Development Director (Arts Organization)

Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts
Virginia, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Closing date
Feb 11, 2023
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The Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts is now accepting applications for the position of Development Director. This is a full-time position with benefits. The Development Director is a key staff member within this nonprofit organization, directing and executing the Center’s entire development program, including membership, major gifts, grants, and sponsorships. This is an exciting opportunity for a hands-on leader who is a great communicator, who loves the arts, who loves working with people in the community, and who wants to grow a small development office. This position reports to the Suffolk Center’s executive director.



  • Leads and grows the Suffolk Center’s fund development program, which presently includes almost $1 million in annual membership gifts, grants, and sponsorships.
  • Prepares and monitors annual plans, goals, and budgets for all fund development activities.
  • Leads the Suffolk Center’s grants program. Researches grant opportunities, develops proposals, builds relationships, and stewards foundation and other funders. Prepares grant reports and ensures grant compliance.
  • Works with the Executive Director, volunteers, and board members to identify, cultivate, solicit, and steward major gifts, including operating gifts and capital campaign gifts.
  • Conducts a minimum of two outreach meetings or phone calls per month with donors or potential donors in the form of discovery, cultivation, solicitation, or stewardship. Facilitates opportunities and information for the Executive Director and board members to cultivate potential donors.
  • Works with fellow staff members and volunteers to identify, cultivate, solicit, and steward business sponsors for performances, gallery exhibitions, and other special events.
  • Oversees donor database management, direct mailings, phone-a-thons, and gift acknowledgement, working closely with the Development Coordinator.
  • Works to expand and diversify the Suffolk Center’s base of support and revenue sources by seeking new prospective donors and trying fundraising strategies that are new for the Center. Areas for potential growth include online fundraising and planned giving.
  • Hires, supervises, and evaluates the Development Coordinator and Special Events Manager.
  • Works closely with the Special Events Committee in planning and executing an annual fundraiser as well as other special event fundraising.
  • Represents the Suffolk Center, our mission, and our programs positively to members of the community.
  • Provides basic development training for board and staff members to increase their knowledge and effectiveness.
  • Attends performances, gallery receptions, and other events at the Suffolk Center to spend time with donors and to help manage events.
  • Other duties as required by the Executive Director.



  • A minimum of five years’ experience in nonprofit fund development, with demonstrated success in raising money through a variety of tactics.
  • Excellent people skills, and the ability to work collaboratively with multiple constituents, including board members, volunteers, members, and donors.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Ability to work independently, set and achieve goals, take initiative, and prioritize time and tasks in a fast-changing environment.
  • Discretion and tact in handling confidential donor information.
  • An interest in performing or visual arts is a plus.
  • Proficiency in office and development technology, including MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, donor management software.
  • Experience with Donor Perfect and content management software is a plus.
  • Financial acumen, including the ability to create and monitor a budget.
  • Experience in online fundraising, social media, and planned giving are a big plus.
  • A bachelor’s degree is preferred, but commensurate experience will be considered.
  • Commitment to diversity, inclusion, and the Center’s mission for promoting the arts in Suffolk.


This is a full-time, permanent position within the Suffolk Center. Evening and weekend hours are sometimes required for performances, receptions, and special events. Benefits for this position include medical and dental insurance; paid time off for vacation, sick time, holidays, and more; and an employer match toward a SIMPLE IRA retirement plan.


To apply: Please send a résumé, cover letter, and writing sample to L.Morrow@SuffolkCenter.Org. Your writing sample should be 500 words or less, and wholly your own work, preferably related to nonprofits or fundraising (e.g., a solicitation letter or a portion of a grant request).


Applications received by February 6 will receive priority consideration; however, applications will be accepted until the position is filled. For more information about the Suffolk Center, please visit our website:


The Suffolk Center invites applicants of all backgrounds for this position. We believe that our mission is most effectively fulfilled through a commitment to inclusiveness as a core value and practice. We maintain that building and sustaining diversity requires an ongoing commitment to inclusion that must find full expression in our organizational culture, values, norms, and behaviors.


Throughout our work, we support diversity across all lines of difference, including age, economic circumstance, ethnicity, sex, race, range of ability, religion, sexual orientation, and gender identity/expression. We aim to lead by example, viewing and encouraging diversity as a fundamental and abiding strength of the Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts.


The Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts recognizes that its effectiveness will be enhanced, and its mission well served, when the practice of inclusion is reflected in all aspects of the organization.

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