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Director of External Affairs

Carolina Performing Arts at UNC Chapel Hill
North Carolina, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Closing date
Feb 16, 2023

Organizational Summary

The mission of Carolina Performing Arts (CPA) is to spark curiosity, inspiring all members of our community to discover and more fully engage with the world. We collaborate with dynamic and compelling artists from across the globe to create novel, mission-driven performing arts experiences in partnership with our community. We also open our venues to others to explore, create, and celebrate their own work. Through the Office of the Executive Director for the Arts, CPA oversees all artistic programming, campus and community engagement, marketing and fundraising for its presented, commissioned and produced work, and manages all operations of its venues including facility rentals, technical production, audience services and ticketing.

Carolina Performing Arts thrives because of our collaborations with a diverse cohort of partners that create deeper understanding for our audiences and enable us to be empathetic visionaries. As our campus, state, nation, and world continue to reckon with systemic injustices, we are committed to being an agent for change and making certain that our internal practices reflect the values that are made visible on the stage. We have identified a set of equity priorities and goals to guide us in evaluating and redesigning our own systems, operations, and culture. In September 2021, CPA launched a permanent Equity Council made up of eight staff members, including a leadership representative, who serve as an advisory body supporting the development and execution of those priorities. Our work is made possible – and made better – through the contributions of team members from a wide array of backgrounds, experiences, and identities. We seek to recruit and develop staff to create a welcoming, inclusive, and equitable organization.

Position Summary

The Director of External Affairs (DEA) leads an integrated strategic external affairs vision for Carolina Performing Arts that expands awareness of CPA’s impact and priorities across a broad community of stakeholders, develops audiences who are effectively welcomed into and engaged with our offerings, and maximizes philanthropic and earned revenues. Reporting to and partnering with the Executive & Artistic Director (EAD), the DEA is a member of the leadership team and works in close partnership with the other department directors to guide CPA’s strategic direction. They participate in long-range strategic planning and ensure that fundraising, communications, and audience development strategies align with and maximize broad-based support for existing needs and growth plans.

This position is responsible for planning, developing, and implementing comprehensive strategies to increase transformational individual, corporate, and institutional investments in Carolina Performing Arts. The DEA serves as CPA’s chief fundraiser and demonstrates an exceptional ability to cultivate close relationships with stakeholders across diverse mediums: donors, volunteers, patrons, an international arts community, faculty, students, colleagues, and the entire educational community of UNC-Chapel Hill. The role shares responsibility for ensuring coordination with cross-University fundraising in the arts.

In consultation with the EAD and working closely with the Executive Director of Development for Constituent Programs (EDOD) in the UNC Office of University Development, this position holds primary responsibility for setting and meeting fundraising goals. The DEA oversees the development team and program, ensuring a sustainable plan to increase fundraising results. This individual is expected to leverage strong major gift experience and innovative strategies to identify new major gift prospects, increase annual giving, and diversify CPA’s donor base. They staff CPA’s International Advisory Board (IAB) and curate regional and international trips and experiences for board members and high-capacity donors, providing exclusive access to exceptional artistic opportunities and CPA’s robust global network of artistic partners. The DEA co-creates the vision and advances the stewardship program that consists of acknowledgements, annual impact reporting, and innovative high touch points consistently demonstrated to donors throughout the year.

The Director of External Affairs also provides leadership for marketing and communications to ensure that CPA puts forth a cohesive message, a distinct brand, and a consistent narrative while clearly articulating our mission, vision, programs, and impact. They oversee a comprehensive brand engagement strategy that welcomes and builds loyalty among a wide range of audiences, donors, students, partners, staff, and other stakeholders. Their efforts facilitate strategic relationships that position CPA’s brand regionally, nationally, and internationally. This position guides the marketing and communications team to anticipate and recognize novel storytelling opportunities and solutions, and to deliver appropriate communication strategies to support them.

The DEA directs the creation and implementation of audience development plans based in quantitative and qualitative research, evolving market trends, and contemporary outreach strategies. They are ultimately accountable for setting and achieving annual revenue and sales goals as well as engagement targets and pipeline-building metrics.

The Director of External Affairs is a seasoned relationship steward, a gifted impact storyteller, and a coalition-building leader who can motivate a large and diverse team of professionals to devise successful capital, annual fundraising, marketing, communications, and audience development programs. The DEA oversees daily administration of all operations across the development and marketing/communications functions.

Minimum Education and Experience: Relevant post-Baccalaureate degree required (or foreign degree equivalent) with three years or greater of related professional experience; for candidates demonstrating comparable professional backgrounds, will accept a relevant Bachelor’s degree (or foreign degree equivalent) and five years or greater of relevant experience in substitution.

Required Qualifications

  • Seven to ten years of progressively responsible experience in the field(s) of development, communications, marketing, or comparable experience in a closely related field.
  • Demonstrated ability to conceptualize and implement strategy, including envisioning and articulating future direction.
  • Demonstrated experience recognizing, integrating, and leveraging interdependent relationships between marketing, communications, and development functions.
  • Broad knowledge of fundraising best practices, nuanced external relationship development and management, strategy development and implementation, strategic communications, and multi-stakeholder coordination.
  • Demonstrated record of success raising six- and seven-figure gifts, as well as corporate and foundation fundraising.
  • Highly developed and effective storytelling skills in all mediums including written, verbal, presentation, and visual communications.
  • A history of collaborating with diverse groups to develop impactful, mutually beneficial partnerships and achieve ambitious results.
  • A strong relationship builder who engenders confidence and trust with executives, peers, prospects, donors, and board members.
  • High energy and passion for CPA’s mission. Proven ability to connect one’s own work and goals to the broader mission and values of an organization.
  • Frequent travel, and evening and weekend work required.
  • Bachelor’s degree required.
  • Values and encourages diversity in all aspects of the work. Demonstrated experience and passion for leading a department and collaborating with colleagues with a diversity of skillset and experience. A track record of inspiring and offering a sense of direction to staff across all departments and levels.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Ability to develop and execute a comprehensive fundraising program working independently and collaboratively, preferably with a background in and passion for fundraising for the arts or arts related endeavors.
  • Demonstrated leadership experience related to communications, marketing, and/or media relations as part of broader efforts to advance an organization’s mission and goals among internal and external stakeholders.
  • Ability to interact effectively in a comprehensive environment such as a research university setting and to exhibit the highest standards of professionalism and performance as evidenced by collaborative teamwork, initiative, critical thinking, good judgment, consistency of output, and timeliness of follow-through.
  • Ability to respond positively to change as evidenced by adapting approaches, goals, and methods to achieve solutions and results in dynamic situations; helping others cope with the ongoing demands of change and finding the benefits; and recovering quickly from setbacks to find alternative ways to reach goals or targets.

To view full position details and requirements, and to apply, please visit and reference CHRONICLE in your application. EOE.

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