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Development Director, The Ark

The Ark
Michigan, United States
$75,000.00 - $90,000.00
Closing date
Feb 23, 2023

Since 1965, The Ark has been Michigan's nonprofit home for folk and roots music. Considered one of the top music clubs in the world, The Ark is renowned for the quality and breadth of its programming, featuring 300 live performances a year, including the annual Ann Arbor Folk Festival. The intimate 400-seat venue presents performers ranging from emerging artists to classic figures of folk and roots music. Located in Ann Arbor, Michigan, The Ark is part of a vibrant community and college town, which is consistently named as a top place to live in America.

The Ark is seeking an experienced, dynamic Development Director to lead the Development Department and direct all of The Ark's fundraising and donor engagement activities. This position requires skill and experience that includes high-level strategic planning, management of day-to-day operations, and hands-on involvement in the areas of major gifts, annual fund, planned giving, special events, grants, corporate sponsorship, and capital campaigns. This team member has an exciting opportunity to advance a solid development program to the next level.

The most qualified applicants will have a demonstrated understanding of the full spectrum of development, a history of progressively responsible development experience in nonprofit settings, and a proven track record of fundraising success. Though prior music-related experience is not required, ideal candidates will have a strong interest in music and/or the creative arts sector and a desire to play a key role in expanding this historic organization's capacity to evolve and innovate as we focus on diversifying our music and audiences.

Reporting to the Executive Director, the Development Director supervises the Annual Giving Manager (1 FTE), co-supervises the Office & Development Administrator (.25 FTE), and collaborates closely with Programming, Marketing, and Finance staff. This position also works with a volunteer Development Committee. Primary work location is The Ark's office with some work from home flexibility. Occasional evening or weekend hours are required.


Leadership and Collaboration

  • Work directly with the Executive Director, providing counsel on development issues and fundraising strategies
  • Participate as an essential member of the Ark Directors leadership group
  • Assist the Executive Director and others in translating The Ark's mission, vision and strategic plan into clear and compelling fundraising messaging and strategy
  • Lead and collaborate with a talented Development team that includes Development staff (Annual Giving Manager and Office & Development Administrator) and a volunteer Development Committee
  • Foster an environment of collaboration, effective performance, and work-life balance among members of the Development staff
  • Work in partnership with volunteer Development Committee Chair(s) to set a strategic and productive direction
  • Participate in identification, recruitment, and stewardship of Development Committee members and ensure their effective engagement
  • Report on development activities regularly to the Executive Director, and monthly to the Board of Directors
  • Advance The Ark's collective efforts to build a diverse, equitable, and fully inclusive organization through transformative learning and leadership, and by actively seeking and welcoming diverse voices and perspectives that will shape the organization's future

Fundraising and Stewardship

  • Work with the Annual Giving Manager, Development Committee and others to develop and manage plans for the annual fund program, including membership, special events, corporate sponsorship and fundraising appeals
  • Expand and refine the major gifts program, with direct responsibilities for identifying, cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding donors capable of contributing at an annual level of $5,000 and above
  • Expand the planned giving program, with a focus on deferred gifts such as bequests
  • Maintain a portfolio of major and planned giving prospects along with engagement plans for each
  • Grow and maintain donor relationships by arranging and participating in meetings with current and prospective donors and supporters on a continual basis
  • Develop and maintain gift recognition programs
  • Conduct grant seeking, including research, proposal writing, and reporting requirements
  • Direct capital campaigns and other major fundraising drives
  • Provide expertise in all areas related to the fundraising/CRM database (Abila)
  • Coordinate creation of materials to support fundraising activities

Planning, Assessment, and Budgeting

  • Participate in The Ark's ongoing strategic planning process, working with the Executive Director and Development staff to plan, implement and monitor short-term and long-term fundraising strategies, goals and tasks
  • Work with Development staff to assess and update fundraising systems and processes
  • Collect, analyze and interpret fundraising-related data; create reports; communicate results
  • Formulate recommendations and develop strategies based on data and constituent feedback
  • Develop, manage, and monitor the annual fundraising budget, as well as budgets for campaigns and special fundraising initiatives



  • Bachelor's degree or the equivalent combination of education and experience
  • Minimum of 5-7 years of professional fundraising experience in nonprofit settings, including a demonstrated success across a broad range of fundraising activities
  • Enthusiasm for and commitment to The Ark's mission of enriching the human spirit through the power of music
  • Commitment to The Ark's organization-wide focus on encouraging and welcoming diversity
  • Collaborative, team-oriented approach to professional responsibilities
  • Proven track record of success in securing major gifts
  • Demonstrated managerial leadership and experience with recruiting, supervising, and developing a successful and collaborative work team
  • Proven track record of recruiting, supporting, motivating and working effectively with volunteers
  • Demonstrated ability to formulate strategic plans, develop and implement programs, and evaluate the success of these initiatives
  • Demonstrated ability to collect, analyze and interpret data; create reports; and communicate results and recommendations
  • Highly effective and engaging communication, presentation, and interpersonal skills
  • Excellent writing skills
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills
  • Effective planning and organizational skills
  • Proficiency in fundraising software, Microsoft Suite, Outlook and Google Workspace


  • Demonstrated interest in or experience with music and/or creative arts is preferred
  • Familiarity with and appreciation of the types of music The Ark presents a plus
  • Direct experience with writing grant proposals and managing grants
  • Experience with Abila fundraising software a plus


Salary and Benefits Information

  • This is a full-time, exempt position
  • Annual salary range is $75,000 - $90,000 with starting pay based on prior qualifications and prior experience
  • Benefits options include: generous paid time off, health insurance (Priority Health HMO with premium currently 100% employer-paid), retirement (SIMPLE IRA with up to 3% employer match)


Application Information

Please note that a cover letter is required for consideration and should address how your experience, values and interests align with The Ark and its mission.

Candidates from underrepresented groups are encouraged to apply. Frequently cited statistics display that communities of color, women, and other marginalized groups apply to positions only if they completely meet qualifications. The Ark encourages you to upend those statistics and apply to this position. We excitedly anticipate your application.

The Ark is an Equal Opportunity Employer, offering equal opportunity for employment or advancement to all qualified applicants or employees without regard to age, religion, color, race, national or ethnic origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, familial status, veteran status, height, weight, or non-job-related medical condition or disability, or any unlawful criterion or circumstance.


Position will remain open until filled. Preference will be given to qualified candidates who apply by February 13, 2023. Targeted search timeline:

  • January 26 onward: Phone screenings for applicants of interest will occur on a rolling basis
  • Week of February 20, 2023: First Round Interviews (by Zoom)
  • Week of February 27, 2023: Second Round Interviews (on-site)
  • April, 2023: Anticipated start date

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