Events, Administrative, Arts Administration
Arts, Community Foundations, Museum
Employment Type
Full Time
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The Development Manager is a position reporting to the Director of Institutional Advancement and works closely with the Managing Director and Artistic Director. Working alongside the Development Team, the Development Manager is responsible for fundraising efforts related to individual giving, sponsorships, memberships, and special events. Integral to this position is relationship building and donor stewardship, both locally and internationally. This position also works closely with the Director of Institutional Advancement and Managing Director to help create a thriving, sustainable culture of philanthropy in support of The Watermill Center’s programming and operations. The Development Manager should have an administrative and fundraising background with strong self-management, organizational, and communication skills.

About The Watermill Center

The Watermill Center is a laboratory for the arts and humanities, providing a global community with the time, space, and freedom to create and inspire.

Founded in 1992 by Robert Wilson, The Watermill Center is an interdisciplinary laboratory for the arts and humanities situated on ten acres of Shinnecock ancestral territory on Long Island’s East End. With an emphasis on creativity and collaboration, Watermill offers artist residencies and education programs that integrate contemporary artistic practice with resources from the humanities and research from the sciences. Situated on 39 Watermill Towd Rd, a 20,000 square foot main facility houses a Study Library, Art Collection, spaces for rehearsals, performances, and exhibitions, a kitchen with dining areas, and office space. The Artist-in-Residence House, at 11 Watermill Towd Road, is a 10,000 square foot facility with eight private bedrooms, a kitchen, living areas, and an amphitheater. The Art Collection consists of 5,000+ works of art and artifacts, ranging from ancient to contemporary, including numerous museum-quality works from Indonesia, Africa, and Oceania, as well as works by contemporary artists such as Paul Thek, Donald Judd, Bruce Nauman, Robert Mapplethorpe, Agnes Martin, among others.


● Help develop and implement short and long-range plans to meet fundraising goals and outcomes.

● Execute fundraising campaigns and regularly report on progress.

● Oversee and execute all aspects of donor cultivation, stewardship, and ongoing relationship management, including individual, foundation, government, and corporate donors.

● Plan and manage individual donor campaigns.

● Manage invitations, ticket sales, and co-chair and committee development for special events, public programs, and membership activities to ensure an active and engaged audience.

● Build relationships with the local business community who are eager to support and engage with The Watermill Center’s programs and events.

● Build and steward sponsorships for events and ensure timely delivery of sponsorship benefits and reporting requirements.

● Help develop and implement a donor pipeline system to encourage ongoing engagement and support.

● Conduct prospect research for potential donors, both locally and internationally.

● Evaluate data from past fundraising efforts and the organization’s donor database.

● Work with internal departments, such as Artist, Education, and Public Programs, to connect program activities to fundraising initiatives and future opportunities.

● Work with the Director of Institutional Advancement to maintain and track development revenue and expense budgets, including quarterly cash flow projections.

● Work with the Communications Team to create content to support fundraising efforts, including newsletters, social media posts, sponsor decks, etc.

● Support the Managing Director and Director of Institutional Advancement's efforts to engage the board.

Desired Skills & Qualifications

● 5+ years of development experience and a strong track record in all areas of development, from an individual, institutional, corporate fundraising, and special events

● Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience

● Knowledge of contemporary arts and cultural sector with a demonstrated commitment to supporting artists and the arts

● Strong management skills with proven ability to motivate and lead

● Strategic, analytical, and detail-oriented with excellent writing and interpersonal skills

● Excellent organizational, research, and communication skills with strong attention to detail

● Highly collaborative and able to work across the organization

● Experience prioritizing tasks, working deadlines, and adapting to changing priorities

● Experience handling multiple projects simultaneously

● Strategic thinker with creative problem-solving skills

● Proficiency in development database software, Google and Microsoft Suites, Slack, Zoom, and adopting new digital tools.

● Ability to work occasional evenings and weekends for special events and public programming.

Employment Terms

The position is a full-time, ongoing position located at The Watermill Center in Water Mill, NY. M-F, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm with some weekend hours. 15 days vacation, dates to be approved by supervisor; 10 major public holidays; 5 personal days; Option for health and dental insurance benefits; option for 401(k) plan. Salary commensurate with experience.


Please send a resume and a brief cover letter to with the subject heading “Development Manager.” Only those whose applications are being considered will be contacted. No phone calls, please.

The Watermill Center, operated by the Byrd Hoffman Water Mill Foundation, is a proud equal opportunity employer and considers applicants for all positions without regard to race, color, religion, creed, gender identity or expression, national origin, age, disability, familial or veteran status, sexual orientation, or any other legally protected status.


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